Skip to comments.White House threatens polygraphs for leakers
Posted on 06/26/2012 6:24:45 PM PDT by Libloather
White House threatens polygraphs for leakers
By Jeremy Herb - 06/25/12 08:20 PM ET
Officials at the CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies will be given expanded polygraph tests under a new Obama administration directive aimed at stamping out national-security leaks.
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, on Monday announced a series of steps intended to stop the leaks after a furious backlash from Congress over news reports that revealed closely guarded secrets.
The most significant measure is the addition of a new question to the polygraph tests that are used by intelligence agencies. Officials will be asked during the lie-detector tests whether they have disclosed classified information to members of the media, according to Shawn Turner, a spokesman for Clapper.
President Obamas spy chief is also ordering a review of how the intelligence agencies report contact with members of the media, and will consider changes if he finds the policies inconsistent or insufficient.
The second directive in Mondays announcement was a request for the Intelligence Community Inspector General to lead investigations of leaks when the Department of Justice declines to do so.
Clappers order applies to 16 intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency. He said in a statement that the new measures were the right thing to do and in the interest of our national security.
Congress is demanding investigations into a spike in security leaks, and vowing to write new laws following recent revelations about a U.S. cyberattack on Iran, a double-agent infiltrating al Qaeda in Yemen and a terrorist kill list.
Attorney General Eric Holder appointed two U.S. attorneys to probe the cyberattack and Yemen leaks, but Republicans have called for a special counsel, fearing the DOJ investigation might not be independent.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) alleged the leaks were a deliberate effort to aid President Obamas reelection bid, and has introduced a non-binding Senate resolution calling for a special counsel. That measure has 28 Republican co-sponsors.
McCain and four other Republican senators plan to hold a press conference about the leaks on Tuesday.
The outrage over the leaks has been coming from members of Obamas own party. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the leaks were the worst shed seen in Congress, but has rejected GOP calls for a special counsel, arguing the DOJ probe will be sufficient. Other Democrats have taken a similar position.
Feinstein is working with the heads of the Senate and House Intelligence committees on legislation aimed at cracking down on the release of classified information. Shes looking at provisions that would create more forceful leak investigations, add resources for the government to identify leakers and require the timely disclosure of authorized disclosures.
Feinstein was very pleased with Clappers announcement, according to a spokesman, though she still is planning to move forward with legislation.
House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said that Clappers new measures were a good first step.
The parade of recent leaks requires action, Rogers said in a statement. We must break this culture of unauthorized disclosures.
Steven Aftergood, a leading expert on government transparency and director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said it would be hard to gauge the impact of Clappers new policies without knowing the specifics.
The wording of the polygraph question will make a lot of difference, he said. A relatively narrow polygraph question might be: Have you disclosed classified intelligence information to an unauthorized person? An overly broad question would be: Have you had any contacts with members of news media?
Aftergood said that questions about media leaks might already be included in some polygraph tests, but now they will be addressed more systematically. Other questions that intelligence officials submit to in the lie-detector tests include queries about contact with foreign intelligence services or officials, or about sabotage, terrorism or misuse of government information systems.
Government transparency advocates have raised concerns that the recent vows from lawmakers to pass new laws to stanch leaks could have unintended consequences.
Congress has attempted to pass strict anti-leak laws before. In 2000, President Clinton vetoed a law that would have made any unauthorized disclosure of classified information a crime. He said the law was overly broad.
Amy Bennett, assistant director at OpenTheGovernment.org, said that Mondays announcement showed that the administration already has the tools it needs to investigate leaks.
Were really concerned that in Congresss zeal to crack down on leakers, its going to hastily pass legislation that really undercuts peoples right to know what their government is doing, Bennett said.
Aftergood, a member of OpenTheGovernments steering committee, warned that congressional legislation is a blunt instrument compared to the internal measures that the administration could take.
I dont see a valid need for new legislation on leaks, and I hope that Congress will exercise some self-restraint on that front, he said.
This, like ObamaCARE, is ONLY for non-Moslems.
“To exploit this vulnerability, Russias foreign intelligence service, the KGB, provided Havana with instructions on counter-polygraph techniques. The resulting solution was quite simple. Both services knew that pathological liars can pass polygraph exams because they believe so strongly in their lies that the machine cannot detect any physiological response indicative of deception. As such, both nations trained their agents to mimic the success of a pathological liar by accepting their lies as the truth.
As a result, dozens of Cuban double agents passed their CIA polygraph exams”
“Consider Aldrich Ames, the CIA agent who confessed in 1994 to having done $2.5 million worth of counterspying for the Soviet Union. He regularly passed the CIA’s lie detector tests during the nine years he was doing business with Moscow.
Ames, who certainly should know, said “there’s no special magic” in the guilty passing the tests: “Confidence is what does it. Confidence and a friendly relationship with the examiner.” “
Zero is the first one they need to hook up.
If Obama took a lie detector test the poor machine would blow up LOL
I think Obama could pass a lie detector on many issues. He is so mentally ill that he believes his lies.
That would be a decentive to flap your lips to prove how important you are to the moronic media... Let's start with Valerie Jarret...
Polygraphs can actually work. Just tell the subject that you have a special switch that will send house current through the electrodes to their heart if they lie.
Can we give ‘em a test jolt just to set the mood?
Is Obunga at the top of the list for interrogation?
I suspect that the Oba-Führer is not primarily concerned with stopping the leakage of national secrets.
I think he want’s to put a lid on Fast and Furious any way he can.
I bet Obama could PASS a lie detector test....
The first polygraph should be on the teleprompter.
golden opportunity to give Sandy Berger a shout-out.
Start in the Oval Office. It will shorten the list of candidates.
Hmmm. Yeah, special efforts to stop leaks of government secrets worked so well for Nixon... /sarc.
Unfortunately the FBI - Fools Buffoons and Incompetents - and the CIA - Clowns In Action - don't employ experienced detectives as polygraphists.