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Narcissistic Personality DisorderThis one commenter, by referencing his/her area of expertise, has reframed the entire discussion of the Abu Ghraib scandal, as well as the entire Bush Presidency for me.
From Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, 4th edition, 1994, commonly referred to as DSM-IV.
"An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or in behaviour), need for admiration and a marked lack of empathy which starts at early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts."
At least 5 of the following should be present to qualify a person as suffering from NPD:
(1) Possesses a grandiose sense of self importance (for example: exaggerates his achievements and his talents, expects his superiority to be recognised without having the commensurate skills or achievements).
(2) Pre-occupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance and beauty or of ideal love.
(3) Believes that he is unique and special and that only high status and special people (or institutions) could understand him (or that it is only with such people and institutions that it is worth his while to be associated with).
(4) Demands excessive and exceptional admiration.
(5) Feels that he is deserving of exceptionally good treatment, automatic obeisance of his (usually unrealistic) expectations.
(6) Exploitative in his interpersonal relationships, uses others to achieve his goals.
(7) Lacks empathy: is disinterested in other people's needs and emotions and does not identify with them.
(8) Envies others or believes that others envy him.
(9) Displays arrogance and haughtiness.
“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz
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