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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread (Read 130192 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Drew Richardson
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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #60 - May 6th, 2015 at 2:34pm
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Doug,

One of the central themes of the indictment charging you is that you encouraged applicants to lie regarding various issues.  Because deception or encouraging others to deceive is a central issue here, I thought I would dredge up some old writing (a 2001 blog post of mine) describing examiner deception in lie detection and then comment on same.  Please take a minute to read/review the following quote...

Drew Richardson wrote on Sep 7th, 2001 at 7:22pm:
Examiner:

You say in part:

“…Yes, an examiner lies during the conduct of an interview.  Every investigator I have ever known or heard of, from law enforcement to insurance to private lies during the interview process.  The United States Supreme Court sanctioned this type of activity decades ago.  This is an appropriate and accepted aspect of law enforcement.  Its not like its any secret, I fail to understand why this is such a significant issue here…”

     You are to be congratulated for your candor and thanked for furthering these on-going discussions.  For the present, without much elaboration (I plan to start a new thread regarding polygraph “examiner” deception), I would like to simply characterize that which you describe as “…examiner lies during the conduct of an interview…” and list certain of those deceptions.  Deceptions for the average examiner would include (but not necessarily be limited to) intentional oversimplification, confuscation, misrepresentation, misstatement, exaggeration, and known false statement.  Amongst the areas and activities that such deceptions will occur within a given polygraph exam and on a continual basis are the following:

(1)      A discussion of the autonomic nervous system, its anatomy and physiology, its role in the conduct of a polygraph examination, and the examiner’s background as it supports his pontifications regarding said subjects.  In general, an examiner has no or little educational background that would qualify him to lead such a discussion and his discussion contains the likely error that gross oversimplification often leads to. 

(2)      The discussion, conduct of, and post-test explanations of the “stim” test, more recently referred to as an “acquaintance” test. 

 
(3)      Examiner representations about the function of irrelevant questions in a control question test (CQT) polygraph exam.

(4)      Examiner representations about the function of control questions and their relationship to relevant questions in a CQT exam. 

 
(5)      Examiner representations about any recognized validity of the CQT (or other exam formats) in a screening application and about what conclusions can reasonably be drawn from the exam at hand, i.e. the one principally of concern to the examinee.

(6)      A host of misrepresentations that are made as “themes” and spun to examinees during a post-test interrogation.


(7)      The notion that polygraphy merits consideration as a scientific discipline, forensic psychophysiology or other…

This listing is not offered as complete (nor in any way are the surrounding thoughts fully developed) but merely as a starting point for the following commentary and recommendation.   You have stated that court opinions have been written which sanction the use of deception on the part of law enforcement officers.  Agreed.  I would suggest for your consideration the following points:

(1)      The deceptions cited in such decisions are generally isolated to specific actions/conversations occurring within specific investigations, not pandemic and not necessary to the day-to-day general and routine practices of law enforcement officers.

(2)      The decisions you might cite clearly refer to law enforcement officers.  On what basis would you extend this “license to lie” to civilian polygraph examiners conducting polygraph exams related to purely administrative, commercial, or domestic subjects or even to polygraphers hired by the accused in a criminal matter?

For a number of years I have called for the abolition of polygraph screening.  I have done so for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is what I believe to be the large scale victimization of people, many of whom have presented their relevant testimony on this web site and message board.  I am also offended by any negative impact that pseudoscience has on legitimate science and in particular on meaningful and legitimate forensic science as practiced in the crime laboratory.  

Although I hope my expanded ability to opine as a recently retired employee of the FBI will augment the voices of those already carrying the torch and lead to the aforementioned abolition, let me begin by suggesting an intermediate step.  Although I do not believe for a minute that all of the deception, lack of due process, etc. that accompanies  polygraph screening is justified (even when practiced by law enforcement and/or intelligence officers), for the sake of immediate conversation, let’s assume that it is.  If in fact it is proper practice and the realm of the law enforcement officer, then it resides within the realm of an advocate, i.e., those who would investigate and prosecute crime.  As such it is clearly not a role for a neutral party and in the realm of the amicus curiae expert of the forensic science community.  Aside from clearly falling within the role of an adversary and not a neutral forensic expert, I would further maintain, that in the numerous disciplines and sub-disciplines now recognized as being a part of forensic science (my background has largely revolved around the practices of forensic chemistry and toxicology), there is no accepted role for deception in any of these disciplines.  Far from being accepted, any such deception would likely be (and has been) the subject of administrative or criminal inquiry.  

