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February 2023


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Polygraph

CIA Director: I Was a Supporter of Communist Party in Mid-1970s

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling

CIA Director John Brennan revealed that he was once a communist sympathizer in the mid-1970s because he was disgusted by Watergate and the political landscape that helped produce it.

Brennan was in college at the time and voted for Communist Party nominee Gus Hall, New York Magazine reports. 

By 1980, Brennan said he was no longer a Communist sympathizer and realized that capitalism was a far better system.

Brennan said he “froze” when he was taking a polygraph test when entering the CIA.

“This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate.”

Brennan added, “I said I was neither Democratic or Republican, but it was my way, as I was going to college, of signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change. I said I’m not a member of the Communist Party, so the polygrapher looked at me and said, ‘OK,’ and when I was finished with the polygraph and I left and said, ‘Well, I’m screwed.’”

Despite his past, he received national security clearance.

Other Stories of Interest

Retired FBI Agent Makes Living Administering Polygraph Tests

By Steve Neavling

fbi badge

Jay Cherry has been around long enough to separate truth from fiction.

After retiring in 2012 following 21 years with the FBI, Cherry opened Eagle Eye Polygraph in  The retired FBI agent open Eagle Eye Polygraph in Batavia, Il., in June 2014, Kane County Chronicle reports.

“I did criminal work, investigating federal crimes and did polygraph testing as a specialty since 2004,” said Cherry, of Batavia. “To beat the polygraph, it is very difficult. … To a trained examiner, it is really obvious.”

Cherry said the polygraph is more sophisticated than it used to be.

“The technology is more sophisticated, but basically uses the same principles from 100 years ago,” Cherry said. “We have better ways of recording physiology. I’ve had … guilty people who … think they can beat the test through force of will.”

Cherry charges between $250 and $1,000 to administer a polygraph test, which takes between 90 and 120 minutes.

From FBI to Fiction: Retired Agent Publishes Book About Operating a Polygraph

Steve Neavling

No one knows about lie detector tests quite like William J. Warner.

A confession specialist for the FBI during his 22-year career, Warner published a fictionalized account of his work as a polygraph operator, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

The 58-year-old’s book, “Going Knee to Knee,” describes the art of getting a good interview.

“If you want them to profess their soul to you, they have to see that you care about them,” Warner said of his subjects. “It’s a challenge to be gentle with these types of people, to get the truth out of them.”

The book’s main character is Special agent Cy Donovan.

FBI’s Reliance on Polygraph Testing During Job Interviews Is Challenged

Steve Neavling 

Critics are questioning why the FBI still relies on polygraph tests to determine whether job applicants are fit to be agents, The Sacramento Bee reports.

Many experts have concluded polygraph testing is not an accurate way to determine whether someone is lying, especially during a job interview, the Bee wrote.

Records examined by the Bee found that 30% of about 13,000 annual job applicants fail the job screening. Of those, 40% failed because of the polygraph test.

Polygraphs are especially prone to errors when questions are vague, like they are in job interviews.

“I was called a lazy, lying, drug dealing junkie by a man who doesn’t know me , my stellar background or my societal contributions,” wrote one black applicant in Baltimore, who said he was told he qualified for a job except for his polygraph test failure. “Just because I am young and black does not automatically denote that I have ever used any illegal drugs.”

Federal Agencies Rely More on Inaccurate Polygraphs During Criminal Probes

Steve Neavling

Federal agencies are increasingly relying on polygraphs for suspects despite concerns about the tests’ reliability, reports Center for Investigative Reporting. 

Although Congress banned the exam in most of the private sector 25 years ago, 17 federal agencies, including CBP, use polygraph tests, CIR wrote.

The National Center for Credibility Assessment trains polygraphers, an overwhelming majority of whom are for federal agencies, CIR reported.

The tests are most accurate during criminal probes, CIR reported.

“The further you get away from the ‘did you do it’ question, the weaker the polygraph is going to be. It’s easier to get errors,” said Charles Honts, a Boise State University psychology professor and polygrapher.


Lie Detectors to Determine Who Leaks Information to Media

Steve Neavling

The nation’s spy chief is taking the war on intelligence leaks to another level.

Employees for top intelligence-gathering agencies will undergo polygraph tests to identify anyone who is sharing secrets with the media, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced Monday, ABC News reports.

Clapper also said employees must report any contact with journalists, according to ABC News.

“These efforts will reinforce our professional values by sending a strong message that intelligence personnel always have, and always will, hold ourselves to the highest standard of professionalism,” Clapper said.

Should Secret Service Agents Take Polygraphs After Being Hired?

By Allan Lengel

Should Secret Service agents be polygraphed after they join the agency?

Ronald Kessler of Newsmax seems to suggest that.

He writes that agents must take a poloygraph test to get the job. But not after that.

In contrast, he reports that FBI employees are polygraphed every five years, and counterintelligence agents, sometimes more often.

To read the full story click here.


Man Who Applied for FBI Job Gets 80 Mos. in Prison

By Danny Fenster

Dominick Pelletier was not expecting prison time when he went looking for a job at the FBI. But he got it.

The 34-year-old suburban Chicago resident applied with the bureau as an intelligence analyst in August of 2008, according to the Daily Herald, but after taking a routine polygraph test he told interviewers that he felt he made mistakes on the polygraph regarding questions involving child pornography.

Pelletier later admitted to having child porn on his computer, and allowed authorities to search it, the paper reported. In August of 2011 he pleaded guilty to the charges.

After pleading guilty to charges of possession of child pornography, the one-time FBI job applicant was recently handed an 80 month prison sentence without parole, reports the Daily Herald.

To read more click here.