Tag Archives: Snowden

Edward Snowden Scandal Ended Year of Living Dangerously

EDITOR’S NOTE: Two years ago this week, I shared the piece below under a similar headline as above. In light of things such as the hacking of millions of personnel records held by the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management, I believe it’s worth sharing again with only minor revisions. 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.

It’s been a year of living dangerously since Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. announced his plan to bring an end to the glut of national security leaks that had many questioning his performance as the nation’s top intelligence official. I use the word, dangerously, because his plan simply hasn’t worked.

Doubts about DNI Clapper’s performance have increased, some in Congress — including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) — have called for his resignation or firing, and a scandal of epic proportions (a.k.a., “The Edward Snowden-National Security Agency-PRISM Scandal”) threatens to bring down the man atop the nation’s 17-agency Intelligence Community.

At the heart of the scandal, but not reported outside of these pages, is a question I raise after having conducted an exhaustive, four-year investigation into the use — and, in some cases, non-use — of polygraph and non-polygraph technologies by federal government agencies:

“How did Edward Snowden pass the polygraph exams required by his stints of employment as an intelligence professional?”

I made it clear in a headline published soon after the Snowden surfaced: Polygraph Exams Should Have Caught Edward Snowden. Of course, I should have added “If polygraph technology worked in the first place.” But I digress.

Screenshot of piece published June 18, 2013.

Screenshot of piece published June 18, 2013.

I questioned how Snowden, who had been employed by the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency before landing at defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, could have passed the necessary polygraph exams.

I shared the opinion of an expert:

Because his level of access would have required it, according to a source of mine (name withheld) who boasts almost three decades of counterintelligence work, Snowden must have taken — and passed – several polygraph exams as a condition of his multiple stints of employment with three-letter intelligence agencies and at least one government contractor,… You can learn all about the NSA and what they do over here on this article published by the Norwich University, just so you can get a true grasp of the power Snowden could have possibly had.

Plus, I shared a logical observation about Snowden, a man on the run from his government:

If, indeed, Snowden had had thoughts about exposing government secrets while employed by the CIA, the results of the polygraph exam(s) he took prior to and during his employment by that agency should have yielded clues to that could have led examiners to the truth about Snowden’s mindset. File this under, “Should have. Could have. Would have.”

Six days after publishing the polygraph-should-have-caught-Snowden piece, new observations about national security-related procedures surfaced in a Federal Times article.

Gregg Prillaman, a former Department of Homeland Security official, reportedly said that obtaining a security clearance in a post-Snowden world will likely be much tougher and take longer as a result of, among other things, the need to require more polygraph exams.

One needs only look at how well the polygraph has performed as an investigative tool to combat corruption in Mexico and to screen Afghan recruits to understand that DNI Clapper’s approach is flawed from the outset.

In my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo, I share never-before-published details about the polygraph and about a “turf war” between polygraph loyalists and all challengers to their century-old technology that has been raging silently for more than 40 years. In addition, I share details — straight from the sources on the ground — about how both technologies have performed at Guantanamo Bay, in Iraq, Kuwait, Mexico, Qatar and elsewhere around the world. Most importantly, I connect the dots between three memos — including one issued by Clapper in 2007 while he was serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence — and hundreds of American casualties resulting from “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks waged by so-called Afghan “allies” wearing the uniforms of their country.

There is, of course, much more to The Clapper Memo. To learn more about it, however, you’ll have to order a copy, available in paperback and ebook versions, at Amazon. Still unsure? Read the big-name endorsements.

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Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Intel Boss ‘Truly Insane,’ According to Former CIA Director

In a McClatchy News article today, Marisa Taylor reports that Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. issued a new polygraph policy Sept. 14 which requires federal government agencies conducting polygraph exams to ask applicants and employees if they have leaked classified information to the media. Doing so places him among the “truly insane,” according to one former CIA director.

Former CIA Director John Deutch quoted in New York Times 12/10/1995.

Former CIA Director John Deutch quoted in New York Times 12/10/1995.

