from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
June 15, 2001


Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are organizing to defend their legal rights in the face of new Department of Energy polygraph testing requirements.

The Society of Professional Scientists and Engineers (SPSE), an organization of Livermore employees, has developed its own "consent" form that documents the rights of those who are compelled to undergo polygraph testing. The new form and related materials may be found on the SPSE web site here:

Of particular interest, SPSE commissioned a background paper from attorney Andrew Thomas Sinclair entitled "If You are Asked to Take a Polygraph Examination: A Guide for Employees at LLNL" that is posted here:

The continuing controversy over the efficacy and propriety of polygraph testing is rehearsed most recently by Diana Ray in the Washington Times' Insight Magazine (July 2-9, 2001):, led by polygraph critic George Maschke, provides the latest news on polygraph testing, pursues the release of polygraph-related documentation under the Freedom of Information Act, and makes a commendable effort to engage polygraph proponents in dialog and debate. See:


The Department of Defense is resisting publication of a report that "makes it clear that potentially profound problems exist with the National Missile Defense System," according to Rep. John F. Tierney (D-MA).

The 80 page report was prepared last year by the Pentagon's Office of Technology and Evaluation, then directed by Philip Coyle.

Two weeks ago, it was released to Congress "after 8 months and at least six separate requests and a subpoena threat," Rep. Tierney said. "But the Department of Defense asked that that study be kept confidential."

"This is no time for the Department of Defense to bury a study. It is time for full disclosure, for deliberation and for debate."

Rep. Tierney discussed the Pentagon report and related issues in a House floor statement on June 12. See:


Two more Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports on intelligence have recently become available to the public in softcopy. As with most CRS products, they break little new analytic ground, but they offer reliable summaries of complex issues in relatively concise and readable form.

Both of the following reports, last updated January 16, 2001, were authored by CRS intelligence specialist Richard A. Best, Jr.

"The National Security Agency: Issues for Congress" (29 pages):

"Intelligence and Law Enforcement: Countering Transnational Threats to the U.S." (32 pages):


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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