Why Rely on Polygraph When It Yields Useless Results?

I read an interesting headline above an article published today in the Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal: Defense wins fight on polygraph results. In reality, nobody really won the fight.

ABQ Journal - 6-13-13

According to the article, defense attorneys got what they wanted when Second Judicial District Judge Kenneth Martinez denied the prosecution’s motion to exclude testimony about a polygraph exam administered to Renée Ohlemacher in 2012, seven years after she surfaced as the prime suspect in the August 2005 killings of her parents, John and Bernadette Ohlemacher. But did anyone really win?

According to the article:

Detective Mark Johnson, the Albuquerque Police Department’s polygraph expert and a polygraph examiner with more than 20 years’ experience, testified at Wednesday’s hearing that the results of the polygraph given to Renée Ohlemacher were “inconclusive” or “no opinion.” That means no inference can be drawn, either that the subject passed or failed the test, he said.

In other words, investigators knew no more about the crime after administering the polygraph exam than they did before.

During an exhaustive four-year investigation into credibility assessment and truth-detection technologies — sometimes, erroneously referred to as “lie detectors” — I dedicated a substantial portion of my time to learning about the polygraph and its leading challengers. In my recently-released book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I share what I uncovered.

Among my findings, I learned about a non-polygraph technology is now being used with great success by more than 1,800 law enforcement agencies across the United States, surpassing the number using polygraph.

In addition, I learned the same technology was used with great success to conduct interrogations of high-profile individuals — including detainees at Guantanamo Bay, members of Saddam Hussein‘s inner circle (a.k.a., “The Deck of Cards”) and hundreds of enemy combatants on battlefields in the Middle East and Southwest Asia — after polygraph exams had failed to produce useful results. Best of all, I talk with many of the people who conducted those interrogations and share never-before-published documents shared with me about their experiences.

Most disturbing, however, is that I stumbled upon a “turf war” that’s been raging silently for more than 40 years between polygraph loyalists and all challengers to their century-old technology. Most unfortunately, that turf war has resulted in Department of Defense officials banning the use of all non-polygraph technologies. As a direct result, hundreds of American and Coalition Forces personnel have paid the price as casualties — victims of “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks conducted by so-called “allies” wearing the uniforms of Afghan military, police and security agencies.

Every American should read THE CLAPPER MEMO and, afterward, demand their elected officials reverse the ban on non-polygraph technology.

THE CLAPPER MEMO has garnered strong endorsements from several high-profile Americans and is available in paperback and ebook versions at Amazon.

UPDATE 6/19/2013 at 10:32 a.m. Central: The KRQE video below provides more detail about the case discussed above and how polygraph exam results are stalling the justice system.

Order Books Graphic LR 6-15-13

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

This entry was posted in Credibility Assessment Technology, Defense Contracting, Defense Spending, Interrogation Technology, The CLAPPER MEMO and tagged , , , , by BobMcCarty. Bookmark the permalink.

About BobMcCarty

A native of Enid, Oklahoma, Bob McCarty graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in journalism in 1984. During the next two decades, he served stints as an Air Force public affairs officer, a political campaign manager, a technology sales consultant and a public relations professional. Today, Bob spends most of his time researching topics, writing about them and publishing those writings. When he’s not writing online, he’s working as an author. Bob’s first published book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice (October 2011), chronicles the life story and wrongful conviction of Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran. In his second book, THE CLAPPER MEMO (May 2013), Bob connects the dots between a memo signed by James R. Clapper Jr. — the man now serving as our nation’s top intelligence official — and the deaths of dozens of Americans in Afghanistan at the hands of our so-called Afghan “allies” wearing the uniforms of their nation’s military, police and security forces. Bob is married, has three sons and lives in the St. Louis area. Bob is available for media and blogger interviews. Simply drop a comment here, leaving your name, organization, phone number, e-mail address and area of interest. He’ll try to respond as soon as possible.

2 thoughts on “Why Rely on Polygraph When It Yields Useless Results?

  1. You’re right – the polygraph is worthless – worse than that, it is FOOLISH & DANGEROUS for the government to rely on the results. I have been fighting the use of this insidious Orwellian instrument of torture for almost forty years!

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