On 15 December 2000, American Polygraph Association president Skip Webb sent the following reply. On 16 December 2000, I replied with follow up questions. -- George Maschke
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Reply-To: "Milton \"Skip\" Webb"
From: "Milton \"Skip\" Webb"
"American Polygraph Association President Milton O. \(Skip\) Webb Jr." ,
"Chairman Don A. Weinstein" ,
"Secretary Vickie T. Murphy" ,
"Vice-President - Private - Terrence V. \(TV\) O'Malley" ,
"Vice-President - Law Enforcement - John E. Consigli" ,
"Vice-President - Government - Donnie W. Dutton" ,
"Executive Director - Michael L. Smith" ,
"Director - Sylvia B. Gage" ,
"Director - David Knefelkamp"
Subject: Re: APA Standards of Practice and Informed Subjects
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 18:29:44 -0500
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The short answer to your ridiculous question is "no". A subject's
understanding of the psychological theory upon which polygraph tests are
theoretically based does not constitute a "mental condition" within the
meaning of Section 3.3.1 of the American Polygraph Association Standards of
I have difficulty understanding how your undergraduate degree in Near
Eastern Studies or your Masters degree in Persian accounts for your
professed vast knowledge of polygraph. To my knowledge you have not
attended any formal training in polygraph. It appears that your intense
interest in polygraph stems from your inability to pass a polygraph!
I will admit that your apparent obsession with the subject as evidenced by
some of the comments on the Intelligence forum and some of the comments by
others on the forum who have grown tired of your rambling, certainly would
give me concern about administering a polygraph to you!
I hope this answers your question. Please feel free to contact me again if
I can be of further assistance.
Milton O. Webb, Jr.
President, American Polygraph Association
----- Original Message -----
From: "George W. Maschke"
To: "American Polygraph Association President Milton O. (Skip) Webb Jr."
; "Chairman Don A. Weinstein" ;
"Secretary Vickie T. Murphy" ; "Vice-President -
Private - Terrence V. (TV) O'Malley" ; "Vice-President - Law
Enforcement - John E. Consigli" ; "Vice-President -
Government - Donnie W. Dutton" ; "Executive Director -
Michael L. Smith" ; "Director - Sylvia B. Gage"
; "Director - David Knefelkamp"
Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2000 2:43 PM
Subject: APA Standards of Practice and Informed Subjects
> Dear President Webb and American Polygraph Association
> Officers and Directors:
> Does a subject's understanding of the psychological
> manipulations on which polygraph "tests" are theoretically
> dependent constitute a mental condition within the meaning of
> Section 3.3.1 of the American Polygraph Association Standards
> of Practice (http://www.polygraph.org/apa1.htm#standards)
> such that "valid results could not be reasonably foreseen"
> and hence "[n]o test should be conducted?"
> For example, could valid results be reasonably foreseen in
> the case of someone who has read and understood Chapter 3 of
> The Lie Behind the Lie Detector? This on-line book, which I
> coauthored with Gino Scalabrini, is available on the
> AntiPolygraph.org website at:
> If such understanding does not constitute a condition whereby
> "valid results could not be reasonably foreseen," then when
> an APA member encounters a subject who admits to having such
> an understanding of the procedure, how is the APA member to
> At page 67 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, we noted:
> One graduate of [the Department of Defense Polygraph
> Institute] has cautioned that if a subject were to
> follow this "complete honesty" approach [i.e., openly
> admitting knowledge of the psychological manipulations
> on which the procedure in theory depends], the
> polygrapher would probably go ahead with the polygraph
> interrogation anyhow and arbitrarily accuse the subject
> of having employed countermeasures. Maureen Lenihan is a
> case in point. She worked as a research assistant with
> the federal Commission on Protecting and Reducing
> Government Secrecy, also known as the "Moynihan
> Commission." She later applied for employment with the
> CIA. She explained to her CIA polygrapher that she had
> researched polygraphy while working with the Commission.
> The polygrapher proceeded with the interrogation anyhow,
> and later accused her of having employed countermeasures.
> I would hope that no APA member would ever engage in such
> unethical behavior, and look forward to your clarification of
> the APA's position.
> George Maschke
> PS: A copy of this message will be posted on the
> AntiPolygraph.org website at: