Why Can’t Elected Officials Force DIA to Comply With the Law?

I stand amazed at how much the responses I’ve received from Sen. Roy Blunt, Sen. Claire McCaskill and U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner have varied since Jan. 13 when I contacted the offices of these people who purport to represent me and my fellow citizens in the Show-Me State in the U.S. Congress and asked for help in dealing with officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Ann Wagner FB Screen shot 2014-01-13 at 8.22.07 AM

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Congresswoman Wagner’s staff has been most responsive.  In fact, I received a phone call the same day I sent her both an email message and a message via Facebook.  Since then, I’ve exchanged multiple email messages with members of her staff.

Sadly, the congresswoman’s staffers have, so far, been able to generate only a cursory reply letter (dated Feb. 28 and received March 3) from James L. Kaplan, DIA’s Chief of Congressional Relations.

Senator Blunt’s staffers, on the other hand, have been a bit less responsive than Congresswoman Wagner’s, but not the worst among the Missouri delegation.  My correspondence with them began when I used the senator’s online communication tool to submit the following message:

Eighteen months ago, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Defense Intelligence Agency.  In it, I requested copies of unclassified documents related to polygraph contracts.  To date, I have been thoroughly stonewalled.  Now, I need Senator Blunt’s help to find out why.

Beyond that, I included a link to an article in which I had outlined my experience to date with the DIA.  Senator Blunt’s staffers responded — via snail mail letter dated Feb. 12, not the much-quicker email — by sending me a Privacy Act Release Statement which I had to complete and return by snail mail.

Blunt-Blunt-McCaskill-LtrsIn an auto-signed letter dated March 11 and received a few days later, Senator Blunt informed me that he made contact with DIA officials and that they had responded to his inquiry.  Attached to it was a letter from Kaplan that was virtually identical to the one Congresswoman Wagner had received from Kaplan 11 days earlier.

639 Days (so far)

Click on image above to read about my DIA FOIA saga.

Dragging up the rear in this race to serve their constituent are members of Senator McCaskill’s staff.  Despite the fact I had reached out to “Claire Bear” on the same day and in the exact same manner as I had Senator Blunt, it took her staff 92 days — or 34 days longer — to reply with a letter (dated April 9) almost identical to the initial reply received from her Republican counterpart.

So, what is all of the fuss about?  As of today, I’ve waited exactly 21 months for DIA officials to comply with requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and fulfill my request for copies of unclassified documents related to Department of Defense purchases of polygraph equipment since Jan. 1, 2000.

And why have DIA officials worked so hard to keep this information out of my hands? Read my book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, and you’ll begin to understand their reluctance.

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.

Photograph Evidence Proves Postal Service Doomed to Fail

Photographic evidence proves the U.S. Postal Service is doomed to fail!  Okay, perhaps that’s a bit strong.  Still, I challenge anyone to consider the photos shown in this piece and prove my statement incorrect.

Is it any wonder the U.S. Postal Service loses billions of dollars annually?  Photo details at  http://BobMcCarty.com/2014/02/27/.

This photo, taken Jan. 12, 2014, bolsters my argument that the U.S. Postal Service is doomed to fail? Read about it at http://BobMcCarty.com/2014/02/27/.

On Jan. 12, I snapped a photo above while visiting my St. Louis-area post office.  When I returned home, I shared the photo on my Facebook page, accompanied by the caption below:

Perhaps I hadn’t noticed it before during my regular trips to the local post office, but it seems one of two things is going on with the banner shown in this photo: Either the USPS folks are way ahead of the curve, planning for next year OR they are way behind. I’m thinking the banner, heralding an event Nov. 30, needs to be taken down. You?

Today, almost seven weeks later, I found the same banner, still hanging — albeit precariously — on the same wall by the same entrance at the same post office (see photo below).

Is it any wonder the U.S. Postal Service loses billions of dollars annually?  Photo details at  http://BobMcCarty.com/2014/02/27/.

This photo, taken Feb. 27, 2014, bolsters my argument that the U.S. Postal Service is doomed to fail? Read about it at http://BobMcCarty.com/2014/02/27/.

Could it be that the local postmaster IS leaving the promotional banner on display until Nov. 30, 2014?  To help answer that question, I consulted my Trail Creek Trade Company 2014 calendar and learned the last day of November is a Sunday.  So, unless the local postmaster is going to promote a “Small Business Saturday” event on a day on which his post office is closed, I’m thinking the answer to that question is definitively, “No!”

Contrary to what the man in this video (below) told me in September 2009, I’m firmly convinced the USPS is doomed to fail if only someone in Washington shows he has the intestinal fortitude to let it.

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.

