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A Response to Paul M. Menges (Read 16703 times)
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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A Response to Paul M. Menges
Feb 25th, 2003 at 1:01pm
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A Response to Paul M. Menges Regarding the Ethical Considerations of Providing Polygraph Countermeasures to the Public

by George W. Maschke
25 February 2003

Paul M. Menges, a federal polygraph examiner and instructor who currently teaches the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute's countermeasure course, argues in a recent article titled "Ethical Considerations of Providing Polygraph Countermeasures to the Public" (Polygraph, Vol. 31 [2002], No. 4, pp. 254-262), that publicly making available such information is unethical and concludes with the suggestion that it should be outlawed. The present article is a response to Mr. Menges' arguments. Since Polygraph, the quarterly publication of the American Polygraph Association, is not readily available to most members of the public, I will begin by citing the abstract of Mr. Menges' article:
Quote:
Polygraph or Forensic Psychophysiology is an art-science not well understood by the general public. Defended by law enforcement and intelligence agencies as a valuable investigative tool and castigated by others as intrusive and unscientific, polygraph has in recent years come under increasing fire from a vocal minority. Using the technology of the day, the Internet, polygraph opponents are attempting to further their stated goal, the abolishment of polygraph as a viable investigative aid to law enforcement and national security. In addition to questioning the scientific basis for and legitimacy of polygraph practices, some polygraph opponents have gone a step further to advocate the use of countermeasures to defeat polygraph examinations. Indeed, some argue that even innocent subjects need to employ countermeasures in order to be deemed innocent by examiners (Maschke & Scalabrini, 2000; Williams, 2000). The Constitution of the United States provides all citizens with the right of free speech. We enjoy the freedom to challenge government policies and to openly debate issues. However, bounds have been set by our society to protect individuals and the greater good for all citizens. Polygraph is scientifically valid and a tremendous investigative tool available to law enforcement and security personnel of this country. Efforts to openly subvert its use by advocating use of and providing countermeasures training and information to all subjects, regardless of innocence or guilt, run counter to the best interests of society and public safety. These efforts, while currently not illegal, cross the bounds of ethical conduct and present a threat to public safety and good order in society. The time has come to confront this threat by alerting the public to these efforts that aid guilty parties who threaten society, public safety, and quite possibly our national security.

Although in many places, Menges speaks of "polygraph opponents" in general, it is clear that he refers mainly to AntiPolygraph.org. Thus, Menges' assertion that "(u)sing the technology of the day, the Internet, polygraph opponents are attempting to further their stated goal, the abolishment of polygraph as a viable investigative aid to law enforcement and national security" stands in need of clarification. AntiPolygraph.org's "stated goal" is not the abolishment of polygraphy "as a viable investigative aid to law enforcement and national security." We consider polygraphy to be neither valid nor viable, and we simply seek its abolishment.

Menges states that "some polygraph opponents have gone a step further to advocate the use of countermeasures to defeat polygraph examinations." AntiPolygraph.org does not advocate the use of countermeasures "to defeat polygraph examinations." Our suggestion to anyone suspected of a crime has always been (and remains) to refuse to submit to polygraphic interrogation. With regard to polygraph screening, we have never advocated that anyone use countermeasures to "defeat" a polygraph examination. Nor have we made the argument attributed to us by Menges that "even innocent subjects need to employ countermeasures in order to be deemed innocent by examiners." Rather, we have simply suggested countermeasures as a possible strategy for protecting oneself against a false positive outcome.

Menges asserts, without support, that "(p)olygraph is scientifically valid...." We strongly disagree. As explained in Chapter 1 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector and the sources cited therein, polygraphy -- lacking both standardization and meaningful control -- is pseudoscience. It is not a valid diagnostic technique, and the majority of psychophysiologists do not agree that it is based on scientifically sound psychological principles or theory.

Thus, we see that Menges' conclusions regarding the ethics of making information regarding countermeasures available to the public proceed from a misunderstanding of AntiPolygraph.org's actions, arguments, and objectives, and from a mistaken belief in the validity of polygraphy. These false premises are also evident in the opening paragraph of Menges' article, where he states, "This paper will address the question, Is it ethical to provide information to and assist guilty individuals who attempt to defeat a legitimate, legal, publicly accepted, ethical procedure used by law enforcement and national security agencies?" By framing the question in these prejudicial terms, Menges foreordains his desired conclusion(s).