Let me summarize what I have just said…the deceptions such as are used in polygraphy, if they are to be accepted, belong in the realm of advocates, like police interrogators and prosecutors and not with parties that are supposed to be neutral, like forensic laboratories.  Before we examine further whether polygraph screening merits continuation in any setting based on the complexities of validity, utility, and deterrence, let’s begin by removing it from that setting where it clearly has no role—the forensic crime laboratory and related professional scientific bodies…  Although there is a clear role for scientific inquiry into polygraph practices, there is no basis for polygraphy being a part of the forensic family or the forensic crime laboratory. 


Clearly, as you are aware, there is much deception in the routine practice of lie detection, and as I have discussed, although there is some precedent for legally accepted limited deception on the part of law enforcement in dealing with criminal defendants, I believe the plethora of lies in each and every lie detection exam is unprecedented and unwarranted.

But more specifically as it applies to your situation,  one of the aforementioned lies relates to the nature of control/comparison questions.  These are misrepresented as relevant questions and the examiner further encourages the examinee to either minimize the nature (lie) regarding what he (the examinee) has been misled to believe is relevant material or at a minimum to be concerned that he/she is doing so.

I would argue that this last type of lie detection deception concerning control questions parallels that which you are accused of, that it occurs with each and every probable lie control question test administered, and that you very broadly need to introduce polygraph practice in order to reveal these parallels and adequately defend yourself...   

In fact, I believe that instructions given to examiner trainees as contained in the various handbooks and manuals linked to on this site are both germane and relevant to your defense.  If your attorneys are not yet aware of these materials, I would, at a minimum, discuss with them those portions which have to do with the "setting" of control questions.

I believe that your trial is a watershed moment, not only for you personally, but for first amendment rights in general, and for shining a very bright light on that practice which has been entrusted with the national security, the most important criminal matters of our time, and most significantly, the fates of thousands of individual polygraph examinees on an annual basis.  Accordingly, I hope that this trial will draw the media coverage that it deserves.

Good Luck...
  
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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #61 - May 6th, 2015 at 2:39pm
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Thank you Drew Richardson!!!
  

I have been fighting the thugs and charlatans in the polygraph industry for forty years.  I tell about my crusade against the insidious Orwellian polygraph industry in my book FALSE CONFESSIONS - THE TRUE STORY OF DOUG WILLIAMS' CRUSADE AGAINST THE ORWELLIAN POLYGRAPH INDUSTRY.  Please visit my website POLYGRAPH.COM and follow me on TWITTER @DougWilliams_PG


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Re: New Documents Filed in U.S. v. Doug Williams
Reply #62 - May 6th, 2015 at 5:56pm
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George W. Maschke wrote on May 5th, 2015 at 9:41am:
New documents were filed in U.S. v. Doug Williams yesterday:

  • United States' Proposed Jury Instructions (link fixed) dated 4 May 2015. Among other things, the prosecution wishes the judge to instruct the jury that "[a]n internal investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security into the possible commission of a federal offense" and "[a] pre-employment suitability determination and security background investigation conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection" qualify as official proceedings within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b) (Witness Tampering).
     
  • United States' Requested Voire Dire Questions dated 4 May 2015. The prosecution wishes to identify (and presumably eliminate) any potential jurors who have taken a polygraph "test" before, or who have a family member who has done so, or who have concerns about the use of polygraph examinations.
     
  • Trial Brief of United States dated 4 May 2015. Prosecution seeks to exclude any evidence or argument regarding the reliability of polygraph examinations, entrapment, or the defendant's prior good acts or lack of a criminal record.


From my standpoint -- both as a polygraph consultant and as a full member of the American Polygraph Association -- the second bullet point is particularly striking.

Clearly, it's an effort to gain some valuable insight relative to a prospective juror's potential bias.

I wonder how the prosecution (or the defense, for that matter) would view potential jurors who are devotees of that genre of daytime television shows that feature the "lie detector"...
  
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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #63 - May 11th, 2015 at 5:34pm
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Relabeling may give you the ability to talk about the Polygraph machine.

The "Unmentionable" machine.

"The unmentionable machine shows where the truth lies."

Where the truth lies.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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District Court Policy on Electronic Devices in Courtroom
Reply #64 - May 11th, 2015 at 6:20pm
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If you are attending Doug Williams' trial tomorrow, be aware that no electronic recording devices are allowed inside the federal court building, as confirmed to me today by one of the guards on duty at the public entrance. This includes computers, tablets, mobile phones, and digital cameras. The only exception is that if you have a cell phone, there is a place where you can check it in. If you appear with any other electronic devices, you'll have to secure them elsewhere before being allowed into the building.
  

