State Department Orders Polygraph Tests in Passport Records Investigation

Washington Times reporters Bill Gertz and Jon Ward write that the State Department is resorting to the use of lie detectors in its investigation into improper access of the passport records of presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. But reliance on a pseudoscientific test that is easily passed using simple countermeasures suggests that the investigation is perhaps not being taken as seriously as the State Department claims. Regarding the polygraph plan, Gertz and Ward write:

The probe by State’s inspector general will include polygraph tests for supervisors in the passport section to find out whether the three contract employees who accessed the records had a political motive or were part of a political operation to obtain personal data on Mr. Obama, Sen. John McCain or Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

No one should place any reliance on polygraph results. A likely use of the polygraph in this instance would be to provide political CYA for the State Department: “Look, there was no political motivation on the part of these employees or their supervisors, and they passed polygraphs to prove it!”

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