In a speech at the National Press Club Wednesday, Associated Press President and CEO Gary Pruitt said the U.S. Department of Justice’s illegal seizure of AP phone records has had a chilling effect on newsgathering operations. I, for one, however, am not surprised DoJ officials went to such lengths.
I dedicate two entire chapters of my recently-released book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, to the role officials inside one DoJ agency have played in a technological “turf war” that has been raging silently in this country and around the world for more than 40 years.
During four years of exhaustive research, I used the Freedom of Information Act and the Oklahoma Open Records Act to obtain copies of hundreds of email messages exchanged between officials at the National Institute of Justice — DoJ’s research, development and evaluation arm — and recipients of DoJ research dollars.
Not only did these messages open my eyes to questionable inner workings of the agency and its grant system, but they showed me how that system has been corrupted to promote the polygraph, a century-old credibility assessment technology with a less-than-stellar track record over a non-polygraph technology that has proven its value time and again.
In THE CLAPPER MEMO, I highlight many of the ways the non-polygraph technology has been used by investigators at more than 1,800 local and state law enforcement agencies across the United States and by others who used it with great success to interrogate detainees at Guantanamo Bay, members of Saddam Hussein‘s inner circle (a.k.a., “The Deck of Cards”) and enemy combatants on battlefields around the world.
Despite the track record of the non-polygraph technology, it was banned for use by Department of Defense officials no fewer than three times during the past decade. Today, it remains banned, thanks in large part to Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and a memo he issued six years ago while serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. As a result of the continued ban, American and Coalition Forces personnel in Afghanistan face higher-than-necessary risk of becoming casualties.
You can find out how I reached that conclusion by reading THE CLAPPER MEMO.