1  Polygraph and CVSA Forums / Polygraph Policy / Re: Accused Spy Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins: Yet Another Catastrophic Failure of Polygraph Screening
 on: Nov 20th, 2020 at 10:42am 
George W. Maschke wrote on Nov 20th, 2020 at 10:33am:
troll_of_truth wrote on Nov 20th, 2020 at 10:14am:
However, the U.S. government will never publicly say this because then spies will learn to avoid confessing.


I expect most spies already know that confessing is a bad idea.


Agreed.† Grin† Though in these polygraph/interrogation sessions, you never know what the polygrapher or LE is threatening the subject with to make him or her confess.

George W. Maschke wrote on Nov 20th, 2020 at 10:33am:
If a failed polygraph "test" were ever the trigger for an espionage investigation that culminated in a conviction, nothing would prevent the U.S. government from publicly stating so, and it would be under no obligation to answer questions from journalists about it that it did not want to answer.


I presume this is what happened in this Peter Debbins case!† However, you are right, let's reserve judgement until all the facts come out, if they all come out.

2  Polygraph and CVSA Forums / Polygraph Policy / Re: Accused Spy Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins: Yet Another Catastrophic Failure of Polygraph Screening
 on: Nov 20th, 2020 at 10:33am 
troll_of_truth wrote on Nov 20th, 2020 at 10:14am:
However, the U.S. government will never publicly say this because then spies will learn to avoid confessing.


I expect most spies already know that confessing is a bad idea.

If a failed polygraph "test" were ever the trigger for an espionage investigation that culminated in a conviction, nothing would prevent the U.S. government from publicly stating so, and it would be under no obligation to answer questions from journalists about it that it did not want to answer.

3  Polygraph and CVSA Forums / Polygraph Policy / Re: Accused Spy Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins: Yet Another Catastrophic Failure of Polygraph Screening
 on: Nov 20th, 2020 at 10:14am 
George W. Maschke wrote on Nov 20th, 2020 at 9:14am:
I see no policy consideration that would prevent the U.S. government from publicly stating that a spy had been caught by the polygraph if such a thing has ever happened. I don't understand on what basis you believe that discussing it would "open up the polygraph to exploitation."


I do. Let me explain. I deduced from this website that the easiest way a person can fail a polygraph is from making a confession or disqualifying admission.† Here is a hypothetical public interview with a polygrapher:

News Reporter: How did you catch John Doe spying?

Polygrapher: During his polygraph, we asked him "Have you ever given classified information to someone not authorized to receive it?"† He showed a response on his charts to that question, so we probed further.

News Reporter: Please explain.

Polygrapher: We asked more profound questions about why he reacted to the question about leaking classified information.† He soon confessed to giving classified information to Planet Mars.

News Reporter: So it was only after his confession that you were able to arrest him?

Polygrapher: Yes.

News Reporter: So if he never confessed, he would have likely gotten away with the crime?

Polygrapher: Uhhh. . .† [silence]


I think that once people know that confessions are what guarantees a polygraph fail, then people will be less likely to make confessions, thus, exploiting the weakness of the polygraph.

These IC polygraphs just ask a few general questions that cover everything, mostly crime, including drugs and espionage.† The polygraphers usually don't know much except what is on applicants' SF86 forms if they are taking pre-employment polys, or some preliminary investigation in other cases.† I'm willing to bet that suspects make confessions on the poly that the polygrapher would have never discovered otherwise.

My point in all of my postings is that the polygraph is used as part of investigations and usually is the fatal blow to applicants and spies.† I'm sure spies have been arrested after their polygraph confession gave enough evidence for the arrest.† However, the U.S. government will never publicly say this because then spies will learn to avoid confessing.

4  Polygraph and CVSA Forums / Polygraph Policy / Re: Accused Spy Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins: Yet Another Catastrophic Failure of Polygraph Screening
 on: Nov 20th, 2020 at 9:14am 
When I speak of a spy being "caught" by polygraph screening, I mean someone who was not previously under suspicion coming under suspicion as a result of a polygraph "test" and eventually being convicted of a violation of the Espionage Act.

