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31 August 2001 DoDPI General Question Test Documentation "Most Likely Has Been Discarded." In response to to's Freedom of Information Act request dated 10 June 2001 for all Department of Defense Polygraph Institute (DoDPI) materials describing the General Question Technique (GQT), whether on paper, videotape, computer media, or in any other format, the Defense Security Service (DSS) claims that DoDPI has probably discarded any information about this polygraph technique (a remarkable action for an ostensible "research" institute). The following is an excerpt from DSS's response dated 14 August 2001:

Please understand that the material you are seeking is no longer utilized by DODPI and has not been a part of their instruction for four years. Therefore, it most likely has been discarded. Certainly a copy might conceivably exist, but if the DODPI staff can't reasonably ascertain its location, DSS/DODPI is not going to conduct a wide-ranging, "unreasonably burdensome" search for it.

For further reading on the GQT, see the message board thread, DoDPI General Question "Test."

30 August 2001 "Missing Woman's Husband Misses Polygraph Test." Los Angeles radio station KFWB and the Associated Press report. Excerpt:

(KFWB/AP) 8.30.01, 5:10p -- Homicide investigators using body-sniffing dogs planned to search an oil field Friday for clues to the disappearance of the daughter of a former state senator. The area to be combed in Signal Hill is near the garage where a sport utility vehicle belonging to Jana Carpenter-Koklich was found earlier this week.

Her husband, Bruce Koklich, failed to show up Thursday for a scheduled lie-detector test, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"He wanted the questions to the test (ahead of time)," said Deputy David Cervantes. "It's not our policy to provide them."

It was unclear if the Lakewood man would reschedule the examination.

His mother-in-law said Koklich was leary of how the polygraph test would be administered.

"He's been given a lot of advice by a lot of friends, some of them... in the law field and even in law enforcement, and has heard all kinds of horror stories about how they use tricky questions," Janet Carpenter said.

Koklich has not been named as a suspect in the disappearance but also has not been ruled out, authorities said. He has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to his wife's return. Former Sen. Paul Carpenter says he does not consider his son-in-law a suspect.

Anyone requested to submit to a polygraph interrogation in connection with a crime -- whether innocent or guilty -- would be well-advised to refuse. "Passing" this pseudoscientfic "test" will not clear one of suspicion, while "failing" it is highly prejudicial.

30 August 2001 "Senator's daughter still missing; husband fails to show up for polygraph." NBC4.TV reports. Excerpt:

LOS ANGELES, August 30 - The husband of the missing daughter of former state Sen. Paul Carpenter failed to show up Thursday for a scheduled polygraph examination, a sheriff's deputy said.

Bruce Koklich of Lakewood was supposed to take the examination at 9 a.m at the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Scientific Service Bureau at 2020 W. Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles, said Deputy David Cervantes.

"He wanted the questions to the test yesterday. It's not our policy to provide them," Cervantes said.

The investigation into the disappearance of Jana Carpenter-Koklich will continue, he said, adding that her husband -- who was at his real estate office Thursday morning and not commenting -- has not been ruled out as a suspect.

28 August 2001 James Bamford Suggests Doing Away with the Polygraph. In a New York Times op-ed piece titled, "Guard the Secrets, Then Catch the Spies," author James Bamford argues that intelligence agencies should implement some of the security practices used in private industry, such as magnetizing the most sensitive manuals and reports and placing detectors at building exits, random searches, and tighter controls on copy machines. Bamford also suggests that the polygraph might be abandoned:

By tightening up on unauthorized removal of information, it may be possible to do away with antiquated, less reliable, and odious forms of security. This includes the polygraph, which gets it wrong -- and may destroy careers -- about 10 percent of the time. The savings from abandoning such methods could help finance research into document control.

Bamford is the author of Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency from the Cold War Through the Dawn of a New Century (2001) and The Puzzle Palace: A Report on America's Most Secret Agency (1983).

24 August 2001 Condit on Polygraphs -- Remarks to Merced Sun-Star. Subsequent to his interview with Connie Chung of ABC News, Rep. Gary Condit of Ceres, CA also gave an interview to the editors of the Merced Sun-Star. During this interview, Rep. Condit again discussed his polygraph examination by retired FBI polygrapher Barry Colvert. The following is an excerpt from the interview transcript:

Condit: ...I did a polygraph test – got criticized for that. Found the best polygraph operator in the country, the guy who trains the FBI agents. FBI will tell you he's one of the best. I didn't know the guy, but I didn't know the guy, I walked into the room and strapped on the lie detector. I'm telling you if you've ever done that it's a pretty spooky feeling as well because even though you know you haven't done anything, you don't know how the machine works – don't know this guy and you don't know what the outcome is going to be, so the third part of that that I want to underscore that I think I have been cooperative, I have not been silent....


Sun-Star: Why have you not consented to a police polygraph examination?

Condit: Well, I'm you know, I'm kind of new to this polygraph world but when, you know when you've thought about doing everything we could do to be helpful to the police department, we went out and found the best guy in the country, the guy who trains the FBI and he's like his credentials are unchallengeable and we got him, you know, and we thought that, I actually thought that would be acceptable. I'm a little bit disappointed that the police chief jumped so quick before he even had a chance to look at the results of the polygraph, I think it was just territorial, you know maybe we mishandled it in that maybe we should have advised him first but we took the polygraph test. I believe that the FBI people working on this who know this gentleman probably have a different view than the police chief. I think the police chief probably has a different view today than he did.

Sun-Star: Were there any questions that were off-limits? Were there any ground rules to the polygraph test?

Condit: I don't know if you've ever been around that or taken it but I had no off-ground rules – I had no limitations, but they have a process by which they can only ask so many questions and then the return on the information gets weaker and they have to frame it. They do these things like they got to find the thing that gets to you and that was interesting how, after I'd gone through it, he found out how the things he did to get to me to rise your blood level or whatever it is, but there is a system -- there is a process to do this I do not understand it – I can only say to you that it was scary. You walk into a room in a house you don't know, you don't know this guy, you know he's a 30-year FBI agent, you know he doesn't like bad guys. He may think you're a bad guy and he straps you off and begins to ask you questions. You know you didn't do anything but you don't know what the machine's going to say. But that's, we just thought we were doing the right thing.

Sun-Star: O.K.

Condit: And still think we're doing the right thing and in the final analysis we believe that the FBI and people will see that this is a legitimate test.

Sun-Star: And you didn't go with the police polygraph, because?

Condit: Well, it was discussed that maybe we should do that so we just went out and did it, just went out and found the best guy in town.

Sun-Star: Did the D.C. police still want a polygraph of their own? As I recall there was some questions that weren't made public that were asked of your attorneys.

Condit: I think we made all the questions public to the police department.

Sun-Star: They've got all the questions?

Condit: Yeah, they've got all the questions. Now I'm not sure, they have sort of I mean I think they've sort of backed off on it. I mean once they've got the lie detector test they've got it explained to them by their own polygraph people, I think there's a little less interest in pushing that right now.

Sun-Star: So they're satisfied that on that?

Condit: As soon as I say they're satisfied Chief Ramsey will say something different. But it seems to me it's calmed them down once they've actually got the credentials of this guy and they can really figure out what they, what it says.

To discuss Rep. Condit's remarks, see the message board thread, "Gary Condit on Polygraph Testing."

23 August 2001 Woman Deemed to Have Violated Plea Agreement Based on Polygraph "Test." In an article titled "Woman Sentenced for Setting Forest Fire," and published in the Casper, Wyoming Star Tribune, Associated Press writer Joe Kafka reports on the case of a woman accused of violating a plea agreement based on her having "failed" a polygraph "test." Excerpt:

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The woman who started the largest forest fire in the recorded history of the Black Hills was sentenced in state court on Wednesday to 25 years in prison after the prosecutor said she lied during polygraph questions about an earlier fire that destroyed 15 homes.

Janice Stevenson, 47, of Newcastle, Wyo., had pleaded guilty May 8 in federal court to destruction of U.S. government property during last year's Jasper Fire, and she was sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison.

She pleaded guilty May 25 in state court to second-degree arson for the destruction of a summer home lost in the blaze. In a plea agreement, Stevenson promised to tell the truth about other suspicious fires that took place before 1993.


But Paul Bachand, assistant attorney general, said Wednesday he could no longer honor the agreement because she lied during questioning about the 1988 Westbury Trails Fire on the western outskirts of Rapid City. He instead asked that Stevenson's state sentence be served after the federal prison term.

Taking somewhat of a middle ground, Circuit Judge Merton Tice ordered that Stevenson's state sentence run at the same time as the federal sentence but that she serve the maximum 25 years in state prison. Although that is 15 years longer than the federal sentence, roughly half the extra time will be lopped off under the present state parole system.


Stevenson, who was brought into the courtroom Wednesday in jail garb with her hands fastened to a chain around her waist, said she dropped the match just to see the fire burn.

"I don't really know why I did it," she told the judge. "I am very sorry."

She also admitted setting three earlier fires near Osage and Newcastle, Wyo., - burning a barn, a pasture and a lodge. Stevenson said she had been drinking at the time she set all the fires, including the Jasper blaze.

Trevor Jones, a special agent for the state Division of Criminal Investigation, said Stevenson denied during lie detector testing that she set the Westbury Trails Fire, but the machine indicated she was lying.

"She failed the question involving the Westbury Trails Fire," Jones insisted.

"Was it a close call?" Bachand asked. "No," Jones replied.

The assistant attorney general said Stevenson is dangerous and should be locked up for a long time.

"She's a fire bug. She likes to start fires," Bachand said. "The longer she stays in prison, the safer society is."

Stevenson's attorney, Randal Connelly, accused the state of violating the plea agreement. His client did not set the Westbury Trails Fire, and he advised her to deny it on the polygraph test, Connelly said.

The investigative report on the fire indicated that a Sturgis woman, who has since died, was the prime suspect, the defense attorney said.

