Senators Call for Expanded FBI Polygraph Program

Associated Press writer Jesse J. Holland reports in an article published in the Washington Post under the title, “Senators Call for FBI Oversight Legislation.” Excerpt:

WASHINGTON – Two senators called for sweeping changes in the FBI Thursday, including mandated lie detector tests of people working with sensitive information, letting Justice Department investigators independently look at the agency and protecting whistle-blowers.

“We hope to have a better FBI as a result,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A bill by Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, includes proposals to make clear that the Justice Department’s inspector general has jurisdiction over the FBI, inclusion of FBI employees under the Federal Whistleblower Act, creation of an FBI internal security division and additional reporting requirements to Congress.

“This bill and continued oversight work are about restoring law and order inside the FBI so that public confidence and public safety and security can be restored on the outside,” Grassley said.

Under the senators’ proposals, FBI employees working with sensitive information would be required to take periodic polygraph tests. Leahy said lie detector tests aren’t perfect, but one might have caught FBI spy Robert Hanssen.

“When you don’t have them at all, that’s a major mistake,” he said.

Actually, Senators Leahy and Grassley are making a major mistake by supposing that a polygraph test might have caught FBI spy Robert P. Hanssen, as Dr. Richardson explained in an unheeded memorandum to former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh titled, “Polygraph Screening in Light of the Robert Hanssen Espionage Investigation.”

For more on this new bill, see the message board thread “Polygraphy and the FBI Reform Act of 2002.”

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