Week Filled With Praise, Threats, Blunders and Prize Money

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know I’m on the homestretch of my first fiction novel with more than 300 pages completed and, I estimate, 100 pages to go.  When I wasn’t busy working on the novel, however, I found time to share four new pieces related to my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Click on image above to connect to article.

Click on image above to connect to article.

Under the Sunday headline, Townhall Columnist Praises My Latest Book, The Clapper Memo, I shared news about Townhall.com columnist Mark Baisley‘s review of the book, When Technology War Kills Our Own Soldiers.

In the last four words of the Monday headline, DoD Spokesman Labels “Insider Threat” to Troops in Afghanistan “As Dangerous As It Ever Was,” I highlighted the words of Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby after he was quoted in Stars and Stripes as saying the “insider threat” against American forces in Afghanistan is “as dangerous as it ever was.”  After he failed to mention them, I offered details about “insider attacks” in Afghanistan that I uncovered during the four-year investigation upon which THE CLAPPER MEMO is based.  Consider it a public service.

Click on image above to connect to article.

Click on image above to connect to article.

On Thursday, I was excited to see Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough had written an article about U.S. troops being left to fend for themselves in Afghanistan.  In particular, he shared details about the same type of poor Pentagon decision-making I exposed in THE CLAPPER MEMO.  Read about it under the headline, Defense Department Contracting Blunders Highlighted by Writers.  [Warning:  It might set your nose hairs on fire.]

Also on Thursday, I shared something from the STRANGE-BUT-TRUE files under the headline, Intel Chief Launches Contest to Find Already-Existing Technology.  Of course, it involves Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and the decision by his folks at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity to hold a contest that awards prize money to people who develop something that already exists.  That “something,” by the way, is at the heart of what I write about in THE CLAPPER MEMO.

I hope you’ll take a look at the stories above and, after you do, share your favorite articles with your friends and ORDER A COPY of THE CLAPPER MEMOThanks in advance!

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.

Author Apologizes to Reporter Before Pitching Her A ‘Gift’

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Since Aug. 3, 2012, I’ve had several occasions to correspond with Marisa Taylor, a McClatchy News reporter who, like me, has investigated many news angles related to the polygraph. Today, I share the text of an email message I sent to her this morning. Along with a photo added to make this post more attractive, my message appears below a video referenced in the second paragraph of my message.

Marisa,

Please forgive me for climbing on my “high horse” the last time we corresponded via email. I was having a bad day. To make it up to you, I offer a “gift” you might find useful in future reporting about polygraph technology.

After watching the Reason TV article and video in which you were interviewed, I realized members of the polygraph-only crowd (a.k.a., “polygraph loyalists”) undermine their argument about the effectiveness of the Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System (a.k.a., “PCASS” or “portable polygraph”) when they point to the latest upgrades to traditional polygraph equipment. Per the video, the list of recent upgrades from Lafayette Instrument Company includes sensors in the seats and arms of polygraph exam chairs as well as in headphones so that, according to the polygraph examiner in the video, “Every part of the body is measured.”

PolygraphIf a traditional polygraph requires so many long-used sensors (i.e., blood pressure, pulse, respiration, galvanic skin response) as well as the new sensors mentioned above, how can findings obtained via PCASS be considered accurate when, according to news reports like this one and to official documents I obtained, they are drawn from only three wires connected to sensors attached to the hand?

Good question, huh? And there’s more!

Less than two weeks after the May 2, 2013, release of my book,THE CLAPPER MEMO, International Security Assistance Force officials used the ISAF Facebook page to issue a rare public statement regarding the alleged effectiveness of portable polygraph devices in Afghanistan. In short, they described PCASS as a “key component” against “insider threats.” Then, sometime during the next three months, that claim was inexplicably removed from ISAF’s Facebook page.

Now, is it any wonder why officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency (i.e., the agency responsible for DoD purchases of polygraph equipment) have, for almost 19 months, stonewalled my efforts to obtain copies of unclassified documents related to DoD purchases of polygraph equipment? I think they know that the contracts will reveal many things they don’t want to become public.

For instance, those contracts might reveal how the name applied to the portable polygraph devices was changed from “Portable Credibility Assessment Screening System” to “Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System” after it was determined that results being produced through the use of PCASS could not be relied upon as definitive or reliable. Of course, they don’t want to answer questions about the name change now, do they?

There is, of course, much more to this story. Hope you’ll consider covering it in more detail soon. Thanks! [FYI: I'm going to share this with my readers soon.]

Sincerely,

Bob McCarty, Author

Do you think she should cover it? I sure do.

UPDATE 2/13/2014 at 12:55 p.m:  Soon after sending posting this, I realized I failed to mention foot pad sensors being used in conjunction with all of the other sensors during polygraph exams.

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.

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.