Connelly said Stevenson was sexually abused from an early age and was impregnated at age 8 by her father. She has an extensive history of mental problems, and such people fare poorly on lie-detector tests, Connelly said. He said she also had failed an earlier polygraph exam and had attempted suicide more than 30 times.

Jones agreed that people with mental problems are not good subjects for polygraph examinations because their answers are muddled and not easily judged to be truthful or false. However, he insisted that Stevenson clearly lied when asked if she set the Westbury Trails Fire, which forced hundreds of people to flee from their homes.

South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Trevor Jones cannot know that Janice Stevenson "clearly lied" when she denied setting the Westbury Trails Fire. As Prof. David T. Lykken notes at p. 66 of A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector (2nd ed., Plenum Trade, 1998):

A polygraph examiner who asserts that a respondent "showed deception" or "gave a deceptive response" on a particular question is making either a misstatement or a false statement. He may be entitled to say, based on the charts, that the respondent made a larger response to one question than to another, and the examiner may proceed to draw some inference based on that difference. But the myth of the specific lie response should be laid at last, permanently, to rest.

Pseudoscientific polygraph "tests" should not be made the basis for determining whether a person has complied with a plea agreement.

23 August 2001 Gary Condit on Polygraph "Testing." Connie Chung of ABC News PrimeTime Thursday asked Rep. Gary Condit about polygraph "testing" in the congressman's first public interview since the disappearance of Chandra Levy. The following is an excerpt from the 3rd part of the 3-part transcript:

CHUNG   Um, why won't you take a polygraph test administered by the police? And why won't you cooperate with Chandra Levy's parents (sic) investigators?

CONDIT   Well, let me say that, that uh … you know, this is sort of new to me. But when the polygraph issue came up …

CHUNG   What is sort of new to you?

CONDIT   This polygraph issue, in that uh … I'm not familiar with the polygraph people. But we went out to find the best.

CHUNG   I understand.

CONDIT   (Overlap) The best in the country.

CHUNG   (Overlap) But why won't you take one … from the police?

CONDIT   (Overlap) We found the best in the country that … he trains the FBI agents who give the polygraph tests. And so we took the test. We passed the test. And his credibility is unchallenged by people in the industry. And I'm, I'm confused by the police chief's comment immediately after we take the polygraph test. He did not read the polygraph test. Uh, I think you'll find that people in the FBI now have seen the polygraph test, they can read the polygraph test, and it makes total sense to them. So we basically thought we were being helpful, just found the best guy we could find. And that's what we did. And I don't know if …

CHUNG   (Overlap) Why, why won't you cooperate with uh, the Levy family investigators? And why won't you take … if you, if you are guilty of no criminal wrongdoing, if you're not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, why don't you take a polygraph test given by the police, and cooperate with Chandra Levy's …

CONDIT   (Overlap) But we've taken a polygraph test. And it, and it proves that I'm innocent. And it's by, it's by a … a guy who's one of the highest-regarded gentlemen in that field in the country.

For discussion of Rep. Condit's remarks, see the message board thread, "Gary Condit on Polygraph Testing."

23 August 2001 "FBI Agent Didn't Target Condit." Washington Times staff writer Jerry Seper corrects the misleading spin he put on certain information in his 21 August 2001 article, FBI agents urge more scrutiny for Condit." Excerpt:

An FBI agent who asked the congressional intelligence panels why its members were not subject to security checks in their receipt of classified information said yesterday that his concerns were not directed specifically at Rep. Gary A. Condit, a committee member.

Agent Chris Kerr said letters he sent to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence focused on wide-ranging national security concerns and were intended to ensure that "those with the broadest access to the most sensitive information be subjected to the greatest scrutiny."

"It would be improper and unprofessional for an FBI agent to comment on a pending matter, and I did not do so in my letters," said Mr. Kerr, a veteran agent who serves as the Tampa representative of the FBI Agents Association. "There never was any intent to advise Congress on what it should do concerning its members."

The letters never mention Mr. Condit by name.

21 August 2001 Polygraphs for Congress? In an article entitled FBI agents urge more scrutiny for Condit," Washington Times staff writer Jerry Seper reports that members of the FBI Agents Association have pointed out to the Senate and House intelligence committees the hypocrisy of requiring FBI employees to submit to polygraph interrogations while Congress exempts itself from this requirement. Excerpt:

FBI agents questioned yesterday why Rep. Gary A. Condit, who has acknowledged having an affair with a Washington intern who has been missing since early May, continues to receive highly classified intelligence data as a member of a key House committee.

The agents, in letters to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, asked whether the California Democrat had become a national security risk.

"The national security is indeed paramount when we consider necessary measures to protect our intelligence secrets," the agents said in the letters. "A careful balance must be engineered. However it is only logical to insist that those with the broadest access to the most sensitive information be subjected to the greatest scrutiny."


Members of Congress chosen by party leaders for the House and Senate intelligence committees are exempt from the usual polygraphs and intrusive questions wielded by executive branch investigators.

The letters were forwarded to Congress by members of the FBI Agents Association, which has been critical of efforts to force widespread polygraph screening of FBI employees. Many rank-and-file agents believe that widespread polygraph testing carries a substantial risk of what they have described as "irreparable harm" to innocent employees.

Calls for increased polygraph testing came from members of Congress and elsewhere after the arrest of FBI Agent Robert P. Hanssen as a Russian spy. The FBI has since ordered the tests for agents and bureau executives who have access to confidential intelligence information.

The agents, in the letters, said Senate and House intelligence committee members and their staffs have "substantially greater access to extremely sensitive, classified intelligence information which contrasts strikingly with all but the access of the top echelon of FBI executives."

"Most FBI special agents have little or no routine access to classified information," the agents noted. "Many have greatly restricted, compartmentalized exposure to specific intelligence programs or operations. All have undergone thorough security background investigations, up-dated at 5-year intervals."

The agents said the security background checks for FBI agents contrast with Senate and House procedures and suggested that the intelligence committee members and their staffs be required to undergo thorough background investigations and periodic polygraphs as a condition of service.

"What are the possible objections to such procedures given the tremendous amount and sensitivity of the information to which you and your staff have access?" the agents asked.

20 August 2001 "Polygraph Shows Tyson Truthful." Norm Frauenheim reports for the Arizona Republic. Excerpt:

Mike Tyson's training camp in Phoenix has included a lot of punching bags and one polygraph test.

In his fight against rape allegations, Tyson scored a victory on a polygraph conducted nearly two weeks ago in Phoenix, according to transcripts of an investigation that was concluded Friday by the San Bernardino (Calif.) County Attorney's Office.

It's hard to say how the polygraph results, which are inadmissible in court, influenced the decision not to charge Tyson. But the results could have only helped.

In effect, they support his assertion that he is innocent of a crime that had been alleged to have happened July 16 in Big Bear, a mountain community about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.

At the Phoenix office of polygraph specialist Tom Ezell, Tyson answered four key questions Aug. 8.

Three asked whether the alleged victim was forced into sex, whether she was harmed and whether she was restrained. Tyson answered no to each. In the fourth question, he was asked whether the sex was consensual. Yes, he said.

On the polygraph chart, Tyson scored +24. According to a scale devised at the University of Utah, he needed a +6 to be truthful. A -6 would have judged him a liar.

2 August 2001 "Senators propose limited polygraph policy." Roger Snodgrass of the Los Alamos Monitor reports. Excerpt:

New Mexico's senators teamed up on Monday to strike another blow to a controversial polygraph testing program in the nation's weapons laboratories.

Senate Bill 1261 [sic, correct 1276], cosponsored by Sen. Pete Domenici, R-NM, and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, would narrow the focus of Department of Energy polygraph tests to those who would most realistically pose an individual threat to American security secrets.

The statements of both senators on introducing the legislation were critical of the recent history of lie-detector escalation, which was imposed on the national laboratories in 1999 and expanded last year. The bill is intended to grant more flexibility to the Energy Secretary and the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), directly in charge of the labs, to put in place a less restrictive polygraph policy.


NNSA Administrator Gen. John Gordon also has acknowledged the connection between polygraph testing and low morale in the weapons laboratories' workforce.

"We have yet to convince the current workforce of the validity of the polygraph test as a screening tool," Gordon testified to a House Armed Services Committee Hearing in April.


LANL employees have voiced their concerns since the first polygraph crackdown was imposed. The "Ask the Director" feature on the lab's web page has produced four special editions answering questions about the polygraph policy.

In answer to one question, LANL Director John Browne wrote, "I have been very concerned about the significant increase in required polygraph testing among DOE contractors that was mandated by Congressional law last year."

"I have been consistent in arguing that screening polygraphs do not add much value to security, unless you believe that they serve as a deterrent to people contemplating espionage," he added, noting there are many examples to suggest that the deterrence value is low.

"Having stated this opinion," he said, "we are required by our contract to follow the laws of the land."

Browne's answers were in response to employees who, among other complaints, pointed out inconsistencies in LANL's official policies that define polygraph testing as voluntary, and yet treat a refusal to submit to a mandatory polygraph by leave without pay and termination with loss of severance pay.

1 August 2001 "New Bill Would Limit DOE Polygraphs." Steven Aftergood of the American Federation of Scientists' Secrecy in Government Project writes in today's edition of Secrecy News:


A bill introduced in the Senate yesterday by Sen. Pete Domenici and Sen. Jeff Bingaman would reduce the number of Department of Energy (DOE) employees and contractors who are subject to polygraph testing, thereby reversing congressional action taken last year.

"The effect of past legislation was to require polygraphs for very broad categories of workers in DOE and in our DOE weapons labs and plants," said Senator Domenici. "But the categories specified are really much too broad, some don't even refer to security-related issues."

Senator Domenici noted further that "Polygraphs are simply not viewed as scientifically credible by Laboratory staff."

Senator Bingaman echoed that observation: "I've heard directly from many laboratory employees who question the viability of polygraphs and who have raised legitimate questions about its accuracy, reliability, and usefulness."

"It has become clear that the [existing] provision has had a chilling effect on current and potential employees at the laboratories in a way that could risk the future health of the workforce at the laboratories," Senator Bingaman said.