I see no policy consideration that would prevent the U.S. government from publicly stating that a spy had been caught by the polygraph if such a thing has ever happened. I don't understand on what basis you believe that discussing it would "open up the polygraph to exploitation."

In the case of Glenn Shriver, it seems clear that he had been identified as a Chinese agent prior to his CIA pre-employment polygraph, and that he did not confess to his polygraph operator. I am not aware of any information that the polygraph had anything to do with Kun Shan Chun's identification as an agent for China, or with his confession.

As for the role of the polygraph in the detection of Peter Debbins' espionage, considering the paucity of publicly available evidence, I think it is prudent to reserve judgment.

5  Polygraph and CVSA Forums / Polygraph Policy / Re: Accused Spy Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins: Yet Another Catastrophic Failure of Polygraph Screening
 on: Nov 20th, 2020 at 8:06am 
George W. Maschke wrote on Nov 20th, 2020 at 7:12am:
In the Debbins case, no government official has stated on the record that it is the polygraph that identified him as a Russian spy. If such a claim is made, it would be a first in the U.S. government's more than seven decades of polygraph screening.


When you put it like that, I don't expect any U.S. government official to ever mention what the polygraph did, because those that work in the polygraph industry are told not to discuss it as it would open up the polygraph to exploitation. The articles says that Peter Debbins failed a polygraph test and subsequently confessed that he had been in contact with Russian intelligence for 15 years. Sounds like the polygraph caught him, or it helped.

There have been several cases of people taking polygraphs and then later being convicted of espionage.† Glenn Shriver is one example, and he was still a student.† Kun Shan Chun was an FBI employee.† Here is a list of a few others.

I think what happens is that these spies are already under investigation, and they are presented with evidence, possibly circumstantial evidence, of their espionage activities during or after the polygraph.† If that happens, the polygraph can be used to tell the spy that "we know you are hiding something, we know that you are a spy."† The spy believes the polygraph works and it can read his or her mind, the spy digests all the circumstantial evidence, and then confesses.† Boom.† The polygraph machine is a hero!

That may be the best the polygraph can do.† The machine isn't going to spit out a result saying the person is a spy and should be immediately convicted.† If the polygraph is leading these people to espionage confessions, then can't we say that the polygraph caught a spy?


6  Polygraph and CVSA Forums / Polygraph Policy / Re: Accused Spy Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins: Yet Another Catastrophic Failure of Polygraph Screening
 on: Nov 20th, 2020 at 7:12am 
troll of truth,

The U.S. government has never publicly claimed that polygraph screening has caught a spy.

Retired CIA polygraph operator John F. Sullivan has plausibly claimed that it was a polygraph screening session that led to the identification of CIA clerical employee Sharon Marie Scranage as a spy for Ghana. See Chapter 9 of Gatekeeper: Memoirs of a CIA Polygraph Examiner, Potomac Books, 2007. The CIA, however, has not publicly endorsed this claim, and it is possible that other factors were involved in Scranage's identification as a spy.

After the arrest of CIA spy Harold Nicholson, the FBI publicly suggested that it was the polygraph that tipped them off to his espionage. But in fact, it was a Russian intelligence officer spying for the United States, Alexander Zaporozhsky, whose assistance led to Nicholson's arrest. See investigative reporter Bryan Denson's book, The Spy's Son: The True Story of the Highest-Ranking CIA Officer Ever Convicted of Espionage and the Son He Trained to Spy for Russia,  Scribe Publications, 2015. The public suggestion that it was the polygraph that caught Nicholson was a likely subterfuge to misdirect Russian counterintelligence away from Zaporozhsky.

In the Debbins case, no government official has stated on the record that it is the polygraph that identified him as a Russian spy. If such a claim is made, it would be a first in the U.S. government's more than seven decades of polygraph screening.

