Normal Topic Should my husband retest? (Read 3054 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Wife of PollyFail
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Should my husband retest?
Dec 8th, 2009 at 7:52pm
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Hello all.  My husband recently took and failed the poly for the FBI.  Although he didn't receive an official description of why, the polygrapher told him that he spiked on the drug usage (marijuana).  He was straight up with the examiner, disclosing that he'd smoked pot during his Freshman and Sophmore year of college.  He's been an active duty officer in the Marine Corps for 10 years now, so obviously, he hasn't used drugs within that time frame.  My question is this...as he is sure he was totally honest with the polygrapher, should he request to retest?  I am  reading through the posts and seeing that there are very conflicting answers to this question.  If he retests and fails again for drugs, is this going to hurt him worse than if he was to tap out completely and seek employment from another agency?  He's building applications for all the other 3-letter agencies now, but I worry that he is not going to be able to pass any of the poly's since he's been completely honest to begin with and not been successful. 

I don't think he'll read the Lies behind Lie Detectors because he would see that as "cheating."  With that said, is there anything I can tell him to do before he takes a retest or tests for another agency?   

For the retest letter, is telling the recruiter that "I was telling the truth" enough justification to retest?

I know people are torn on whether lie detector results can be completely accurate or not...I admit, I used to believe they were right on, more often than not.  Now that my husband is experiencing this first hand, I am in shock and can't believe that someone of such integrity can be so poorly read.  I am hoping that all is not lost and he's got a fighting chance to still get in.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: Should my husband retest?
Reply #1 - Dec 8th, 2009 at 8:24pm
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Wife of PollyFail wrote on Dec 8th, 2009 at 7:52pm:
...My question is this...as he is sure he was totally honest with the polygrapher, should he request to retest?


He should definitely contest the results in writing. He won't want the last thing in his FBI file (a permanent record) to be an uncontested allegation from a polygraph operator that he lied about past use of illegal drugs. While he may also wish to request the opportunity for a "re-test," he should not be under any illusions: FBI "re-tests" are a sham meant to create the appearance (but not the reality) of fairness. Re-test results almost always "confirm" the original results.

I think that your husband would be better off with just one polygraph failure on his FBI record rather than two. But again, he should by all means contest the polygraph operator's false accusation of deception in writing.

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I don't think he'll read the Lies behind Lie Detectors because he would see that as "cheating."  With that said, is there anything I can tell him to do before he takes a retest or tests for another agency?


It's not cheating to educate oneself about polygraphy. The Lie Behind the Lie Detector will help your husband to understand how he could have told the truth and nonetheless failed the polygraph. It also includes suggestions on how to reduce the risk of a false positive outcome in the future. I'm a co-author of the book, and if your husband would like to know more about my background, he can review my statement, "Too Hot of a Potato: A Citizen-Soldier's Encounter with the Polygraph."

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For the retest letter, is telling the recruiter that "I was telling the truth" enough justification to retest?


I think that an interview with an applicant coordinator might also be required.

Quote:
I know people are torn on whether lie detector results can be completely accurate or not...I admit, I used to believe they were right on, more often than not.  Now that my husband is experiencing this first hand, I am in shock and can't believe that someone of such integrity can be so poorly read.  I am hoping that all is not lost and he's got a fighting chance to still get in.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.


I'm afraid that given his polygraph failure, your husband's chances of ever being employed by the FBI are practically zero. But he may yet have a chance with other agencies.
  

George W. Maschke
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Re: Should my husband retest?
Reply #2 - Dec 8th, 2009 at 11:21pm
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George,

Thank you so much for the insight.  It was sincerely helpful.  He talked to the applicant coordinator today.  She told him to send a letter in writing indicating why he thinks he failed and why the FBI should allow him another opportunity to retest...what a bunch of jerks!  I've talked to him about not retesting, but he is sure that he'll pass the next time if he just calms himself down.  I've been searching the internet non stop for the last 24 hours and haven't found a single person who's FAILED, and then went back to pass.  I'm hoping that is because they are so relieved that they don't take the time to repost their results. 

It is so beyond me that a person with a TSSCI security clearance who has handled classified materials on countless occasions and has served in combat 4 times in support of this country is now being denied the opportunity to continue to serve on our own soil...unbelievable. 

Thanks again for the advice.  If anyone else has any recommendations, they are sincerely welcomed.  I'll report if he receives a retest date and how he does.
  
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Re: Should my husband retest?
Reply #3 - Dec 9th, 2009 at 7:47am
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It's been my experience that the FBI, much like the rest of the Federal Government is very unforgiving, impersonal and many times, unfair.  Although I am sure there are many goods things that can be said but I just can't think of any at the moment.
  
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Should my husband retest?

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