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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50% (Read 90562 times)
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #15 - Dec 31st, 2002 at 7:25am
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Skeptic,

Do you believe in Santa Clause? The latter does seem to fit your Web personality.


I'm sorry you think so...I, of course, did not come here trolling for attention by simultaneously insulting a large number of good, patriotic people who have lost their livelihood and/or career dreams to a device the NAS recently derided as a detriment to national security.

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Now you are speaking apples and oranges.  Physical injury due to defective products and blatant racial discrimination do not compare.


So do you see the recipients of those practices as "whiners" who "think the world owes them something", or not?  And if not, on what grounds do you differentiate between those situations and those falsely accused/disqualified due to the polygraph?

Quote:
Or in your case it is easier to ignore the question.  I readily admit that False positives exist.  They exist in all factes of life in one manner or another.... Deal with them and move on.


No one here has ever claimed most people pass due to countermeasures, Fed-up.

Quote:
Now answer my question:  How do you explain that so many "pass" the test while others fail?


As the title of this thread indicates, it is hardly accurate to say that "so many" pass.  For the FBI, your odds are about as good as a coin flip.  For other agencies, that ratio is probably different, depending upon how "sensitive" they wish the "test" to be.

The NAS report discussed this in detail -- I invite you to read it.

Quote:
But I am, Skeptic, sadly I am.  You just see the tree, not the entire forest.


Let me help you out, then.  You claimed that "the logic of this site" indicates that "all 1000 applicants" to "25 federal positions" should get jobs.  I invite you to please post any statement from this site that says or implies this.

Of course, most applicants will not get jobs.  But the decision should be based on real qualifications, not on a thoroughly discredited process that falsely claims to detect "truthfulness", yet actually amounts to nothing more than a roll of the dice.

Why on earth would you want it otherwise?

Quote:
I have no axe to grind, and I have read the site prior to commenting.  I believe I am addressing the material at hand when I say the majority of posters to this site are A. Crying in their beer over opportunity lost.  B.  Looking for a way to game the system.


You are, of course, welcome to your opinion.  I am, of course, free to think that the sky in your world is a different shade of pink.

Quote:
When I become bored with the mindless drivel I'll just look else ware for another type of diversion.  Now take this post and twist as you do so well.


May I suggest www.freerepublic.com.  No reasoning ability required, and you'll find lots of commiseration about all those "whiners" who want the world and the Government to give them a handout.

Skeptic
  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #16 - Dec 31st, 2002 at 10:40am
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Fed-up,
I've gone back over your posts (I do that sort of thing) on the off-chance that I've just misinterpreted your words.  After careful consideration, I have to admit that I really have no idea what your problem is.

Whatever it may be, it seems obvious that it runs deeper than anything with which we can help you, and in any case has very little to do with this site or its participants.

It's been semi-fun engaging in "verbal judo" (as you put it) with you (you're obviously a skilled arguer), but that really isn't the reason I'm here.

If you want to join in a rational discussion of the polygraph and its impact, please feel free to do so.  Otherwise, have a nice life.

Happy Holidays,
Skeptic
« Last Edit: Dec 31st, 2002 at 11:08am by Skeptic »  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #17 - Dec 31st, 2002 at 3:05pm
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Skeptic wrote on Dec 31st, 2002 at 10:40am:
If you want to join in a rational discussion of the polygraph and its impact, please feel free to do so.  Otherwise, have a nice life.

Happy Holidays,
Skeptic

Dear Skeptic,

Good words to live and post by.  I have been posting less due to the fact that some people just need to vent and really do not want, expect, or understand any opinion other then their own (this could be said about two polarized parties of any discussion).

Regards.
  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #18 - Dec 31st, 2002 at 7:24pm
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Skeptic,
Quote:
I've gone back over your posts (I do that sort of thing) on the off-chance that I've just misinterpreted your words.  After careful consideration, I have to admit that I really have no idea what your problem is.

Whatever it may be, it seems obvious that it runs deeper than anything with which we can help you, and in any case has very little to do with this site or its participants


I have no "problem", it is just my opinion that many of the posters to this site whine (or release frustration) as to how they were wronged.  Again, that is my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions. Shocked

I would love to engage in a conversation about polygraph; however, every time I read one here, it seems that both sides are vastly separated via a strong emotional tie to the subject.  