7  Polygraph and CVSA Forums / Polygraph Policy / Re: Accused Spy Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins: Yet Another Catastrophic Failure of Polygraph Screening
 on: Nov 20th, 2020 at 1:33am 
George W. Maschke wrote on Nov 19th, 2020 at 3:59pm:
Quote:
Mr. Debbins, who held top security clearances, failed a polygraph, people familiar with the case said. That prompted the sensitive investigation and ultimately a criminal charge accusing him of violating the espionage statute.


Quote:
According to court records, during a security-clearance renewal last year, Debbins failed a polygraph test and subsequently confessed that he had been in contact with Russian intelligence for 15 years.


I didn't see any mention of Debbins having failed a polygraph in the court records, and in reply to an inquiry, Weiner clarified, "You are right. I should have said ďAccording to prosecutors and in court records; the prosecutors have said it but I donít think itís actually in the public record. I imagine it will be by sentencing. I know he did in fact fail the polygraph in 2019; he spoke to friends about it."


George,

You and others on this board have stated many times that the polygraph has never caught a spy.†

In this 2015 blog post, you stated "the DIA polygraph screening program has never caught a spy. "

In this 2018 forum post, you stated, "It's [the polygraph] a pseudoscientific fraud that never caught a spy."

In a 2013 forum post, even Doug Williams bragged that "there has never been even one spy ever caught by the polygraph!"

Would this case of Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins be the first case, on record, of a spy being caught by the polygraph?† We should note, of course, that he ultimately made a confession to spying which was the nail in the coffin for him.

8  Polygraph and CVSA Forums / Polygraph Policy / Peter Debbins Pleads Guilty to Espionage, Reportedly Confessed After Failing Polygraph
 on: Nov 19th, 2020 at 3:59pm 
Peter Debbins has pled guilty to espionage and is scheduled to be sentenced on 26 February 2021. Debbins plea agreement is available here and a statement of facts to which he agreed is available here.

In reporting on Debbins' guilty plea, New York Times reporter Adam Goldman writes, among other things:

Quote:
Mr. Debbins, who held top security clearances, failed a polygraph, people familiar with the case said. That prompted the sensitive investigation and ultimately a criminal charge accusing him of violating the espionage statute.


Rachel Weiner of the Washington Post also reported on Debbins' guilty plea and noted, among other things:

Quote:
According to court records, during a security-clearance renewal last year, Debbins failed a polygraph test and subsequently confessed that he had been in contact with Russian intelligence for 15 years.


I didn't see any mention of Debbins having failed a polygraph in the court records, and in reply to an inquiry, Weiner clarified, "You are right. I should have said ďAccording to prosecutors and in court records; the prosecutors have said it but I donít think itís actually in the public record. I imagine it will be by sentencing. I know he did in fact fail the polygraph in 2019; he spoke to friends about it."

9  Polygraph and CVSA Forums / Action Alerts and Announcements / Online Meetup Friday, 27 November from 9-11 PM Eastern Time
 on: Nov 19th, 2020 at 7:13am 
Join us to discuss polygraph matters online on Friday, 27 November 2020 from 9-11 PM Eastern time (6-8 PM Pacific time). No special software or registration is required:

https://jitsi.cyberian-nomad.site/AntiPolygraph

10  Polygraph and CVSA Forums / Post-Conviction Polygraph Programs / Re: Polygraph Procedure Unknown: Requires Answers
 on: Nov 15th, 2020 at 8:14am 
kol wrote on Nov 15th, 2020 at 7:04am:
Thank you for your response, I appreciate the time you took to answer.
Can I infer by your response that the information provided was only the relevant questions and not the entire line of questions?


Yes. It is standard practice for polygraph operators to list only the relevant questions in their reports. To obtain the complete question list, which is necessary for a proper review, one must obtain the computerized data file or an audio or video recording.

Quote:
I have received public disclosure documentation on my own previous polygraphs and the polygrapher clearly noted what the testing format used (which was the same method you mentioned). Is this standard protocol in their reports to state their methodology?


Yes. It is standard practice for polygraph operators to mention the protocol used (for example, AFMGQT) in their reports.

 
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