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Topic Summary - Displaying 1 post(s).
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Jun 4th, 2004 at 2:23am
  Mark & Quote
In a speech to CIA employees, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet announced today that he is resigning effective 11 July 2004. A transcript of his address is available here:

One passage in his speech in particular caught my attention:

Whatever our shortcomings, the American people know that we constantly evaluate our performance, always strive to do better and always tell the truth.

The foregoing is undeniably false when it comes to polygraph policy. The CIA does not "constantly evaluate its performance" when it comes to the polygraph. Instead, it covers up, minimizes, and/or rationalizes failures such as the polygraph's inability to identify Aldrich Ames as a Soviet mole and it's mistaken identification of a 1995 Chinese "walk-in" source who provided great volumes of secret documents as a double agent (a gaffe that led to documents provided not being exploited for years after they were provided).

Similarly, the CIA does not "always strive to do better" when it comes to polygraphs. If it did, it would heed the clear findings of the National Academy of Sciences that polygraph screening has no scientific basis and that reliance on it poses a threat to national security interests. Instead, the CIA has wilfully ignored the NAS's conclusions in order to protect its own bureaucratic interests.

And finally, the CIA does not "always tell the truth" where polygraphs are concerned. It lies. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, the CIA continues to falsely represent polygraphy as a valid test for truth versus deception to the public at large, to applicants for employment, and even to its own employees.