Normal Topic Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case (Read 9142 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case
Feb 21st, 2001 at 12:25am
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The recent arrest of veteran FBI counterintelligence agent Robert Philip Hanssen on charges of committing espionage for the Soviet Union and Russia may mark yet another failure of polygraph security screening.

While it was not made clear at today's (Tuesday, 20 Feb. 2001) press conference hosted by Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, and United States Attorney Helen Fahey whether Special Agent Hanssen was subjected to polygraph screening during the period over which he is accused of having committed espionage, the FBI has indeed used polygraphy to screen counterintelligence personnel during that period.

Former FBI Special Agent Mark Mallah, who worked in counterintelligence and was wrongly accused of being a spy based on a false positive polygraph outcome, opens his public statement about his experience:

Quote:
In January 1995, the FBI asked me and the other agents in the Foreign Counterintelligence division to take a polygraph test. It was to be a routine national security screening to ensure that no one was supplying information to foreign intelligence services.


Mr. Mallah's career in the FBI was ruined as a result of the false accusation. His entire statement may be read on-line at:

http://antipolygraph.org/statements/statement-002.shtml

Director Freeh announced during today's press conference that former FBI Director and Director of Central Intelligence William H. Webster will be leading a review of information and personnel security programs in the FBI. It would be appropriate for Mr. Webster and his staff to examine what role the Bureau's reliance on polygraphy may have played over the course of SA Hanssen's alleged decade and a half of betrayal.

If SA Hanssen was indeed subjected to polygraph security screening (and, presumably, "passed"), it seems likely that, through the magic of post hoc analysis, polygraphers in the FBI polygraph unit will succeed in finding signs of deception in the charts, even as they did when they peered into Aldrich Hazen Ames' polygraph charts. Mr. Webster would do well to be skeptical any such claims.

Our commentary on the role that the CIA's reliance on polygraph screening played in prolonging Ames' career as a double-agent may well have some relevance to the Hanssen case, too. (See pp. 11-16 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector)

It is to be hoped that the FBI will avoid repeating the polygraph jihad on which the CIA embarked in the aftermath of the Ames case: hundreds of innocent Agency employees were left unable to "pass" their polygraph "tests." (See p. 16 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector). It was also in a knee-jerk reaction to the Ames case that FBI Director Freeh mandated polygraph screening for all newly hired FBI agents. Roughly half the candidates who were already at the FBI Academy at the time Director Freeh made that decision reportedly failed their "tests." (Id., p. 17)

The 1997 Senate testimony and follow-up correspondence of the FBI's leading scientific expert on polygraphy, Dr. Drew C. Richardson, who testified that polygraph screening "is completely without any theoretical foundation and has absolutely no validity" and that "anyone can be taught to beat this type of polygraph exam in a few minutes" is also relevant, perhaps now more than ever:

http://antipolygraph.org/read.shtml#senate-judiciary-1997
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Jane Doe III
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Re: Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case
Reply #1 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 1:03am
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We can only pray that this may be the straw that breaks the camels back ! Maybe now the polygraph will be exposed to the world for what it really is;FARCE,NONSENSE and LUNACY !!!!!
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Re: Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case
Reply #2 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 1:10am
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The full transcript of today's press conference is available on the CNN website at:

http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/02/20/fbi.hanssen/

Director Free was specifically asked whether Hanssen had been polygraphed. He dodged the question:

QUESTION: Can you confirm that he did in fact take polygraph tests?

FREEH: I don't want to comment on that.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Re: Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case
Reply #3 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 1:22am
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Jane Doe III wrote:

Quote:
We can only pray that this may be the straw that breaks the camels back !


We can do more than pray. If the Hanssen case turns out (as I suspect it will) to be yet another catastrophic polygraph failure, AntiPolygraph.org will be bringing it directly (and publicly) to the attention of Mr. Webster's blue ribbon panel. Indeed, if this does turn out to be another polygraph failure, we can and should work together to hold those responsible for polygraph policy accountable.