Rarely-Seen News Disappears From ISAF Facebook Page

During four years spent investigating the U.S. Government’s use and selection of credibility assessment technologies, I learned how to follow trails of money, documents and suspicion.  Today, I reveal how one rarely-seen news item vanished from the Facebook page of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan only weeks after being published.

Fig 5 Insider Attacks on ISAF Personnel

In pieces published here and here May 29, I pointed out how the steady rise in “Green-on-Blue (a.k.a., “Insider”)” attacks in Afghanistan had followed the Department of Defense decision in 2008 to deploy portable polygraph devices to that war-torn country.

In addition, I pointed out how, since the deployment of the devices was announced in April 2008, Pentagon officials had given zero public attention to the devices, officially known as the Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System or PCASS.

Finally, I pointed out how ISAF officials had broken the silence about PCASS when they described it as a “key component” against “insider threats” in a Facebook status update (see graphic below) May 14.

ISAF PCASS Story on Facebook 5-14-13Of course, I seized upon the opportunity to label the status update as an attempt by Pentagon-connected officials to push back against my recently-released second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.  It was not, after all, the first time Pentagon officials had fought someone with nerve enough to challenge their version of “the status quo.”

Now, fast forward to today and to what I found while visiting the ISAF Facebook page; the aforementioned status update had, as shown in screenshot images taken today (below), vanished!

ISAF Facebook Page Top 7-24-13ISAF Facebook Page Middle 7-24-13ISAF Facebook Page Bottom 7-24-13The only status update remaining from May 14 is one shared under the headline, Indira Ghandi Childrens’ Hospital Visit May 14th, 2013. The status update about PCASS appears to have been removed sometime after May 29 when I published two pieces about it (see here and here).

What’s the connection between PCASS and THE CLAPPER MEMO?

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13The DoD decision to declare the polygraph and its portable cousin, PCASS, the only approved credibility assessment tool for use by DoD personnel is at the very heart of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

In addition, one of the men behind that decision is Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., the same man who lied to Congress about the National Security Agency‘s controversial program (a.k.a., “PRISM”) via which they conduct surveillance of American citizens.

In THE CLAPPER MEMO, I connect the dots between Clapper’s actions while serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence in 2007 to hundreds of American and Coalition Forces casualties spawned by the use of a flawed vetting process to screen Afghan recruits.

If you’re curious as to why ISAF officials are being so secretive about PCASS and why they would remove a Facebook update about its purported effectiveness in combating Green-on-Blue/Insider attacks, you’ll find many of the answers on the pages of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Already endorsed by several prominent Americans, it’s available in paperback and ebook versions at Amazon.

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.

NSA Knows, But I Don’t: Have You ‘Liked’ THE CLAPPER MEMO’s Facebook Page?

While National Security Agency officials might already know the answer to this question, I’m going to ask it anyway: Have you “LIKED” THE CLAPPER MEMO on Facebook? If not, below is a sampling of what you’ve missed so far today:

Fox News Honduras

Re: Fox News article — When I read that the government of Honduras is going to use polygraph exams to weed out cops with ties to organized crime, I couldn’t help but think of how well (NOT!) that has worked in Mexico.

In my latest book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I devote an entire chapter to crime in Mexico and how one many used a non-polygraph tool to send some 450 members of Mexican drug and kidnapping cartels to prison for an average of 28 years each. Details about the book at http://TheClapperMemo.com/.

NBC Open Channel NSA

Re: NBC News article: I found it amazing how, three days ago, NBC News was so quick to “carry the water” for the Obama Administration on the matter of data collection by the nation’s intelligence agencies. I’m not so quick to do that. Find out why in my book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. Details at http://TheClapperMemo.com/.

NYT Leaker Booz Allen Hamilton

Re: The New York Times article: It must have been somewhat unpleasant when Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. learned an employee of a company for which he once worked released information about his Intelligence Community’s collection of massive amounts of private data.

Also unpleasant for DNI Clapper is the content of my latest book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, in which I connect the dots between a memo he issued while serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and hundreds of U.S. and Coalition Forces casualties in Afghanistan. Details at http://TheClapperMemo.com/.

Greeley Cop Polygraph

Re: Greeley (Colo.) Tribune article: I do not know the now-retired police officer highlighted in this story. I do, however, know that many of the high-level Department of Defense officials who make decisions about the use of polygraph technology inside DoD also operate polygraph exam businesses on the side. Deadly conflict of interest? That’s one of many controversial topics I cover in my latest book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. Details at http://TheClapperMemo.com/.

DEEP STATE by Marc Ambinder DB GradyRE: DEEP STATE: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry — Almost 200 pages into their book, authors Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady cite federal government experts as saying nothing better than the polygraph is available in the credibility assessment arena. Those so-called “experts” are not only wrong, but I prove it in my latest book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. Details at http://TheClapperMemo.com/.