I have read the NAS report and I understand polygraph (both the pro and con).  The NAS report addressed Validity, but not Utility.  Do screening exams do any good?  That is a question that no one can answer; and no one on this site appears to be concerned with.  Validity can be quantified, but how does one quantify Utility?

Yes I realize that many individuals are identified with a False positive on screening exams.  Yes some of those people more than likely have had their dreams shattered.  I empthize with them, but life is not always fair.  In my opinion a lot of folks here seem to have forgotten that.  

Ban screening exams, that is one way to solve the problem; however, what about the individuals that are correctly identified by the screening exam?  Many have.  Those who say that the polygraph has never identified a spy truly know not of what they speak.  I can state with certainty that it has occurred; however, I am prohibited from disclosing the details.  Does our National Security policy solely rest on screening polygraphs?  Not hardly.  The polygraph is but one tool used in the process.  Take it from one who works in that arena.

Quote:
May I suggest www.freerepublic.com.  No reasoning ability required, and you'll find lots of commiseration about all those "whiners" who want the world and the Government to give them a handout.

Quid pro quo Skeptic, does not a large amount of commiseration occur here as well?

On another note:
Quote:
Posted by: Fed-Up! Posted on: 12/30/02 at 16:39:04
Damn Gino, you must be an attorney.  You have that legal ease double-talk all worked out.  I never "assailed" George.  I do belive George did tell the world he was wronged; check out Capt Smith's harangue

http://antipolygraph.org/statements/statement-003.shtml
     
     Correct me if I'm wrong, that is George isn't it? (Don't lie)



Any one care to respond to that one?   Twist a way!
  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #19 - Dec 31st, 2002 at 9:10pm
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Yes I realize that many individuals are identified with a False positive on screening exams.  Yes some of those people more than likely have had their dreams shattered.  I empthize with them, but life is not always fair.  In my opinion a lot of folks here seem to have forgotten that.  

Dear Fed-Up!,

Since we are talking about FBI polygraph policy, I propose that at a minimum, an investigation be performed on any allegations brought up by the polygraph procedure and the whole process be videotaped.

In the past, people have placed their feet or hands inside moving lawnmower blades.  Any normal person would argue that it takes a perfect idiot to do so.  The manufacturers tried placing decals on the housing warning a person not to do so.  This did not work so an automatic cut-off and brake were installed.  People can still bypass this system by wrapping the handle release with a bungee cord.  They at least tried to decrease the chance of injury.

Can we at least try to improve the current system?  Let's try to decrease the chance of injury to reputations and career aspirations.  The FBI is resistant to even the slightest change in their "fool proof" system.  They insist that it is 100% accurate in determining who they will and will not hire.  

Occasional, accidental, "friendly fire" is one thing. Repeating premeditated ignorance of known problems and shortcomings without re-evaluation of the process involved is stupidity

Regards.
  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #20 - Dec 31st, 2002 at 10:03pm
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I have read the NAS report and I understand polygraph (both the pro and con).  The NAS report addressed Validity, but not Utility.  Do screening exams do any good?  That is a question that no one can answer; and no one on this site appears to be concerned with.  Validity can be quantified, but how does one quantify Utility?


Finally, something that we can discuss.

I must disagree with the above.  The NAS report specifically addressed both utility and validity (see, for example, section titled "Validity and Utility", NAS report pp. 2-13 to 2-19).

The conclusion of that section reads as follows:

"The utility benefits claimed for the polygraph, even though many of them are logically independent of its validity, depend indirectly on the polygraph being a highly valid indicator of deception.  In the long run, evidence that supports validity can only increase the polygraph test's utility and evidence against validity can only decrease utility.  The scientific evidence for the ability of the polygraph test to detect deception is therefore crucial to the test's usefulness.  The evidence on validity is discussed in Chapters 3, 4, and 5."

It should also be noted that the NAS report specifically addressed issues such as the mythology surrounding the polygraph and countermeasures, both of which directly impact the polygraph's utility.