Last modification: George Maschke - 02/20/01 at 17:22:04
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Jane Doe III
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Re: Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case
Reply #4 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 1:23am
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Keep up the good work George. Your diligence in proving the polygraph is nothing more than a machine that measures reactions, not truth or lies should finally come to it's fruition sooner or later. For all of the innocent victims, hopefully sooner than later.
P.S.- have you ever been a victim ?
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box False + (Guest)
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Re: Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case
Reply #5 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 3:13am
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Despite all the famous spy cases that have come to light, the decision makers that have the power to abolish the polygraph, are mostly elected officials. These elected officials are concerned mainly for their own personal continued success. This success is contingent upon public perception, NOT passing or understanding a polygraph. As long as this remains the case, these officials have little personal stake (incentive) to fight for the end of the polygraph.

Only when the those with the clout HAVE to take a polygraph and are subjected to the abuse the rest of us have undergone, will change come, not before.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box False + (Guest)
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Spies not brought to public attention
Reply #6 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 3:47am
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One has to wonder about how many American spies have actually been caught by our government that have received no public press coverage. I suspect that Ames and this newest one were publicly disclosed because the crimes were so grave and went on for so long the press finding out about them was inevitable.

But what about other spies who's careers weren't as distinguised who were caught. I'll bet those were also polygraphed and passed. And I'll also bet there are a great many such individuals that were never brought to the public's attention. Were they brought to the public's attention, the case against the polygraph would be even stronger. Dark forces are at work here!
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Gino J. Scalabrini (Guest)
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Re: Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case
Reply #7 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 11:51am
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Only when those with the clout HAVE to take a polygraph and are subjected to the abuse the rest of us have undergone, will change come, not before.


False +, although I understand what you are getting at, you must be careful when you make this suggestion. 

The argument of "abolish it or submit to one yourself" has a very serious flaw.  Namely, that fact that "passing" and "failing" polygraph "tests" can be manipulated at will by those conducting the "testing."  If elected representatives are ever polygraphed, it is overwhelmingly likely that the test would be "tuned" with lower standards for passing to ensure that not a single person fails.  Such is strongly suspected to be the case with the DOE polygraph program, where counterintelligence officials claim that not a single false positive resulted.

We do not want to be in the situation of listening to Congressmen who submit to rigged tests say "I told the truth and passed, so the rest of you should have no problems."
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Re: Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case
Reply #8 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 4:31pm
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Jane Doe III asked: Quote:
P.S.- have you ever been a victim?

Yes. If you'd like to know more, register on this bulletin board and I'll send you a private message.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Previous Espionage Cases and the Polygraph
Reply #9 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 4:50pm
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False+ wrote: Quote:
One has to wonder about how many American spies have actually been caught by our government that have received no public press coverage. I suspect that Ames and this newest one were publicly disclosed because the crimes were so grave and went on for so long the press finding out about them was inevitable.

But what about other spies who's careers weren't as distinguised who were caught. I'll bet those were also polygraphed and passed. And I'll also bet there are a great many such individuals that were never brought to the public's attention. Were they brought to the public's attention, the case against the polygraph would be even stronger. Dark forces are at work here!
By and large spies who are caught are prosecuted, and that cannot be kept a secret. There are many relatively minor espionage cases which have not received nearly as much attention as say, the Ames or Walker cases. This does not mean that such cases are not being publicly disclosed. See, for example, the document "Recent Espionage Cases 1975-1979" on the Defense Security Service website at:

http://www.dss.mil/training/espionage/

You'll find that the polygraph has not played a stellar role in the unmasking of spies.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Re: Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case
Reply #10 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 6:56pm
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The calls for a polygraph jihad have already begun! In an article dated 20 Feb. 2001, Carol Skorneck of the Associated Press writes:
Quote:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The arrest of a veteran FBI agent on charges of spying for Moscow shows the bureau must beef up security and regularly give lie-detector tests to all counterintelligence agents, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman said Tuesday.

The case of Robert Philip Hanssen, 56, could represent "a very, very, very serious case of espionage," Republican Sen. Richard Shelby said in a telephone interview from his home state of Alabama.

