Hot Topic (More than 15 Replies) CIA Polygraph Thoughts (Read 18446 times)
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CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Apr 20th, 2014 at 4:55am
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I wrote these thoughts about the CIA polygraph after having gone through the process myself and had my clearance denied.

//I’ve been doing some research on the use of the polygraph in a certain agency of the federal government, and I have come to the firm moral conviction that it should be banned to protect the innocent. Some helpful open source readings that have lead me to this conclusion are:

The Gatekeeper: Memoirs of a CIA Polygraph Examiner
The Value of the Polygraph in CIA’s Personnel Security Program
What Federal Applicants Should Know about Polygraph Tests
US polygraphs way beyond tests, close to unlawful interrogation
Based upon these public resources, I have written down some principles for innocent people who might receive false positives and are hence interrogated.

Why the CIA’s Polygraph Program should be eliminated
1. Innocent people who are trustworthy, loyal, of good conduct and highly qualified can and do make false confessions. Why?

Innocent people can be placed under so much psychological pressure and stress, that they exaggerate the severity of their conduct or say something false and incriminating about themselves in order to satisfy their interrogators and be free to leave. (See: False Confessions)
Under the right conditions and with the heavy use of interrogation tactics and psychological manipulation, innocent people can begin to believe that they are guilty of conduct that they have actually not committed. (See: Internalized False Confessions)
2. It violates our Fourth Amendment Right to Privacy. If an applicant “fails” the polygraph he is given only two options: either he can walk out the door and lose the job offer, or he must submit himself to an excruciating session of interrogation where he must disclose his most personal and private conduct. The polygraph post-test amounts to psychological rape.

Principles to keep in mind
1. No one is rejected simply based upon not being successful with the polygraph exam.
Note: By “not being successful/failing” the polygraph, I only mean the polygraph detecting areas of concern to the polygrapher. Polygraphers give applicants, who do not show physiological reactions, the benefit of a doubt and give them a “pass.”

2. The polygraph is not able to detect lies, it only measures physiological reactions to specific questions. They have burden to prove that the rising of the physiological reactions correlates only with lying.

3. The CIA uses the polygraph to assist the adjudicator in making adjudicative decisions by obtaining confessions of personal conduct that they could not know simply based upon the SF-86 background check.

4. Keep in mind the top 3 principles, and do not trust the polygrapher. Their only objective is to elicit unfavorable information from you by means of psychological manipulation and deceit.

How to “pass” it
1. Do not say anything that the polygrapher and adjudicator could use against you to deny you your security clearance. Whatever you say can and will be used against you. Treat the polygraph interview as a job interview. (See:13 adjudicative guidelines.)//
  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #1 - Apr 20th, 2014 at 5:01pm
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ptrckhsu,  you are 100% correct!  You have summed up the consensus of the  antipolygraph community.  However to play Devil's Advocate here, the polygraph is good for one thing:  to get people to tell stuff that the polygraphers and investigators never would have found out in the first place.  You'd be surprised how many times people go into the polygraph exam blind and tell all their dirty business in fear of being found out.  Polygraphers love this info and probably jerk off to it while they hide behind those two-way mirrors and overt cameras.

I too failed my CIA polygraph based on false accusations years ago and had my clearance/SCI access denied by CIA.  Screwed my clearance and screwed my career big time.  I felt like I went from saint to felon in the blink of an eye.  Luckily I was able to bounce back...eventually... and get a TS/SCI from another agency from which I am now happily employed.

Does the CIA still do the polygraphs in the Dulles Discovery Bldg in Chantilly, VA?  Do they still do that stupid "numbers game" pre-test?  Do they still leave the room for several minutes halfway through the session, then come back and accuse you of lying?

This same dog and pony show has got to be getting old.  Sigh.

  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #2 - Apr 22nd, 2014 at 3:21am
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yes, they still conduct polygraphs at the Air and Space location in Chantilly, Va. I got my two polygraphs done there and "failed" both. They used psychological manipulation and interrogation techniques to get me to say things that just were not true about myself. The adjudicators did the same thing to me too. They are nothing but criminals who need to be exposed. My clearance was rejected a few months ago in October and right now I'm in first level response to SOR appeal. I'd really like to get a TS from another agency.
  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #3 - Apr 22nd, 2014 at 3:27am
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If I get a TS or a Secret Clearance from another agency, which does not need poly, will they be reading my SOR?
  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #4 - Apr 23rd, 2014 at 10:45am
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I'm not sure if they read your SOR, or even get your poly details.  The poly info tends to be kept private unless you made an egregious confession (like saying you killed someone and got away with it).  If you admitted to intentionally lying on any part of your application or SF-86, then you are really screwed.  Even when you FOIA your file the poly info will be redacted.  They don't even let you see your own charts during your poly exam!  For all you know the polygrapher may be playing Angry Birds on the computer while interrogating you and never actually looking at any charts.

