“Teller on Polygraph”

Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy comments in his Secrecy News e-mail publication:


In the perennial dispute over the legitimacy of polygraph testing as a tool for security screening of government employees, the late physicist Edward Teller sided with his scientific colleagues at the national laboratories in opposition to the polygraph.

“Together with many others, I believe that its negative effects … by far outweigh the conceivable advantages [and] the rather dubious evidence that the tests may give,” Teller wrote to the Secretary of Energy.

Teller’s October 27, 1999 letter on polygraph was obtained by researcher/reporter Michael Ravnitzky under the Freedom of Information Act. See:


Dr. Edward Teller (1908-2003), a past director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, led the development of the hydrogen bomb.

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