Top Five Least Known and Most Oppresive Leaders

Malinowski: Some people are tempted by power ... there are other people who are attracted to money. These are people who are addicted to power and they have no moral compunction with using ruthless means for power.

You've been in the room with oppressive leaders before, is the feeling you get sitting next to these people that much different than the people you're sitting next to right now -- do they bother you?

Malinowski: Yes it does bother me -- I think most Americans would feel uncomfortable sitting in a room with Jeffrey Dahmer. When American officials meet with people on the list ... I think [they] should be uncomfortable sitting in a room with someone who has killed his own people with his bare hands. Somehow [these oppressive leaders] have an aura of greater respectability than the common criminal.

What's it like to live under a repressive regime?

Malinowski: If you're living in one of the ethnic minority areas of Burma [Myanmar], you're dealing with military people coming to your village, burning your homes and raping your women. In some of the other places where you don't have violence day to day ... the common thread is that you are treated arbitrarily by people in positions on authority -- you can be harassed, discriminated against, you can be tortured, you can be killed often for no reason and there's nothing you can do about it.

How do people in these countries get by day to day -- is there anything at all that they can enjoy?

Malinowski: I think in every place in the world, even when there are terrible things going on, they still find a way to raise families, they still fall in love, they still pursue interests, but the effects of a truly oppressive government can be very pervasive in their lives.

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