"Psychiatric expertise in the prediction of 'dangerousness' is not established and clinicians should avoid 'conclusory judgments in this regard."
American Psychiatric Association
Brief Amicus Curiae to the U.S. Supreme Court, 1979
Recently, President Bush described the kamikaze operations on the World Trade Center as "acts of madmen." However, mental health experts, the very ones who have been advising the world's intelligence community and military on the state of mind of terrorists, beg to differ.
Dr. Jerrold M. Post, a psychiatrist who teaches at George Washington University, a political psychology "expert" and a former CIA analyst, says terrorists are not psychopaths "but use psychological strategy for political change."40
Earlier this year, Dr. Post testified for Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, the terrorist facing execution over the 1998 bombing of the American Embassy in Tanzania. Post met with Mohamed four times and found him to be a "remarkably unquestioning person" who was remorseful and felt that "there are no circumstances that justify taking innocent victims."41 Indeed, he attempted to gain sympathy from the jury for the defendant. This is a man who was responsible for the terrorist bombing deaths of 10 innocent people and the injuring of 74 others.
Dr. Post once analyzed Libya's Colonel Muammer Qaddafi whom it was thought intended to assassinate the then president, Ronald Reagan.42 Based on a single third party report that Qaddafi liked to "put on Max Factor makeup and Gucci high-heeled shoes and cuddle a teddy bear," in the privacy of his tent, Dr. Post claimed that Qaddafi was a "transvestite-type personality
Regarding dictator Saddam Hussein, a man prepared to sacrifice his own population in order to sustain himself in power, Dr. Post reported that he is not "irrational," "impulsive" nor is he suffering from a "psychotic disorder." He "only acts after judicious consideration, and can be extremely patient, indeed uses time as a weapon." And he has a "paranoid outlook."44
Dr. Post concluded that Hussein has an "absence of conscience, [an] unconstrained outlook, and a paranoid outlook."
This is a man who was jailed as an accomplice to murder in 1958, and between 1980 and 1988 waged a war on Iran, imprisoning and then executing 8,000 members of the Kurdish resistance. He also used chemical weapons against Kurdish villages. The toll from his chemical carnage was 5,000 with an additional 45,000 injured. The Gulf War then led to thousands more of his people dying.
Following the Gulf War, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch commented on Hussein, "Here is a person who, for the sake of his own grasp for power and ambition, has been willing to execute hundreds, thousands of his own citizens."
For Dr. al-Abub, the psychiatrist who tortured and drugged hostages in Beirut, Lebanon, in the 1980s, mental analysts such as Dr. Post conclude that he may have possessed a "genetic predisposition to become both a terrorist and a medical torturer through what they describe as an abnormal amount of genes favoring spite."45 [emphasis added]
INCOMPETENCE COMES TO OUR DEFENSE - continued