Thanks to everyone who’s helping get the word out about this book which, by the way, comes highly recommended.
While three strong endorsements are helping the book garner serious attention, the true story contained inside this book sells itself.
Though not unexpected when one considers the subject matter, I appreciate seeing others generating “buzz” about my just-released second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. An example of that surfaced today in the form a news release issued by officials at the National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts:
Lewes, DE — (SBWIRE) — 05/14/2013 — A recently released book by author and journalist Bob McCarty, THE CLAPPER MEMO, details the decades’ long failure of the US government-backed polygraph program, which is managed by a handful of insiders and supported by a well-funded “pro-polygraph” lobby. The book chronicles the turf-war between polygraph loyalist and backers of a competing technology; and exposes the length to which members of the US government have gone to maintain total control over military and federal truth verification operations. Bob McCarty, who spent four years investigating the motivations behind the US government’s “polygraph only” policies, has concluded the US government’s faith in the polygraph is misguided and has played a central role in the unnecessary deaths and wounding of US military members in Afghanistan and elsewhere. McCarty’s conclusions are backed by high-ranking former US military and US government officials, several of whom gave prominent endorsements to his book.
According to the US National Academy of Sciences the polygraph is scientifically unreliable and prone to high error rates, despite over 50 years of US government backed research and the expenditure hundreds of millions US taxpayer dollars. Further, little progress has been made to improve the outdated device despite generations of US bureaucrats building their careers around the apparently flawed technology. US Air Force polygraph examiners recently concluded the polygraph was little better than “flipping a coin” when used to investigate terrorist suspects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Polygraph continues to be mired in controversy and the subject of high profile law suits involving hundreds of millions of dollars.
The competing technology exposed by McCarty, known as the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA), is more widely used by US law enforcement than the old fashioned polygraph – but off-limits to the US military units that need it the most. A recent peer reviewed and published 18-year field study of the CVSA showed the system to have an accuracy rate greater than 95%, far surpassing all other credibility assessment systems available worldwide. Additionally, dozens of other peer reviewed and published scientific studies support the efficacy of the CVSA. Currently the CVSA is used globally by over 2,000 law enforcement, military and security agencies.
One source interviewed for the book stated “Bob McCarty has connected the dots to a story that otherwise would not have made the light of day. He has exposed the ongoing and unceasing activities of a small group of bureaucrats that should outrage the entire US population. It is unconscionable that administration-after-administration has allowed this national disgrace to continue unabated for the past 50 years. The safety and security of our military members should trump the agenda of a handful of power hungry bureaucrats. The absolute faith by these bureaucrats in a scientifically unsound device has, in my opinion, caused significant damage to the reputation and security of the United States. And – in my opinion – because of the stamp of approval given to the polygraph by the US government it has caused serious damage to other nations as well. The true extent of the damage caused by polygraph will perhaps never be known, since the US government does not make public such failures. However, the cases that have come to light are a damning indictment against continued support of the polygraph by the US government. Bob McCarty should be commended for exposing this government-backed fraud.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: During the past four years, I learned that much of what goes on in the world of credibility assessment, interrogation and intelligence-gathering is both mysterious and secretive. In addition, I interviewed a lot of people along the way. Hence, the reason why I’m just as confused as the next guy when it comes to knowing who NACVSA officials quoted in the last paragraph above that begins with the words, “One source interviewed for the book.” I do, however, know the quote in that paragraph matches a five-star book review posted on Amazon.com May 9. Either way, thanks to the folks at NACVSA for helping generate buzz about THE CLAPPER MEMO.
Be sure to tune in and listen one week from today at 10 a.m. Central when I make a guest appearance on Commonsense Coalition Talk Radio. Host Beth Ann Schoeneberg and I will talk, among other things, about THE CLAPPER MEMO, my recently-released book in which I connect the dots between three DoD memos — including one issued by James R. Clapper Jr. before he became the nation’s top intelligence official — and hundreds of American casualties in Afghanistan resulting from “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks during the past six years.
UPDATE 5/16/2013 at 3:03 p.m. Central: Two more guest radio appearances — one the evening of May 21, the other on the evening of May 26 — are “in the works.” As soon as we nail down details, I’ll let you know specifics.
Imagine my surprise this morning when, less than two weeks after the release of my new book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, International Security Assistance Force officials issued public statements regarding the alleged effectiveness of portable polygraph devices in Afghanistan.
First known as the Portable Credibility Assessment Screening System and later changed to Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System, this portable polygraph technology was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq for the first time in 2008. One year later, DoD officials stonewalled me for nearly a month after I asked questions about the effectiveness of PCASS during its first year in operations. The stonewalling led me to launch an investigation that would result in publication of THE CLAPPER MEMO early this month.
