Tag Archives: DoD

Have You Ever Wondered Why DoD Relies on the Polygraph?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The article below first appeared on this site Aug. 7, 2013. Several months later, it vanished — along with nearly 5,000 others written and published since October 2006 — as detailed in a post eight months ago. Today, I rescued it from where it appears on an alternate site in order to share it below with only minor modifications. Please read and share.

Click image above to order a copy of The Clapper Memo.

Click image above to order a copy of The Clapper Memo.

You’ve probably never wondered why the Department of Defense relies so heavily on the polygraph.  Likewise, you’ve probably never thought about how polygraph technology has maintained its place as the only DoD-approved credibility assessment technology.  After reading the details in my latest nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo, you’ll know why and how.

On no fewer than three occasions since 2004, top DoD officials — including Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper while he was serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence in 2007 — have declared the polygraph to be the only such technology approved for use by DoD personnel.  Though many on the front lines, including elite U.S. Special Operations personnel I interviewed for the book, ignored the DoD declarations for as long as they possibly could (see Sample Chapter for details), the Pentagon’s polygraph-only stance remains in place today and is having an often-deadly impact in the form of “Green-on-Blue” attacks against American and Coalition Forces personnel in Afghanistan.

Part of the blame for DoD’s polygraph-only stance lies in the fact that DoD officials withheld critical information from members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee when they were conducting an inquiry into the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and at other detention facilities in Iraq (i.e., Abu Ghraib, Camp Cropper and Camp Bucca) in 2008. That inquiry resulted in the publication of an unclassified 263-page report, “INQUIRY INTO THE TREATMENT OF DETAINEES IN U.S. CUSTODY,” dated November 20, 2008.

That wasn’t all they kept to themselves.  DoD officials also withheld critical information about an Air Force talking paper on Relevant/Irrelevant Screening Tests (R/IST) conducted on detainees in the Iraqi theater of operations from Aug. 1, 2004, to Oct. 15, 2006.

Notable among the 50-page document’s results, found after conducting polygraph tests on 768 detainees, was the finding that “detainee personnel are just as likely to have committed the suspected act as not.” That finding stemmed from the fact that 47 percent of the tests yielded “No Deception Indicated” results while 46 percent yielded “Deception Indicated” and seven percent “No Opinion.”

In addition to the fact the tests yielded results showing polygraph no more effective than flipping a coin, a quarter of the polygraph examiners surveyed pointed out problems posed by language barriers.

“The Arabic language itself presents an obstacle due to the different translations and dialect and at times the wrong translation of the question was noted by other interpreters,” one examiner said.

“Many interpreters were not fluent in the written Arabic language, precluding them being used by polygraph,” another reported. “They could not translate questions from English to Arabic and back again.”

“I was fortunate to have had motivated interpreters,” a third responded.  “Without them we can’t do the job (without language/culture knowledge).”

A fourth examiner reported, “there was definitely a difference in the level of interpreter experience. Some knew the language and some had a hard time.”

Click image above to order book.

Click image above to order book.

In The Clapper Memo, the 268-page product of an exhaustive four-year investigation, I highlight the fact that a non-polygraph technology was used at GITMO more than 90 times and achieved a success rate — defined as developing new, previously-unknown intelligence which was independently confirmed or confirmed existing information that otherwise could not be verified — of 92 percent despite the fact most exams were conducted using interpreters.

Now, I ask again:  Have you ever wondered how polygraph technology has maintained its position as the only Department of Defense-approved credibility assessment technology?

In their endorsement of The Clapper Memo, Gold Star parents Billy and Karen Vaughn used words such as “dirty little secrets of politics and greed” and “filthy backroom deals” to describe events and actions that have enabled the polygraph to remain DoD’s credibility assessment technology of choice.  The Vaughns lost their son, U.S. Navy SEAL Aaron Carson Vaughn, two years and one day ago in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan that is the subject of a soon-to-be-published book, BETRAYED: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father, co-authored by Billy.

