Polygraph Statement of Sherzai Sulimany

26 September 2020

Peace and greetings, dear reader!

My name is Sherzai Sulimany. I am a citizen of Afghanistan. I am a military officer who served in the anti-corruption section. I wish to relate my bitter memories of the polygraph machine that the United States of America brought to Afghanistan.

Around 2014, I was selected for an assignment that I wanted. However a condition of acceptance was that I had to undergo a polygraph test. If I passed, I would be able to participate in the mission. The intelligence directorate of the Afghan Ministry of Internal Affairs contacted me and told me to go the next day to Camp Phoenix, one of the American forces’ bases in Kabul, to be tested.

The following day, I entered the camp. First, I met an interpreter whose name was Ali. After passing through several gateways, we reached the American national security section. They asked me, who did not understand anything, questions like:

1. Have you done anything against the Coalition, which serves the interests of both America and Afghanistan?

2. Have you ever told a lie?

3. Have you ever done anything that would bring shame on yourself and your family?

And several other similar questions.

I could only answer the questions “yes” or “no.”

After the test was over, they told me that my heartbeat was abnormal and that I was hiding something from them. I repeatedly told them that I was hiding nothing. I was just very attentive because I very much liked this work and felt stress that I had to pass. But they did not accept this, and I failed.

I was idle for a long time and could not begin working in sections that were under the supervision of American forces, and this was very painful for me.

After five years had passed, with great effort and struggle, I received an appointment to one of the prestigious directorates of the Afghan Ministry of the Interior, the Major Crimes Task Force. In the course of two years, I had many accomplishments, arresting several generals whose hands were tainted with corruption, and they were imprisoned. I was truly proud and serving my beloved home country with all my heart. In addition, I was better able to support my family, as I was the only one covering household expenses.

One day in 2018, I saw a list prepared by foreign advisors of names, including my own, of people who had to take a polygraph test. After several days, my turn came, and I had to take the test at the American embassy. Not having fond memories of the machine and nervous about losing my job, I was extremely fearful. I sat in the special polygraph chair, and after the same attachments were connected to my body and my arm was squeezed by the blood pressure cuff, the questions began. The same questions I previously mentioned above, with minor changes.

After the test was over, they again told me that I was hiding something from them. I was truly anxious and appealed to them that I was not hiding anything, but they did not accept this, and in the end, I failed once again.

Some 40 officers including myself failed and were removed from the assignment.

I have often wondered how I could be cast aside based on such an infernal machine. Does this machine know the unseen? Meanwhile people who have taken bribes and not faithfully performed their duties have passed them and been praised.

These are my bitter memories of the polygraph. The memory of this filthy machine pains my heart and has dashed my hopes.