In my case, I was rejected due to falsely being accuse of hiding information and using countermeasures, both which I denied.  I made no confessions, but I was a nervous wreck the whole time so they took advantage of it and tried to squeeze info from me.  Like Florida's Gun Law, I stood my ground.  Some jobs/agencies take sympathy on those who fail a polygraph, because they know it is junk.  I even explained this to my next background investigator, showed a copy of my SOR and my appeal letter for good ol' sake, we both laughed about it, and since the rest of my record was spotless I got cleared...eventually.  Don't expect to get in with any of the big 3-letter pro-poly intel agencies anytime soon though.

If you do appeal, expect it to take about 2 years.  And your appeal will be denied.  Don't even bother wasting money on a lawyer and trying to show up to argue your case, because your chances of winning are very slim, and the lawyer knows that but will still take your money.

Why exactly did you get rejected?  Did you make a confession?
  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #5 - Apr 23rd, 2014 at 11:38pm
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Thanks for the helpful information. My attorney, Alan Edmunds, already submitted a response to the SOR a few months ago. It cost us over $900. The things I confessed to were very severe, but they were exaggerated in their severity since I wanted to satisfy the polygraph so I could get the heck out of the room.

The position I applied for was a personnel security assistant, which actually leads into becoming an adjudicator. Well...I know that's not going to work out anymore. I'm trying to pursue a career in private investigations now.
  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #6 - Apr 24th, 2014 at 9:50am
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Good luck, let us know how your appeal goes.  Just be prepared to wait.

What exactly did you confess to, what did you tell the polygrapher?  Did they make you sign some confession sheet of paper?  This may help us better gauge whether or not you will still be able to get a clearance from another agency.
  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #7 - Apr 24th, 2014 at 9:33pm
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Thanks!

I did not sign any kind of confession paper. The question I failed on was "have you ever committed a major crime?" I did not confess to anything of that nature, but I did tell them some embarassing conduct I have committed, which they thought "If this applicant did this sort of action, then he must have committed this related crime." After an intensive interrogation from a polygrapher and the two adjudicators, I did not at all confess to any kind of crime, but the SOR made it sound like I did. I'd rather not talk about the exact details.

I was denied a TS/SCI Full Scope Polygraph clearance, do you know if I could possibly be granted an interim secret clearance from another agency as my appeal is pending? I was just contacted by Ideal Innovations for a possible personnel security assistant position Wink
  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #8 - Apr 24th, 2014 at 11:03pm
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I will say that you definitely won't get an interim clearance. Your record has to be spotless to get interim, and a failed poly that caused your SCI denial from the CIA is a blemish.  I'm speaking from experience.  I was unable to get interim clearance as well.  But you can still possibly get  your full clearance from another agency, it all depends on the agency and if the adjudicator thinks your polygraph confessions are reason to deny you or not.  While I appealed my CIA denial, other cleared jobs would not hire me because of that red flag, including a job that required just a Secret clearance.  However my current job understood my circumstance and TS/SCI cleared me.  When you are going through the process for your next cleared-job, do like I did and provide a copy of your SOR, your appeal letter, and explain exactly what happened.  Your situation is different than mine since you told them something embarrassing.  I didn't confess or tell them anything (except maybe the words "screw your polygraph", lol). 

Check out this post from last year:  https://antipolygraph.org/cgi-bin/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1381966257
The user KC1 admitted to trying to bring down the group Anonymous, but the polygraphers and adjudicator spun his confession into a web of bullspit and made it sound like he was a member of  the hacker group Anonymous.
  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #9 - Apr 24th, 2014 at 11:20pm
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man, this is unfortunate. Thanks a lot for the information. It's worth a shot though.
  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #10 - Apr 24th, 2014 at 11:27pm
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I'd like to give Defense Intelligence Agency's Intelligence Scholars Program a shot. I only need to go through counterintelligence poly which I didn't have issue with.
  
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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #11 - May 6th, 2014 at 4:20am
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ptrckhsu wrote on Apr 24th, 2014 at 9:33pm:
Thanks!

I did not sign any kind of confession paper. The question I failed on was "have you ever committed a major crime?" I did not confess to anything of that nature, but I did tell them some embarassing conduct I have committed, which they thought "If this applicant did this sort of action, then he must have committed this related crime." After an intensive interrogation from a polygrapher and the two adjudicators, I did not at all confess to any kind of crime, but the SOR made it sound like I did. I'd rather not talk about the exact details.