On page 6 of a New York Times article published Dec. 10, 1995, reporter Tim Weiner quoted former CIA Director John Deutch talking about the CIA, saying, “Their reliance on the polygraph is truly insane,” and I couldn’t agree more.

What Clapper, the nation’s top intelligence official, ignores by issuing a new polygraph policy and, more importantly, by remaining joined at the hip with backers of century-old polygraph technology, is a long list of polygraph failures.

In Chapter 15 of my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo, I not only challenge readers to conduct their own research of convicted spies such as John Anthony Walker Jr., Jonathan Jay Pollard, Ana Belen Montes, and other U.S. government employees, but I let them know what they’ll find — that is, that the vast majority of those convicted of spying for foreign governments had been subject to regular polygraph examinations as a condition of their federal government employment. Some spied for years and years before being caught! Edward Snowden is merely the most recent example of an intelligence professional with a high-level security clearance to make reliance on the polygraph appear foolish.

Further into the same chapter, I share details about other well-known top government officials and their feelings about the polygraph.

I cite an article published Dec. 20, 1985, in the Los Angeles Times. In it, Norman Kempster reported that George Schulz, then serving as President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State, was not a fan of the polygraph and, in fact, had threatened to resign rather than submit to a polygraph examination.

I also point to an article, published in the March 8, 1994, edition of The New York Times. In it, Ronald Kessler shared details about how former CIA Director R. James Woolsey seemed to harbor the same sentiment about the polygraph:

The day after the arrest of the accused spy Aldrich H. Ames was announced, the Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey, met with several hundred C.I.A. employees in the agency’s auditorium at Langley, Virginia. After recounting what employees already knew from the news media, Mr. Woolsey — whose address was seen on closed-circuit television by every C.I.A. employee — spent five minutes explaining why he himself had refused to take a polygraph test, as other recent directors had done. Besides the fact that political appointees are not required to take such tests, Mr. Woolsey said he remained “skeptical” about the polygraph’s effectiveness.

Why does Clapper stick with this highly-suspect technology? To answer that question, I conducted a four-year investigation into the federal government’s use of so-called credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph. My findings appear inside The Clapper Memo, a book that has received rave reviews from several top-flight people whose names you might recognize.

To learn more about the findings of my investigation, 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.

Afghans in USA Missing After Vetting Process Fails Again

This morning, I came across a recent CBS News article about the disappearance of two Afghans who were in the United States to receive specialized training from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Based on what I learned during a four-year investigation into the federal government’s use of credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph, I believe Americans have reason to be concerned about these men.

Left to right: Mohd Naweed Samimi and Mohammad Yasin Ataye.

Left to right: Mohd Naweed Samimi and Mohammad Yasin Ataye.

Alarm bells began ringing in my mind after I read that, according to a DEA spokesperson cited in the article, Mohammad Yasin Ataye, 22, and Mohd Naweed Samimi, 24, were part of a group of 31 Afghan police officers participating in an intensive five-week training program to combat drug trafficking in Quantico, Va. Why? Because I learned long ago about the vetting process used to screen Afghans seeking positions with Afghan military, police and security agencies. It has worked so well that, during the seven years since Defense Department officials began keeping records of such attacks, 144 coalition members — mostly Americans — have been killed and 183 have been wounded [source] by supposedly-vetted individuals committing so-called “Green-on-Blue” attacks.

Click on image above to order book.

Click on image above to order book.

Alarm bells continued to sound off after I read the first sentence of the article’s fourth paragraph:  According to the DEA, each candidate is extensively vetted and polygraphed. A long line of Americans whose initial and continuing employment with federal government agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA et al) were subject to passing periodic polygraph examinations went on to be convicted of espionage against the United States. Most recently, Edward Snowden made the news for allegedly leaking a plethora of highly-classified intelligence data after passing polygraph exams.

To learn more about why I’m troubled by the disappearance of these Afghans, read The Clapper Memo. My second nonfiction book, it features never-before-published details obtained from top government officials, including individuals who interrogated members of Saddam Hussein‘s inner circle (i.e., “Deck of Cards”) and detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Plus, it has received rave reviews from some high-profile individuals.

To read other posts about The Clapper Memo, click here.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.