It should also be noted that Menges adopts a different definition of "countermeasures" than does AntiPolygraph.org. For Menges, "(c)ountermeasures refer to deliberate attempts by a guilty person to preclude the accurate outcome of a testing process." By contrast, in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, AntiPolygraph.org defines countermeasures simply as "deliberate techniques that may be used to 'pass' a polygraph interrogation," without regard to guilt or innocence.

In his discussion of AntiPolygraph.org, Menges states that The Lie Behind the Lie Detector "contains advice regarding countermeasures to be employed to defeat polygraph examinations," insinuating that our motivation in making this information available is to assist the guilty rather than to help the innocent to protect themselves against the random error associated with an invalid test. Menges goes on to state that "indications are that the focus will be expanded to any psychometric testing technique which attempts to provide insight to an employer or security agency." Menges bases this conclusion on a message titled How to pass a Rorschach test that I posted to the "Off-topic Posts" forum of the AntiPolygraph.org message board. Contrary to Menges' suggestion, AntiPolygraph.org is not opposed to psychometric testing per se. But we are opposed to pseudoscience, of which the Rorschach (ink blot) "test" is a good example (and one that shares some features in common with polygraphy). Our focus remains polygraphy.

Menges also makes much of a 17 November 2001 report by New York Times correspondent David Rohde titled, "In 2 Abandoned Kabul Houses, Some Hints of Al Qaeda Presence," in which Rohde reports that documents seized in two Kabul houses formerly used  by members of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda organization included Arabic language instructions on how to pass lie detector tests. Menges wonders aloud, "What ethical justification would suffice for these polygraph opponents, if the document found was The Lie Behind the Lie Detector or How to Sting the Polygraph!" Menges even goes so far as to suggest that the respective authors of these documents might be guilty of sedition or even treason, though he allows that this is a matter that "will be left to attorneys to argue."

What Menges seemingly fails to realize is that the information on polygraphy and polygraph countermeasures in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector is information that any interested person could have obtained by reviewing the open source literature on polygraphy, much of it published by the polygraph community itself. By Menges' logic, the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute, the American Polygraph Association, and various scholarly journals and publishing houses might also be guilty of some crime.

As it turns out, the Al Qaeda document found in Kabul was probably neither The Lie Behind the Lie Detector nor "How to Sting the Polygraph!" An Arabic-language Al-Qaeda document titled Mawsu'at al-jihad (Encyclopedia of Jihad) includes a section on "Devices Used in Interrogation" and is likely the document that Rohde encountered. (An English-language translation of this passage is available on AntiPolygraph.org.)

Menges maintains that "(t)he issue of whether countermeasures are or can be effective in defeating a polygraph examination is moot to the main point of this article." Hardly. If Menges did not believe that countermeasures can be effective, then there would have been little point in his having written the article. (Nor would the American Polygraph Association have had much reason to publish such an article.) Indeed, it is hard to conceive that Menges would have gone so far as to imply that Mr. Scalabrini and I might be guilty of sedition or treason for making such information publicly available if he did not believe that such can be effective.

Menges shrugs off the issue of false positives and false negatives associated with polygraphy by noting that "all forms of psychometric assessment are subject to varying false positive and false negative rates." So what? Menges asserts that "(a)ny competent professional conducting psychometric assessments is aware of the limitations and capablilities of the technique in use." But the polygraph community is unable to state the sensitivity and specificity of any particular polygraph technique for any particular application.

Discussing the ethical issue of examiner deception, Menges states, "(a)nother issue of contention for some is their claim that the examiner is deceptive, therefore, the examinee is ethically justified in employing countermeasures to defeat the examination." (Again, Menges wrongly implies that polygraph opponents advocate the circumvention of polygraph "tests" by the guilty, a recurring theme in his article.) But Menges fails to confront the fact that even without the use of card tricks during the "pre-test" phase, polygraphy remains fundamentally dependent on deception, as explained in detail in Chapter 3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector. It is not hard to understand why polygraph advocates would be inclined to sweep the issue of polygrapher deception under the rug, but it is a key concern that must be candidly considered in any meaningful discussion of the ethics of providing polygraph countermeasure information to the public.

