On December 15, 2005, The American Spectator published an article entitled “Nothing But the Truth” by David Holman. The article criticizes the Department of Defense for not adopting Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) technology to determine if someone, such as a terrorist, is telling the truth, and states that failing to do so denies U.S. troops the very best equipment. However, Mr. Holman failed to identify the Department’s fundamental need for validating equipment. To be successful in obtaining usable intelligence, the Department must go beyond collection of intelligence — to assessing whether that information is truthful or deceptive.
Merely getting people to talk is not sufficient. The imperative is to discern the accuracy of the information that forms the basis for intelligence. That information must be assessed for accuracy and truthfulness, and there is no scientific evidence that CVSA can adequately distinguish between truthfulness and deceptive information.
A study on voice stress analysis was conducted at the University of Florida, and we await the opportunity to review the results of that study. However, until scientific testing adequately proves the reliability and accuracy of CVSA, the Department of Defense would be irresponsible to condone the acquisition of such an instrument, or endorse a technology that could place its personnel or the reliability of information at risk.p>The Department of Defense monitors closely the research, development, and evaluation efforts of academic institutions and other federal departments and agencies involved in assessing a variety of technologies for truth verification. Technological advances enhance the future of intelligence verification within the Department, but these advances — like CVSA — must be backed by solid scientific validation. br> — Robert W. Rogalski br> Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Counterintelligence and Security) /p> p>
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