Quote:
Yes I realize that many individuals are identified with a False positive on screening exams.  Yes some of those people more than likely have had their dreams shattered.  I empthize with them, but life is not always fair.  In my opinion a lot of folks here seem to have forgotten that.  


It would be impossible for someone to "have their dreams shattered" by a false positive if the issue were one of utility only.  Clearly, polygraph validity is an important factor upon which utility depends.  Thus, an inability to "quantify utility" is hardly a damning indictment of the NAS's findings vis-a-vis polygraph screening -- the utility of the polygraph, as it is used, is obviously overestimated, due to mistaken beliefs about its validity.

And really, "life isn't fair" is a specious argument -- one can always cry this in defense of any wrongheaded practice.

Skeptic
« Last Edit: Jan 1st, 2003 at 2:19am by Skeptic »  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #21 - Dec 31st, 2002 at 10:06pm
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Fed-up,

You write in part:

Quote:
I would love to engage in a conversation about polygraph; however, every time I read one here, it seems that both sides are vastly separated via a strong emotional tie to the subject.


Many of us are eager to discuss polygraph matters on a rational level. But prior to your latest post, you seem to have limited yourself to ad hominem taunts.

Quote:
I have read the NAS report and I understand polygraph (both the pro and con).  The NAS report addressed Validity, but not Utility.  Do screening exams do any good?  That is a question that no one can answer; and no one on this site appears to be concerned with.  Validity can be quantified, but how does one quantify Utility?


The question is not whether screening exams do any good. Certainly they do, in those cases where, for example, an unqualified applicant makes disqualifying admissions. This saves the hiring agency both time and money. The more appropriate question is, does the good done by screening exams outweigh the harm? I submit that it does not, and would echo Dr. Drew C. Richardson's testimony before the U.S. Senate that "claims of cost effectiveness, and the utility of polygraph screening are altogether wrong, reflect misplaced priorities, and lead to activities that are damaging to individuals and this country."

We've documented some of the harm that has resulted from misplaced governmental reliance of polygraphy in Chapter 2 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector. Documenting such harm is also the purpose of this message thread: more than half of otherwise qualified FBI special agent applicants are being permanently disqualified (and blacklisted from other federal employment) based on a procedure that (as you know, having read the NAS report) has no validity. Doesn't this bother you?

Apparently not. It seems that it is instead our public documentation of the harm that polygraph screening is causing to individuals and our country that bothers you.

Quote:
Yes I realize that many individuals are identified with a False positive on screening exams.  Yes some of those people more than likely have had their dreams shattered.  I empthize with them, but life is not always fair.  In my opinion a lot of folks here seem to have forgotten that.


Those of us who are involved in the antipolygraph movement are well aware that "life" is not always fair. But the unfairness associated with polygraph screening is completely unnecessary and avoidable (through the abolishment of polygraph screening).

Quote:
Ban screening exams, that is one way to solve the problem; however, what about the individuals that are correctly identified by the screening exam?  Many have.  Those who say that the polygraph has never identified a spy truly know not of what they speak.  I can state with certainty that it has occurred; however, I am prohibited from disclosing the details.  Does our National Security policy solely rest on screening polygraphs?  Not hardly.  The polygraph is but one tool used in the process.  Take it from one who works in that arena.


The National Academy of Sciences polygraph review panel found no evidence that any spy has ever been caught by a polygraph screening "test." This panel held a meeting (which was closed to the public) at the offices of the CIA polygraph unit. Given Dr. Katherine Laskey's emphatic statement at the NAS press conference held on 8 Oct. 2002 that no spy had ever been caught by a routine polygraph screening "test," it would seem that the CIA polygraph unit mentioned no such cases to the NAS.

Quote:
George did tell the world he was wronged; check out Capt Smith's harangue

http://antipolygraph.org/statements/statement-003.shtml
 
  Correct me if I'm wrong, that is George isn't it? (Don't lie)


It is my general practice not to comment on the authorship of anonymous or pseudonymous writings. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.
« Last Edit: Dec 31st, 2002 at 10:26pm by George W. Maschke »  

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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #22 - Jan 1st, 2003 at 1:35am
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A couple of comments to Fed-Up, and others who share his opinions:

"Life is unfair"- Of course life is unfair.  But we do what we can when we can to minimize unfairness and injustice.  That seems to me an incontrovertible principle.  Doesn't it to you?  If a store clerk gives you insufficient change because his cash register is malfunctioning, do you walk away and say nothing because "life is unfair," or do you seek the correct amount of change and urge him to fix his cash register?