While Menges makes other arguments that may be worthy of commentary, I will conclude this response with an examination of the most alarming portion of his article, that is, his suggestions regarding how polygraph examiners should confront the public availability of countermeasure information. After citing several examples from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case law where certain information about polygraphy was deemed exempt from disclosure, Menges argues:
Quote:
In spite of the FOIA exemption to preclude release of such information from government offices, there is no legal statute precluding individuals from selling and or freely providing polygraph countermeasures information, as do Williams (2000) and Maschke & Scalabrini (2000), respectively. Arguments and laws against allowing individuals to provide countermeasures information with the intent of subverting long standing and appropriately promulgated law enforcement efforts might appear to be a violation of constitutional rights. On the surface this position appears to argue against the constitutional guarantee of free speech. In the United States we live in a society governed by laws intended to protect the rights of individual citizens, while protecting the greater good, that of society as a whole. The U.S. Constitution has been interpreted to contain protections for individuals and society as a whole. The Preamble to the Constitution clearly addresses the intent to insure justice for all, promote the general welfare, and insure domestic tranquility in the land (The Constitution, 1787). Under The Constitution, one may have a right to freely express opinions on an issue and even work for legislation to outlaw the offensive practice. But to take actions that subvert legitimate law enforcement practices, the result of which could threaten public safety and or national security, violates all principles of ethics and can, in some cases, be illegal. Providing polygraph countermeasures to guilty persons facing law enforcement or national security polygraph examinations is unethical, clearly attempts to obstruct justice, and should be stopped.

Menges proceeds thence to suggest "alternatives" for both polygraph opponents and supporters, concluding his article thus:
Quote:
Alternatives for those opposing the use of polygraph as an investigative aid or personnel security screening tool are obvious. Opposition can be dropped; it can continue in a form limited to all current forms of opposition, short of advocating and providing countermeasures to prospective examinees; or it can continue in its current form, which includes actions to help guilty persons attempt to defeat the efforts of society to maintain law and order.

For those supporting the use of polygraph, the alternatives are equally obvious. Current efforts by the anti-polygraph movement, including the providing of countermeasures information to the general public, can be ignored; they can be countered with efforts by examiners and professional polygraph organizations to engage the opposition in constructive dialogue to address the issue of aiding guilty parties; or a broader based initiative can be attempted by polygraph proponents. The latter alternative would have polygraph proponents contribute toward furthering the science by openly engaging in legitimate discussions with those entrusted to publicly scrutinize the process such as the National Academy of Sciences (National Academy of Sciences, 2001). Ethical principles like veracity, justice, beneficence, and non-maleficence would be well served by mitigating or removing the threat to society posed by providing countermeasures information to the general public and guilty parties, in particular. Additionally, all would benefit from the increased research and experimentation certain to be generated by such discourse and scrutiny. The desired end result would be a termination of the current attitude regarding providing countermeasures information to the public, possibly through legislative action indended to make the providing of specific countermeasures information illegal.

The latter alternative for the proponents would do much to further the resolution of the primary issue. Opponents could continue to exercise their constitutional rights to criticize, debate, research, and openly oppose the use of polygraph. Concerns for the fate of an innocent subject who fails to resolve all issues during the process is legitimate and worthy of continued attention. Few organizations can afford to miss out on a competent employment candidate. However, society must set the bounds of acceptable actions, whether involving national security clearance cases or cases where an applicant will have access to unprotected young children in a day-care center. In the final analysis, access is a privilege guarded by society, not an inalienable right.

I fully endorse Menges' suggestion that polygraph examiners and professional organizations might engage in constructive dialogue with polygraph opponents. Toward that end, I invite Mr. Menges and any others who may be interested in the issues he has raised to discuss them on the AntiPolygraph.org message board, where a message thread has been started for this purpose. In addition, AntiPolygraph.org would be happy to arrange for speakers to discuss or debate these and other polygraph issues with polygraph advocates in other public fora (preferably in front of a television camera and a live audience).

But it is clear that such constructive dialogue is not Menges' preferred alternative. His call for "a broader based initiative" is a euphemism for the criminalization of public speech on the subject of polygraph countermeasures and the banning of books such as The Lie Behind the Lie Detector. I will leave discussion of the civil liberties implications of such a proposal for another day. Suffice it to note for now that if the polygraph community is so fearful of countermeasure information that it would have it made a speech crime, then perhaps countermeasures are more effective and more difficult to detect than the polygraph community has heretofore been willing to acknowledge.