The new bill would reduce the number of DOE employees and contractors subject to the polygraph, limiting testing to those who have access to "the most sensitive" nuclear weapons secrets.

Senator Bingaman stressed that the proposed legislation is an "interim" measure and that further changes to DOE polygraph policy would be expected after a National Academy of Sciences study is completed next year.

See the July 31 floor statements of Senators Domenici and Bingaman introducing their new bill (S. 1276) here:

1 August 2001 "N.M. senators seek to rein in polygraph testing by DOE." Maria Cranor reports for the Albuquerque Tribune. Excerpt:

U.S. Sens. Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman have introduced legislation to reform current Department of Energy polygraphing practices at the agency's national laboratories.

Domenici was a vocal opponent of Congress' decision to expand polygraph testing in the DOE's nuclear weapons labs last year. The expanded program, introduced to strengthen security at the labs, will require administering the tests to 5,000 or more DOE employees. In the aftermath of that decision, critics inside and outside the labs have increasingly questioned the scientific validity of the tests.

"Morale within the DOE nuclear laboratories and plants is declining, in part because of the implementation of the polygraph policy," Domenici, an Albuquerque Republican, said. "These tests are simply not viewed as scientifically credible by many lab employees."

The bill authorizes the DOE and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to develop an interim polygraph program which would remain in effect until the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) completes its analysis of the scientific validity of polygraphing. The NAS study, initiated last year at the request of the Clinton administration, is scheduled for completion in June 2002.

30 July 2001 Robert S. Mueller III on FBI Polygraph Policy. At the first day of his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, FBI Director designate Robert S. Mueller III voiced his support for continued polygraph screening of senior FBI officials:

Sen. Hatch: ...We understand that the FBI is now requiring polygraphs for managers handling national security matters. Are you willing to continue that uh, that approach?

Mueller: Yes.

Sen Hatch: And would you be willing to take a polygraph yourself if that, if that were the case?

Mueller: Yes. Indeed, I uh, it is my belief you don't -- this may be my training from the Marine Corps -- but you don't ask people to do that which you're unwilling to do yourself. I have already taken that polygraph.

Sen. Hatch: The only reason I ask that question is I thought you had, and I just think it's...

Mueller: [laughter]

Sen. Hatch: important. In did you do?

[general laughter]

Mueller: I'm sitting here; that's all I've got to say!

Sen. Hatch: I'm sorry, we just hope you had a good examiner, that's all....

To discuss Mr. Mueller's testimony, see the message board thread, Robert S. Mueller III on FBI Polygraph Policy.

28 July 2001 "FBI describes polygraph failure rate as 'surprisingly low.'" Lenny Savino of the Knight Ridder Washington bureau reports. Excerpt:

WASHINGTON - "Less than 25" top FBI officials and other personnel in sensitive positions failed to pass polygraph exams initiated in the wake of the Robert Hanssen spy case, according to senior bureau officials.

Failure to pass could mean either that the findings were inconclusive or that polygraph subjects "showed deception," officials told Knight Ridder Newspapers on Friday, speaking on condition that they not be named. They would not say how many of the polygraph exams indicated FBI personnel might be lying.

More than 500 FBI personnel took the tests, ordered in March by former FBI director Louis Freeh after criticism from Congress that most veteran agents had never taken a polygraph exam.

There's no way to tell what a normal failure rate would be for the FBI, but a senior official characterized the preliminary failure rate as "surprisingly low."

The questions asked dealt with "counterintelligence issues" such as unreported contacts with foreign nationals, and not with lifestyle issues such as unreported marijuana smoking.


Mueller is expected to endorse more reliance on polygraphs, required only in recent years of new recruits only.

Former FBI director William Webster, who is conducting a review of agency counterespionage procedures that allowed Hanssen to spy undetected, is also expected to recommend more polygraph exams.

The current round of tests focused on officials and support staff exposed to "extremely sensitive information or sources," according to Freeh's memorandum ordering the polygraphs, plus all personnel leaving for long term overseas assignments or returning from them.

"We realize it's probably a necessary step in security given what happened with Hanssen," said Nancy Savage, president of the FBI Agents Association, of increased use of polygraph exams at the bureau. She cautioned that they should not be "the sole indicator of trustworthiness."

That can happen, said Mark Mallah, a former FBI agent accused in 1995 of being an Israeli agent largely on the basis of a failed polygraph exam and cleared two years later.

"In the FBI's misguided zeal to corroborate polygraph charts and convict me," Mallah wrote Mueller and the Judiciary Committee last week, "they flouted due process, demonstrated an incompetence borne of arrogance, distorted my statements[,] and fabricated evidence."

For discussion of this article, see the message board thread, On the FBI Polygraph Failure Rate.

26 July 2001 "Officers in abuse case to take polygraph tests." Nashville Tennessean staff writer Kathy Carlson reports. Excerpt:

Two Metro police officers charged with violating department regulations by abusing or failing to report abuse of Hispanic residents will take polygraph tests Tuesday that will help Deputy Police Chief Deborah Faulkner decide the case.

The officers, Michael Mann and Jason Beddoe, were formally charged May 30 -- 19 months after the investigation into the allegations of abuse had begun. Their hearing on the charges began yesterday but was recessed until the tests are completed.

Mann and Beddoe have maintained their innocence throughout the investigation. One of their lawyers, Chris Lisle, has called the charges ''baseless.''

The polygraph questions will aim ''to see if the officers have been truthful about the things they've been charged with,'' said Phillip Davidson, co-counsel with Lisle.

Faulkner and lawyers for the officers agreed yesterday on an independent polygraph examiner to conduct the test away from police headquarters, police spokesman Don Aaron said. Faulkner will work with the examiner in developing the questions, he said.

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Assistant Chief Deborah Y. Faulkner, Uniformed Services Bureau, should decide the case based on the evidence presented, not on the divinations of polygraph chartgazers. You can help set her straight on polygraphy by calling her at (615) 862-7721 or sending a note to MNPD Chief Emmett H. Turner at

25 July 2001 "New Details on Condit's Polygraph." MSNBC reports. Excerpt:

July 25 -- A private polygraph administered to Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., asked 10 questions, four dealing with Chandra Levy and none with allegations by a flight attendant that the congressman tried to persuade her to sign a false affidavit, The Associated Press has learned.

THREE INDIVIDUALS who have seen the test results since they were turned over to police said the former FBI lie-detector test expert who administered it did not directly ask the congressman if he had an affair with the missing former federal intern.

The test did ask another question designed to get at the issue, according to the sources, who spoke only on condition of anonymity.

"Has Chandra Levy ever been to your residence in Washington?" the polygrapher asked, according to the sources. Condit answered "yes," and the polygrapher concluded he was truthful, the sources said.

Condit acknowledged an affair with Levy in his third interview with police, according to a police source. He took the lie-detector a few days later. Since Condit took the test, police have openly questioned its validity.

The expert who conducted the polygraph, former FBI agent Barry D. Colvert, concluded Condit was not deceptive on any of the 10 questions, the sources said. A separate computer calculation conducted after the test concluded the chances of his lying were less a hundredth of 1 percent.

Washington police have publicly suggested the private polygraph was inadequate because it was administered on behalf of Condit's lawyers. Police are pressing for a fourth interview with Condit and a second lie-detector test, this one conducted by authorities.

"Our point all along is that it can't be validated because none of our professionals were there," Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer said Wednesday. He declined to discuss the actual results, saying he had never seen the polygraph.

The sources said the FBI and police detectives interviewed Colvert for more than an hour late last week about why he chose the questions and his assessment of Condit's credibility.

Abbe Lowell, Condit's attorney, said earlier this month that Condit took the polygraph and answered "no" to three questions:

The question about visits to his apartment was the only other question on the test about Levy, the sources said. The other six questions, the sources said, involved more generic issues designed to provide the polygrapher with a baseline to determine Condit's credibility.

The polygrapher didn't ask any questions about California flight attendant Anne Marie Smith, who alleges she had an affair with Condit and later was asked by the congressman and his representatives to sign an affidavit denying a relationship, the sources said.

Condit has said he never asked anyone to lie.

24 July 2001 Oklahoma Police Applicant Files Polygraph-Related Suit. Martin Mull of the Edmond Sun reports in an article titled "Moore officer says she [sic] being truthful." Excerpt:

A Moore police officer said she does not understand how she could have failed a polygraph test about no prior drug use during an interview process in Edmond.

That was the reason Etta Maytubby said she was given for not being hired by the Edmond Police Department in 1999. However, as a former college basketball player, Maytubby said she had to submit to random drug tests and never failed one.

Maytubby filed a lawsuit July 16 against Edmond Police Chief Dennis Cochran alleging that the city of Edmond "has a municipal custom and practice of racial discrimination," according to court documents.

Maytubby, who is black, alleged in the suit that the police chief and other unknown officers who made up an interview committee to hire police officers, denied her employment because of her race and her female gender.


Maytubby said the main issue she recalls that police said prevented her from being hired was failing questioning about drug use on a polygraph test administered to applicants.

"I played four years of college basketball at (the University of Oklahoma) when we were part of the Big 8 (conference). We were required to have random drug testing when I played," Maytubby told The Sun this morning.

She said she underwent at least two random drug tests during her years at OU, and did not fail any drug testing.

"I grew up playing basketball and went on to play in college. College athletes are treated very well, so I never experienced any type of discrimination playing ball. So when this happened, it was very shocking to me," Maytubby said.

Maytubby said when she was notified she would not be hired because she failed the drug questioning on the polygraph, she called Cochran and volunteered to do whatever was necessary to show she did not use illegal drugs, including hair follicle testing that she said clearly proves whether a person has used illegal drugs in the past.

"But he said, 'No, I don't want to take the chance, just let it go,'" Maytubby said.


Maytubby, 28, spent one year playing professional basketball for the Richmond Rage of the American Basketball Association, before coming back to Oklahoma to pursue a career in law enforcement. She has been a patrol officer with the Moore Police Department for 18 months.

