Doug Williams Goes Public on Federal Agents’ Attempted Entrapment and Raid

2nd-ed-coverFormer Oklahoma City police polygraph examiner Doug Williams, who has campaigned against polygraphy since realizing in the 1970s that what he and fellow polygraphers were doing is a fraud, has for the first time told the story of how federal agents in February 2013 attempted to entrap him for teaching people how to pass polygraph examinations. The federal criminal investigation, called “Operation Lie Busters,” has been reported on at some length by McClatchy Newspapers investigative reporter Marisa Taylor, but Williams has previously declined comment except to say that he had done nothing wrong.

In a new edition of his book, From Cop to Crusader: The Story of My Fight Against the Dangerous Myth of “Lie Detection,” Williams tells the story of how an undercover federal agent came to his office on 21 February 2013 for instruction on how to pass a polygraph test. The agent placed a backpack in the corner of the office that likely contained video recording equipment. During the training session, the agent, who claimed to be a sheriff’s deputy seeking employment with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, made unsolicited admissions to having “smuggled drugs [into] the jail” and “got[ten] a blow job” from a female juvenile while taking her home in his official vehicle.

As soon as the undercover agent left Williams’ office, several federal agents in bulletproof vests stormed in and handcuffed Williams. The agent who seemed to be in charge of the raid was Special Agent Douglas Robbins of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Internal Affairs. Also present during  the raid was CBP Senior Special Agent Fred C. Ball, Jr., whom CBP polygraph unit chief John R. Schwartz  described as “the case agent and polygraph expert responsible for orchestrating and conducting the investigation” in a recent letter nominating Ball for an American Polygraph Association award. Trial Attorney Anthony J. Phillips of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section was also present.

The agents did not arrest Williams, but kept him handcuffed as they executed search warrants at his office and home, where they seized his paper and electronic records as well as his polygraph instrumentation. These were returned to Williams some two months later but were exploited by federal agents to create a polygraph watch list of 4,904 names that has been circulated among nearly 30 federal agencies.

To date, Williams has not been charged with any crime, but he remains in legal jeopardy. Operation Lie Busters, which has serious implications for freedom of speech in America, is ongoing, and Williams has “heard the FBI is still interviewing people from the list of customers they took from [his] computer.”

For the full story, pick up a copy of Williams’ From Cop to Crusader, which may be ordered from his website or on Williams’ account of the federal entrapment attempt and raid appears at Chapter 18.

Comments 2

  • For the record: The “agent” did not tell me he “wanted to fool a polygraph”. I did not teach him how to lie on a polygraph! The “agent” told me he was just worried about losing his job as a deputy WHEN he told the CBP that he had “smuggled drugs into a jail and had received sexual favors from an underaged girl”. He did not tell me he was going to lie about it, and I did not teach him how to lie about it! In fact he indicated to me that he was going to tell this to the CBP polygraph operator when he took his polygraph test. He just said he was worried about what the sheriff would do – he was afraid he would lose his job when he told CBP what he had just told me. I had never had anyone tell me anything like that, and it struck me as odd that he would volunteer that information – it took me completely by surprise. I also suspected he was either or mental patient or a polygraph operator playing games with me because it was obvious that what he was saying was bullshit because of the way he acted when he said it. I have been interrogating people for over forty years, and I know bullshit when I hear it! I knew he was bullshitting me, but I didn’t know why and I didn’t care why. But I was confused and also very angry that he would come it my office and say something like that. So I did tell him to stop playing games, and if you read the book you will see that I started playing head games with him. I turned the tables on him and started acting like a crazy man – it was very amusing for me and very frightening for him and in the book I tell about it in detail. Finally after my crazy act was concluded I told him to quit with the nonsense and get out. That is why I wrote about this in the book – to set the story straight. And I had never seen the need to have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy since I don’t teach people how to “defeat” the polygraph – I teach them how to pass because just telling the truth only works about half the time. But, since the government has tried to play these silly games as a ruse to use criminal charges to silence me, I have instituted my “terms of service agreement” which is clearly posted in my manual, and my website – and I read it to everyone prior to letting them take practice tests – and I make them agree to my terms which are as follows: “As long as the polygraph is used to frighten and intimidate people – and as long as truthful people are falsely accused of lying, I will provide this information so they can protect themselves. If you are going to take a polygraph test, you must have the KNOWLEDGE you need to be PROPERLY PREPARED TO PASS YOUR POLYGRAPH TEST! When you come to me for personal training and to take some practice polygraph tests, I assume that you are a truthful, honest person who knows that nervousness can cause you to fail – and you do not want to be falsely accused of lying. And I also assume that you know that just telling the truth only works about half the time unless you are properly prepared. I will get you PROPERLY PREPARED TO PASS – NERVOUS OR NOT – NO MATTER WHAT! But I will not knowingly train you or assist you in any way if you tell me you plan to lie. I will not listen to any admissions or confessions of wrong doing. And if you violate any of the terms of this agreement I will tell you to leave immediately.” According to what Schwartz is quoted as saying, it is obvious that this investigation was an attempt by one vindictive polygraph operator to stop me because I have been “protesting the loudest and longest against polygraph testing”. It is clearly an attack on my 1st Amendment rights to free speech – nothing more, nothing less!

  • […] the Dangerous Myth of “Lie Detection.” In 2014, he released a second edition, adding an account of the raid conducted by federal agents on his home and office as part of Operation Lie Busters, a federal […]

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