On 16 December 2000, I e-mailed American Polygraph Association president Skip Webb and the APA officers and directors these follow-up questions. President Webb sent a rejoinder to this inquiry the same day. -- George Maschke
X-Mozilla-Status: 0001 X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000 Message-ID: <3A3B5562.E3E7FF49@antipolygraph.org> Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2000 12:43:53 +0100 From: "George W. Maschke"
Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: AntiPolygraph.org X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.51 (Macintosh; U; PPC) X-Accept-Language: en MIME-Version: 1.0 To: Milton \"Skip\" Webb CC: "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 X-Priority: 1 (Highest) References: <3A328B67.403A6A2D@antipolygraph.org> <firstname.lastname@example.org> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Dear President Webb: Thank you for your clarification regarding the scope of the term "mental condition" in Section 3.3.1 of the APA Standards of Practice. Is it then the position of the APA that valid results can be reasonably foreseen with subjects who, during the "pre-test" phase, reveal to their polygrapher that they understand the psychological manipulations on which the probable- and/or directed-lie "Control" Question "Test" is theoretically dependent? If, for example, a subject were to reveal to an APA member during the "pre-test" phase that he/she has read The Lie Behind the Lie Detector and understands the psychological manipulations involved in both the "stim test" and the "control" questions, how should the APA member proceed? Can those subject to polygraph "testing" be confident that APA members will not arbitrarily accuse them of deception and/or having employed countermeasures if they admit to knowing "the lie behind the lie detector?" Sincerely, George Maschke AntiPolygraph.org PS: Your reply to my first message will be posted to the AntiPolygraph.org website at: http://antipolygraph.org/articles/article-008.shtml and this message will be posted at: http://antipolygraph.org/articles/article-009.shtml Milton \"Skip\" Webb wrote: > > 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 > Practice. > > 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: > > > > http://antipolygraph.org/pubs.shtml > > > > 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 > > proceed? > > > > 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. > > > > Sincerely, > > > > George Maschke > > AntiPolygraph.org > > > > PS: A copy of this message will be posted on the > > AntiPolygraph.org website at: > > > > http://antipolygraph.org/articles/article-007.shtml > >