As of this posting, the ISAF announcement (shown in the graphic above and as text below) appears online only as a status update — but not as a news release, per se — published this morning on the ISAF Facebook page:
Screening System Partnership Helps Identify Insider Threats
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (May 14, 2013) – A US Department of Defense screening tool that helps assess the truthfulness of individuals is being lauded as a key component of Afghan and US efforts to preemptively identify and neutralize potential insider threats.
In a program that began in late 2012, US Forces-Afghanistan is training Afghanistan Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior personnel to use the Preliminary Credibility Screening System tool to assess people during security screenings.
The PCASS consists of physiological sensors, a small computer, specialized software and a testing procedure that can render an initial assessment of the truthfulness of individuals. Combined with other assessments, the PCASS significantly increases the ability to quickly identify potential threats before they act.
Two Afghan women from the MoI recently completed the training program, which expands the reach of the program by allowing female security personnel to screen female subjects while abiding by Afghan cultural custom.
Crucially, the announcement ignores the “elephant in the room” that is the hundreds of casualties resulting from “Green-on-Blue/Insider” attacks on U.S. and coalition troops during the past six years and, more precisely, during the five years since the initial deployment of 94 PCASS units to Afghanistan and Iraq at a reported cost of $7,500 each. If PCASS works so well, why have so many of these attacks taken place?
In addition, the ISAF announcement ignores what I learned from interrogators with vast experience in hostile environments.
Rather than laud PCASS as ISAF officials have done, a Green Beret I interviewed shortly after his retirement from the Army told me Special Forces operators would “rather go back to the stubby pencil and taking an educated guess” than use PCASS. In addition, the combat veteran — identified in the book only as “Joe” for security reasons — offered more words quite damning of PCASS which I share below in an excerpt from THE CLAPPER MEMO:
One of the major flaws in the technology that cause Joe and others to discount PCASS can be found in polygraph training, Joe said, that involves mock scenarios where subjects are given roles to play prior to undergoing a polygraph exam.
“If you can trick yourself into thinking you’re a bomber,” Joe said, referring to a 2006 PCASS study conducted at Fort Jackson, “then why can’t you trick yourself into thinking you’re not and trick that machine?”
Because Joe used an alternative to PCASS to set a record by conducting approximately 500 interrogations of enemy combatants, suspected terrorists, criminal suspects and third-country nationals seeking employment on U.S.-manned installations while he was stationed in Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar, I tend to believe him more than I do the many government bureaucrats with whom I spoke during the past four years.
I also tend to believe a former member of the Navy SEALs who spoke with me on the condition I not reveal his identity. He cited the memo that deemed the polygraph the only authorized credibility assessment tool for use by DoD personnel — and inspired the title for my book — as a contributing factor in his decision to retire from the military much earlier than he could have. And that wasn’t all he said.
When it comes to the bureaucrats who forced warfighters like him to stop using the non-polygraph alternative that had proven so effective in the field, he said they “should face charges and do time” for their actions.
RELATED: Coincidence or not, this new development surfaced only five days after the Defense Intelligence Agency responded to a PCASS-related Freedom of Information Act request I submitted almost 10 months ago!
On Sept. 29, 1997, FBI Supervisory Special Agent (Dr.) Drew Campbell Richardson testified before members of a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary about the polygraph. Among other things, he described polygraph screening as being “completely without any theoretical foundation and has absolutely no validity.”
Upon discovering Richardson is not alone in his assessment, one must ask the question, “Why is the polygraph the only authorized credibility assessment technology for use within DoD when newer, proven-reliable technologies are available?”
I answer that question and many more in my newest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, the product of four years of extensive investigation.
Most importantly, however, THE CLAPPER MEMO exposes the flawed process via which Afghans are being vetted before being allowed to serve alongside U.S. and Coalition Forces troops as uniform-wearing members of Afghan military, police and security units. Those flaws have resulted in hundreds of U.S. and CF casualties, the result of “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks, during the past six years.
In addition, it highlights the fact that the polygraph, despite being the only credibility assessment tool allowed for use by DoD personnel, either (1) isn’t being used as part of that vetting process or, (2) isn’t working well if it is being used as part of the vetting process. Either way, American casualties continue to add up as a result.
During four years of investigation leading to publication of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I focused much of my attention on the vetting process used to screen recruits before they serve alongside U.S. troops as uniform-wearing members of Afghan military, police and security units. Why? Because the flaws in that process have proven fatal for too many Americans, including Greg Buckley Jr.
In the video above, Gold Star Dad Greg Buckley Sr. of Oceanside, N.Y., talks about losing his son, a Marine lance corporal, in a “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attack in Afghanistan Aug. 10, 2012.
In THE CLAPPER MEMO, I reveal one of the reasons why so many of those attacks have taken place and uncover background material dating back more than 40 years to support my conclusions.