Oh Dear Lord…

Do we have to have yet more evidence that the fuckwits are in charge?

Paedophiles will be forced to take lie detector tests to see if they pose a risk to children after being released from jail, the Ministry of Justice has announced.

Lie detectors don\’t work, pure and simple.


7 thoughts on “Oh Dear Lord…”

  1. I thought lie detetors were inadmissible as evidence in court? Every day we become more and more like a police state. This is a way of administering ‘justice’ without the courts system. I would be outraged if I hadn’t already vented all the rage I have.

  2. Tim,

    Pace your comment above concerning the further mangling of the English language, one wonders how long it will be before the sociologists insist on the restriction of the words ‘paedo’, ‘perv’, and, our favourite in the West of Scotland, ‘beast’, to describe paedophiles.

    There might be one lie detector for those johnnies that might work – a vigilante mob in a Portsmouth housing scheme.

  3. Although it has to be pointed out that US DOD tests involving experienced polygraph operators showed that they were actually quite effective at detecting significant falsehoods. Although, statistically, the humans were found to be even more effective when their kit (ie the actual electro-mechanical lie detector) was altered to produce mild inconclusive readings. I don’t know whether further experiments were done to determine whether body language, pheromones or mere experience were cluing them in.

    Apologies for not being able to provide an appropriate link.

  4. Every person is the single most accomplished and successful liar of whom he is personally and certainly aware.

    I’m not certain of this but I think that Randi (randi.org) puts mechanical lie detection in the “woo-woo” category, though not sure whether he’d classify it as “paranormal” for purposes of the double-blinded “Million-Dollar Challenge.” I’ll ask and report.

  5. I didn’t ask–just copied a few excerpts from the site–I guess you could say they were site-cites:

    Our buddy Bob Park, of the American Physical Society, has always insisted, as we have, that the polygraph — “lie detector” — is useless. Last week, noting some news on that subject, he commented that “The polygraph is . . . a highly reliable detector of orgasms. But does it detect lies? Only if you’re lying about having an orgasm.”

    The New York Times columnist William Safire last week referred to “the form of torture that calls itself the lie detector.” Much to his — and to my — satisfaction, the bells-and-whistles machine that measures perspiration, heart rate, respiration, and other signs of possible psychological tension, has now been officially discredited as the judge of truth-telling. But, mark my words, that will not stop government agencies from using it, and the lobby that adores weird bits of technology will pester Federal and State officials to approve and endorse it, vigorously.

    I have always insisted that the polygraph is a form of technical witchcraft, an example of wishful thinking by the tech world. The results depend entirely upon the operator and the situation as it exists at the moment the test is administered. Twice now, I myself have undergone polygraph examination — as tests of my ability to defeat the device, I will quickly add! — and I won both times. I equipped examiners with specific questions, the truthful answers to which would be embarrassing and stress-inducing, so that the tests would take place under similar circumstances to those in effect when these examinations are usually done. A piece of cake, believe me.

    Of course, as a magician, I am accustomed to “lying” professionally. I represent situations that are quite false, misleading, and deceptive — in order to achieve the illusionary effects I employ. That box on stage, casually shown to be empty, may not be empty; a person who walks on stage to assist me, might have been cleverly, subtly “prompted” beforehand, without even being aware of that fact. Given that situation, it’s perhaps no wonder that I can defeat the polygraph. But criminals, spies, thieves, are also in the business of deception, though with less honorable intentions.

    Experts convened by the National Research Council, an branch of the National Academy of Sciences, spent almost two years on an investigation of the polygraph, and concluded that “national security is too important to be left to such a blunt instrument,” adding that “no spy has ever been caught [by] using the polygraph.”

    Safire wrote, in The New York Times, that a U.S. attorney general once told him: “Look — we know it’s often wrong, but watching that needle jump is scary, and it’s our best way for police to get confessions.” Okay, I can see that technique being used successfully, but how can we depend on law enforcement using it only that way, and what’s to prevent its use in surreptitiously “proving” points to authorities who are empowered to grant broader permission for searches, seizures, or interrogations that otherwise would not be allowed?

    I’m anything but soft on crime and criminals. But I signed on, as a naturalized citizen, to a system that I expect to toe the line in following the Constitution and the many freedoms — as well as responsibilities — that it requires. I expect that system to protect me and others, while I submit to its needs in administering justice and human rights.

    Safire wrote:

    The Supreme Court in 1998 held, 8 to 1, that only a jury can be the lie detector: “By its very nature, polygraph evidence may diminish the jury’s role in making credibility determinations….the aura of infallibility attending polygraph evidence can lead jurors to abandon their duty to assess credibility and guilt.”
    Thus defeated by the high court in criminal trials, and with businesses restrained by Congress from using the intimidating device to screen employees, the “polygraph community,” as the sweat-merchant lobby calls itself, made its last stand by claiming the ability of its testers to root out spies.

    Safire then pointed out the frightening fact that major Federal agencies had embraced this pseudoscience, a fact of which, back in the 1960s, a group of us from CSICOP had tried to convince a select group from the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, and other agencies. As I’d feared, they had arrived at that conference with their decisions already made, and the polygraph was dear to them as an example of modern technology, they thought, that would serve them well. Safire continued:

    The C.I.A. had been the first to fall for it. By relying on widespread polygraph tests to “flutter” its employees, the agency believed it was invulnerable to “moles.” But the Soviet penetrator Aldrich Ames breezed through two of those tests, causing our counterspies to lower their guard and ignore obvious clues to the source of espionage that cost the lives of ten U.S. agents in Russia.
    Because professional spies are trained to defeat the device; because pathological liars do not cause its needles to spike; and because our counterspies relax when a potential suspect “passes” — the system breeds the opposite of security.

    Safire went on to tell how in 1981 he had been told by William Casey, CIA chief, that a valium pill and certain simple physical tricks would easily enable him, Casey, to defeat the instrument. Safire recounted several examples in which the polygraph results were quite wrong and almost got innocent victims fired and/or convicted. He did not say how many were actually doomed by the system. Wrote Safire:

    …polygraphing should be stopped not only at the Energy Department, which sponsored the Research Council study because it was losing scientists, but at the Defense Department, which subjects some 10,000 employees to the self-defeating display of distrust. If unfairness to truth-tellers doesn’t move you, try the hard-liner’s reason: Bureaucratic reliance on today’s fault-ridden system lets well-trained spies and terrorists penetrate our defenses.
    We’ll see just how persuasive this revelation is…..

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