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Topic Summary - Displaying 1 post(s).
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Sep 5th, 2013 at 9:33am
  Mark & Quote
A New York Police Department Intelligence Division document (attached) provides the exact questions used by the FBI for polygraph screening of an NYPD confidential informant in 2008:

1. Are you now in NYC? (Irrelevant)

2. Are you currently employed? (Irrelevant)

3. Is today Friday? (Irrelevant)

4. Have you told anyone from a government other than the United States that you are cooperating with United States Law Enforcement? (Relevant)

5. Have you told anyone from a target organization under investigation that you are cooperating with United States law enforcement? (Relevant)

6. Before cooperating with the NYPD did you ever tell an important lie to someone who loved you? (Control)

7. Before you were incarcerated did you ever lie just to make yourself? (Control)

8. Regarding the confidentiality of your relationship with United States law enforcement do you intend to be completely honest on this test? (Sacrifice Relevant)

In the case at hand, the confidential informant failed the polygraph. However, had the informant indeed told anyone from a government other than the United States, or from a target organization under investigation, that he was cooperating with United States law enforcement, he could have easily passed the polygraph by covertly augmenting reactions to the questions numbered 6 and 7 above.

It's worth noting that FBI Special Agent Michael Templeton, who administered the "test" documented in the NYPD Intelligence Division report, is the same polygraph operator who falsely accused Egyptian exchange student Abdallah Higazy of deception regarding an aviation radio allegedly found in his hotel room and coerced a false confession from him. As a result of Templeton's unethical behavior, Higazy spent about a month in solitary confinement. He was only released when a pilot returned to claim possession of the radio, which a hotel employee falsely claimed to have found in Higazy's room. See FBI Polygrapher Michael Templeton Named in Lawsuit (Higazy v. Templeton).

Reliance on polygraphs to vet confidential informants is a sublimely idiotic policy: the "&test"& has no validity, information on the deceptions on which it depends is widely known and readily available online, and liars can beat the "&test"& using simple countermeasures that the polygraph community has no demonstrated ability to detect.

It should be noted that misplaced reliance on polygraphy contributed to the FBI's decision to terminate an informant, Emad Salem, whose information might have prevented the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Regarding this, see FBI Polygraphing of Confidential Informants.