“His argument was that just because someone is an enemy and very different from us doesn’t mean they’re clinically insane or insane,” said Bruce Riedel, a senior official at the Brookings Institution who talked to Dr. Post to the CIA
Dr. Post left the agency in 1986 to start a political psychology program at George Washington University, where he taught until 2015. He had a private mental health practice outside his home in Bethesda, Md. And continued to work for the government.
Largely unknown outside intelligence circles until the early 1990s, he saw his profile grow after the news media reported his assessment of Iraqi leader Hussein, who was commissioned after he invaded Kuwait in 1990. Over the next decade, he appeared on television hundreds of times, discussing confusing characters from home and abroad, including President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and the Unabomber.
It was an experience that Dr. Seemed to enjoy Post when he saw a bit of himself in his subjects, said Eric Shaw, a clinical psychologist who was a friend of his. “He said, ‘It is no accident that I study narcissistic leaders because it takes one to know one,” said Dr. Shaw.
Jerrold Morton Post was born on February 8, 1934 in New Haven, Connecticut. His father Jacob sold film roles to local theaters. His mother, Lillian (Chaikind) Post, kept the books for a shoe store.
Dr. Post graduated from Yale (1956) and the Yale School of Medicine (four years later). He graduated from Harvard Medical School and received a two-year scholarship from St. Elizabeth’s, a Washington mental hospital.