InsideBayArea.com reports on revelations that the CIA secretly conducted a polygraph experiment on (presumably unwitting) applicants for employment with the San Mateo, California Sheriff’s Office. Excerpt:
CIA’s ‘family jewels’ reveal misdeeds
San Mateo Sheriff helped agency develop lie-detectors,
FROM STAFF WRITER AND WIRE REPORTS
Inside Bay Area
Article Last Updated:06/27/2007 10:24:34 AM PDT
WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency released hundreds of pages of internal reports Tuesday detailing assassination plots against foreign leaders like Fidel Castro and the secret testing of mind- and behavior-altering drugs like LSD on unwitting U.S. citizens.
The documents also provided information on tapping journalists’ phones, spying on demonstrators who supported civil rights or opposed the Vietnam War, opening private mail between the United States and the Soviet Union or China, breaking into the homes of former CIA employees and administering lie-detector tests to State Department employees to test their loyalty.
Such polygraph tests were developed in part by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office in the early 1970s, according to documents obtained by the San Mateo County Times.
“At the CIA’s request, the Sheriff of San Mateo, California polygraphed certain applicants for employment in an experiment to test effectiveness of the polygraph,” wrote Associate Deputy Attorney General James A. Wilderotter after meeting with CIA Director William Colby and CIA general counsel John Warner in 1974.
The memo, a thumbnail sketch of the CIA misadventures detailed more fully in the recently released documents, led historians to expect that the just-declassified documents would provide further revelations regarding the CIA’s involvement with the county’s Sheriff’s Office. But a preliminary look at the just-declassified documentsrevealed no further information.
The Sheriff’s Office could neither confirm nor deny participation in the activities described in the memo by press time.
The “Family Jewels” report (24 mb PDF) is available in word-searchable format from George Washington University’s National Security Archive. The San Mateo polygraph project is described only briefly, at p. 236 of the report:
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office
ORD conducted polygraph tests on all applicants. Polygraph security findings were compared with the Sheriff’s own security findings.