Normal Topic WikiLeaks and Polygraph Policy (Read 1515 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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WikiLeaks and Polygraph Policy
Dec 6th, 2010 at 11:06am
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The U.S. State Department diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks thus far say little about polygraph policy. You can search the cables by key word at cablesearch.org.

But regardless of what the cables themselves may say about polygraph policy, I think that WikiLeaks' publication of these documents is going to see government officials scrambling to demonstrate that they are "tough on security."

And if past is prologue (viz. CIA after Ames, DOE after Wen Ho Lee [who wasn't the spy they were looking for], and FBI after Hanssen), one way they'll do that is to call for more polygraphs. In particular, I expect that people who work in information technology may be targeted for more polygraphs, whether they are government employees or contractors.

I'd also be surprised if an effort were not made to bring polygraph screening to the Department of State, which has long resisted polygraph screening of its employees, even while, as one of the Wikileaks cables documents, it has enthusiastically advocated polygraph use by other governments.
  

George W. Maschke
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Colombia: Polygraph Used to "Punish Enemies and Collect Kickbacks for Promotions"
Reply #1 - Mar 20th, 2011 at 8:57am
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A 2009 secret cable from the US Embassy in Bogota, Colombia documents alleged polygraph abuse at the Colombian security service, the Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad ("Department of Administrative Security" or DAS).

The cable, citing a US embassy source (whose name was redacted) states that DAS personnel had leaked details of illegal DAS wiretapping to the news magazine Semana because they were upset about polygraph-related abuses:

Quote:
[The source] claimed the Semana revelations were sourced to DAS personnel who were disgruntled with [intelligence deputy Jorge] Lagos' and [intelligence chief Fernando] Tabarez' manipulation of the polygraph system to punish enemies and collect kickbacks for promotions.


Because polygraphy is not a scientific test for deception, but a pseudoscientific, inherently unreliable and arbitrary procedure, it lends itself to the sort of manipulation alleged here. And it is not just in Colombia that such abusive practices have occurred. See the case of Adam Ciralsky, a CIA lawyer who was fired after failing an allegedly rigged polygraph "test." A subordinate of then CIA Counterespionage Group Chief Edward Curran wrote in an internal e-mail, "Subject [Ciralsky] is scheduled for a poly.... Once that's over, it looks like we'll be waving goodbye to our friend."
  

George W. Maschke
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WikiLeaks and Polygraph Policy

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