Tag Archives: Special Operations

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 mothballs 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.

Former Army Green Beret Needs Your Help NOW!

In November, I shared heartbreaking news and asked you to take action to help a falsely-accused and wrongly-convicted Soldier. The following month, I warned that this highly-decorated combat veteran is facing a possible return to prison. Today, I offer an update about the ongoing legal and financial battle involving Kelly Stewart, the former Army Green Beret whose life story is chronicled in my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.

Kelly Stewart received this letter from the Dept. of Treasury June 9, 2015.

Kelly Stewart received this letter from the Dept. of Treasury June 9, 2015.

Recently, Stewart received a letter from the Department of the Treasury, a screenshot of which appears above. Dated June 9, 2015, it began as follows:

Your unpaid delinquent debt owed to the Department of Defense, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, DoDDCM, has been referred to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for collection. According to the records of the Department of Defense, you owe $27,399.26.

Collection action will continue unless you make payment, within ten (10) days from the date of this letter, in the amount of $35,619.04, which includes all applicable fees, interest, and penalties, as of today.

If you wish to avoid further collection action and additional charges, you must immediately pay your debt.

I find it unconscionable for this man to have to face a situation like this after risking his life on the battlefield for his country and then having his life and career destroyed by the outcome of a politically-charged kangaroo court of military justice. See the letter below for a brief overview.

Click on image to download copy of letter (PDF)

Click on image to download copy of letter (PDF)

On behalf of Stewart, I’m begging you to read this OPEN LETTER TO ANY AMERICAN and take action immediately to help him retire this unfair debt by visiting SaveThisSoldier.com and scrolling down until you see the “DONATE” button on the right side of the screen.This site is run by Stewart’s father, CMSgt. John Stewart, a retired veteran of more than 30 years in Air Force Special Operations.

IF WE FAIL TO ACT NOW, he will very likely face a return to prison. Thanks in advance for doing the right thing NOW!

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.