U.S. history has never seen anyone like him or his conduct.
Vice President Dick Cheney leaves only two questions about his surreal, and obviously, illegal and unprecedented behavior.
Dos the man hunger for power equivalent to the emperors of Rome, even if it means sabotaging constitutional U.S. government?
Or, conceivably, is he a troubled personality whom weaklings in the White House and Congress are afraid to confront and has effectively emasculated functions of the Justice Department and attorney general?
Cheney's increasingly odd behavior took another bizarre turn last week: He refused to comply with a presidential executive order to account for secret documents, insisting he's not a member of the Executive Branch because of his duties as president of the Senate. However, Article II of the U.S. Constitution and the 12th Amendment clearly mention methods of selecting the president and vice president to serve together, and Cheney himself claimed "executive privilege" when refusing to disclose who attended secret energy policy meetings
Why would a public official reject normal accountability? The Merck Manual on personality disorders: "A paranoid personality (is) is distrustful and suspicious of others. They suspect others are out to harm them. They generally are cold and distant in their relationships."
When Cheney sought five deferments from military service, what did he mean that he had "other priorities"? Could Cheney be a narcissistic personality with "a sense of superiority, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy . . .(with) an exaggerated belief in (his) own value or importance, which is what therapists call grandiosity."
In a 20,000-word series on the vice president, The Washington Post reports that Cheney, who cryptically explains "a different understanding" with Bush of the vice president's traditional role, mostly controls Bush decisions.
Cheney is obsessed with secrecy. He claims to live at "an undisclosed location" but is widely known to be at the Naval Observatory. He's inaccessible to congressmen and media.
He's vindictive. He outed CIA operative Valerie Plame in revenge for her husband's revelations about phony evidence for going to war in Iraq. He tried to shut down the National Archives department demanding an accounting of his secret documents—another aspect of paranoids: "legal action against others ... if they feel righteously indignant."
Cheney's trumped up reasons for attacking Iraq, his insistence on lawless spying on Americans and torture of detainees are symptomatic of antisocial personalities "that show callous disregard for the rights and feelings of others. Dishonesty and deceit permeate their relationships."
The question must be asked: Is America's shadow president—Dick Cheney—just insufferably arrogant or is he disturbed?