According to at least one credible source President Obama may be afflicted with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). NPD is not simply having a big ego but is a psychological malady which may involve:
- The decision-making of the narcissistic leader, especially crisis decision-making
- [The narcissists] overpowering sense of entitlement [and] his visceral fear of failure . . . often [results in] a recipe for inaction.
- [P]ersonal egotistical needs for power and admiration, rather than . . . an empathic concern for the constituents they lead.
These are not qualities that lend themselves to the mature, rational, objective, judgments expected of the leader of the free world. They are the reactions of one whose emotional development was arrested at about age six.
But is Obama an NPD? Short of a professional clinical diagnosis it is uncertain. But the clumsy cover-up of the Benghazi scandal certainly raises concerns regarding Obama’s honesty and competency.
Any “impaired” crisis decision-making is a flaw that should summarily disqualify anyone from holding the office of president. Growing evidence indicates that Obama may be in over his head as POTUS and his tenure may imperil the entire country.
First, recall the April 2009 Somali pirate hijacking of the S.S. Maersk Alabama and the kidnapping of its captain held hostage in a rowboat. (*) The then newly-elected Obama dithered for four days before finally authorizing a nearby U.S. Navy destroyer and a contingent of Navy Seals to respond to the rowboat-bound pirates and their hostage. Obama was hailed by his fawning Media acolytes for his decision that should have been made in closer to four hours than four days.
“Just one hour after the seven-hour-long terrorist attacks upon the U.S. consulate in Benghazi began, our commander-in-chief, vice president, secretary of defense and their national security team gathered together in the Oval Office listening to phone calls from American defenders desperately under siege and watching real-time video of developments from a drone circling over the site. Yet they sent no military aid that might have intervened in time to save lives.”
Authorization of any U.S. military response to the Benghazi attack on American assets could only come from the commander-in-chief, President Obama. Despite desperate pleas for help from those under attack, none was given. Nor has any satisfactory explanation for that denial of help been given some nine months later.
As we now know, the administration concocted a flimsy, soon debunked, fairy-tale attributing the attack to Arab extremists supposedly angered by an obscure anti-Muslim video shown on YouTube. The President himself later alluded to this hollow excuse multiple times before the assembled world at the UN.
Subsequent testimony by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta before Congress in February leaves little doubt that Obama remained detached and indifferent to the situation in Benghazi as events unfolded. Obama offered no leadership and literally walked away leaving all decision-making up to Panetta. Did Obama know, or care, that Panetta lacked the authority to order the use of our military in response? That authority rested with Obama.
Panetta, answering questions from Congress about the attack on the U.S., said except for a scheduled meeting with the president the day of the attack, Obama failed to communicate in any way with him that day. Again, according to Panetta:
- President Obama checked in with his military team early on during the attack, then checked out for the rest of the night. The commander in chief was MIA.
- The cover-up was created to protect his absence. An honest chronology would have revealed the president’s shocking behavior during the most successful attack against Americans by foreigners since 9/11.
- The president never asked what military assets could be used, where they were and when they would get to Benghazi.
What might explain Obama’s apparent indifference to the Benghazi attack? One possibility is suggested by the official diagnostics manual for narcissistic personality disorder (DSM-IV-TR) which describes one of the signature traits of NPD to be that the subject “lacks empathy and is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.” Was Obama just coldly indifferent to the fate of those under attack? A second possibility is that Obama was rendered mute by impaired decision-making in a crisis situation as noted previously. A third possibility is the combination of the first two.
“The narcissistic leader prefers the sparkle and glamor of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions.”
Possibly the “sparkle and glamor” of Obama’s next-day fundraising appearance in Las Vegas was more on his mind than the dismal business in Libya.
Obama evidences symptoms of pathological narcissism, which is different from the run-of-the-mill narcissism of a Richard Nixon or a Bill Clinton for example. To [Obama] reality and fantasy are intertwined. This is a mental health issue not a character flaw.
It is most significant that Obama, as commander in chief, in a crisis situation just abandoned his post. Was he fear-paralyzed into inaction setting in motion the hastily contrived cover-up to hide that fact? If so, another Benghazi, or even worse, may eventually follow.
Is Obama afflicted with, and operationally impaired, by NPD? By now our national leadership knows, or should know; the New York Times knows; and, most certainly, the rest of the world’s leadership also knows. If this is the case, Americans have, by default, been put at serious risk in the crass interest of partisan politics
But, to coin a phrase, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Malign segments of the world may judge that under an Obama administration they can continue to assault America without fear of response or even reprisal. We will have more Benghazis and more Bostons and possibly worse over the next three and a half years.
This is not a matter of politics as usual. Congress must do the right thing by the American people. More hearings -- with subpoena power -- are necessary including non-partisan expert witnesses to get the truth. Too many unanswered questions remain.
(*) This event is the subject of the movie "Captain Phillips" starring Tom Hanks.