Normal Topic New Info on Wen Ho Lee's Polygraph Interrogations (Read 2861 times)
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New Info on Wen Ho Lee's Polygraph Interrogations
Dec 14th, 2001 at 1:12am
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The Final Report of the Attorney General's Review Team on the Handling of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Investigation dated May 2000, also known as the "Bellows Report," has been released in heavily censored form under the Freedom of Information Act and is now available on the Department of Justice website as a series of scanned PDF files.

Chapters 15 and 17 provide details of Dr. Lee's 23 December 1998 polygraph interrogation by Department of Energy contractor Wackenhut and his 10 February 1999 polygraph interrogation by the FBI. One interesting detail mentioned in the report that was new to me is that Dr. Lee's DOE polygraph interrogation was a complete pretext, after which then DOE counterintelligence chief Ed Curran planned to suspend Lee's access to classified information. Curran had foreseen only two possibilities: either Lee would refuse the polygraph or he would take it and fail. When DOE's polygraphers reported that Lee had passed it (the words "blown it away" are mentioned), Curran was not prepared for this result and decided to suspend Lee's security clearance the next day, anyhow.

(By some coincidence, the DOE established a "Quality Assurance Program" in January 1999 which determined that Lee hadn't "blown it away" after all, but that his polygraph "test" was "not finished.")

The Bellows Report provides some discussion of how the DOE and FBI polygraph units, respectively headed by David Renzelman and Ken Shull (their names are redacted from the report) came to re-interpret Lee's strongly passing score. While Renzelman has told the National Academy of Sciences that Lee's DOE polygraph was "not finished," and that Ken Shull agreed, the latter seemingly reported Lee's polygraph outcome as "inconclusive, if not deceptive" to FBI officials. (For more on this, see my 26 July 2001 referral to the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility regarding apparently false FBI testimony regarding Wen Ho Lee's polygraph interrogations.)

One interesting tidbit is found in footnote 865 at p. 645 of Chapter 17, which describes an e-mail message about Lee's DOE polygraph interrogation, the author's name of which has been redacted (I presume it was written by DOE polygraph chief Renzelman):

865(U) [redacted] made a similar point in an e-mail to Curran: "There is no doubt that he was not involved in committing espionage against the US or that he has not provided any classified weapons data, but I am really uncomfortable with the contact issues. * * * I have been in touch with [redacted] ... [redacted] ... and four instructors at the DOD Polygraph Institute. After discussion of these concerns, we all agree that I should recommend to you that this person be re-tested on the 'contact' issue." (DOE 2301)

What I found particularly alarming in the Bellows Report is the misguided faith that the FBI puts into polygraphy (when it suits their purposes), evidence of which is manifest throughout the two chapters. Federal prosecutor Randy Bellows himself clearly seems to have been taken in by the pseudoscience of polygraphy.

George W. Maschke
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New Info on Wen Ho Lee's Polygraph Interrogations

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