Mr. Menges, if you should succeed in criminalizing public speech regarding polygraph countermeasures, then after you've put me in jail and seized my computer, don't forget to burn the archival copy of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector that has been deposited with the Library of Congress.
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« Last Edit: Jan 30th, 2006 at 10:01am by George W. Maschke »  

George W. Maschke
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #1 - Feb 25th, 2003 at 2:58pm
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George
Your certainly waxing eloquent on this post, if somewhat overlong.
I guess the original concern that I had when first visiting this site is indeed shared by others, and while you are careful now to get in print your disagreement with helping criminals, you know that your information could easily do so.( you were not as concerned in your book) I have always felt the overriding goal of your (and others) cause here was more focused on retribution than social justice- of course no one can prove someones intent if merely exercising speech. And as regrettable as it was chris and fair chance did not get hired, I bet if I was a fly on the wall during those applicant processes, I would of seen where things were starting to go wrong and need clarification.  Applicants get saved that way, usually from themselves- I have seen it so many times.
And incidentially, a partner of mine is currently undergoing FBI selection.  He had to repeat his initial polygraph, was successful and is going to background.  While one persons experiences should not be given too much weight, he states that he has been handled professionally and ethically.  Maybe the FBI is learning.
Since you received volume 31 of Polygraph, you should comment on an old theme of ours, espionage and polygraph.  Any comments on Sullivan's book?
Since Im rambling, lets talk about countermeasures.  My sister agency recently showed me charts that contained some of the Chapter 4 information you put out for those innocents wishing to "pass" a polygraph.  Without being too specific, I will just say that this applicant was confronted with his results and given an opportunity to re-test.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is (for the average applicant) to duplicate a contrived breathing pattern over 2 different examinations, conducted on different days? This applicant did not try, and resorted to other just as obvious means. The great physiological disparity, reaction to the relevants, combined with excerpts from the anti-polygraph literature, without an admission- no job.
Now, you will write that we dont know for certain, and probably made another ghastly mistake, depriving the LE community of valuable cannon fodder, I will say that your often repeated theme of "no admissions" is hurting applicants.
Specifically, many applicants under report certain issues.  We all can accept that this happens, obviously applicants want to look good- and since local law enforcement does not publish arbitrary standards (around here anyway) they dont know what the agency thinks is acceptable or desirable.  So the application if filled out, and events are under reported.  If the test was given immediately, many would fail (like the FBI) because time is not spent in clarifying responses. In contrast to what you wrote, such admissions given before a polygraph are treated by my agency as a part of the application process.  It is not considered deception to modify an original answer on hiring paperwork.  When the test is given, applicants should not have hidden issues or concerns and have been treated fairly. Some honest souls take advantage of this, others do not and routinely fail.  They also routinely admit what they were hiding.  I know this bores you because you do not believe that the polygraph can make such a distinction, but it does.
I will now return to where I came, since depriving applicants and others of thier rights is an exacting and tedious affair!
Fair chance? have you secured meaningful employment yet?
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #2 - Feb 25th, 2003 at 3:36pm
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The_Breeze wrote on Feb 25th, 2003 at 2:58pm:
I guess the original concern that I had when first visiting this site is indeed shared by others, and while you are careful now to get in print your disagreement with helping criminals, you know that your information could easily do so


Let's call this 'Assertion One'

Quote:
Since Im rambling, lets talk about countermeasures.  My sister agency recently showed me charts that contained some of the Chapter 4 information you put out for those innocents wishing to "pass" a polygraph.  Without being too specific, I will just say that this applicant was confronted with his results and given an opportunity to re-test.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is (for the average applicant) to duplicate a contrived breathing pattern over 2 different examinations, conducted on different days? This applicant did not try, and resorted to other just as obvious means. The great physiological disparity, reaction to the relevants, combined with excerpts from the anti-polygraph literature, without an admission- no job.


And 'Assertion Two'.

So, on the one hand George and Gino's book is aiding and abetting those nasty criminals, and on the other hand the countermeasures propounded within that book are easily detected on the charts. Hmm.. yeah...

Didn't Momma Breeze ever say you can't have your cake and eat it too?
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #3 - Feb 25th, 2003 at 3:46pm
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Breeze -- welcome back.