"I think it sends a message that the FBI is going to have to be more vigilant in dealing with its own agents that are assigned to the areas of counterintelligence," said Shelby, who said he was briefed about the case a week to 10 days ago. "I don't know offhand if the FBI agents are routinely polygraphed or not, but if they're dealing with counterintelligence, they ought to be."


And in an article in today's Washington Post, Walter Pincus and Vernon Loeb reveal that the FBI has had a plan to implement random polygraph screening of employees sitting on the shelf for three years. Retired FBI counterintelligence agent Edward J. Curran, who led a polygraph jihad at CIA after the polygraph failed to identify Alrich H. Ames as a spy and promoted polygraph "testing" in the Department of Energy now wants the FBI to expand its polygraph program, too: Quote:
Nonetheless, Freeh acknowledged at his press conference that Webster's review is all but certain to find flaws in FBI procedures for ferreting out spies. One area likely to be scrutinized, according to present and former officials, is the bureau's unwillingness to give polygraph or "lie detector" tests to employees on a periodic basis.

While polygraphing of recruits began in 1993, the FBI -- unlike the CIA and National Security Agency -- has no agency-wide program for ongoing testing of its officers.

One former top FBI counterintelligence official said the bureau has shied away from polygraphing agents because, he said, "We consider it an inexact science." Now, he added, "They will have to look at it again."

Edward J. Curran, who as a former top FBI counterintelligence expert went to the CIA to tighten security after the Ames case, was sharply critical yesterday of the bureau's policy. "There has been a program for regular polygraphing of FBI agents waiting to be approved for three years," he said.
  
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Elected officials should be ashamed
Reply #11 - Feb 21st, 2001 at 10:29pm
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As George's post reflects, elected officials are out now to make themselves look good. They've hinted at analyzing the counter-intelligence security situation as a whole, but evidently, all they will do is cry "more lie detector tests".

It's a quick and easy statement to make on their part, and they're hoping to gain recognition for making it in an effort to get re-elected. These people don't know the first thing about polygraphs. But they are pushing for it out of their own self interest and at the cost of national security. It's nothing short of scandalous and irretrievably shameful.

If we're at point now where yet another spy scandal of gargantuan proportions has erupted, and the legislators still have a knee-jerk reaction of ordering more polygraphs (instead of questioning their efficacy since all the spies were polygraphed), I'm left to wonder if legislators will ever comprehend the polygraph sham. It's unfortunately looking as though it's well beyond them.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Confirmation of Polygraph Failure?
Reply #12 - Feb 23rd, 2001 at 1:18am
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In an article entitled "Case raises questions about FBI's internal security" in today's (21 February 2001) USA Today, Toni Locy provides evidence that the Hanssen case represents yet another polygraph failure. Citing an anonymous "law enforcement source familiar with the investigation," Locy writes:
Quote:
... the FBI has been lax about administering periodic, random polygraph tests of employees handling highly classified material, the source says. Hanssen was not administered such a test for the past several years, according to the source.


This last sentence suggests that Hanssen was indeed administered a polygraph "test" after October 1985, when he allegedly began his betrayal. Locy's article may be read in its entirety at:

http://www.usatoday.com:80/usatonline/20010221/3083032s.htm

NOTE: reports in today's (Thursday, 22 January 2001) Washington Post, Washington Times, and New York Times all indicate that Hanssen was not subjected to polygraph screening. See the AntiPolygraph.org news page for excerpts from and links to recent articles about polygraphs and the Hanssen investigation.

Last modification: George Maschke - 02/22/01 at 17:18:04
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Jane Doe III
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Re: Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case
Reply #13 - Feb 22nd, 2001 at 12:44am
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Now that the polygraph issue is coming to national media attention we need to expose this machine for what it really is. The majority of the public are mis-informed about the validity of these tests.They actually believe that it can tell if someone is lying and that it can not be manipulated.Hopefully they don't all jump on the band wagon and declare "MORE POLYGRAPHS"! It's too easy for people to believe in this machine until they've actually been hooked up to it and run through the gutter.We need the most informed anti-polygraph representatives among us to step up to the national media and make our issue public. Now is your chance, don't pass it up.
  
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Polygraphy and the Hanssen Case

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