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Iraqi Prisoners Beat Lie Detectors

Rowan Scarborough writes in The Washington Times that captured Saddam Hussein loyalists in Iraq are able to beat lie-detector tests. This is frustrating our attempts to find hidden weapons and to learn what happened to Navy Capt. Michael Speicher, who has been missing since the Gulf War.

How do they do it? U.S. officials think that lying may have been so routine in Saddam?s government, that the lies don't show up on a polygraph. It's also known that Iraqi intelligence trained some people to "beat" the machine.

The accuracy of lie detectors is demonstrated by giving the person being tested some questions to which the answers are known. In one case, an Iraqi involved in a weapons program was shown two pictures. In the first one, officials cut his image out of a photo of workers at a weapons factory. He agreed that the cut-out image was of him. Next they showed him the photo with his image restored. This time, he denied he was in the photo, but the polygraph didn't pick up the lie.

"Polygraphs are being used in the interrogation process with mixed results," says a military officer. "Many of the suspects being interrogated were formerly part of the Ba'ath Party intelligence apparatus, so they would reasonably understand how the device works?Right now, we're detaining suspects at a much higher rate than we can interview. They're stacking up."

One answer the questioners hope to get is the location of Capt. Speicher, whose F-18 Hornet was shot down on the first day of the Gulf War in 1991. Evidence has been found that he was alive after the Gulf War, including writing on the wall of a prison cell. If he's still alive, the Pentagon wants to find him.

A defector from Saddam's Special Security Organization, who passed a polygraph test, says he saw Speicher alive in 1998. But when agents questioned people he said could corroborate his story, they said he was wrong or lying. His superior at the security organization says the is defector a "born liar." A report states, "None of the information provided by [the defector] has proven accurate."

The U.S. military has captured 34 of Saddam?s top aides, and so far, all of them deny Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction. Is this is the truth?

Is our government telling us the truth about terrorism?

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