Polygraph "tests," which are subject to polygrapher manipulation of outcomes and which may be scored subjectively, provide a perfect cover for racial discrimination in hiring.

23 July 2001 "Police give polygraph tests to family members of slain couple." Waco Tribune-Herald staff writer Tommy Witherspoon reports. Excerpt:

Waco police have asked family members of Orville and Ruby Loving to take polygraph tests as the investigation into the deaths of the elderly couple continues.

While some polygraph tests have been administered, Waco police report that arrests in the May 12 slaying of the Lovings at their home at 3424 Forrester Lane are not imminent.

Waco police Sgt. J.R. Price declined to say who has taken the lie-detector tests. However, sources familiar with the investigation said that several family members of the slain couple have taken the tests, while one member reportedly has refused to take one.

"The polygraph tests are an investigative step," Price said. "We are at the stage now where we have to eliminate people whose names have been given us through our investigation. We have made available polygraphs to two or three people and they have consented to do that. But that is typical in an investigation like this, on a whodunnit."

Because polygraphic interrogation is not a valid diagnostic technique and is easily defeated through simple countermeasures that polygraphers cannot detect, suspects should never be eliminated on the basis of polygraph chart readings.

23 July 2001 "Lie detector tests take center stage: Polygraphs aren't perfect, but skilled examiners use interviews as a tool to find clues and confessions." Sacramento Bee staff writer Ralph Montaño reports. Excerpt:

Douglas Mansfield and Jeannie Overall know when you're lying.

Both have spent 20 years watching for the telltale signs: a jumpy pulse, a sweaty palm or a pause before a breath.

As polygraph examiners for the California Department of Justice, they spend most of their time asking questions about murder, kidnapping and child molestation. Combined, they average about 400 tests a year, traveling from one city to the next.

The recent disappearance of former intern Chandra Levy in Washington, D.C., and her connection with Rep. Gary Condit, D-Ceres, have increased focus on the polygraph field as the merits of lie-detector machines are debated.

The state attorney general's office has provided a polygraph exam service to law enforcement agencies across the state since the 1970s. Without the service, many of the state's small police departments couldn't afford such an exam.

Polygraphs aren't perfect, authorities say. But when combined with proper interview techniques, they can provide criminal investigators with key clues and confessions.

"You would be surprised how many people just confess ... during interviews," Mansfield said. "The interview is just as important as the test itself."

Douglas Mansfield and Jeannie Overall don't know when you're lying. They can only guess. The article goes on to note that the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department has adopted the cheaper competing pseudoscience of voice stress analysis.

21 July 2001 "F.B.I. Dismisses Condit Polygraph Results." New York Times correspondents James Risen and Raymond Bonner report. Excerpt:

WASHINGTON, July 20 -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation dismissed as useless today a privately administered polygraph examination taken by Representative Gary A. Condit in connection with the disappearance of Chandra Ann Levy.

In a statement, the F.B.I. said there was "no way to verify" the results of the test, which had been administered by an expert hired by Mr. Condit's lawyers and then turned over to the Metropolitan Police Department. The Washington police had asked the F.B.I. to analyze the results.

"It is the longstanding policy of the F.B.I. not to render official opinions of polygraph charts submitted by an outside entity because there is no way to verify the totality of the circumstances under which the examination was conducted," the bureau said. "In addition, to render such an opinion at this point in the Chandra Levy disappearance investigation would hamper any future testing that might be conducted by the F.B.I. for the D.C. Metropolitan Police."

The FBI's statement that it is its longstanding policy "not to render official opinions of polygraph charts submitted by an outside entity because there is no way to verify the totality of the circumstances under which the examination was conducted" is belied by the history of the Wen Ho Lee investigation. On 23 December 1998, Wolfgang Vinskey, employed by Department of Energy contractor Wackenhut (clearly an "outside entity"), administered a polygraph "test" to Dr. Lee. He passed "with flying colors." But when the FBI later wanted to search Wen Ho Lee's home, Special Agent Michael W. Lowe, at para. 11 of an affidavit in support of a search warrant filed on 9 April 1999 (Lowe, 1999), swore that:

...[f]ollowing the interview on December 23, 1998, DOE polygraphers administered a polygraph examination of LEE. The examiner's initial opinion was that LEE was not deceptive. However, subsequent quality control reviews of the results, by both DOE and by FBI Headquarters (HQ) resulted in an agreed finding that LEE was inconclusive, if not deceptive, when denying he ever committed espionage against the United States.

Clearly, the FBI does render official opinions of polygraph charts submitted by an outside entity...when it suits its purposes.

19 July 2001 "Polygraph Theism." Slate senior writer William Saletan comments on polygraphy. Excerpt:

Two weeks ago, besieged by speculation that he had killed former Washington intern Chandra Levy, Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., launched a strategic retreat. He granted the police a long interview, reportedly admitting to an affair with Levy. The cops emerged to say he had answered all their questions. Condit gave them a DNA sample and let them search his apartment. Then his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, delivered the coup de grâce: He announced that Condit had passed a private polygraph exam. The cops, the Levy family, and many commentators cried foul, but the speculative bubble around the congressman had burst. The old headlines about his role in Levy's disappearance faded, replaced by talk of serial killers, Web sites, and fresh searches for her body.

Step back for a minute and think about this: A man has attached himself to a machine, uttered the word "no" three times, and derailed an investigation that had become a national frenzy. No information or explanation was necessary. The search for truth used to be understood as a verbal process of questions, answers, and probing contradictions between statements and evidence. But the ascent of technology has nurtured confidence in a more mathematical approach. We think the polygraph can reveal the truth. And it can--but only as part of an enterprise older, larger, and subtler than itself. The verbal and social elements of investigation are just as influential inside the polygraph room as they are outside it. By focusing our attention and faith on the machine, we allow its users--police and suspects alike--to manipulate those elements to their advantage.

19 July 2001 Polygraph Dragnet in Nueces County, Texas. The Corpus Christi Caller Times reports in an article titled, "County clerk's office employees asked to take polygraph tests." This short article is reproduced in full below:

From staff reports

Employees at the Nueces County Clerk's office are being asked to submit to polygraph exams as investigators continue to probe the disappearance of $4,700, said County Clerk Ernest Briones.

The money, collected from court fees and fines, was found to be missing last month when office staff reconciled bank statements.

Sheriff Larry Olivarez said the investigation has been difficult because the money was missing for several days before his department was notified. "It's a difficult case because of the circumstances leading up to the disappearance of the money," he said.

The office has 25 employees but only employees in the collections and treasury sections of the office were asked to take the polygraph tests, Briones said.

"They do have a choice," Briones said. "I think the law is such that they can refuse to take it."

Nueces County Clerk Ernest M. Briones is giving employees a devil's choice between agreeing to have their honesty assessed based on a pseudoscientific trial by ordeal or refusing and appearing to have something to hide. You can help set him straight on polygraph testing by sending a note through his office's web-based feedback form:

or by e-mail to or by phone at (361) 888-0580 or by fax at (361) 888-0329.

19 July 2001 "Ramsey rejects Condit's truth test." Washington Times staff writers Jabeen Bhatti and John Drake report. Excerpt:

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey called a private lie-detector test given to Rep. Gary A. Condit worthless, saying the police department has finished examining the test and has turned it over to the FBI.

The District's top police official said yesterday that the test "doesn't mean anything" and expressed doubts on whether police will be able to determine the validity of the exam.

Because police researchers have little more than a graph that can't be associated with any specific question, there is no way of knowing if the question administered was "Are your shoes black?" or "Did you kill Chandra Levy?" he said.

Mr. Condit's attorney, Abbe Lowell, revealed last week that the California Democrat paid for and took a lie-detector test that he passed. But neither police nor the FBI were allowed to participate. Police officials have said they want the congressman to undergo a polygraph administered by the FBI, but they have no legal leverage to force him to submit to one.

"If they chose to do it this way, well then, they chose to do it this way," said department spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile. "The FBI is going over it now. But the test wasn't administered by law enforcement. It is worthless."

Billy Martin, the attorney for the Levy family, challenged Mr. Condit weeks ago to take the polygraph.

Mr. Condit's private test won't satisfy him or Miss Levy's parents, said their spokesman, Michael Frisby.

"Mr. Martin and the family are looking for him to come forward and satisfy what the police need to do, so that they can move on with their investigation," Mr. Frisby said. "Unfortunately, him going off and taking a private lie-detector test doesn't come close to satisfying that."

19 July 2001 "D.C. Police Reject Condit's Polygraph." Washington Post staff writers Allan Lengel and Petula Dvorak report. Excerpt:

D.C. police yesterday escalated their dispute with Rep. Gary A. Condit and his attorney, dismissing the results of a privately administered polygraph as having "no investigative value" and suggesting that they still may need to talk to the congressman about his relationship with missing intern Chandra Levy.

The FBI has reviewed the results of Condit's polygraph but was unable to match specific questions to the graphs that show the congressman's reaction, Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said in an interview. The results were presented in such a fashion that analysts had "no way of telling with certainty the results of each question," Ramsey said.

Condit's attorney, Abbe D. Lowell, surprised police last week when he announced that the Democrat from California had taken and passed a privately administered polygraph. Police questioned the validity of the test, saying its usefulness was compromised because, among other things, the examiner did not know all the facts in the case.

"He may have tried to sell it to us," Ramsey said of the polygraph, "but we're not buying it."

Neither Lowell nor Marina Ein, a publicist representing Condit, returned telephone calls yesterday. The polygraph was administered by former FBI agent Barry D. Colvert, who also did not return telephone calls yesterday.

Tension between D.C. police and Condit's camp has been mounting for several weeks, with both sides maneuvering for position in the high-profile inquiry. Lowell has repeatedly said that Condit has cooperated fully with investigators, but police have been increasingly vocal in challenging that assessment.

Ramsey said yesterday that police have not ruled out a fourth interview with Condit to clarify matters, including the timeline he provided to investigators on his whereabouts in the days before and after Levy's disappearance April 30. Ramsey said investigators are also interested in knowing whether Condit introduced Levy to anyone.

