On 4 April 2013, the Center for Investigative Reporting published two articles by Andrew Becker on U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s pre-employment polygraph screening program. The first, which has garnered considerable attention and was featured on Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast, is “During polygraphs, border agency applicants admit to rape, kidnapping.”1 Becker’s reporting is based primarily on an internal report by CBP’s polygraph unit (formally titled the Credibility Assessment Division). This document, first obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting, is available on AntiPolygraph.org as a word-searchable PDF file. Becker opens the article:
One [CBP applicant] admitted to kidnapping and ransoming hostages in the Ivory Coast. Others said they had molested children or committed rape. And one, as he prepared for survival in a post-apocalyptic world, contemplated assassinating President Barack Obama.
These are among the thousands of applicants who have sought sensitive law enforcement jobs in recent years with the U.S. Border Patrol and its parent agency, Customs and Border Protection.
In many cases, these people made it all the way through the hiring process until one of the last steps – a polygraph exam. Once sitting with a polygraph examiner, they admitted to a host of astonishing crimes, according to documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The records – official summaries of more than 200 polygraph admissions – raise alarms about the thousands of employees Customs and Border Protection has hired over the past six years before it began mandatory polygraph tests for all applicants six months ago. The required polygraphs come at the tail end of a massive hiring surge that began in 2006 and eventually added 17,000 employees, helping to make the agency the largest law enforcement operation in the country.
- The Daily Beast ran with the less sensationalist title, “On Polygraph Tests, Would Be Border Patrol Agents Confess to Crimes” [↩]