NEWSWATCH: Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome

Vladimir Putin

[“Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome” – USA Today – Ray Locker – February 4, 2015]

USA Today reports on a U.S. Department of Defense study from 2008, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, theorizing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is autistic, having the neurological condition Asperger’s Syndrome.

A study from a Pentagon think tank theorizes … Putin has Asperger’s syndrome, ‘an autistic disorder which affects all of his decisions,’ according to the 2008 report …

Putin’s ‘neurological development was significantly interrupted in infancy,’ wrote Brenda Connors, an expert in movement pattern analysis at the U.S. Naval War College …. Studies of his movement … reveal ‘that the Russian President carries a neurological abnormality.’

The 2008 study was one of many by Connors and her colleagues … contractors for the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), an internal Pentagon think tank that helps devise long-term military strategy. The 2008 report and a 2011 study were provided to USA TODAY as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

Further proof was not obtained, because the researchers were not able to perform a brain scan.

An expert cited in the report, now a psychiatry professor, cautions that the U.S. should avoid dealing with Putin in large social settings.

Porges said …U.S. officials needed to find quieter settings in which to deal with Putin, whose behavior and facial expressions reveal someone who is defensive in large social settings. Although these features are observed in Asperger’s, they are also observed in individuals who have difficulties staying calm in social settings and have low thresholds to be reactive. ‘If you need to do things with him, you don’t want to be in a big state affair but more of one-on-one situation someplace somewhere quiet’…

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