Category Archives: The Clapper Memo

Test Your Skills in ‘Can You Spot the Liar?’

Over the weekend, I came across a New York Times piece, Can You Spot the Liar?  Though more than six months old, this interactive piece remains relevant and interesting.

Click image above to link to "Can You Spot the Liar?"

Click image above to link to “Can You Spot the Liar?”

The Times offered this description of how to play:

Poker players might call it the “tell” — it’s the idea that your body language tells your questioners if the words you’re saying are actually true or false. These subjects in a University of Chicago study on body language and lying were asked several general questions — and then told off camera to lie or tell the truth when answering. Can you tell truth from falsehood?

After watching videos of ten individuals, each answering a single question after being told in advance how they should respond, I was able to determine whether or not the person was lying or not lying six out of ten times.

Was I surprised when I answered correctly 60 percent of the time and was, in effect, more accurate than the typical polygraph exam? Not at all. As an investigative journalist who spent most of four years investigating the use of credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph, I learned a lot about success rates and scams.

The results of my investigation, including many never-before-published details, appear inside my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo. To read about them, 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.

Throwback Thursday: Intelligence Agency Spotlights Clapper

Something interesting showed up in my inbox a few minutes after noon today under the headline, Throwback Thursday: DNI Clapper as DIA director.

Click on image above (if you dare) to read full article on DNI website.

Click on image above (if you dare) to read full article on DNI website.

Released by the Defense Intelligence Agency Office of Corporate Communications, this nostalgic piece begins by reminding all of how then-Air Force Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr. was sworn in as the DIA’s 11th director Nov. 18, 1991. It ends by noting that Clapper now serves as director of national intelligence. I, however, am more interested in an action Clapper took while serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, before he assumed his present role as our nation’s top intelligence official.

As our nation’s fourth USDI in October 2007, Clapper issued a memo in which he declared the polygraph to be the only credibility assessment technology authorized for use by employees of the Department of Defense. In doing that, according to Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs with whom I spoke during a four-year investigation into the federal government’s use of credibility assessment technologies, he effectively removed the best interrogation technology in existence from warfighters’ toolkits.

To understand the serious implications of Clapper’s directive, read some of the endorsements of the book — including two from retired, high-ranking military officers — that appear near the bottom of this page. To learn even more, 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.