By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com
We represent individuals who are scheduled for Counterintelligence (CI) polygraph examinations. A CI Polygraph examination is the most common type of polygraph examination and is geared towards screening for issues associated with espionage, sabotage, terrorism, unauthorized disclosure of classified information, unauthorized contacts with foreign nationals and deliberate damage to or malicious misuse of a U.S. government or defense system. This type of examination is different than a Lifestyle Polygraph examination which covers more personal issues.
Issues that are often times examined in more detail during CI Polygraph examinations
include questions focused on espionage and on improper disclosures of classified documents. While all of the areas mentioned above are part of the process, these two areas tend to be a significant focus of the CI polygraph. The improper disclosure of documents tends to be one of the most significant areas of examination in recent times.
How CI Polygraph Examinations are Conducted
CI Polygraph examinations are administered by professional polygraph examiners trained in their fields. These types of examinations generally take about 2 to 3 hours to complete in the normal process. If you are scheduled for a CI Polygraph examination, you can decline to take one, but it could have a negative effect on one’s ability to maintain or obtain their clearance. There are three phases to the CI Polygraph examination
These examinations generally begin with a pre-test phase which the polygraph examiner uses in prepared the individual for the examination. During this phase, the individual will usually be explained about the history, rationale and legal issues associated with the polygraph examination, the nature of the questions that will be asked, and will go over pertinent concerns with the person that will be taking the polygraph. The polygraph examiner will also usually calibrate his/her equipment during this time.
The in-test phase for a CI Polygraph examination is the portion of the exam where the polygrapher asks the individual the questions for the areas identified above. Some examples of potential areas of questioning include the topics of espionage, disclosure of classified information, improper storage of documentation, engaging in terrorist activities and meeting with foreign agents or governments.
Following the in-test phase, the polygrapher moves to the post-testing phase where the
individual is questioned about any difficult areas that came up during the examination. It is also during this stage that the polygrapher will form their opinion as to whether or not the examination has been successful. Typically, in addition to the polygrapher in the room, there may be a supervisor observing the polygraph examination itself.
Followup Polygraph Examination
If, after the CI Polygraph examination, an individual does not pass they can be brought back for additional examinations. Polygraph examinations are not always easy, but it is important to be honest in the polygraph examination process.
When undergoing a CI Polygraph examination, depending on the issues involved, it may be important to have an attorney. Our law firm advises and represents individuals on the issues surrounding a CI Polygraph examination as part of their security clearance evaluation. We can be contacted at www.berrylegal.com or by telephone at (703) 668-0070.