"We're not taking any cards off the table," Ramsey said. "We're certainly not saying it's all over and done with and let's move on. We can't say that with anybody right now."

Terrance W. Gainer, the executive assistant police chief, said investigators still would like Condit to take a lie detector test -- something he is not obligated to do. "We're forever the optimists," Gainer said yesterday.

18 July 2001 "FBI pores over lie-detector test." Michael Doyle of the Bee Washington Bureau reports in this article published in the Modesto Bee. Excerpt:

WASHINGTON -- FBI experts on Tuesday began examining Rep. Gary Condit's private lie-detector test, while police searched woods in the Chandra Levy disappearance, and Condit went about his business in the camera's glare.

Although skeptical of the test sprung on them by Condit's attorney, Washington police officials say the FBI's laboratory will give it a fair reading. Police gave the results to the lab on Tuesday after receiving them Monday.

"It has to be analyzed," Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "It really takes an expert in the field to make heads or tails of it, and it would be pitiful for me to try."

Condit's attorney, Abbe Lowell, has said that the privately administered polygraph shows that Condit was telling the truth when he said that he did not harm Levy, did not have anything to do with her disappearance and does not know where she can be found.

Lowell further asserted that the polygraph examiner concluded that Condit showed "a probability of deception of less than one-hundredth of 1 percent to the only questions that matter."

Charts from the test as well as a written report by private consultant Barry Colvert, a former FBI interrogator, were given to police. As they have since learning about the test last Friday, police officials reiterated Tuesday their continued interest in conducting their own test.

"It would be our preference, still, to have the congressman sit down and answer questions for us," Gainer said.

D.C. Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer's remark that "it would be pitiful for [him] to try" to make heads or tails of Rep. Gary Condit's polygraph chart applies equally to the FBI laboratory's polygraph chart gazers, too. Polygraph chart reading is no science. It is to be recalled that FBI polygraphers turned Wen Ho Lee's strong passing scores on a Department of Energy polygraph interrogation to "inconclusive, if not deceptive."

18 July 2001 "Lie Detector Nonsense." New York Press writer Alexander Cockburn comments on polygraphy in his column, "Wild Justice" (Vol. 14, No. 29). Excerpt:

I'm no fan of the man from Modesto. But it was troubling to see Gary Condit being hounded by the cable news shows into taking a polygraph test and then trashed for using his own polygrapher, a retired FBIman. Even J. Edgar Hoover knew that the polygraph wasn't any good for detecting deception. He dropped the test.

The polygraph was invented in 1915 by a Harvard man called William Moulton Marston, who claimed that his clunky little gizmo could detect lies by measuring blood pressure. Marston's main claim to fame derives not from his machine, but from a doodle he came up with: the cartoon character Wonder Woman.

In the past 85 years, the polygraph hasn't changed much from the Marston prototype. "The secret of the polygraph is that their machine is no more capable of telling the truth than were the priests of ancient Rome standing knee-deep in chicken parts," says Alan Zelicoff, a physician and senior scientist at the Center for National Security and Arms Control at the Sandia Labs in Albuquerque, NM. Zelicoff gave us this view in an article featured in the July-August edition of The Skeptical Inquirer.

17 July 2001 "The truth behind lie detectors." Pete Williams of NBC News reports. Excerpt:

July 17 -- Even though Rep. Gary Condit's lawyers have now turned over the results of their own lie detector test, Washington, D.C. police still want the congressman to take one of theirs. All of this has brought the science of lie detectors front and center. How do they work? How reliable are they? Can they be fooled?

IT'S AS elaborate as any interrogation can get -- tubes across the chest to measure breathing, electrodes on the fingers to monitor sweating, a cuff on the arm to chart blood pressue. But can a polygraph really indicate what's going on in someone's head and detect a lie? And is there a way to beat it?

Nearly every police department in the nation relies on polygraphs for questioning, and even skeptics conede that guilty suspects sometimes confess if they think the machine is infallible.

"Some people have called the lie detector a psychological rubber hose," says Professor William Saxe of Brandeis University.

But what if someone thinks the device isn't perfect. Can it be fooled?

"Dateline NBC" tried to test that question in a recent lie detector examination of correspondent Rob Stafford, conducted by a former supervisor of the FBI's polygraph unit.

After answer questions about the date and his name truthfully, Stafford decided to lie, to see if the examiner could catch it.

"Have you ever violated a traffic law?" asked the examiner, Richard Kiefer [sic, correct Keifer].


"Are you lying when you said you have never violated a traffic law?"


Kiefer concluded it was a lie, based on results showing clear stress on those answers. And he says a demonstration is one thing -- covering up a lie about a crime would be even harder.

"A person cannot suppress a reaction to an important relevant question," says Kiefer.

Polygrapher Richard W. Keifer didn't need to gaze into any polygraph charts to reach the opinion that Rob Stafford was lying when he denied having ever violated a traffic law. This is a question that virtually no one who drives could truthfully answer "no." While this NBC report goes on to discuss polygraph countermeasures with Doug Williams, it refrains from exposing the trickery on which polygraphy depends (for an exposition of which, see Chapter 3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.)

17 July 2001 "Veritas ex Machina." columnist Lowell Ponte discusses polygraphy in the context of Rep. Gary Condit's recent polygraph "test." Excerpt:

A LIE-DETECTOR HAS VINDICATED GARY CONDIT. That was the message the California Congressman's politically-cunning lawyer Abbe Lowell released to the press late last Friday. Within minutes, Leftist pundits were on television declaring that the Modesto Democrat had reclaimed the high ground from those who suspect a link between Condit and the mysterious May Day disappearance of one of his lovers, 24-year-old intern Chandra Levy.

In ancient Greek drama, when a play's plot seemed irresolvable the playwright would have a god lowered onto the stage in a basket. The god would then use divine discernment, wisdom, and powers to set things right. This dramatic device has been known ever since as deus ex machina, literally "god from a machine."

In today's eroto-political Condit affair we now have seen a comparably stagy device. Call it, if you will, veritas ex machina, literally "truth from a machine."

No rational person believes Condit, and nobody believes Clinton apologist Abbe Lowell.

But in an age where science has become for millions of Americans the new religion and definer of reality, we are expected to believe what comes out of a magic box full of wires that produces squiggly lines on graph paper. If this machine finds Condit truthful, who are we to doubt?

If your friends have thus been bamboozled, give them copies of this column. The truth is, for many reasons, the Condit lie-detector test is hokum of the shoddiest kind. The mere fact that he would resort to such a flim-flam is powerful evidence of how morally bankrupt and dishonest Condit is.

Why should thinking people distrust and discount this polygraph test? Let me count the ways.

17 July 2001 "Off the graph: Polygraphs fail to weed out liars from talented test-takers." The Wichita Falls, Texas Times Record News addresses polygraphy in this editorial. Excerpt:

U.S. Rep. Gary Condit may or may not have had anything to do with the disappearance of Chandra Levy.

But, we won't get any closer to the truth of the matter if we're going to depend on lie detectors to get us there.

In fact, no truth at all was served last week when Condit, who is under intense pressure to admit he knows something -- anything -- about the whereabouts of the missing intern, submitted himself to a lie detector test.

Since he hired his own lie-detecting outfit and paid for the test himself, law-enforcement officials are discounting the test's outcome as not credible.

But the truth of the matter is that no lie-detector test is credible, regardless of who administers it.

That's been either forgotten in the national frenzy over Condit's affairs and Levy's whereabouts or the cops and major news reporters never knew it in the first place.

17 July 2001 "News Reporter Puts Polygraph to the Test: Lie detector exam catches his fibs every time." New York Daily News staff writer Robert Ingrassia reports. Excerpt:

If Rep. Gary Condit knows more than he's saying about the disappearance of intern Chandra Levy, he's got reason to fear a full-fledged lie detector test.

I should know. I underwent a polygraph exam yesterday -- and got caught in a lie.

In the process, I learned that when given by a pro, a lie detector test is tough to beat. I also found out that the test has more to do with what's going on in your mind than what's happening to your body.

Condit took a polygraph and passed, his lawyer said last week. But Washington, D.C., police and Levy's parents dismissed the results because cops had no role in the questioning.

Before yesterday, I had thought a polygraph worked like an X-ray machine. Show up. Take the test. Get the results.

Private investigator Bill Majeski, a former New York detective, set me straight. He has conducted thousands of polygraph tests and caught plenty of liars.

What polygrapher William J. Majeski didn't explain to reporter Robert Ingrassia is that the question in response to which he was "caught" lying (whether he had ever lied about something important as an adult) is a textbook example of a probable-lie "control" question, that is, one which polygraphers secretly expect no one to be able to truthfully answer with a simple "no." Ingrassia was successfully duped into thinking that "a lie detector test is tough to beat," but he clearly remains uninformed about "the lie behind the lie detector."

You can help set Mr. Ingrassia straight by sending a note to the editor of the New York Daily News at

16 July 2001 "Only problem: They don't detect lies." San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll comments on polygraphy. Excerpt:

PERHAPS BY THE time this column appears, Rep. Gary Condit will have taken his lie-detector test. Lovers of justice will be able to rest easy, comfortable in the knowledge that we have learned not a thing more than we knew before.

Friends, here we have a little fact: Lie detectors do not detect lies. They are not admissible in court, as everyone knows, and that is not because some cabal of criminal lawyers is keeping them out. They are not admissible because they prove nothing. They are not evidence.

Might as well admit Ouija board readings. Let's see what the dead have to say about Gary Condit. Or get the Magic Eight Ball on the stand to testify -- he hasn't been getting a lot of work lately.

"Mr. Eight Ball, what do you know of the events of March 26?"

"Ask again later."

"Your honor, I ask that this plastic object be placed in contempt."

I do not mean to suggest that the disappearance of Chandra Levy is a matter for levity. I mean to suggest that lie detectors could use a few rounds of derisive laughter.

