Russia: “Lie Detector, a Silent Talker”

Ilya Tarasov interviews reserve intelligence colonel Vladimir Galkin for Pravda.ru. Excerpt:

Would it make sense to take a decision to oblige Kremlin officials to undergo lie detector tests?

First of all, we must clearly understand what purpose we pursue by organizing such tests. As experience of American special services shows, lie detector tests are obligatory for executives in the CIA, the FBI, in the Foreign Ministry and other departments, in other words, for employees who are directly or indirectly connected with state secrets.

In these cases, lie detector tests are held with a view to reveal possible contacts of such employees with criminals and the possibility of their connection with espionage. Lie detectors are widely used in US’s private sector for employment. And this is not prohibited, as employment contracts contain an item saying that people employed for work must agree for a lie detector test.

All employees working at jeweller’s and at enterprises connected with production of precious goods undergo lie detector tests. This is done only with one purpose to find out whether people contacted with law enforcement authorities, no matter is the contacts were positive or negative. The very fact that people try to keep back their contacts with police is registered with the lie detector rather quickly; and this certainly influences decision of employers concerning employment of such people.

Did Ames undergo a lie detector test?

Yes, he underwent the test, but probably the operator was not experiences enough; what is more, as history reveals, Ames’ preliminary lie detector test was positive, but the operator was pressed to declare the test invalid. They considered that such a man like Ames couldn’t be connected with espionage. These facts arose later, after Ames was denounced for espionage in favor of the Soviet Union.

Do you think that Russian agents arriving from abroad must also undergo lie detector tests?

Yes, I think they should. What is more, some methods closely connected with the principles of lie detector tests are used for admission of students to the Foreign Intelligence Academy. This is done to find out professional qualifications of candidates for intelligence work.

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