I was denied a TS/SCI Full Scope Polygraph clearance, do you know if I could possibly be granted an interim secret clearance from another agency as my appeal is pending? I was just contacted by Ideal Innovations for a possible personnel security assistant position Wink 



You can definitely forget about the CIA, but you may still have a chance with other agencies. Cool
  

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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #12 - May 6th, 2014 at 4:23am
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Quote:
I'm not sure if they read your SOR, or even get your poly details.  The poly info tends to be kept private unless you made an egregious confession (like saying you killed someone and got away with it).  If you admitted to intentionally lying on any part of your application or SF-86, then you are really screwed.  Even when you FOIA your file the poly info will be redacted.  They don't even let you see your own charts during your poly exam!  For all you know the polygrapher may be playing Angry Birds on the computer while interrogating you and never actually looking at any charts.

In my case, I was rejected due to falsely being accuse of hiding information and using countermeasures, both which I denied.  I made no confessions, but I was a nervous wreck the whole time so they took advantage of it and tried to squeeze info from me.  Like Florida's Gun Law, I stood my ground.  Some jobs/agencies take sympathy on those who fail a polygraph, because they know it is junk.  I even explained this to my next background investigator, showed a copy of my SOR and my appeal letter for good ol' sake, we both laughed about it, and since the rest of my record was spotless I got cleared...eventually.  Don't expect to get in with any of the big 3-letter pro-poly intel agencies anytime soon though.

If you do appeal, expect it to take about 2 years.  And your appeal will be denied.  Don't even bother wasting money on a lawyer and trying to show up to argue your case, because your chances of winning are very slim, and the lawyer knows that but will still take your money.

Why exactly did you get rejected?  Did you make a confession?

Yes, don't waste your time bothering with the CIA, no matter what the recruiters might tell you.

You may still have a chance for security clearance type employment at other federal agencies though. Smiley
  

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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #13 - May 6th, 2014 at 4:26am
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ptrckhsu wrote on Apr 20th, 2014 at 4:55am:
I wrote these thoughts about the CIA polygraph after having gone through the process myself and had my clearance denied.

//I’ve been doing some research on the use of the polygraph in a certain agency of the federal government, and I have come to the firm moral conviction that it should be banned to protect the innocent. Some helpful open source readings that have lead me to this conclusion are:

The Gatekeeper: Memoirs of a CIA Polygraph Examiner
The Value of the Polygraph in CIA’s Personnel Security Program
What Federal Applicants Should Know about Polygraph Tests
US polygraphs way beyond tests, close to unlawful interrogation
Based upon these public resources, I have written down some principles for innocent people who might receive false positives and are hence interrogated.

Why the CIA’s Polygraph Program should be eliminated
1. Innocent people who are trustworthy, loyal, of good conduct and highly qualified can and do make false confessions. Why?

Innocent people can be placed under so much psychological pressure and stress, that they exaggerate the severity of their conduct or say something false and incriminating about themselves in order to satisfy their interrogators and be free to leave. (See: False Confessions)
Under the right conditions and with the heavy use of interrogation tactics and psychological manipulation, innocent people can begin to believe that they are guilty of conduct that they have actually not committed. (See: Internalized False Confessions)
2. It violates our Fourth Amendment Right to Privacy. If an applicant “fails” the polygraph he is given only two options: either he can walk out the door and lose the job offer, or he must submit himself to an excruciating session of interrogation where he must disclose his most personal and private conduct. The polygraph post-test amounts to psychological rape.

Principles to keep in mind
1. No one is rejected simply based upon not being successful with the polygraph exam.
Note: By “not being successful/failing” the polygraph, I only mean the polygraph detecting areas of concern to the polygrapher. Polygraphers give applicants, who do not show physiological reactions, the benefit of a doubt and give them a “pass.”

2. The polygraph is not able to detect lies, it only measures physiological reactions to specific questions. They have burden to prove that the rising of the physiological reactions correlates only with lying.

3. The CIA uses the polygraph to assist the adjudicator in making adjudicative decisions by obtaining confessions of personal conduct that they could not know simply based upon the SF-86 background check.

4. Keep in mind the top 3 principles, and do not trust the polygrapher. Their only objective is to elicit unfavorable information from you by means of psychological manipulation and deceit.

How to “pass” it
1. Do not say anything that the polygrapher and adjudicator could use against you to deny you your security clearance. Whatever you say can and will be used against you. Treat the polygraph interview as a job interview. (See:13 adjudicative guidelines.)//


The decisive factor, I believe, is not so much the polygraph as the BI.  Just hope and pray that the investigators don't encounter assholes who will say negative things about you.

That is exactly what happened in my case. Angry
  

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Re: CIA Polygraph Thoughts
Reply #14 - May 6th, 2014 at 8:18pm
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the poly is decisive if your background is completely clean, but you just need to pass the poly.
  
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CIA Polygraph Thoughts

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