14 July 2001 "Lie Detector Tests Are Hard to Beat." So says Modesto Bee staff writer John Gorenfeld in an article thus titled. Clearly, Gorenfeld has not yet discovered "the lie behind the lie detector" (and the polygraphers with whom he spoke didn't clue him in). Excerpt:

Just how much does Rep. Gary Condit know about the disappearance of Chandra Levy, the Modesto woman last seen April 30?

Levy's family, as well as Washington, D.C., police, urged the congressman from Ceres to take a lie detector test.

Thursday, Condit did just that. His attorney arranged the exam, which was administered by private consultant Barry Colvert, formerly the FBI's chief polygraph examiner.

The polygraph machine monitors blood pressure, breathing and perspiration.

"It records things you have no control over," said Rick Beeman, whose Stockton-based company Interstate Polygraph is sometimes hired by the state Department of Justice to conduct tests in the valley.

Books and Internet sites suggest ways to outwit lie detector tests through breath control, or by faking stress at key moments.

But Beeman, who has been in the lie-detection business since 1982, said resistance is futile. "The more you know, the worse it is for you," he said. "You're better to go in clean and honest."

"The more you know, the worse it is for you" says polygrapher Rick Beeman. Actually, the more you know about the fraudulent nature of polygraphy (exposed at length in Chapter 3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector), the worse it is for polygraphers, whose continued livelihoods depend on an ignorant public.

14 July 2001 "Truth is elusive in debate over lie detectors." Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn comments on polygraphy. Excerpt:

The lie detector is a powerful tool. So powerful, in fact, that it doesn't even have to exist to be effective.

This story of the telephone scam allegedly run by two Cook County Jail inmates underscores how the reputation of this technology is its strongest asset. According to federal prosecutors who indicted the men Thursday, the prisoners were able to extort money from random targets by claiming to be law-enforcement officials with a lie detector hooked up to the phone.

Their message: Our device says you're lying when you deny being involved in the drug trade. Wire us money or we'll arrest you.

At least a dozen victims fell for it.

The ruse put Douglas Williams in mind of an incident that occurred when he was a rookie police officer in Oklahoma City in 1970:

"We had a burglary suspect in the back of our squad car, but we didn't have much on him and he said he was innocent," Williams said. "So my partner told him, `I'm going to have to use our lie detector. Talk into this microphone. If what you say is true, nothing will happen. But if you're lying, the red light will go on.'"

The "lie detector" was, you guessed it, nothing but a two-way radio. And at the suspect's every denial, Williams said, his partner discreetly engaged the red light. "Finally he said, `You got me' and he confessed."

Actually, the truth is not so elusive in the debate over lie detectors. Proponents of polygraphic lie detection have failed to support their claims through peer-reviewed scientific research.

14 July 2001 "Attorney Says Condit Passed Polygraph Test." Washington Post staff writers Allan Lengel and Petula Dvorak report. Excerpt:

Rep. Gary A. Condit's attorney announced yesterday that the congressman had passed a privately administered lie detector test that asked critical questions about the disappearance of Chandra Levy, but police officials immediately questioned its validity.

The announcement that Condit had passed a polygraph -- administered by an expert hired by his legal team -- caught D.C. police by surprise and publicly revealed the increasing tension between the congressman's camp and the investigators who have spent 2 1/2 months on the high-profile inquiry.

D.C. police questioned the usefulness of the polygraph and suggested that Condit's attorney, Abbe D. Lowell, had not played fair in the week-long talks over whether the Democrat from California would submit to an FBI-administered test.

"My impression was that we were going to continue that dialogue. I took him at his word," Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer said of the negotiations with Lowell. "I just didn't expect it quite this way."

Lowell, accompanied by a chart that detailed what he called Condit's cooperation with investigators, said at an afternoon news conference that the examiner asked Condit the questions that "count." The three were: "Did the congressman have anything at all to do with the disappearance of Ms. Levy? Did he harm her or cause anyone else to harm her in any way? Does he know where she can be located?"

Lowell did not list any other questions. He said the polygraph expert, former FBI agent Barry D. Colvert, concluded that "the congressman was not deceptive in any way and in fact had a probability of deception of less than one-hundredth of 1 percent to the only questions that mattered."

Former FBI agent Barry D. Colvert's conclusion that "the probability of deception was one-hundredth of 1 percent to the only questions that mattered" is without foundation. Polygraphy lacks both standardization and control. While it has an inherent bias against truth-tellers, outcomes can be manipulated by either the polygrapher or the subject. With such weaknesses, polygraphy can have no diagnosticity, and Colvert's claim of certainty within one-hundredth of 1 percent is self-delusional nonsense.

13 July 2001 "Condit Takes Private Polygraph." CBS News reports that Abbe D. Lowell, Rep. Gary D. Condit's attorney, has announced that the congressman has taken and passed a polygraph "test" in connection with the whereabouts of Chandra Levy. Excerpt:

(CBS) Gary Condit's lawyer says the embattled congressman has taken and passed a lie detector test - one administered independently, and not by D.C police or the FBI.

Attorney Abbe Lowell announced Friday afternoon that Condit took the test, which was administered by an expert he says the FBI has used on some of its biggest cases.

Lowell told reporters that Condit was asked if he had anything to do with Chandra Levy's disappearance, did he harm her or cause anyone else to harm her, and does he know where Levy can be located. He said those were the only questions from the test that were pertinent to the Levy investigation and the only ones he was willing to discuss.

Lowell said the result of the polygraph showed "the congressman was not deceptive in any way." He said the raw data from the test is being sent to the FBI and District police.

13 July 2001 "Machine Usually Right." In an article replete with misinformation, Richard Sisk of the New York Daily News Washington bureau reports on polygraphy. Excerpt:


If they do it right, the cops would be about 96% sure whether Rep. Gary Condit was involved in Chandra Levy's disappearance after hooking him up to a lie detector, polygraph experts said yesterday.

"The inconclusives are only about 3% to 4%" in polygraph tests given by experienced specialists, said Bill Majeski, a 21-year veteran NYPD detective.

Although polygraphs are not admissible in court, the Washington police should know with a good degree of certainty from the test whether Condit was being "deceptive or nondeceptive," said Majeski, now head of Majeski Associates private investigators.

Majeski and other experts cautioned that test results can vary with the skill of the specialist giving the test, but said the results are reliable to a high degree.

"There are people who can fool the polygraph test, absolutely," said Dr. Alan Hilfer, a psychologist at Maimonides Medical Center.

"There are pathological liars, those with no conscience, who can defeat the test," but those cases are rare, Hilfer said.


James Starrs, a forensics professor at George Washington University, said the examiner will ask a series of "control" questions, such as name, age and occupation, to get readings on the device for "nondeceptive" answers.

The examiner will then proceed to a series of "relevant" and "nonrelevant" questions on the case at hand, and check them against the "control" questions, Starrs said.

He scoffed at movies that show suspects stepping on a nail in their shoe to throw off the polygraph. "Can you beat the machine? Yeah, it happens, but not much," Starrs said.

Bill Majeski's claim that "the cops would be about 96% sure whether Rep. Gary Condit was involved in Chandra Levy's disappearance" based on a polygraph "test" is entirely unsupported by peer-reviewed scientific research. Psychologist Alan Hilfer ought to know that one doesn't have to be a "pathological liar" to defeat a polygraph "test." One just needs to know "the lie behind the lie detector." And, for the record, Professor James Starrs' description of "control" questions is false and misleading.

You can help set the New York Daily News straight on polygraphs by sending a letter to the editor at

11 July 2001 "Detecting Lies in Lie Detectors" Howard Fienberg, a research analyst with the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank in Washington, DC writes for The Providence Journal. Excerpt:

The parents of missing Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy do not believe that U.S. Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., has revealed all he knows of her whereabouts. Although police investigators are satisfied with Condit's answers, the Levys want him to take a polygraph (popularly known as a lie-detector) test.

Polygraphs are such familiar instruments, whether in criminal investigations or job-background checks, that few question the reliability or validity of polygraph testing. But how well do these devices really detect lies?

11 July 2001 "Search for Truth: Condit, Police Haggle Over Polygraph." reports in a feature length article. Excerpt:

W A S H I N G T O N, July 11 — If investigators want Rep. Gary Condit to take a lie detector test, his lawyer says they first will have to haggle over the sort of questions that can be asked.

The FBI wants to hook Condit to a polygraph machine and ask him a broad range of questions in its investigation into the disappearance of missing former Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy. After weeks of refusing to detail his relationship with the young woman, Condit has now told police he did have an affair with her. Police now want to know whether the congressman has been honest in answers to other questions.

But Condit's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, is cautious. The main sticking point, he said, is over what will be asked. If the questions are narrow, he said, it would be considered. But if the test is a "wide-ranging fishing expedition about his whole life," Lowell said he would advise Condit that it's not a good idea.

And a source close to Condit said the California congressman would only consider a test if the questions were kept to a minimum, such as, "Do you know what happened to Chandra Levy?"

The article goes on to feature quotes from retired FBI polygrapher Paul K. Minor, who is currently in private practice, as well as polygrapher Ed Gelb.

11 July 2001 "Police Seek Polygraph of Condit." Washington Post staff writers Arthur Santana and Bill Miller report. Excerpt:

Law enforcement authorities have asked Rep. Gary A. Condit to submit to a polygraph examination and accepted an offer from Condit's attorney to search his apartment, D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday.

Investigators also plan to interview members of Condit's staff and take a DNA sample from the congressman. "An offer has been made, and it would be irresponsible on our part not to take advantage of it," Ramsey said. "If we're able to take a sample, if we're able to do a polygraph, if we're able to conduct a search, that would go a long way."

On Monday, Condit's attorney, Abbe D. Lowell, publicly offered the congressman's cooperation in the search for Chandra Levy, in hopes of answering any lingering questions on the part of investigators. One aim, Lowell said, was to allow police to complete their tasks and then turn their attention to others who have been interviewed.

Law enforcement sources said three men have been asked to take polygraphs, but whether Condit will agree to the test was unclear yesterday. Lawyers generally counsel clients not to take polygraphs, and at Monday's announcement, Lowell expressed skepticism about the tests, saying they "leave a lot to be desired."

