“DOE Drops Medical Questions” (Sort Of)

Albuquerque Journal staff writer John Fleck reports. Excerpt:

The Department of Energy has halted a controversial policy of asking medical questions of nuclear weapons scientists as part of its spy-hunting polygraph tests.

Instead of asking medically related questions, the department’s new policy now places the burden on workers being polygraphed, requiring them to reveal before taking the test any “medical or psychological condition” that might affect the test’s outcome, according to a memorandum from the department’s chief of counterintelligence.

The new policy did not satisfy the polygraph’s leading critic, who called it worse than the one it replaced.

That is because there is no way for employees, or their physicians, to find out what medications or medical conditions might influence a polygraph’s outcome, said Sandia National Laboratories scientist Al Zelicoff.

That leaves employees in an untenable position, with no way to tell what medical or psychological information they ought to reveal to the polygraphers.

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