Small Group of Bureaucrats Hampering Use of Anti-Terror Technology

Recent headlines shared horrible news about the intentions of those who wish to do the United States harm:

Al-Qaeda Terror Attempt on NWA Flight 253 (Dec. 25, 2009)

Seven CIA Operatives Killed by Double Agent in Afghanistan (Dec. 31, 2009)

Muslim Extremist Kills 13 at Fort Hood, Texas (Nov. 5, 2009)


These are but a few recent examples of the importance of preventative intelligence — that is, the ability to determine enemy intentions in order to effectively interdict the specific threat posed by an enemy before it occurs, according to James Chapman, education and standards director of the National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts, a group that represents more than 1,800 law enforcement agencies and the thousands of criminal justice officials who use CVSA on a daily basis to solve crimes.

Unfortunately, the federal government has failed to use existing U.S. technology to identify enemy intentions — namely those of individual terrorists and highly compartmentalized terrorist cells — through all legal means possible.  Instead, says Chapman, the 67-year-old regarded by many as the world’s foremost authority on CVSA®, they’ve sided with a tiny group of government employees determined to maintain the status quo.

“With the exception of a small minority of the population, few Americans know the U.S. possesses a technology that has been proven through research and field application to have the ability to identify terrorists and their intentions,” Chapman explained during an interview Monday.

“More than 1,800 local, municipal, state, and federal criminal justice agencies use CVSA to solve crimes and determine the suitability of individuals to perform law enforcement related duties,” he said.  “Likewise, the technology is authorized under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 for the screening of potential terrorists and to ensure the security of U.S. airports and the flying public.”


On the military front, the man with nearly four decades of experience working with voice stress analysis said few people outside of the Pentagon know Gen. David Petraeus and his advisors advocate for the use of this technology in the Army’s “Counterinsurgency” Field Manual (U.S. Army FM 3-24, Dec. 2006).

“In fact, General Petraeus was responsible for producing the field manual during his exile to non-combat duty by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld,” Chapman explained. “Sadly, its content has been kept secret from the American public.

“A small, secretive group of bureaucrats and political appointees have effectively blocked the use of the highly sophisticated Computer Voice Stress Analyzer after repeated and well-documented successes of the technology in accurately identifying foreign terrorists.” (See “If Not for Memo, Torture Might Not Be An Issue (Part 1)” and “Part 2” for details about the Defense Department’s decision-making on this subject.)

What motivates those in the polygraph community?

Chapman believes they’re simply trying to preserve an entrenched bureaucratic structure that has existed for decades.

“Within the Pentagon there is a small group of bureaucrats who have not been capable of devising a technology to rival CVSA after more than 20 years and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars spent on research,” Chapman said. “Yet they have blocked the CVSA simply to ensure their power and their monopoly over government truth verification operations.”


A 19-year study of CVSA technology by Chapman, professor emeritus and former director of the Criminal Justice Program and the Forensic Crime Laboratory at the State University of New York in Corning, demonstrated conclusively that CVSA is an effective and accurate truth verification tool, with an accuracy rate above 95 percent.

“It is a tragedy that a small group of federal government bureaucrats responsible for the old polygraph program have the power to stifle the U.S. military and intelligence communities from using a technology that has been proven effective by U.S. law enforcement and worldwide scientific research,” Chapman said.

“My 19-year longitudinal study of more than 2,100 crimes in which CVSA technology was used produced a court-admissible confession rate of 94.6 percent,” Chapman explained.

“The full authority of the U.S. court system was applied as the ‘gold standard’ in adjudicating the accuracy of the CVSA and the evidence resulting from the confessions obtained by the CVSA.

“Recently, Chief Federal Judge Norman Mordue of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, decided that the CVSA was an effective, valid and legally sound tool for use by law enforcement professionals in the federal government,” Chapman continued.  “Judge Mordue’s decision has put to rest the debate regarding the efficacy of the CVSA in the criminal justice system.”  (See “Federal Judge Approves Use of Advanced Lie Detection Equipment During Interrogation of Sex Offender; Army Still Says ‘No’ to CVSA” for details on the court ruling.)


“It is now the mission of (NACVSA) to ensure our military members and intelligence professionals have the same tools available as U.S. law enforcement to fight the war on terror.

“Fortunately, the debate is over, and there is bipartisan support for using the CVSA by the more forward-thinking and enlightened members of Congress,” Chapman said. “I hope to see the massive deployment of CVSA technology soon to ensure terrorist threats are identified outside the U.S.” 
Chapman went on to explain that stopping terrorists from boarding our aircraft and entering the U.S. before they can do any harm represents the “best possible outcome.”

Further, he said the manufacturer of the CVSA has developed a number of new and sophisticated applications and prototypes which can be deployed overseas to help the U.S. government in their efforts to protect Americans.

“It’s unfortunate that a small group within the federal government can commission questionable studies, at taxpayer expense, in their attempts to block a technology that is widely accepted by U.S. law enforcement as well as by state and federal court systems.

“I have reviewed a number of recent studies with a group of esteemed researchers, academics and other experts and found the studies used by the polygraph lobby to block the CVSA lack scientific rigor and validity,” Chapman said. “These studies are so flawed that they have been ignored by the mainstream, but are still used by the Pentagon’s polygraph bureaucracy to block the CVSA.


“The U.S. military’s own records of the hundreds of CVSA exams conducted against suspected foreign terrorists and others by the Army, Navy and Marine Corps consistently demonstrate an accuracy rate of approximately 95 percent under combat conditions,” he said. “There is no other technology available in the world that can perform at these levels, and our military and intelligence personnel, along with the U.S. citizenry, are being placed at risk because of the actions of a few dozen self-serving individuals.”

Chapman said he hopes President Obama, members of his administration, and others in the political leadership of this nation will look into this issue immediately.

“Unfortunately,” he concluded, “the previous administration — particularly its political appointees to the Defense Department — had the facts but chose to shortchange the American people. ”


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