"There's no question to test," he said in response to a reporter who asked whether Condit would agree to a polygraph. "There's nothing that a lie detector can test. . . . If the police find [a polygraph] useful at some point, we will listen to them."

9 July 2001 "County Uses Lie Detectors to Supervise Sex Offenders." North County Times staff writer Scott Marshall reports in a lengthy article on the use of polygraph "testing" to supervise sex offenders on probation in San Diego County, California. Be sure to see the full article. Excerpt:

VISTA ---- San Diego County probation officers are using lie-detector tests to help them supervise the roughly 600 sex offenders on probation countywide, a probation department official said.

Although state law prohibits the use of polygraph test results in court, probation officers can use the statements sex offenders make during interviews before and after the test is administered.

Those statements can be used to increase the supervision of the offenders, alter the counseling they receive or rearrest them for probation violations, said Susan Storm, a supervising probation officer in San Diego.

"It can help us monitor them when we can't watch them 24 hours a day," Storm said. "Bottom line is to provide safer communities."

However, criminal defense attorneys decry the practice as a violation of the rights of those on probation and a waste of money.

"My argument is it's a waste of time and money because polygraph results, as a matter of law, are inadmissible in court for any reason because results are unreliable," said Deputy Public Defender Jack Campbell, who works in the public defender's North County office in Vista. "Once the defendant knows the result is meaningless, they can lie at will."

Once a sex offender on probation discovers that polygraphy is a fraud and learns how to beat the polygraph (see Chapters 3 & 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector to find out how), he or she can also lie at will. The use of pseudoscientific polygraph "tests" to supervise sex offenders is bad public policy.

9 July 2001 "Lawyer: No Need for Lie Detector." reports on the Levy family's polygraph challenge to Rep. Gary Condit. Excerpt:

July 9 -- Rep. Gary Condit will not take a lie detector test as Chandra Levy's parents are requesting, his lawyer told NBC News on Monday. Abbe Lowell emphasized that investigators are satisfied with the congressman's responses in three interviews and he urged the media to focus less on Condit and more on the other people who had seen Levy shortly before she vanished on April 30.

"GIVEN WHAT (deputy police) chief (Terrance) Gainer said about the congressman never being a suspect, answering all questions to their satisfaction, there are no questions to test," Lowell told NBC's "Today" show. "I think the time has now come to focus a little less on Congressman Condit and focus on the ... other people the police have identified, who if they were as cooperative might find leads."

Lowell sidestepped questions about Condit's admission that his relationship with Levy had been a romantic one and denied any discrepancies in the Democratic congressman's statements.

Levy's parents on Sunday indicated they felt Condit should take a lie detector test to clear up any discrepancies. "The family wants the comfort of knowing that the people who were closest to Chandra are giving complete and truthful information to investigators," the Washington Post quoted a Levy family spokesman as saying.

Asked a second time about whether Condit would take a test, Lowell said that "if the police said that he was a suspect or there was some discrepancy I would like them to come to me."

9 July 2001 "Family: Give Condit Lie Detector Test." Tom Squitieri and Kevin Johnson report for USA Today. Excerpt:

WASHINGTON — The parents of a missing government intern want Rep. Gary Condit to take a lie-detector test now that the California congressman has reversed himself and admitted he had an affair with their daughter. Billy Martin, a lawyer for the parents of Chandra Levy, will call for a polygraph test today, said a spokesman from Martin's office. "The family is concerned about whether the congressman is giving investigators the full and complete story regarding his relationship with their daughter, as well as what he might know about the last days before she disappeared," spokesman Michael Frisby said.

Rep. Gary Condit would be wise to reject any offer to take a polygraph "test" -- whether or not he has given investigators the full and complete story. Passing will not remove suspicion, but failing a polygraph "test" (which has an inherent bias against truthful persons) will be highly prejudicial. By the same token, considering that polygraph "tests" are easily beaten through the use of simple countermeasures that polygraphers cannot detect (see Chapters 3 & 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector), the Levy family's legitimate doubts should not be dispelled by Rep. Condit submitting to and passing a polygraph interrogation. The answers the Levy family seeks are not to be found in polygraph charts.

9 July 2001 "Levy Family Seeks Condit Polygraph." Washington Post staff writers Petula Dvorak and Allan Lengel report. Excerpt:

Chandra Levy's parents found little solace in Rep. Gary A. Condit's admission that he had an affair with their missing daughter and will ask him to take a polygraph test because they doubt that he has disclosed all he knows, a spokesman for the family said yesterday.

"The family wants the comfort of knowing that the people who were closest to Chandra are giving complete and truthful information to investigators," said Michael K. Frisby, a spokesman for Robert and Susan Levy and their attorney, Billy Martin.

Police said yesterday that investigators were satisfied that Condit answered all the questions asked in their most recent interview Friday, in which sources say he disclosed a romantic relationship with Levy. And an attorney for the congressman said Condit "has told the police everything."

8 July 2001 "New Voice in Lie Detection." Staff writer Robert Sanchez of the suburban Chicago Daily Herald reports on voice stress analysis. Excerpt:

A technique called voice stress analysis claims to make lie detecting as simple as listening to someone talk. Using a computer laptop, special software and a microphone, an interviewer can determine if someone is telling the truth.

Local police departments say the technique is so simple and inexpensive they are pushing to get Illinois law changed so they can use it during investigations.

"You could use it to question people and eliminate them as suspects in a crime," said Gurnee police Detective Jack Metcalf, who learned about voice stress during a recent training session attended by investigators from Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

It is disturbing to think that a police detective would eliminate (or include) a suspect because he/she passed (or failed) a pseudoscientific voice stress test.

7 July 2001 More Polygraph Madness in Manila. In an article titled "Corpus, Lacson 'war' heats up," Carlito Pablo, Armand N. Nocum, and Jerome Aning of the Inquirer News Service report on the ongoing furor in the Philippines arising from allegations of corruption made by whistleblower Angelo Manaway, AKA "Ador." Excerpt:

IT'S BEGINNING to look like a face-off between Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and Col. Victor Corpus.

Lacson yesterday urged Corpus, military intelligence chief, to admit that he was the handler of Angelo Ador alias Ador, who accused Lacson of plotting to kidnap prominent people and to assassinate others to destabilize the Macapagal administration.

But Corpus said he would resign and retire if Ador was found to be a government stooge let loose to discredit Lacson.

The word war between Lacson and Corpus flared as Ador, who claims to be a former civilian agent of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), reportedly passed a second lie detector test.

Both Ador and Corpus, head of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp), urged Lacson to undergo a lie detector test to determine who among them were telling the truth.

"Corpus should stop making these denials, lest he be called a liar," said Lacson, who concurrently headed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and PAOCTF.


Corpus noted that Ador had passed the polygraph test administered by the National Bureau of Investigation.

"In the case of Ping, will he pass a lie detector test?" Corpus said.

"If the public really wants to know the real score, why don't the two of them simultaneously undergo a polygraph test?" the Isafp chief said.

Corpus said he himself was willing to undergo a lie detector test if only to prove that he was not ordering Ador to hit Lacson.

"Let's just see each other in court," Corpus said, referring to Lacson.

Buoyed by the results of the polygraph test, Ador disclosed that Lacson had also been involved in smuggling.


[Ador] dared Lacson to keep his word and take the lie detector test. "Face me like a man."

"Sir, take the lie detector test soon and do it in front of the media so that the results will not be changed," Ador said.

Lacson had said that he would submit to a polygraph test if Ador had passed the test.

Lacson yesterday said there was no need for him to take the test because, according to him, Ador was not telling the truth.

The former PNP chief said he would consider undergoing a polygraph test only if Ador and Corpus had passed it.

The Philippine public should be concerned that pseudoscientific polygraph "tests" are being made the basis for determining the truth or falsity of grave allegations. This situation would be laughable were it not so serious.

7 July 2001 Washington Post Endorses Polygraph Screening. Today's Washington Post editorial, "Mr. Hanssen's Plea" carries with it an implicit endorsement of polygraph screening. Excerpt (emphasis added):

Fixing...vulnerabilities [in FBI security procedures] is the task ahead. No system can ensure perfect security. There will be smart and unscrupulous would-be spies at an organization the size of the bureau who find cracks to slip through. But the bureau's resistance to the sort of security measures imposed on other agencies with sensitive missions made it too easy for Mr. Hanssen. It seems crazy that Mr. Hanssen could rise through the ranks of the bureau's most sensitive sections without ever taking a polygraph exam. Mr. Hanssen spent lavishly on a stripper with whom he was friendly, while also carrying large amounts of debt and doing renovations on his house -- all without setting off alarm bells. How could he and the few hundred other FBI officials doing this most sensitive sort of work not have been subject to more rigorous scrutiny?

The FBI is now requiring polygraph exams for roughly 500 such officials. This is a start. A number of continuing reviews will undoubtedly make other recommendations for tightening security further. The key will be actually to implement the reasonable suggestions that emerge. Such sensible proposals for reform have been floated before but always incompletely implemented. The price of such negligence is too high.

The editors of the Washington Post need to realize that expanded reliance on pseudoscientific polygraph "tests" -- with their inherent bias against the truthful and susceptibility to easily-learned countermeasures -- is an extremely poor start to fixing vulnerabilities in FBI security procedures. Indeed, it is counterproductive. You can help set the Washington Post editorial board straight on polygraphs by sending a letter to the editor at (Letters to the Washington Post must include your home address and home and business telephone numbers.)

7 July 2001 Manila: Ador Passes 2nd Polygraph Test. Jonathan Fernandez reports for Sun.Star. Excerpt:

MANILA -- After failing the first test last week, whistle-blower Angelo Manaway, popularly known as Ador, had passed the second polygraph test amid allegations that a top official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) had helped him.

AFP intelligence service chief Col. Victor Corpus on Friday said Ador passed the second polygraph test conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday. He failed in the first test administered on him last week.

