Has Bush Gone Over the Edge?

A sensational account of an imploding George Bush is making the rounds.

It’s by Doug Thompson, the publisher of Capitol Hill Blue, put out in the dawn hours of June 4.

“President George W. Bush’s increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader’s state of mind.”

So begins Thompson’s insider report. He goes on,

“In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as ‘enemies of the state.’

“It reminds me of the Nixon days,” says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. “Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That’s the mood over there.” He was obviously talking of late, Watergate-enmired Nixon, when a drunken president would rail on far into the night, and when Kissinger put it around that he had taken over command of the nuclear button.

And talking of the nuclear button, Thompson says he’s interviewed, off-the-record, a number of White House staffers who talk of Bujsh declaring that his decisions are “God’s will” and then tells aides to “fuck over” anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration.

He quotes one aide as telling him, “We’re at war, there’s no doubt about it. What I don’t know anymore is just who the enemy might be. We seem to spend more time trying to destroy John Kerry than al Qaeda and our enemies list just keeps growing and growing.”

Criticism is impossible. The president reacts fiercely. Here’s how the Wednesday-night firing of CIA director George Tenet really went down, according to Thompson, citing an aide.

“Tenet wanted to quit last year but the President got his back up and wouldn’t hear of it. That would have been the opportune time to make a change, not in the middle of an election campaign but when the director challenged the President during the meeting Wednesday, the President cut him off by saying ‘that’s it George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now.”

Thompson writes that “Tenet was allowed to resign ‘voluntarily’ and Bush informed his shocked staff of the decision Thursday morning. One aide says the President actually described the decision as “God’s will. God may also be the reason Attorney General John Ashcroft, the administration’s lightning rod because of his questionable actions that critics argue threatens freedoms granted by the Constitution, remains part of the power elite. West Wing staffers call Bush and Ashcroft ‘the Blues Brothers’ because “they’re on a mission from God.”

“The Attorney General is tight with the President because of religion,” says one aide. “They both believe any action is justifiable in the name of God.”

The always testy Bush, now on a hair-trigger, flames out aides, calling them “fucking assholes” in front of other staff, or, of anyone he sees as critical, “unpatriotic” or “anti-American.”

“The mood here is that we’re under siege, there’s no doubt about it,”, Thompson cites one aide as saying. “In this administration, you don’t have to wear a turban or speak Farsi to be an enemy of the United States. All you have to do is disagree with the President.”


Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined!, A Colossal Wreck and An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents are available from CounterPunch.