We're whiners- If you ask for the correct change in the above example, are you a whiner?  Calling us whiners reveals an inability or unwillingness to address the very real and concrete problems with the polygraph, and is an intellectually bankrupt argument.

The truly important questions do not concern the moral character of those posting here, but the diagnostic value of the polygraph, its costs and benefits, and whether it should be abolished or not, why or why not.
  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #23 - Jan 1st, 2003 at 2:04am
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The National Academy of Sciences polygraph review panel found no evidence that any spy has ever been caught by a polygraph screening "test." This panel held a meeting (which was closed to the public) at the offices of the CIA polygraph unit. Given Dr. Katherine Laskey's emphatic statement at the NAS press conference held on 8 Oct. 2002 that no spy had ever been caught by a routine polygraph screening "test," it would seem that the CIA polygraph unit mentioned no such cases to the NAS.


I can think of no good reason why the NAS, with several panel members possessing security clearances, would not have been given information that contradicted the notion the polygraph has never caught a spy.  Such information could easily have been boiled down to a statement in the NAS report that spies have been caught by the polygraph without violating any secrecy concerns.  Furthermore, it definitely would have been in the counterintelligence/DoDPI community's best interest to have refuted that particular line.

IMHO the fact that the NAS was not given this information makes any claim that spies have been caught extremely suspect.

Skeptic
« Last Edit: Jan 1st, 2003 at 3:14am by Skeptic »  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #24 - Jan 2nd, 2003 at 8:34pm
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Skeptic!!!!...tell m it ain't so!...Just when I had thought I was dealing ith a rational and reasonable person! You do not have a great deal of experience with how information is classified do you? That obviously is a rhetorical question because if you choose to challenge the status of classified material, you would know why the information was not passed to NAS.  What was passed to them should have precluded the NAS member from making the statement that she did...but alas, it did not and now there are those who believe what she said based solely on her academic credentials.  It is indeed unfortunate that under the guise of academic freedom, Dr. Fienberg either did not, or worse, chose not, to "encourage" her to not make such a statement, or to retract the statement.  Fortunately, there are much wiser people and they KNOW she "misspoke".  No doubt, some of the antipolygraph "army" will jump onthis and demand "proof"....but you may be reasonably sure that such "proof" (as they call it) will not be forthcoming....that is why polygraph works as well as it does.  You can't let all of the information out now can you.  Even in a democracy, there must be things withheld to protect the masses (Hmmm sounds like somthing TJ would have said...you think BT?)
  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #25 - Jan 2nd, 2003 at 9:24pm
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Guest

Since I have not seen a responding post to my question that a lie was told to the NAS when asked about counter-countermeasures (yes, we have them but they are classified. Then when pressed, the answer was no, we do not have counter-countermeasures), can we guess that this classification falls into the realm of "yes we catch spies with the polygraph"?

National Security LE expects applicants to tell the truth. Then after they are hired, they are requireed to lie to protect the masses??!! Give us a break. Why can't they be truthful? Lies to protect the masses is BS. Tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. If people can't take the truth, they are wimps. I am damn tired of being lied to by people on our payroll.

So be as truthful to the applicant being polygraphed as you expect him to be with you and let the chips fall where they may. What's wrong with that picture??


  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #26 - Jan 2nd, 2003 at 9:31pm
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No doubt, some of the antipolygraph "army" will jump onthis and demand "proof"....but you may be reasonably sure that such "proof" (as they call it) will not be forthcoming....that is why polygraph works as well as it does.  You can't let all of the information out now can you.  Even in a democracy, there must be things withheld to protect the masses (Hmmm sounds like somthing TJ would have said...you think BT?)

Dear Guest,

I am only an "army of one" but someone has obviously forgot to share any of this "super top secret perfect procedure" with one line staff special agent polygraph examiner from the FBI.  After one inconclusive exam, the second examiner was absolutely certain that I was using "countermeasures."  I sent one letter concerning his "perfect procedure" and was granted a third exam.  I passed the third.   If the information concerning polygraph countermeasures is so perfect, why was I found innocent after being confirmed guilty?  It does not make sense since I did not have polygraph knowledge during the first two exams and choose not to use countermeasures during my last one.

