Psychological profiles of world leaders

The Family that Slays together, Stays together or so says the man who created the CIA branch that profiles so-called Rogue world leaders. As North Koreans mourn Kim Jong Il and analysts puzzle over Kim Jong-un, as Bashar Al Assad maintains his grip on power in Syria and Ahmadinejad confounds Iran-watchers, we're looking for insights into the psychological state of leaders who make the news for all the wrong reasons.



Part Three of The Current

Psychological profiles of world leaders

Among the sounds of demonstrations and optimism of the Arab Spring this year, you could also hear strange interviews. We aired a clip from Barbara Walters of ABC News on her interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It's a tough business trying to gauge whether an embattled leader clinging to power is deranged or just deluded. Some, like the late North Korean lead Kim Jong-Il are routinely characterized by the media as crazy.

But it was Jerrold Post's job to actually look into the minds of the world's most powerful people. He was with the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA, for 21 years where he founded and directed the Centre for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behaviour from 1974 to 1986. He is now Professor of Psychiatry, Political Psychology and International Affairs and the Director of the Political Psychology Program at George Washington University. Jerrold Post joined us from our Washington D.C. studio.

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Last Word - Bananas Clip

We were just talking about leaders who control huge populations, but seem to be in poor control of themselves. It's an open question whether highly strung people are attracted to these jobs or whether the jobs push leaders over the edge.

But in his film Bananas, Woody Allen clearly believes it's the power that corrupts. His revolutionary leader barely opens the doors to the presidential palace before he becomes unhinged. We gave the Last Word today to El Presidente.


Other segments from today's show:

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