Retired U.S. Navy SEAL Capt. Larry W. Bailey, co-founder of Special Operations Speaks and former commander of the U.S. Navy SEALs Basic Underwater Demoliton/SEALs (“BUD/S”) Training Program, describes what I uncovered in The Clapper Memo as “an unconscionable cover-up.”

Others have endorsed it, too, but you should judge for yourself!  Order a copy of The Clapper Memo today!

SEE ALSO:  Horrific Tragedy Ensues After AC-130 Gunship Crew Denied Opportunity to Engage Afghan ‘Squirters’ in Tangi Valley.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

News About Lawsuit Filed By Marine’s Family Gains Traction

Late Monday night, I came across a story on Fox News Channel about family members of a murdered Marine suing the U.S. military over an alleged cover-up.  And I say, it’s about damn time the story received some attention from the national news media!

Click on image above to read article.

Click on image above to read article.

To find out why I feel so strongly about this matter, read the article I wrote and published about the lawsuit more than two months ago under the headline, Family Members of Fallen Marine File Lawsuit Against DoD. After you read it, I hope you’ll share it far and wide.

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:24 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

The Uniformed Military Balked at ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ Because They Had Better Option in Now-Banned Technology

The headline above a recent Stars and Stripes article caught my eye, because it included four words — the uniformed military balked — that became familiar to me as I conducted an exhaustive four-year investigation into the federal government’s use of credibility assessment and interrogation technologies.

Click image above to read article.

Click image above to read article.

Those four words reminded me of the memos issued by three top DoD officials in an attempt to remove one interrogation technology from the toolkits of our nation’s top military and intelligence warfighters. Worth repeating is the fact that it took three memos, because most warfighters simply refused to give up the tool after the first two memos were issued in June 2004 and in 2007. In other words, the uniformed military balked. It was only after a third memo was issued in June 2008 that the technology was finally removed from warfighters’ toolkits.

Some of our nation’s top warfighters described their reactions to the memo-backed efforts to take away one of their most-effective interrogation tools.

A former member of the Navy SEALs, who spoke with me on the condition I not reveal his identity, said the second memo, issued by then-Under Secretary of Defense James R. Clapper Jr., was a contributing factor in his decision to retire from the military much earlier than he could have. He went on to say that the people responsible for efforts to remove that technology from the hands of warfighters “should face charges and do time.”

A former Army Green Beret, who used the now-banned technology to conduct some 500 interrogations of enemy combatants and other detainees, spoke with me under the same condition. He told me he “would testify in front of Congress that this piece of equipment is essential for (Human Intelligence) personnel on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.  If they want to save lives, they’ve got to put this piece of equipment back into that theater. Every unit should have this equipment.”

Why did members of the uniformed military balk at giving up this particular piece of interrogation technology? Because it works far better than any kind of torture or “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

There’s only one place where you’ll find the details about how well this technology worked with detainees at Guantanamo Bay, on members of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle (a.k.a., “The Deck of Cards”) and on members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban — inside the pages of my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo.

Click here to order a copy of The Clapper Memo.

Click here to read the high-profile endorsements the book has received.

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:25 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Family Members of Fallen Marine File Lawsuit Against DoD

Members of the family left behind by Marine LCpl. Greg Buckley Jr. have filed suit against several Department of Defense entities and individuals, alleging they were systematically misled about the death of their loved one at the hands of an Afghan “ally.”

LCpl. Greg Buckley Jr., USMC

LCpl. Greg Buckley Jr., USMC

The complaint, according to a Washington Post report Thursday, was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New York, and names the Department of Defense, the Navy Department and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as defendants. In addition, it names Gen. James F. Amos, the soon-to-retire commandant of the Marine Corps as defendants who was in the news last week for other reasons.

News of the lawsuit brings back memories of MaryLiz Grossetto’s response to a question — Should families of U.S. Soldiers be able to sue Department of Defense? — I raised Aug. 23, 2013, and posted on the Facebook page dedicated to her 21-year-old nephew who was killed during a “Green-on-Blue” (a.k.a., “Insider”) attack in Afghanistan Aug. 10, 2012. Excerpts from her response appear below with only minor edits:

Bob, if you had asked anyone in my family that question a year ago I’m pretty sure the answer would have been “NO.”

