Thursday, October 31, 2013

And I bet that they didn't check the applicants' homes for violent video games either - polygraph tests and employment

Well, we now have our latest example of government incompetence, and both Bush and Obama are implicated. Witness this shocking revelation:

But what the media and other agency watchdogs ignored are carefully parsed statements by the CBP that place the quality and character of its workforce in even deeper jeopardy. The surge of CBP recruits to the training academy began in 2006. CBP’s own figures, for example, show that Border Patrol recruits to the academy doubled from 2005 to 2006, then doubled again the following year; there were 926 trainees in 2005, 1,889 in 2006, and 3,912 in 2007.

However, CBP Internal Affairs waited until 2008, fully three years after the surge in recruitment by the CBP, to begin “…implementing a requirement that CBP conduct polygraph examinations of all prospective CBP law enforcement agents and officers by January 2013.”...

Does CBP have the numbers of agents and officers who were never given the polygraph? Has it identified them as possible risks? Has it followed up with regularly scheduled polygraphs of all agents and officers? The answer to all of these questions seems to be “no.”

A pretty sexy story - Customs and Border Protection, required by law to implement polygraph tests, failed to do so in some instances. And you know what that means! It means...well, what does it mean?

Let's ask the National Academy of Sciences (yeah, I know them), who issued a 2003 report on the scientific basis behind polygraph tests. Here's an excerpt:

Almost a century of research in scientific psychology and physiology provides little basis for the expectation that a polygraph test could have extremely high accuracy.

So, what does CBP's polygraph failure mean? We really don't know.
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