Ador has implicated former Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) chief and now Senator Panfilo Lacson in a destabilization plot against the Arroyo government and said he has a shortlist of assassination targets, including Vice President and Foreign Secretary Teofisto Guingona.

Corpus dared Lacson to undergo the polygraph test along with Ador to determine who between them is lying.

"I am willing to undergo the polygraph if Sen. Lacson will join us to determine, once and for all, who is telling the truth," Corpus said.

Corpus said he would resign from the elite unit and retire from service if allegations that he is coaching Ador would be proven true.

Polygraph duels are a poor way to establish who is lying. The "test" has an inherent bias against the truthful, yet is easily defeated by the deceptive.

6 July 2001 U.S. Air Force Sergeant Suspected of Rape Polygraphed in Japan. In an article titled "U.S. to hand airman over to Japan," reports that U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Timothy Woodland has been polygraphed by Japanese authorities:

CNN has learned Japanese authorities performed a polygraph test on Woodland and they say he did not pass it. U.S. officials have objected to the use of a lie-detector test in the absence of legal counsel or of U.S. representation of any kind.
It is not clear whether the polygraph technique used by Japanese authorities was the pseudoscientific "Control Question Test" preferred by U.S. law enforcement agencies or the theoretically sounder Guilty Knowledge Test developed by Dr. David T. Lykken and used to a greater extent by Japanese police.

4 July 2001 Polygraph "Testing" Part of Hannsen Plea Bargain. In an article titled "Plea Bargain is Planned in FBI Spy Case," Washington Post staff writers Brooke A. Masters and Dan Eggen report that Robert P. Hanssen will plead guilty to espionage charges. Excerpt:

The government has dropped its demand for the death penalty and Hanssen, 57, has agreed to sit for extensive debriefings and polygraph tests with FBI, CIA and other U.S. counterintelligence agents, sources said. Hanssen's family will receive benefits through his government pension, they said.


"For the government, this is an excellent outcome," said former federal prosecutor Joseph DiGenova. "You'll be able to polygraph him and find out if he is telling the truth about what he says he did not compromise."

DiGenova's credulous belief in polygraphy is disturbing. Before counterintelligence officials attempt to dupe Hanssen (himself a senior counterintelligence officer) with a polygraph "test," they might ask him whether he knows how to beat the polygraph (see Chapter 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector to find out how).

The damage done by Hanssen to U.S. security interests may be compounded by our counterintelligence community's superstitious belief in polygraphy.

4 July 2001 More on Polygraph Dragnet at Philippine City Hall. The polygraph interrogation of public employees in General Santos, Philippines, reported by the Sun.Star website on 29 June 2001 is underway, Sun.Star reports in a new article titled "NBI Polygraph experts test tax collectors." Excerpt:

GENERAL SANTOS -- Polygraph experts from the National Bureau Investigation have completed the polygraph tests to city hall employees in an effort to determine who were responsible for the loss and issuance of government receipts.

Nine persons reportedly underwent the lie detector tests, which extended beyond midnight the Monday [sic].

NBI sources refused to reveal the identity of those who were subjected to the lie detector test.

The same sources likewise did not reveal whether those who took the tests were all city hall employees.

The Manila-based polygraph experts were earlier requested by the NBI investigator Dominique Cerro following the request of Mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. to investigate the reported loss of 47 Accountable Form 51.

The two experts, identified as Annie Neffe and Benedicto Pinzon, refused to give details of the results of the test.

The NBI experts explained that they are not allowed to disclose the result of examinations that may preempt the results of investigation.

NBI Chief Lawyer Mama and case investigator Dominique Cerro could not be reached for any comment. They were not at the NBI office Tuesday morning.

More tests will likely be conducted on other witnesses who had submitted their affidavits.

3 July 2001 "'Ador' wants new test; Lacson seeks probe." Jerome Aning, Armand N. Nocum, and Cathy C. Yamsuan report for the Philippine Inquirer News Service. Excerpt:

"ADOR," a former civilian agent of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, last night demanded to take an "independent" polygraph test witnessed by representatives of the press, fearing that he failed one administered earlier yesterday at the National Bureau of Investigation.

Ador (not his real name) voluntarily took the lie detector test and underwent another round of interrogation in the hope of bolstering his claims that Sen. Panfilo Lacson and his top aides had hatched a plot to destabilize the Macapagal administration and had ordered a number of kidnappings.

On his first day of work as a senator, Lacson, a former Philippine National Police chief, said he would ask his fellow lawmakers to investigate Ador's charges.


Results of Ador's polygraph test will not be ready for two or three days, NBI officials said. Lie detector tests are widely perceived to be unreliable and their results are often rejected in court as evidence of guilt or innocence.

But Justice Secretary Hernando Perez told reporters that while such results are "not conclusive," they would still assist prosecutors in assessing whether Ador would be useful in building a criminal case against those he has implicated.

Ador arrived at the NBI in Manila around 9 a.m., wearing a cap, sunglasses, and a large gray handkerchief covering the lower half of his face. He was accompanied by his wife and his lawyer.

The former agent refused to utter a single word, despite several attempts by reporters to interview him.

Last night, he demanded to retake the polygraph test in the presence of his lawyers and representatives from the INQUIRER and GMA-7.


Ador claimed he was tense during the first after being hounded by the press and being given a runaround by NBI employees, and said he feared that his tension might have resulted in inaccurate test readings.

"It was like a wild goose chase. Reporters were chasing me when I went to the second floor for the polygraph test. Then I was asked to go to the first floor and then again to the second floor because the test would be held there," Ador told the INQUIRER.

Ador said reporters hounded him as he went from one room to another looking for the polygraph examiner.

"When I finally saw the polygraph machine, it was like an electric chair, so it added to my tension. And the examiner kept on telling me not to move, so I just became more tense," he added.


[Sen. Panfilo] Lacson brushed off Ador's challenge to him to take a lie detector test, remarking: "I (won't) dignify his accusations."

2 July 2001 "Ador to Ping: Take lie detector test." Cathy Cañares and Christian V. Esguerra report for the Philippine Inquirer News Service. Excerpt:

A FORMER civilian agent, who accused Panfilo "Ping" Lacson of masterminding a destabilization plot against the Macapagal administration, last night challenged the senator-elect and his protegés to undergo a lie detector test to determine who was telling the truth.

The agent, identified only as Ador, a confessed participant in the kidnappings allegedly staged by the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), said he wanted Lacson and Senior Superintendents Cesar Mancao and Michael Rey Aquino to undergo the polygraph test with him.

"I want the test done in the same venue and if possible using the same machine to determine who is lying," Ador told the INQUIRER.

In a 23-page affidavit, Ador claimed Lacson had ordered the abduction of high-profile businessmen and personalities who played key roles in the ouster of then President Joseph Estrada.

He said the senator also ordered the assassination of prominent people, including Vice President Toefisto Guingona, former Ilocos Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson and Ombudsman Aniano Desierto.

Lacson has denied knowing Ador, saying the PAOCTF had no record that the whistleblower had worked for his group.

Ador will likely take the lie detector test this morning if the authorities holding him in custody are allowed to borrow a polygraph machine from the National Bureau of Investigation.

2 July 2001 "CIA Takes Crack at Glass Ceiling for Spies." In a Reuters article about the status of women in the CIA, Tabassum Zakaria touches upon CIA polygraph policy, including alleged bias against women, and notes that a woman heads the CIA polygraph unit. Excerpt:

Lawyers who handle lawsuits by female spies say while steps have been taken toward equality, there is still some distance to go. One such lawyer, Janine Brookner, a former CIA station chief who sued the agency and won a $400,000 settlement and a lifelong annuity, said the glass ceiling remains intact.

Single female spies working overseas are questioned more extensively about their sexual relationships during required periodic lie detector tests, Brookner said, ``because there's always the suspicion they're sleeping with a foreigner.''

She said women are seen as more vulnerable to compromise due to a sexual encounter than are men.

CIA spokesman Bill Harlow disagreed. ``The woman who heads up our polygraph division I'm sure would not put up with any unfair treatment of women,'' he said.


``It was a fascinating life, a fantastic career, I loved my work. And I'm happy that I had that life,'' Brookner said. ``Now I really am happy to be out. I have a freedom that I never had working for the agency -- and I never have to take another polygraph, ever, ever, ever,'' she added, laughing.

2 July 2001 "Dog owner passes lie detector test, lawyer says." San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Pia Sarkar reports. Excerpt:

A lawyer for the owner of three pit bulls that mauled 10-year-old Shawn Jones said yesterday that a lie detector test given to his client proved the dogs were not attack-trained.

Contra Costa County Deputy Public Defender Michael Friedman said 28-year- old Benjamin Moore of Richmond had passed the test administered through his office Friday by a retired 23-year FBI veteran polygraph operator.

"I think it says (Moore) was being truthful to the police when he gave them the same information -- that his pets were just pets," Friedman said.


Friedman said he was prepared to use the polygraph test in Moore's defense if felony charges were filed, although it is up to a judge to decide whether the test results will be admissible in court.

"We certainly would try," Friedman said. "(Moore) has a due process right to have these results submitted. The truth should win out."


Friedman said the results of the lie detector test had been independently reviewed by a second polygraph operator, also a former FBI official, who reached the same conclusion as the first. Both results were confirmed through a computer program, Friedman said.

As those who have read The Lie Behind the Lie Detector will understand, Benjamin Moore's passing a lie detector test is evidence of nothing, and should never be admitted in a court of law.

1 July 2001 "Pit bull owner passes lie detector test, attorney says." Associated Press writer Karen A. Davis reports. Excerpt:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The attorney for a man whose three dogs mauled a 10-year-old Richmond boy last month said a lie detector test backs his client's statement that the dogs were raised only as pets and were not trained to fight or attack.

Public Defender Michael Friedman said he hopes the test, done Friday by a returned FBI polygraphy examiner [sic], will deter any additional charges against Benjamin Moore, the owner of the pit bulls that ripped off the ears and shredded the face and arms of Shawn Jones on June 18. Home Page > Polygraph News