Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case (Read 23265 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Apr 22nd, 2006 at 8:15pm
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As noted on the AntiPolygraph.org News blog, CIA officer Mary McCarthy was fired on Thursday, 21 April 2006 after admitting to a CIA polygrapher that she had had unauthorized media contacts. Polygraph proponents may point to this case as proof that the polygraph "works." I would grant that it demonstrates that polygraphic interrogation can be useful for getting admissions/confessions. But this point was never at issue. Even the most ardent critics of polygraphy readily concede that it has some utility for getting information from those who don't understand that it's a pseudoscientific sham.

But the Mary McCarthy case does nothing to support the validity of polygraphy. As more and more people inside the intelligence community (and out) come to understand the lie behind the lie detector, the polygraph's utility as a tool of control and coercion can only wane.
  

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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #1 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 8:54pm
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I found it funny that a lifer (about to retire) in the CIA had a confession forced out by a polygraph.  It amazes me that people in the intelligence community are too lazy/ignorant to realize that the polygraph machine is almost identical to the  device that 75% of all patients in the hospital are attached to. 

Out of sheer curiosity, I asked a cardiologist a few questions recently.  Most cath patients are attached to devices that monitor their oxygen saturation, bp, respiration, and heart...and I was wondering if he would be able to tell if someone lied (in his opinion) from the data on the monitors.  After explaining to him why I was asking, he told me it was common for patients to lie to him about their tobacco use (smoking).  Usually, he knows they are lying due to obvious physical indications.  But he has never seen a significant pattern that was any different from other people that are "nervous."  It was his conclusion that the polygraph machine was purely a scare technique.  He went as far as to laugh at me when I played devil's advocate...assuring me that anyone is capable of calming themself down or working themself up on demand.  He went as far as to reference some culture (or tribe...don't remember) that learn to control their heartbeat and push it as low as 20 beats per minute.

Cardiologist with 20 years experience >>> polygraph quacks.
  
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #2 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 9:02pm
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As noted on the AntiPolygraph.org News blog, CIA officer Mary McCarthy was fired on Thursday, 21 April 2006 after admitting to a CIA polygrapher that she had had unauthorized media contacts. Polygraph proponents may point to this case as proof that the polygraph "works." I would grant that it demonstrates that polygraphic interrogation can be useful for getting admissions/confessions. But this point was never at issue. Even the most ardent critics of polygraphy readily concede that it has some utility for getting information from those who don't understand that it's a pseudoscientific sham.

But the Mary McCarthy case does nothing to support the validity of polygraphy. As more and more people inside the intelligence community (and out) come to understand the lie behind the lie detector, the polygraph's utility as a tool of control and coercion can only wane.


Just as I suspected.  Let polygraph make a mistake and Mr. Maschke pastes it all over his homepage for the world to see.

Let polygraph solve a major case, and Mr. Mashke comes back with some version of "no, no; polygraph still bad, very bad."

Yada, yada, yada...

BTW, I disagree with you on another point, Mr. Maschke.  I believe as more and more people in the intelligence community and elsewhere discover the utility of polygraph, they are going to need a whole lot MORE polygraphers.

Oh yes, that's right.  It is already happening.  In the five or so years this website has tried to shut us down, the use of polygraph has grown at a faster rate then even we examiners could have possibly dreamed.  I just hope the community is still growing at this rate when I retire from the police department.  I understand the CIA pays its polygraphers very well.

Regards,

NoNombre Kiss
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Drew Richardson
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #3 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 9:12pm
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Nonombre,

You write in part:
Quote:
...Let polygraph solve a major case, and Mr. Maschke comes back with some version of "no, no; polygraph still bad, very bad."...


I'm not sure we have any evidence to date of polygraph solving anything in this case.  But regardless, the story is on the home page of antipolygraph.org.  When was the last time you saw one of the continuing litany of polygraph failures on the home page of the American Polygraph Association?

  
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #4 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 9:19pm
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Nonombre,

You write in part:

...the story is on the home page of antipolygraph.org.  


Dr Richardson, you are half right.  The story is for sure on the front page of Mr. Maschke's website.  Naturally, it is posted with the typical NEGATIVE spin.

Give me a break..

  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Drew Richardson
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #5 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 9:27pm
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Nonombre,

In your haste to  reply to  me, I believe you forgot to answer the question I posed to you in the non-quoted portion of my previous post.   lol

On another note and another thread, you allude to Mark Felt.  I can tell you from personal knowledge of Mr. Felt's (and others not known to the public through the telling by Bob Woodward) role, that his having not been selected as Director of the FBI was hardly his motivation for his role in the "Deep Throat" saga.
« Last Edit: Apr 22nd, 2006 at 9:48pm by Drew Richardson »  
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #6 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 9:37pm
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Nonombre,

In your haste to  reply to  me, I believe you forgot to answer the question I posed to you in the non-quoted portion of my previous post.   lol

On another note and another thread, you allude to Mark Felt.  I can tell you from personal knowledge of Mr. Felt's (and others not known to the public and revealed by Bob Woodward) role, that his having not been selected as Director of the FBI was hardly his motivation for his role in the "Deep Throat" saga.


