End Polygraph Screening Now sign now

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

We, the undersigned, ask that you issue an executive order immediately stopping all polygraph screening in the Executive Branch.

On October 8, 2002, the National Academy of Sciences issued a landmark report regarding the use of polygraphy by various federal agencies. Although many issues were explored and several conclusions were drawn, none was more important than the finding that polygraph screening is completely invalid as a diagnostic instrument for determining truth regarding terrorism, espionage, past activities of job applicants, and other important issues currently so assessed by our various federal, state, and local governments. During an associated press briefing, various panel members stated clearly and emphatically that no spy had ever been caught as a result of polygraphy, none would ever be expected to be so revealed, and that although a precise number cannot be assigned to the number of false positive results, large numbers of the tens of thousands of people subjected yearly to this sort of "testing" are likely being falsely accused about their backgrounds and activities.

The jury is in, and the evidence is clear and compelling. The technological and sociological embarrassment we have come to know as polygraph screening should be immediately stopped. Not one more innocent applicant or employee should be falsely accused, and not one more spy should be given cover through having passed a polygraph exam. The notion (as will be suggested by some in government agencies using polygraph screening) that this is "just one tool among many" is wrong and dangerous mumbo jumbo. The results of polygraph screening examinations are either believed, or they are not. If they are believed, they are acted upon, and these actions, if based upon erroneous polygraph results, will continue to lead to grave injury to country and citizens.

There exist few, if any, better examples than polygraph screening to disprove the notion that "anything is better than nothing." Although the difficulties of protecting the national security and of hiring trustworthy and competent employees do represent real challenges and do present real problems, polygraph screening is not, and never was, a meaningful solution to these problems. Many innocent and honest applicants have been and are being wrongly denied federal, state, and local government employment solely based on polygraph results. While these individuals may not have an inalienable right to government employment, they do have a right as U.S. citizens to fair and just treatment by their respective governments.

Spies such as Aldrich Hazen Ames, Karl Frantisek Koecher, Larry Wu-tai Chin, and Ana Belen Montes have been allowed to continue spying at least in part due to the confidence placed in their having passed polygraph exams while they were committing their acts of espionage. As has been demonstrated in spades over the years, not only is polygraph screening not a solution for the problems encountered by those entrusted with protecting the national security, but it is, in fact, a real threat itself to the national security and the reputations of our citizens. Although the report correctly assesses that there are many things that need to be changed and that there is much to be done over time to shore up the national security, there is only one compelling short-term action that screams for completion: end polygraph screening now.

It presumably was not easy for this panel to tell their sponsors that procedures they are currently using are invalid as truth identifiers and lie detectors. Our government should be no less courageous in following the panel conclusions with the timely decisions and policy actions so badly needed and so clearly required by this report. For all these reasons, we ask that you issue an executive order immediately stopping all polygraph screening in the Executive Branch.

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Latest Signatures

  • 06 February 20161000. Quentin N
    I support this petition
  • 05 February 2016999. Della H
    Im taking one to prove my innocence.Please,dont make me a liar. Address Kentucky
  • 03 February 2016998. Nick W
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  • 29 January 2016997. Seth K
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  • 25 January 2016996. Kurtis T
    I have failed a polygraph I told the truth on, and then passed another polygraph on the same information and I have proof. Address 300 Mae Street, Medford, OR 97504
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    В Address В Website В
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  • 22 December 2015989. Sandra Hinton
    Polygraph examinations and polygraph examiners are a watse of money and time. I don't think that anything is achieved by using these tests because they are based on 1920's technology and there is NO possible way to detect deception through this method. Th
  • 16 December 2015988. Henry K
    Please stop the insanity that is the legal system in this country. With laws such as the DMCA and the US Patriot Act ( which is anything but ) , the use of religion as a tool to stupify the nation , and the TIPS program , I can not see us progressing into
  • 11 December 2015987. Jon N
    I support this petition
  • 11 December 2015986. Jason E
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  • 07 December 2015985. Randall Ds
    I support this petition
  • 05 December 2015984. Carmen G
    I think it is not only unjust to judge a person's guilt or innocence on the results of a polygraph, but to make them pay for something that the state itself is requiring is even worse. There are roadblocks out there for convicts everywhere, the system mak
  • 01 December 2015983. Katherine M
    Please end this outdated and illegitimate process now. It does nothing to protect national security, and in fact discourages and even bars many of our country's most qualifed applicants from a life of public service.
  • 21 November 2015982. Joshua L
    I support this petition
  • 20 November 2015981. June P
    End this archaic practice Address Michigan Website http://www.artframedmart.com
  • 19 November 2015980. Christopher Js
    After serving as an Army Intelligence Officer, I left the military to pursue a career in the FBI. I was worngly accused of being a spy during my pre-employment polygraph, and summarily ousted from the application process. The accusations were proposterous
  • 15 November 2015979. Geoffrey A
    I support this petition
  • 31 October 2015978. Atefeh S
    I support this petition
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    I support this petition
  • 24 October 2015976. Jason W
    I support this petition
  • 19 October 2015975. Lydia M
    I support this petition
  • 16 October 2015974. Sinthera D
    I support this petition

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Esperanza ReidBy:
Business and CompaniesIn:
Petition target:
President George W. Bush


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