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In Bizarre Case, Border Patrol Prosecutes America’s Top Critic of the Polygraph

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For over 3 decades, Doug Williams has debunked the polygraph test.  Customs & Border Patrol led a sting operation, and Williams faces trial in a week on 5 charges in an effort to silence an expert critic of “lie detector” tests that are widely used on federal employees and contractors.   Williams was a police polygraph examiner in Oklahoma when he realized that as many as half of the people who are telling the truth will fail a polygraph test.  For over 35 years, Williams has expressed his views in books, videos, a website, and even on 60 Minutes and other TV shows.

Williams alleges that he was targeted by John R. Schwartz, a lead investigator with Customs & Border Patrol who has a background in polygraphy.  He can’t explain why this is part of the CPB mission, which makes this a bizarre example of mission creep and selective prosecution over at the Department of Homeland Security.

Williams reports that he rejected a plea deal, and plans to fight to expose what he says were attempts to frame him, using undercover agents who met with Williams and asked for advice on how to “beat the polygraph”.  As a result, he is charged with 3 counts of witness tampering and 2 counts of mail fraud, and each charge carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

The trial is scheduled to start on May 12, and a supporter of Williams’ will be blogging updates here.  His name is George Maschke, and he is mentioned in the podcast as a critic of the polygraph in his own right.