Search

 

Cablegate: Anti-Narcotics Unit Members Object to Polygraphs

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS BOGOTA 003618

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR PREL SNAR KJUS CO
SUBJECT: ANTI-NARCOTICS UNIT MEMBERS OBJECT TO POLYGRAPHS

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) On April 4, Bogota's El Espectador newspaper
published an article about complaints by members of the
Fiscalia's Anti-Narcotics and Maritime Interdiction Unit
(UNAIM) about polygraph exams recently administered by the
FBI. The exams were mandated by Prosecutor General ("Fiscal
General") Luis Camilo Osorio following allegations of
corruption and collusion with criminal organizations in the
Prosecutor General's Office ("Fiscalia"). The UNAIM members
objected to personal questions and complained that examiners
intimidated and pressured them. However, the professional
FBI polygraphers used standard techniques ) the same as are
used on FBI employees. End Summary.

-------------------------------------------
The Offended Fiscalia Employees' Grievances
-------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) On April 4, Bogota's El Espectador newspaper
published an article written by members of the Office of the
Prosecutor General's ("Fiscalia") Anti-Narcotics and Maritime
Interdiction Unit (UNAIM). The article, entitled "Secrets of
the FBI Polygraph," painted a negative picture of recent
FBI-administered polygraph exams administered to over 120
senior officials and members of USG-assisted units in the
Fiscalia. In a letter to Prosecutor General Luis Camilo
Osorio published alongside the article, the UNAIM members
raised the following objections: (1) the polygraph exams were
administered by a foreign government; (2) they were an
invasion of privacy; (3) they violated individual rights,
including the presumption of innocence; (4) they served to
intimidate and threaten public servants; and (5) they lack
scientific reliability. The employees expressed particular
objections to alleged questions about drug and alcohol abuse
and sexual conduct. According to FBI representatives at
post, the Fiscalia employees' assertions are false on several
counts, some of which are probably attributable to a lack of
familiarity with polygraph exams.

-----------------------
A Misunderstood Process
-----------------------

3. (SBU) Among the complaints raised by the Fiscalia
employees were that polygraphers pried into their personal
lives, were intimidating, and pressured them to provide
answers to uncomfortable questions. In fact, the examiners
used standard polygraph techniques, including asking a set of
control questions, providing the questions to each individual
prior to the exam to give them a chance to ask for
clarifications, and interviewing individuals for 30 minutes
before beginning the formal exam. Aside from questions about
drug use while a government official, the examiners asked no
embarrassing personal questions. The FBI rejects allegations
that the polygraphers used intimidation tactics, threatened
examinees, or harangued individuals until a specific response
was elicited. As is standard practice, polygraphers may have
been insistent on particular questions or sets of questions
in order to: (1) evoke emotions that ensure proper readings
by the polygraph machine, or (2) overcome inconclusive
readings. If an individual test was inconclusive, the
polygrapher asked more questions until getting a definitive
reading. Some test-takers may have misunderstood this
standard practice.
WOOD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 



UN: Visionary ‘Blue Transformation’ Strategy To Enhance Underwater Food Systems

Record levels of fisheries and aquaculture production are making a critical contribution to global food security, the UN Ocean Conference under way in Lisbon, Portugal, heard on Wednesday...
More>>
Abu Akleh Shooting: Fatal Shot Came From Israeli Forces, Says OHCHR
Israeli forces were behind the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank - not indiscriminate Palestinian firing - the UN human rights office, OHCHR, alleged on Friday... More>>


Ethiopia: Conflict, Drought, Dwindling Food Support, Threatens Lives Of 20 Million

Hunger is tightening its grip on more than 20 million Ethiopians who are facing conflict in the north, drought in the south and dwindling food and nutrition support beginning next month, the UN food relief agency warned on Thursday... More>>


UN Ocean Conference: Opens With Call For Urgent Action To Tackle Ocean Emergency
With climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution exacting a devastating toll on the world’s ocean — critical to food security, economic growth and the environment... More>>

World Vision: Deeply Concerned For Thousands Affected By Afghanistan Quake
World Vision is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the wake of a powerful earthquake in the early hours of this morning... More>>



Malaysia: UN Experts Welcome Announcement To Abolish Mandatory Death Penalty

UN human rights experts* today commended an announcement made by the Malaysian government that it will abolish the country’s mandatory death penalty and encouraged Parliament to take concrete steps to pass the agreement into law... More>>