Dr. Richardson,

I will have to take your word for it regarding the "Deep Throat" saga, since I certainly did not know any of the players...

As for your question regarding the American Polygraph Association's website.  I just took a look at the website.  It does have a "Polygraph in the News" area.  When I read the stories, I did not see a single report that was "spun" to project a positive light on the use of polygraph in a particular case.  What I saw were descriptions of the use of polygraph in particular situations with NO editorials attached.

Can Antipolygraph.org make the same claim?

Regards,

Nonombre
  
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #7 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 9:42pm
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Nonombre,

You still seem unable to answer the question posed to you?  When was the last time you saw a polygraph failure reported on the home page of the American Polygraph Association's home page.  Obviously if all you do is pick positive stories, very little editorial comment is required on the part of the trade association's editorial staff.  
  
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #8 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 9:57pm
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Nonombre,

You still seem unable to answer the question posed to you?  When was the last time you saw a polygraph failure reported on the home page of the American Polygraph Association's home page.  Obviously if all you do is pick positive stories, very little editorial comment is required on the part of the trade association's editorial staff.  


Dr. Richardson,

I do not regularly look at the splashpage of the APA.  However, I would not be surprised to find out that negative polygraph type stories were not posted on that site.

Now, let's turn this around:

When is the last time the owners of this site posted a positive polygraph story???  In fact I recall several times when clear polygraph victories were spun around so maliciously as to appear to be disasters.

It takes quite a bit of creative writing and self serving propaganda to be able to do that...

I don't remember EVER seeing the APA website twist and manipulate information the way this website does...

Regards,

Nonombre Undecided
  
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #9 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 10:01pm
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Nonombre,

Please cite your misrepresented victories so that George might comment.  As I have said to you before, no explanation is needed nor would be expected to be forthcoming from a trade organization that merely chooses stories for its website that are favorable to its practice.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #10 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 10:32pm
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Former CIA employee Larry Johnson, who once worked directly under Mary McCarthy, comments on her firing in "The Firing of Mary McCarthy" on the Booman Tribune website.
  

George W. Maschke
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #11 - Apr 22nd, 2006 at 11:55pm
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Nonombre,

Please cite your misrepresented victories so that George might comment.


Sure, no problem:

I know there have been several cases where this website has put a negative spin on an incident where the polygraph technique had done its job well.  The first two that come to mind are this incident and the Virginia case where the convicted killer was put to death and the people on this website were wringing their hands in glee anxiously awaiting waiting for the DNA evidence to prove the murderer's DI polygraph results, wrong.

Only it didn't...

I know for sure there have been more, I just don't have the time to do the research right now...

Regards,

Nonombre
  
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #12 - Apr 23rd, 2006 at 12:03am
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Former CIA employee Larry Johnson, who once worked directly under Mary McCarthy, comments on her firing in "The Firing of Mary McCarthy" on the Booman Tribune website.

I was just reading Larry's blog entry also posted here:

http://www.tpmcafe.com/node/29098

There seems to be more comment activity at this site. Interesting background info. Seems he worked for her and quit the CIA due to her management style. Johnson questions how she came to know about the operational side.
  

Leaf my Philodenrons alone.
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #13 - Apr 23rd, 2006 at 12:32am
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Nonombre,

You should have done the research before you made the comment.  Your points on this matter are weak.  George's characterization of both cited matters is appropriately guarded and conservative in view of the facts known at any given time.  George's perspective on any of the home-page issues is generally given with  the  unaltered and quite frequently with the complete original text.  The reader can thereby come to his own conclusion based on  the original material.  The only inexcusable editing is to falsify or deny the reader the ability to see the  material at all.  The later is what I have said the  mainstream (actually all to my knowledge) polygraph websites have done, i.e., deny the reader the ability to see all negative material about polygraphy by refusing to cover it.  The same of course is true for message boards.  Although you (and your colleagues) can freely discuss and express any viewpoint regarding polygraphy here , on which pro-polygraph site would  George be able to express his articulately-stated vieiwpoints?
  
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Re: The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case
Reply #14 - Apr 23rd, 2006 at 12:51am
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I would just like to point out that success does not mean a method was fair or just.


I have a method that could get just as many, if not more confessions than a polygraph machine could ever provide.  Unfortunately, the method would not exactly be fair (or legal).  Polygraph machines are just a weapon that hits things indiscriminately.  I could actually care less if the polygraph machine is successful or not...unless it has a MUCH higher rate of success.
  
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The Polygraph and the Mary McCarthy Case

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