Over the weekend, I received the first pre-release review of my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. Below I share that review:
I am not a techie. Nor am I a government contract specialist. What I AM is a reasonably objective retired Navy SEAL who understands the importance of getting accurate information from individuals both inside and outside one’s own professional world.
In this case, “professional world” denotes the U.S. military, where accurate and timely information has life-or-death consequences. That information can come in the form of either raw intelligence or personnel “vetting” and is of crucial importance in the War on Terror, especially given the numbers of Americans and International Security Assistance Force personnel who have died or been injured in “Green-on-Blue” incidents.
“Green-on-Blue” is jargon describing the killing and maiming of friendly personnel by individuals who are supposedly their allies. Scores of incidents have occurred in Afghanistan when putative Afghan military men, wholly trusted by their allied advisors, turned their guns on those advisors. These events set the tenor of Bob McCarty’s expose of what is clearly an unconscionable cover-up of a capability of the U.S. military and intelligence community to vet incoming Afghan (or any other) military personnel.
THE CLAPPER MEMO is that expose, and McCarty pulls no punches as he walks the reader through a multi-year maze of bureaucratic ineptitude and turf-defense as they relate to the relative merits of the polygraph and the more-recent Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA). Talk about vested interests! The polygraph community has trade-union-like adherents, and, trade-union-like, that community seems to stop at nothing in attempting to discredit the CVSA. The irony here is that the end-user of both devices clearly prefers the CVSA, and the bureaucracy tasked to support that end-user, the U.S. military, has not only abdicated its responsibility to support our military forces but has consciously advocated the suppression of a better means of obtaining truthful responses from targeted individuals, whether those individuals are detainees, truck drivers, interpreters, co-combatants, or politicians. I came away from McCarty’s treatise firmly convinced that the CVSA is a far better tool in conducting field interrogations and administrative verifications alike.
And I emphasize (as does McCarty) the word “tool.” No polygraph operator, as vested as he/she may be, would claim that his/her device is a be-all, end-all game-changer, nor would a CVSA operator make a similar claim about his/her machine. However, it is clear that, on-balance, the CVSA is a much more useful tool in obtaining information. The Department of Defense bureaucracy, though, has come down decidedly on the side of the polygraph. McCarty has clearly been convinced through dint of exhaustive research that the CVSA is better, and his highly footnoted book has convinced me that American interrogators, especially those in the field (such as Navy SEALs or Army Special Forces) should have access to the latest CVSA devices. The CVSA is as close to a field-expedient truth determinant as exists today, and it is to be hoped that McCarty’s book will result in a reassessment of the efficacy of the CVSA as a means of obtaining actionable short-order intelligence.
Our troops deserve nothing less.
Capt. Larry Bailey, U.S. Navy SEAL (Ret.)
Co-founder, Special Operations Speaks, a veterans group dedicated, among other things, to restoring trust and confidence in government.
In short, Captain Bailey believes, like I do, that our nation’s warfighters deserve access to the best tools available — especially when it comes to tools that can be used to elicit intelligence information from our enemies and uncover their true intentions. If you share this belief and want to learn about those who appear to hold opposite views, you’ll want to read THE CLAPPER MEMO.
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UPDATE: After publishing this piece, the book received another big endorsement!