Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pentagon Unveils New Lie Detector

Article from MSNBC:

The Pentagon has revealed its new anti-terror weapon, a hand-held lie detector device, that has already been used some in Iraq, and will now be deployed to Afghanistan to help determine who's a terrorist and who is not. Naturally, this has been met with a great deal of skepticism, as polygraphs are known for not being entirely accurate (of course, still accurate enough for people to go on TV, reveal their life's secrets, and destroy their families for cash.) Even better, these handheld devices are less accurate than polygraphs, as they are placed on the fingertip and cannot determine rate of breathing, blood pressure, etc. Also, polygraph technicians must take a 4 year course before administering the test, but these new devices will be used by enlisted soldiers following a 13 week course.

The argument is that it still helps, and is significantly better than a coin-flip. Hooray. The main thing it goes by is pulse, and I'm sure that innocent Afghanis don't have rapid pulses when being approached by US soldiers. So, instead of approaching each situation will caution, and maintaining a neutral stance to people whose allegiance is unknown, a small device will tell soldiers "hey, this guy's lying", while the chances that he's actually lying aren't much better than 50%. A real improvement, indeed.

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