Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 Send TopicPrint
Normal Topic Polygraph "Testing" and the 1995 Chinese "Walk-in" (Read 5856 times)
George Maschke (Guest)

Polygraph "Testing" and the 1995 Chinese "Walk-in"
Oct 19th, 2000 at 11:39am
Print Post  

[pre]In chapter 2 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector
([url][/url]), Gino Scalabrini and I

   In 1995, a "walk-in" approached the Central
   Intelligence Agency outside of the PRC and provided
   an official PRC document classified "Secret" that
   contained design information on the W-88 Trident
   D-5 warhead, the most modern in the U.S. arsenal,
   as well as technical information concerning other
   thermonuclear warheads.
 Thus began an ongoing investigation of suspected Chinese
 espionage within the Department of Energy, according to
 chapter 2 of the report of the House Select Committee on U.S.
 National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the
 People's Republic of China, more commonly known as the "Cox
 Report." But in the very next paragraph, the Cox Report
   The CIA later determined that the "walk-in" was
   directed by the PRC intelligence services.
   Nonetheless, the CIA and other Intelligence
   Community analysts that reviewed the document
   concluded that it contained U.S. thermonuclear
   warhead design information.
 The Cox Report does not disclose how the CIA determined that
 the "walk-in" was "directed by the PRC intelligence
 services." Nor does the Cox Report offer any insight into why
 the PRC intelligence services would provide the CIA with
 documents that could reasonably be expected to compromise
 their own sources and methods.
 Could it be that the CIA determined that the "walk-in" was
 directed by the PRC intelligence services because a CIA
 polygrapher found portents of prevarication when he gazed
 into the polygraph charts? As previously noted (p. 16),
 hundreds of CIA employees were unable to pass their polygraph
 screening exams in the wake of Aldrich Ames' arrest in 1994,
 and the 1995 "walk-in" incident occurred squarely in that
 wake. If the CIA did terminate its relationship with the
 "walk-in" based on the voodoo science of polygraphy, then it
 committed a blunder of monumental proportions.
The Cox Report is available on-line at:


Support for our speculation on the role of polygraphy in CIA's
determination that the "walk-in" was a double agent appears in
today's (Thursday, 19 Oct. 2000) Washington Post in an article by
Walter Pincus and Vernon Loeb entitled, "Spy Probe Shifts to


Pincus and Loeb write:

 Because of the CIA's belief that the walk-in was a double
 agent, a full translation of the documents seemed less
 pressing. "He failed an agency polygraph," one intelligence
 official explained. The CIA's suspicions about the informant
 also slowed the FBI's already limited investigation at Los
 Alamos of Wen Ho Lee.
The only "evidence" thus far publicly provided for CIA's
conclusion seems to be that he "failed an agency polygraph."
However, because polygraph "tests" are easy to beat (see chapter 4
of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector), and foreign intelligence
services are likely to know this, and because these "tests" also
have a built-in  bias against truthful persons (chapter 3), the
fact that the walk-in "failed" seems to be pretty good evidence
that he was not, after all, a Chinese double agent.

The FBI does not believe that the defector was a double agent.
Pincus and Loeb report:

 The CIA concluded several years ago that the defector who
 supplied the documents was a Chinese double agent, casting
 doubt on the information he delivered and delaying its
 translation from Mandarin to English. But the FBI, which has
 interviewed the defector in the United States, believes that
 he is legitimate. The CIA now says the evidence about the
 defector is "inconclusive," but agrees that the information
 he handed over has proven accurate, a senior government
 official said this week.
This seems to be yet another case where the U.S. Government's
reliance on unreliable polygraph "testing" has caused serious
damage to America's national security. It's high time that those
responsible for our reliance on the voodoo science of polygraphy
be held accountable.

George Maschke

ps: I'll be without Internet access for the next 3 weeks,
but replies are welcome. I'll respond when I return.
Back to top
IP Logged

Re: Polygraph "Testing" and the 1995 Chinese "Walk
Reply #1 - Dec 5th, 2000 at 1:16pm
Print Post  
any idea about "stroop test" used in "lie detecting"?
Back to top
IP Logged
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send TopicPrint
Bookmarks: Digg Facebook Google Google+ Linked in reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Yahoo