The_Breeze wrote on Feb 25th, 2003 at 2:58pm:
George
Your certainly waxing eloquent on this post, if somewhat overlong.
I guess the original concern that I had when first visiting this site is indeed shared by others, and while you are careful now to get in print your disagreement with helping criminals, you know that your information could easily do so.( you were not as concerned in your book) I have always felt the overriding goal of your (and others) cause here was more focused on retribution than social justice- of course no one can prove someones intent if merely exercising speech. And as regrettable as it was chris and fair chance did not get hired, I bet if I was a fly on the wall during those applicant processes, I would of seen where things were starting to go wrong and need clarification.  Applicants get saved that way, usually from themselves- I have seen it so many times.


Breeze,
I have long felt, based on your statements here, that you have an above-average appreciation for the polygraph's shortcomings, and your department takes measures to protect people from those shortcomings that are not necessarily in common use.

I know you'll not be surprised by my disagreement regarding countermeasure effectiveness, so I won't rehash it in detail here.  Suffice it to say that, despite the near-certainty that some subjects have employed countermeasures in some way that was particularly obvious, there remains no bona-fide scientific evidence that such is the norm, or that some characteristic of the charts produced by countermeasures is consistently distinguishable from "genuine" physical reaction.

And as Dave quite rightly pointed out, countermeasures cannot be both ineffective and a threat.

Again, welcome back.
Skeptic
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #4 - Feb 25th, 2003 at 4:51pm
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I think Mr. Menges might do well to review the purpose of the First Amendment. His interpretation seems most similar to the way the old Soviet Union used to interpret their constitutional rights (and the way Cuba still does). I used to chuckle at that concept of "freedom" whereas it seems Mr Mendes embraces it.

I suspect the legislative hearings that would occur around such an attempt to prohibit this information would be most unwelcome by the polygraph community. It would expose more bluntly it's own high failure rates and ethicial issues that are simply not well known today, even by many lawmakers.  Probably they would prefer some sort of prohibition by decree. This wouldn't expose their soft underbelly. Sure, a decree might be constitutionally dubious, but hey, if it promotes the general welfare......

-Marty
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #5 - Feb 25th, 2003 at 5:24pm
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The_Breeze wrote on Feb 25th, 2003 at 2:58pm:
Fair chance? have you secured meaningful employment yet?

Dear Breeze,

Welcome back to the discussion.  Is this a trick question (my ego would always like to think that I have been employed in meaningful ways!)?  I am still sipping my Starbucks coffee.

As before, I cannot lecture about any polygraph subject except FBI pre-employment polygraph usage.  I know that you disagree with non-specific random pre-screening usage of the polygraph.

You have stated that you agree with polygraph videotaping and providing copies of strips as necessary.  Many will argue that this does not enhance the validity of polygraph but I believe that this will enhance the professional conduct of all involved: protecting the examiner and examinee from unjust accusations, unethical behavior, and confirmation of confessions or lack of.  This is something that the polygraph profession can do immediately at very little cost.

I hope that as you continue your discussions, everyone will try their best to be civil.

Regards
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #6 - Feb 25th, 2003 at 9:00pm
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In a conversation today with a federal law enforcement agent, this thread was the topic.  In particular, the last comment made by George about burning the copy on file, this agent responded:

"I want to see someone try to come into MY house and take MY copy of The Lie Behind The Lie Detector.  I bet they change their toon when they meet my gun in their ear."

I would like to see how they would suppose to destroy all copies that are in existence.  Would they in fact start with the ones on their own shelves?  Or better yet, just try and remove them from their esteemed brothers in arms. 

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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #7 - Feb 25th, 2003 at 9:02pm
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Seeker wrote on Feb 25th, 2003 at 9:00pm:
In a conversation today with a federal law enforcement agent, this thread was the topic.  In particular, the last comment made by George about burning the copy on file, this agent responded:

"I want to see someone try to come into MY house and take MY copy of The Lie Behind The Lie Detector.  I bet they change their toon when they meet my gun in their ear."

I would like to see how they would suppose to destroy all copies that are in existence.  Would they in fact start with the ones on their own shelves?  Or better yet, just try and remove them from their esteemed brothers in arms.  

Regards,


Wouldn't they also need to destroy all copies of Doug Williams' book, Lykken's book, and quite a few others?