Only the "super big boys" must have this information.  How big is the "inner circle"?  I am intrigued by the "X" files style of this posting.

One thing is painfully obvious, no private polygraph examiner can have access to this information since it is so top secret and hush-hush.  Why do they advertise countermeasure training seminars when all of this is so "hush-hush"?

If my posting seems vague, just reread yours and maybe it will make sense.

Regards.
  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #27 - Jan 2nd, 2003 at 10:03pm
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Quote:
Skeptic!!!!...tell m it ain't so!...Just when I had thought I was dealing ith a rational and reasonable person! You do not have a great deal of experience with how information is classified do you? That obviously is a rhetorical question because if you choose to challenge the status of classified material, you would know why the information was not passed to NAS.  What was passed to them should have precluded the NAS member from making the statement that she did...but alas, it did not and now there are those who believe what she said based solely on her academic credentials.  It is indeed unfortunate that under the guise of academic freedom, Dr. Fienberg either did not, or worse, chose not, to "encourage" her to not make such a statement, or to retract the statement.  Fortunately, there are much wiser people and they KNOW she "misspoke".  No doubt, some of the antipolygraph "army" will jump onthis and demand "proof"....but you may be reasonably sure that such "proof" (as they call it) will not be forthcoming....that is why polygraph works as well as it does.  You can't let all of the information out now can you.


I admit I'm having a hard time following you.  Am I correct that you are basically saying the information was given to the NAS (under the stipulation that only general conclusions, not specific classified spy-catching details, should be made public) and the NAS lied about it?

That's a strong accusation, and one that, unfortunately, I would indeed require proof of one sort or another to support.

Alternatively, are you saying that the information was not passed on?  Several members of the NAS panel obtained security clearances precisely so they could view such classified material.  Could you explain for us why it would have been withheld from them anyway?

Quote:
Even in a democracy, there must be things withheld to protect the masses (Hmmm sounds like somthing TJ would have said...you think BT?)


No one is saying that information vital to national security should be made public.  However, as Twoblock has pointed out, far from merely "misstating" that the polygraph has never caught a spy, the NAS also specifically stated that they were misled about the existence of countermeasure studies supposedly classified at the "Secret" level.  I suppose this was also a lie?

IMHO, polygraphers seem to have a track record of bluffing, which doesn't help their credibility one bit in this regard.  The fact that polygraph methodology stipulates that polygraphers must be professional liars doesn't help, either.

The alternative is that the NAS has somehow managed to acquire a reputation of extreme respectability despite being stocked with liars who will forge science as it suits them.

Which should we believe?

Skeptic
« Last Edit: Jan 2nd, 2003 at 10:23pm by Skeptic »  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #28 - Jan 2nd, 2003 at 10:31pm
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You are correct!...I AM confused...by your reply to my posting.  My original reply to Skeptic (and your input is certainly welcomed) concerned the statement made by the NAS staffer about "no spy had ever been caught"...a statement which GM and others seem to want to hang their hat on.  It had nothing to do with your particular examination.  Not knowing any of the details, I cannot and will not comment on that test.  I thought your comment about
"super top secret perfect procedure" was a bit sarcastic (I thought we were trying to stay away from this kind if behavior?).  I re-read my original posting and it did not seem vague...can you advise?
  
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Re: FBI Polygraph Failure Rate Reportedly Near 50%
Reply #29 - Jan 2nd, 2003 at 10:36pm
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Skeptic,

While the way the polygraph "works" is now an open secret, readily available to anyone interested, there is no such clarity re countermeasures, and that was certainly reinforced by the NAS report.

However, I do believe the study of countermeasure detection (or lack thereof) would be more amenable to measurement and scientific protocol. The only reason most of this is classified is that most is gov. funded and they are now predisposed (Kleiner, 2002) not to share the results with the wider polygraph community. There is nothing fundamental that prevents non classified CM research - other than funding.  Not all funds have to be government funds.

-Marty
  

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