Michigan Poly Law Article

Re: Michigan Capitol Confidential article — Officials with the Michigan Association of Polygraph Examiners are opposed to legislation that, if passed, would get rid of polygraph examiner licensing in that state.

In my book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I highlight one former Michigan resident’s work as a polygraph expert. In much the same manner as the MAPE folks don’t like the legislation, the man I highlight will not like my book — but you will.

Intrigued? Be sure to “LIKE” THE CLAPPER MEMO on Facebook, so you can keep up with the latest news, information and tidbits related to the book.

THE CLAPPER MEMO is available in paperback and ebook versions at Amazon.

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.

Obama Supporter Involved in Online Comment Controversy

A Barack Obama supporter in North Carolina admitted to me this afternoon that he wrote a now-controversial Facebook comment in which he stated that he had already voted four times and was planning to vote a fifth.  During the same conversation, however, he steadfastly denied having violated election laws or having plans to do so.

I became aware of the comment authored by someone named Jim Turner after a conservative blog with which I am not very familiar published a post featuring a captured image of the comment, the text of which appears below (minus names of the actual towns he named):

I have voted once in (name of town #1), once in (name of town #2), twice in  (name of town #3) and will vote in my precinct in (name of town #4), I will do whatever it takes to save our country from the world envisioned by Mitt and his fear mongering followers.  I do not want my granddaughter to have to re-fight the battles won by women 40 years ago or to make less than my grandson for performing the same work he does.  This election is not about taxing the wealthy.  It is about the American spirit and caring for our fellow man.  Let’s continue to move forward, not slip in the dark past.

Above the image was a link to the Facebook page of the Jim Turner alleged to be behind the comments.  When I visited that page, I found no evidence of the controversial  comment but did read a comment containing words that seemed to reference the controversial comment.  The words that appeared in the second comment are shown below:

“I posted a comment to Jami’s page earlier today and it now lives in cybersomewhere.  I can’t seem to get with the whole facebook thing.  I made bold comments on the future of my grandchildren under a Romney presidency and now it is gone.  I think my comments were deleted as part of a conspiracy inspired by some who see our national glass as half empty.”

When I looked for someone named Jami on the aforementioned Facebook page of Jim Turner in North Carolina, I found a “friend” by that name but nothing in the form of any recent, publicly-visible posts or comments by anyone named Jim Turner.

Still curious to learn more about this particular Jim Turner, I searched for him by name and city, careful to confirm that any address shown for him was also the address listed for his wife, a woman he describes in a section of his Facebook page as his “high school sweetheart.”  I was amazed at what turned up.

By clicking on one of the search results, I was lead to an Obama campaign website where I found this statement:  “Join us at the home of Jim and (wife’s name) Turner to make calls that will help re-elect President Obama.”  Below the statement was contact information(i.e., home address and phone number) for Jim Turner and his wife.

After I confirmed that the phone number shown matched one I had found on an online phone directory, I used it to try reaching Jim Turner.  After several tries today, I finally reached him at approximately 2:45 p.m. Central.

As stated above, the Jim Turner with whom I spoke admitted to writing the controversial comment but vehemently denied having actually voted more than once or having plans to do so.  When I changed the subject and asked if he and his wife have hosted any phone bank sessions for the Obama re-election effort, he politely ended our two-minute phone conversation without answering that question.

Editor’s Note:  Turner told me he has received death threats as a result of this controversy.  Because I do not condone death threats or harassment of any sort, I removed several links and other information from this piece so as to make it more difficult for anyone wishing to do harm to Turner to reach such an objective.

“BY HOOK OR BY CROOK” UPDATE 11/03/2012 at 7:36 p.m. Central:  NAACP operatives invade polling station in Houston.

“BY HOOK OR BY CROOK UPDATE 11/04/2012 at 8:16 a.m. Central:  538′s Nate Silver predicts Obama win.

UPDATE 11/04/2012 at 1:03 p.m. Central:  It appears that more than one news outlet has let the “genie” out of the bottle; therefore, I’m offering links to their stories here, here and here.  Note, my story is the only one that mentions the phone bank angle.

UPDATE 11/04/2012 at 9:17 p.m. Central:  So many conservative sites are sharing news about Jim Turner, but I remain the only one to share news about him hosting phone bank sessions for the Obama re-election campaign.  Now, I’ve added the photo above with Turner’s address and phone blocked out.

UPDATE:  Turner was cleared of wrongdoing, according to this report.

Bob McCarty is the author of “Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice,” a nonfiction book that’s available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com. His second book, “The CLAPPER MEMO,” is set for release this fall.