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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #8 - Feb 25th, 2003 at 9:41pm
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Boy....and you guys have spoken....repeatedly I might add.....about paranoia?   Here they come boys.....lock the doors and stand at the ready!  Are you kidding me....tell me this is just "funning"
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #9 - Feb 25th, 2003 at 9:42pm
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Torpedo wrote on Feb 25th, 2003 at 9:41pm:
Boy....and you guys have spoken....repeatedly I might add.....about paranoia?   Here they come boys.....lock the doors and stand at the ready!  Are you kidding me....tell me this is just "funning"


Mostly.  I think it's pretty unlikely, too.  But given the current political climate, not out of the question (not the "book burning" part -- outlawing distribution of countermeasure information).

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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #10 - Feb 25th, 2003 at 10:07pm
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Torpedo wrote on Feb 25th, 2003 at 9:41pm:
Boy....and you guys have spoken....repeatedly I might add.....about paranoia?   Here they come boys.....lock the doors and stand at the ready!  Are you kidding me....tell me this is just "funning"

Yes, Torpedo.  Humor is something that the FBI doesn't allow within their agency.  The fine agent that I quoted is with a less rigid agency.
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #11 - Feb 26th, 2003 at 1:07am
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Dear George,

Mr. Menges’ piece is alarming given the ominous, Orwellian quality of Patriot act II.  If you haven’t read about this secretly drafted legislation that guts the Constitution as we know it, you can read about it here:

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/ramasastry/20030217.html

Or simply go to Google and request information on “Patriot II.”

If you are being accused of providing countermeasure information to terrorists by Mr. Menges, or anyone else for that matter, the government might infer that you are being disloyal to the US, hence you could be forced to renounce your citizenship.   That’s right.  If this legislation gets shoved through like Patriot 1 did, people who have supported a group the attorney general designates "terrorist" would be subject to having their citizenship revoked... No crime need be asserted, no proof need be offered. Patriot II would authorize secret arrests in terrorism investigations -- and it would strip citizenship from Americans for their political associations.

We are fortunate that this legistration draft has come to light. Otherwise, the administration probably would have revealed it only after it began its war with Iraq, when political opposition would be inhibited by support for our troops. The proposals would not help our war with Iraq, but they would help our government cover up its mistakes. Mistakes such as relying upon the polygraph at all, knowing it is not a valid method to detect the truth,  knowing that every recruit for the CIA or FBI will do research and come upon this web site, therefore will MAKE NO ADMISSIONS.
.
It is frightening to think that our leaders would try to undermine our civil liberties through a cynical manipulation of public opinion in time of war.  That they would attempt to do so seems ludicrous.  But as oft’ said, it’s  a different world since 9/11. 
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #12 - Feb 26th, 2003 at 3:58am
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[quote author=Lurking Woman
http://writ.news.findlaw.com/ramasastry/20030217.html

It is frightening to think that our leaders would try to undermine our civil liberties through a cynical manipulation of public opinion in time of war.  That they would attempt to do so seems ludicrous.  But as oft’ said, it’s  a different world since 9/11.
[/quote]

Lurking Woman:

Indeed this proposed nonsense is frightening!  I live in fear of such horrific laws being enacted.  

When I was growing up we feared war with Russia, and I recall being directed to hide under a desk during drills done at school.  Today, my son faces a greater fear -- one of being taken away to some undisclosed location, being detained without charges, and finding himself lost in a system that has become to have the appearance of something other than the democracy that we believed it was.  I wish I could comfort him with that desk to hide under.  In reality the crawling under a desk would have provided no protection at all, but as a young teen, it sure seemed to us like it would.  That sense of security, no matter how futile it was, helped a lot of us go on about our day without fear. For young teens like my son, I don't know what sense of security we can offer them to allow them to go on about their day without fear. With such insanity as the proposed Patriot II, I am certain nothing will allay their fears.
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #13 - Feb 26th, 2003 at 1:42pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
Breeze,

You write in part:

Quote:
Since you received volume 31 of Polygraph, you should comment on an old theme of ours, espionage and polygraph.  Any comments on Sullivan's book?


See the message thread, Of Spies and Lies - New Book by Ex-CIA Polygrapher. I'd be happy to discuss the book further there, but I'd like to keep this message thread substantively on the topic of Mr. Menges article: the ethical considerations of providing polygraph countermeasures to the public.
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George W. Maschke
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Re: A Response to Paul M. Menges
Reply #14 - Feb 27th, 2003 at 1:50am
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THE_BREEZE

Quote:
I guess the original concern that I had when first visiting this site is indeed shared by others, and while you are careful now to get in print your disagreement with helping criminals, you know that your information could easily do so.


