Grand Jury Needs to Look Much Deeper Than Snowden Scandal

I applaud the fact that a U.S. grand jury is reportedly investigating whether U.S. Investigations Services, the U.S. government contractor that conducted the last security background check on National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, improperly rushed cases through without proper review. At the same time, however, I’m convinced the same grand jury should look well beyond that scandal and into the findings contained in my recently-released second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

TCM Graphic 2-17-13Based on an exhaustive four-year investigation of credibility assessment technologies used by federal government agencies since Sept. 11, 2001, I reached the conclusion that more attention needs to be paid to a much broader and systemic national security problem than those involving Snowden.

One issue ties to Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.’s announcement in June 2012 that he would implement tough new measures aimed at stemming the spate of unauthorized disclosures of national security information that had dogged the Intelligence Community during his watch. In short, those measured consisted of adding more questions during polygraph exams of employees and prospective employees.

Poly Exams Should Have Caught Edward SnowdenBy reading my June 18 piece, Polygraph Exams Should Have Caught Edward Snowden, one can readily understand how Clapper’s tough new measures (i.e., additional questions on polygraph exams) have failed miserably.

A second issue relates how senior DoD officials have, on no fewer than three occasions since 2004, declared the polygraph the only approved credibility assessment technology for use by DoD personnel. Those declarations become critical when one considers conflicting statements made by military officials in recent months about polygraph technology’s performance.

ISAF PCASS Story on Facebook 5-14-13Only two weeks after the release of THE CLAPPER MEMO, U.S. military officials made their first public mention since April 2008 of the polygraph’s portable cousin, a device known as the Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System. In a May 14 Facebook status update, PCASS was described by International Security Assistance Force officials as a “key component” against “insider threats.”

Sometime during the ten weeks that followed, however, the glowing Facebook status update disappeared from the ISAF Facebook page without explanation.

I suspect ISAF officials were told by their Pentagon colleagues to take it down in advance of DoD’s an upcoming release of the Secretary of Defense’s Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan. Those Pentagon officials knew that, beneath more than 1,000 words in that report to be released July 30, startling news would appear about a sharp spike in “Insider” attacks in Afghanistan:

There was a 120 percent increase in insider attacks from 2011 to 2012, rising from 22 to 48 incidents. Additionally, 29 percent (14) of the insider attacks in 2012 were executed by more than one person. Prior to 2012, only two attacks had been executed by more than one individual.

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13The issues highlighted above represent but a fraction of what I uncover in THE CLAPPER MEMO about a dangerous and deadly 40-year turf war between competing credibility assessment technologies.

Based on the number of high-profile endorsements THE CLAPPER MEMO has received to date, I’m convinced the book has struck an ominous chord worthy of more attention and look forward to your feedback.

THE CLAPPER MEMO is available in paperback and ebook versions. Order your copy today!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Credibility Assessment Technology, Defense Contracting, Defense Spending, James R Clapper Jr, National Security, National Security Agency, 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.

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