What a difference a year makes!

A year ago, I would have thought, “God forbid something happens, that’s the risk you were willing to take.”

Of course, a year ago I was under the mistaken impression that this country was doing all it could to protect & provide for our military. Sadly, today I know that is not the case. This administration is more concerned with how the Afghans will perceive things than making sure our own men are as safe as possible.

Having learned a lot during the year since her nephew died, Grossetto asked and answered some pointed questions late in her response:

Did we take measures to ensure our military would be safe? Did we order our men to carry loaded weapons at all times? Did we provide “Guardian Angels” to watch over our soldiers when they were most vulnerable? NO! WHY? Because we were too busy handing out pamphlets & ordering our soldiers to attend “culture & sensitivity training” so our heroes would not “offend” Afghans.

Did we use the best, most advanced equipment when it came to vetting these Afghan soldiers / police? NO!

Have we thoroughly investigated what happened to Extortion 17? NO!

Have we investigated & spoken the truth about Benghazi? NO!

Grossetto concluded her response this way:

So, in answer to your question, I guess we should start suing. Maybe that will help this administration get it’s priorities in order! Until Then, God Help Us All!

After reading my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo, Grossetto recognized how I connected the dots between three memos — including one issued by James R. Clapper Jr., now the nation’s top intelligence official — and hundreds of American casualties resulting from Green-on-Blue attacks like the one that killed her nephew. In addition, she offered her endorsement of the book:

“Read this book & you will see how our government has for many, many years deprived our military of the best possible tool for vetting & weeding out the enemy.”MaryLiz Grossetto.

Grossetto’s endorsement joins those of four others, including a former U.S. Navy SEALs commander, a former U.S. Army general, the parents of a member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL TEAM SIX and the man who served as chief investigative counsel during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Read their conclusions about the book here.

To learn more about The Clapper Memo, read other posts about the book.

To understand everything I’ve uncovered, order a copy of The Clapper Memo.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Same ROEs Should Apply to Military, Contractors

After reading a recent Stars and Stripes article about DoD considering the use of contractors in place of U.S. military “boots on the ground” in Iraq, I asked a long-time friend if such an approach was “do-able.” His answer caught me by surprise.

Marines like Sgt. Warren Sparks should operate under Rules of Engagement that help keep them alive (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Joseph Scanlan).

Marines like Sgt. Warren Sparks should operate under Rules of Engagement that help keep them alive (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Joseph Scanlan).

My friend, whose name I will not divulge for matters related to his personal security, is a retired Army Green Beret who’s worked several post-retirement stints as a Defense Department “hired gun” in war zones.  In answer to my question, he said, “Yes, and it’s already happening.” That, however, isn’t what surprised me.

He went on to explain that he and his fellow contractors (a.k.a., “trigger pullers”) “don’t have to call three different commanders in order to shoot back” the way their uniform-wearing U.S. military colleagues do.

That’s right! Contractors work under Rules of Engagement that make sense in combat, while U.S. military warfighters in Afghanistan and Iraq remain hamstrung by ROEs that, too often, get them killed.

Why is this allowed to happen? One expert quoted in the aforementioned article seemed to know the answer:

Employing contractors is a way to avoid deploying military forces, since contractors aren’t considered “boots on the ground” in conflict zones;

“The government always seeks to minimize boots on the ground to reduce domestic political risk;” and

“The American people and media do not consider a paid contractor to represent them in the same way that they do a soldier.”

It’s a shame we allow our nation’s top officials to get away with this politically-driven double standard that, too often, has resulted in brave young men and women being killed.

All American warfighters, military and contractor, should operate under the same ROEs — that is, the ones most likely to keep them alive! At the same time, it would help if members of the national news media would report on this double standard until it is changed.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.