First:

The polygraph community is clearly on record that countermeasures are ineffective and a waste of time. Based on that assumption, why do you care if countermeasures are taught? Why do you care if someone sold snake oil or herbal remedies to beat a polygraph? If countermeasure are not effective, you have nothing to worry about. In fact if such countermeasures are ineffective, they would augment the polygraphers ability to detect deception and someone trying to sneak something past the almighty “grapher.” You and your flying monkeys should be giggling over the stupidity of countermeasures. The reason your not laughing is because you know they are effective.

Second:

You elude to countermeasure assisting the criminal. I interpret that as your acknowledgement that countermeasures are effective. Thank you for your admission.

The people who help criminals are polygraph examiners who believe the results are accurate. It is you who are a threat to society and national security. You attend a course on polygraph examinations and suddenly you are an expert in human physiology. Give me a break.

The polygraph has allowed molesters to continue molesting and spies to keep on spying.

As a police officer and a criminal investigator, I curse any investigator who makes a decision solely based on polygraph results.  The polygraph is nothing more than a technical looking prop to be used during an interview/interrogation to solicit admission and confessions. Whether it is a polygraph, CVSA, microwave oven or a copy machine, it make no difference. To use the results of a polygraph for any type of decision is reckless and slander.

Nothing is more pathetic than a bunch of Detectives waiting for the polygrapher to exit the exam room and ask, “Did he do it?” The question should be, “Did he admit to it.”  

People have been using countermeasure long before “The Lie Behind the Lie Detector” came out.  

Criminals and sex offenders have been using countermeasures for years. They are still in our communities because they were certified by some polygrapher that they were not deceptive and should be eliminated from suspicion.

You cannot blame a criminal for using any means possible to beat the system. I blame the polygraph for allowing him/her the opportunity to beat the system. I believe the saying “garbage in – garbage out” best applies to the polygraph.

Any criminal or spy who wanted to beat the polygraph has been doing so for years. Antipolygraph.org has only provided a forum for discussion.  

So please, stop pointing the patriotic finger at Antipolygraph.org and re-focus it on yourself saying, “I am the problem.”  


Quote:
And incidentially, a partner of mine is currently undergoing FBI selection.  He had to repeat his initial polygraph, was successful and is going to background.  While one persons experiences should not be given too much weight, he states that he has been handled professionally and ethically.  Maybe the FBI is learning.



He probably used countermeasures. The only person who will know if he did will be him. You and I both know the examiner can’t.


Quote:
Since I’m rambling, lets talk about countermeasures.  My sister agency recently showed me charts that contained some of the Chapter 4 information you put out for those innocents wishing to "pass" a polygraph.  Without being too specific, I will just say that this applicant was confronted with his results and given an opportunity to re-test.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is (for the average applicant) to duplicate a contrived breathing pattern over 2 different examinations, conducted on different days? This applicant did not try, and resorted to other just as obvious means. The great physiological disparity, reaction to the relevants, combined with excerpts from the anti-polygraph literature, without an admission- no job.


Look, here you try to come across as the knowledgeable law enforcement official (anonymous I might add). You might be real impressive with wannabe cops, but save it buddy. After your contradictorily statements of how countermeasures don’t work and then turning around saying how easily you can detect them, coupled with your anonymity, you have no credibility. Speaking of credibility, by chance do you have a Ph.D also?

Countermeasures work and because they can manipulate the test, you are placing the lives of fellow law enforcement officer in jeopardy by allowing these people into this profession. Antipolygraph.org is not allowing them into the profession. You are by providing the fallacy that you can detect deception.  

Unfortunately, the polygraph situation is going to have to get worse before it gets better. As more spies and other criminals are eventually captured using legitimate investigative techniques and their polygraphs are researched, the public will continually hear about how they beat the tests with countermeasures.

This house of cards will eventually fall.

Quote:
have you secured meaningful employment yet?


I am not sure what you meant by this, apparently some type of failed personal dig. Knowing George, I unfortunately don’t understand where you are coming from.  But having already established your lack of credibility, no further understanding of your ignorance is necessary.

Countermeasures work and have been around for years. Antipolygraph.org only allows for a forum for discussion. If countermeasure didn’t work, Paul Menges, wouldn’t be writing about it and you wouldn’t be trying to use the, “Your teaching the criminals card.”

Quote:
I will now return to where I came


Good idea
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