History of the Lie Detection

Topics: Polygraph, Aldrich Ames, Lie detection Pages: 6 (1765 words) Published: November 20, 2008
Lie Detector

History of the Lie Detection

Lie Detector

Would you believe that an native born FBI agent would be capable of espionage? Robert Hanssen verbally made an agreement in 1976 for employment with the FBI; agreeing he would not be involved or conduct any sort of espionage. During the 25 years as FBI agent, Rob Hanssen, never took a polygraph test. CIA employees endured a polygraph as a condition of employment. In the FBI agents viewed polygraph for criminals to prove cases. Robert Hanssen was accused and proven guilty of selling extremely important documents to Russia, putting the U.S.A. in a very vulnerable state where we are exposed as an open-book to whom ever wants to harm our country. Newspapers tell that Mr. Hanssen knew just about everything undercover regarding the United States. FBI collected boxes of evidence trying to link Rob Hanssen and the national secrets handed over to Russia (2002, The case against Robert Hanssen). What is scary about this case is Rob Hanssen was one of the few selected members involved with intelligence who knew the ins and outs of everything top secret. Due to Rob Hanssen's intensive deceit against the United States of

Lie Detector

America, there new procedures with the computer systems, regulations, and more polygraph testing on government employees.
Lie detection can be dated back to the 1800’s. The first devise used for lie detection was from William Marston an American Physiologist from Massachusetts which he named the “Systolic blood pressure deception test.” William Marston created this machine that checked the blood pressure while observing physical body changes. In World War 1 William Marston’s machine was put to use by the Secretary of War for investigations regarding counterintelligence. The United States Military had used lie detection as a tool extensively during World War 2 as well. The CIA started to employ these tools in the era of the Cold War. In the early 1900’s a Berkeley, California Police Officer named John Larson made two different instruments. The first was the “Cardio-Pneumo Psychogram” which was basically an Erlanger Sphygmomanometer. The second one which was created in 1921 was thought of as a duplicate of the first which was used also to detect deception. This machine was named the "Breadboard Polygrah”. This machine that John Larson invented was a more advanced machine that was able to record both the breathing rate and blood pressure at the same time which is now known as the “Polygraph” which means “Many Writings” in Greek (2005, Global polygraph).

Here are some documented court cases that set a precedence for the Polygraph machine.

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In the case of Frye vs. the United States, James Alphonzo Frye was convicted of second degree murder for the killing of Robert Brown. James Alphonzo Frye later appealed his decision in 1923. Frye, who confessed to the murder but then retracted his admission, was convicted by a jury. At trial, the court refused to let Frye introduce evidence about his truthfulness through a William Marston‘s "systolic blood pressure deception test“. The court also refused to let an expert witness be introduced to testify about the deception test. Frye appealed due to the court’s failure to admit the deception test. In an unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia ruled for the United States, the court related that the systolic blood pressure deception test had not gained enough recognition in the scientific community with the physiological and psychological peers. The court did not agree with and upheld the decision to convict James Alphonzo Frye (FRYE v.UNITED STATES. 293 F. 1013 ( D.C.. Cir 1923).

The case of the Scheffer vs. the United States was a very important case in using the polygraph. In the early months of 1992, a Military member of the Air Force stationed at March Air Force Base Edward...

References: Cherkashin, Victor, and Gregory Feifer. Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer: the True Story of the Man Who Recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, New York: Basic Books, 2005.
CNN. (2001). FBI to start polygraph tests following spy probe. Retrieved February 22, 2001, from www.cnn.com
Dallas Observer
David Thoreson Lykken, A Tremor In the Blood: Uses and Abuses of The Lie Detector (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1981), 25.
Earley, Pete. Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames, New York: G. P. Putnam 's Sons, 1997.
Frye v. United States. Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (1923). Retrieved from, http://www.polygraph.org
Maas, Peter
National Research Council, The Polygraph and Lie Detection (Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003), 19.
Police Technology and Forensic Science. (1997). History of the Lie Detector or Polygraph Machine. Retrieved 1997, from http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/forensic_2.htm
The National Academies Press
The Polygraph Museum. (2008). John Larson’s Breadboard Polygraph. Retrieved 2008, from http://www.lie2me.net/thepolygraphmuseum/id16.html
Washington Times
Wise, David. Nightmover: How Aldrich Ames sold the CIA to the KGB for $4.6 Million, HarperCollins, 1995.
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