BBC NEWS | Americas | Video shows Bush Katrina warningThere are two two obvious possibilities. Bush could be a compulsive liar (sociopath), or he could be terminally dull. I wonder about the latter. He didn't ask any questions, maybe he wasn't paying attention, or maybe he couldn't follow the conversation.
... Video showing President George W Bush being warned on the eve of Hurricane Katrina that the storm could breach New Orleans' flood defences has emerged.
The footage, obtained by the Associated Press, also shows Mr Bush being told of the risk to evacuees in the Superdome.
It appears to contradict Mr Bush's statement four days after Katrina hit, when he said: "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."
... Speaking by video link from a room in his Texan holiday ranch on 28 August last year, Mr Bush is shown telling federal disaster officials: "We are fully prepared."
He does not ask any questions as the situation is outlined to him.
... It shows plainly worried officials telling Mr Bush very clearly before the storm hit that it could breach New Orleans' flood barriers.
...the video shows Michael Brown, the top emergency response official who has since resigned, saying the storm would be "a bad one, a big one".
"We're going to need everything that we can possibly muster, not only in this state and in the region, but the nation, to respond to this event," Mr Brown says.
He also gives a strong, clear warning that evacuees in the Superdome in New Orleans could not be given proper assistance.
... Another official, Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center, tells the final briefing that storm models predict minimal flooding inside New Orleans during the hurricane.
... But he adds that the possibility that anticlockwise winds and storm surges could cause the levees at Lake Pontchartrain to be overrun afterwards is "obviously a very, very grave concern".
It was noted during the last campaign that Bush used to be a fluent speaker, but now has trouble with syntax and word recall. Could a large part of his behavior over the past few years be explained as an organic brain disorder?
I enjoy your blog. What brings me back is your interesting thoughts on a variety of subjects in which we appear to share an interest. For what it is worth (and I know it is not much), I find your posts about Bush and Republicans a bit smug, reactionary, and quite inferior to your other posts.
If you fault President Bush for accurately recalling being briefed before the storm that the levees would be potentially topped, not breached. Fine. You can fault him for his management style and for not asking questions when you think he should. But suggesting that he is demented, dull, a sociopath, or suffering from an organic brain disorder on that basis? It is rather a stretch. Especially coming from a doc.
Several presidents have been severely cognitively impaired in their later terms, so this is not without precedent. Reagan and Roosevelt most famously.
A number of Bush's former inner circle, have commented on his dullness, complete lack of couriosity and imagingation, and the deterioration of his linguistic abilities.
If he's not demented then it's hard to believe he could have forgotten the briefing he received. In that case he was telling a lie that he was not at all necessary and that he was likely to get caught out at. He does have a reputation as a harsh and vengeful person.
So is he a sociopath? Is he demented? Seriously, I suspect he's more demented than the average man his age (he did drink a lot), and he's a nasty person with a predilection to lying. So, really, something in between.
He is undoubtedly a sociopath. My mother was a sociopath (still is) and it took me 27 years to see it for what it was. She has held a job (tenured academic position) for years, "raised 3 wonderful children" and managed to fool many people into thinking that she was on the strange side of normal. The evidence was always there, but people refused to see it. Unfortunately it is a human tendency to look for the good in people, which is why so many sociopaths go undiagnosed, and which is why you are defending Bush on very petty grounds.
It is something about the look in his eye when he's lying, and the anger behind his face that reminds me of my mother's -- you are probably fortunate enough to not have grown up with a sociopath, so you have difficulty recognizing it. But I'll tell you what convinced me. Whenever times get tough, Bush goes on vacation... A sociopath is an animal, without guilt or shame or compassion. A sociopath doesn't care what happens to the people in his/her life, he/she only cares about maintaining enough of an appearance of normalcy to convince whomever it takes that he/she should have what he/she wants, at any given time. Their desires are fleeting and irrational. They may even say or do things that appear to be heartfelt that aren't, and agree with one person one day and turn on them the other, often turning people against one another for his own personal gain. I wouldn't expect an average citizen to be able to recognize his personality disorder, nor would I expect him/her to believe it. But I'm sure those in his inner circle know it. And they may never tell for fear of retribution. But do not doubt that he is. I assure you, it can be nothing other than that.
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