Polygraph = Junk Science

polygraphThere is a new kingdom being built within DHS. It’s the Polygraph Kingdom. Polygraph examiners have basically been anointed judge, jury and executioner. The problem? Polygraphs are absolute junk science. They are not reliable. Many dishonest people can easily beat them, and many others that would make great agents are screwed out of a career by false positives. So we are more likely to end up with a polished career criminal in our ranks and less likely to end up with a good person who a polygraph examiner decides he or she doesn’t like. Polygraph examiners need trophies on their mantles, just like IA and OIG. The easiest targets are honest people with a conscience. Most criminals have no honesty and even less conscience.

We have always advised our members to decline an invitation to do a polygraph exam (this doesn’t apply to new applicants, they have no choice). Polygraph exams can’t help you, they can only hurt you. The agency will not dismiss anything because you pass a polygraph, but they will use a negative result to hammer you. As with drugs, the easiest thing to do is “just say no” to polygraph exams. The old and tired IA/OIG line “If you don’t have anything to hide you would (fill in the blank)” is a sure sign that they are desperate to trick you into something. We have seen too many good agents targeted by IA and OIG over the years because of personal bias and grudges. Who is keeping an eye on the IA and OIG agents?

Now, let’s be clear. We don’t want any criminals, gangbangers, smugglers, cartel members or other similar undesirables in our ranks. But if you think any of them are honest and will admit to something because of a polygrapher’s trick you need your head examined. Their backgrounds have to be THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATED. That means knocking on doors, talking to people and scouring records. So what has happened to thorough background INVESTIGATIONS? The FBI used to conduct background investigations on prospective agents. Now, they are contracted out to private companies who are making millions.

It is worth noting that the federal government denies most private employers the right to do polygraph exams on employees. Why? If it’s good enough for the government, shouldn’t it be good enough for private employers? And during the passage of the bill that made all these polygraph exams mandatory for new hires, we would love to see how many politicians have a stake in the polygraph industry.

We currently have a few agents being dragged into this polygraph mess.

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