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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #65 - May 11th, 2015 at 8:04pm
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this is typical for high profile stuff in fed court
  

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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #66 - May 12th, 2015 at 12:42pm
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I will be headed to the court building shortly. The trial is scheduled to begin at 9 AM CDT. I will be taking notes and will post updates when possible.
  

George W. Maschke
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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #67 - May 12th, 2015 at 1:38pm
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Might head up there some time this week. Just a wee bit up 35, and give me a good excuse to hit the Casinos.

Besides, curious to see how the Gov approaches this.
  

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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #68 - May 12th, 2015 at 11:11pm
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A quick update from today's proceedings:

1. Jury selection is complete. The jury is comprised of 7 men and 5 women, with one male and one female alternate juror. The only potential juror to have been polygraphed, a retired police officer, was dismissed.

2. In the afternoon, trial attorney Brian Kidd gave the government's 15-minute opening statement. Attorney Stephen Buzin gave the defense's 15-minute opening statement.

3. Government exhibits 1-300 and 302-304 were entered into evidence.

4. Special Agent Jeffrey Michael Bartlett of CBP Internal Affairs, Dallas, TX was called to the stand and examined by US trial attorney Heidi Boutros Gesch. On 25 Sep. 2012, he made an "exploratory call" to Doug Williams. This was played in court. SA Bartlett played no other, and no further, role in the investigation. Stephen Buzin cross-examined.

5. The next witness called was Special Agent Doug Robbins of CBP-IA. His testimony will continue tomorrow. I have more to report, but need to stop here to keep an appointment.
  

George W. Maschke
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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #69 - May 13th, 2015 at 4:27am
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A more detailed account of the first day of proceedings in U.S. v. Doug Williams is now on the blog here:

https://antipolygraph.org/blog/2015/05/12/u-s-v-doug-williams-day-1/

Although not reporting from the courtroom, see also Jessica Glenza's article on the case published today in the Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/12/polygraph-critic-trial-lie-buster...
  

George W. Maschke
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Doug Wiilams Pleads Guilty
Reply #70 - May 13th, 2015 at 10:37pm
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This afternoon at the federal court building in Oklahoma City, Doug Williams changed his plea from not guilty to guilty with respect to each of the five counts with which he has been charged. There was no plea agreement. Williams remains free on the pre-existing bond. The jury was dismissed and proceedings were adjourned until the sentencing date, which remains to be determined.
  

George W. Maschke
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Polygraph.com Offline
Reply #71 - May 14th, 2015 at 5:03am
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Following Doug Williams' guilty plea this afternoon, Polygraph.com appears to be offline, and his Twitter account, @PolygraphCom, appears to have been deleted.
  

George W. Maschke
I am generally available in the chat room from 3 AM to 3 PM Eastern time.
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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #72 - May 14th, 2015 at 6:22am
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Questions: 

So all the buildup about a 1st amendment defense went nowhere ???

That's two down (Dixon, now Williams), and Who Next ? George ? 

Can or Will these two legal precedents federally be used against applicants Dixon / Williams trained  ? 

Will the probable sentence for Williams equate to a life sentence given his reported age of 69, or will he be a suicide jockey while free on bond ????  Just Say'in ?

What Defense would George have recommended given his being on the radar should he be next  ?
  
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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #73 - May 14th, 2015 at 1:39pm
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Oh no!  Is Doug Williams going to JAIL?!  This is it, they are coming for us.  We have exposed the polygraph for the hoax it is, and the government can't ding people on it because more and more people are learning how it works thanks to us, so people are not making as many disqualifying confessions on their poly.  We've done too well, now our asses are on the line.  Soon the government will put hits out on our heads, have us killed in the name of silence on those exposing their polygraph secrets.   This is it. GEORGE MASCHKE, YOU ARE NEXT!!!
  Undecided
  
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Re: Doug Williams Polygraph Trial Discussion Thread
Reply #74 - May 14th, 2015 at 2:05pm
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Quote:
This is it. GEORGE MASCHKE, YOU ARE NEXT!!!

The government did nothing but apply sufficient pressure on one individual to make him give up. George has committed no crimes, this is why he has never been indicted. These convictions will definitely deter people from giving one on one countermeasure training, but will do little to stop others from learning on their own.
  
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