Polygraph for Public Officials?
by James Jaeger

In order to create greater security for the United States in this new war against terrorism, should all Congressmen, the President and his Cabinet, the Vice-President, the CIA & FBI Directors, the Federal Reserve Chairman/Board as well as all Justices appointed to the Supreme Court be required to take a polygraph test prior to their election or appointment to political office?

Since we now have public evidence (and admissions of guilt) that officials at the highest levels of government have lied while in office (as demonstrated in the Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon administrations), it might be prudent that, among the age and citizenship requirements imposed by the Constitution, a polygraph (lie-detector) test also be imposed before any such high public official be eligible to run or be appointed. This simple action, which the Public could demand (by referendum, if necessary) of its leaders (i.e., that they don't lie while in office and that they are actually there to serve the public trust), might go far to dissuade certain less-than-ethical elements from seeking power and thus subjecting the rest of us to continued misery, waste and liability. In consideration for the increased honesty of public officials that such screening process would undoubtedly bring, base salaries should be raised and substantial bonuses might be tied to performance statistics. This would also serve to attract and reward a higher caliber of candidates.

Due to the vagaries in the state-of-the-art of the polygraph, a negative polygraph test should, in and of itself, NOT prevent appointment to office, but merely serve as EVIDENCE that the candidate had nothing to hide and is seeking office with the best of intentions and on a mission to serve the public interest (not corporate, special interest group, banking, foreign, elitist, terrorist or self-serving interests).

Among the questions that might be asked could be the following:

  1. Are you in any way connected to a terrorist group or an enemy of the United States, directly or indirectly?
  2. Have you accepted campaign contributions that would adversely influence decisions you will have to make in the public interest?
  3. Are you involved, directly or indirectly, in any financial irregularities?
  4. If you are appointed to public office, is it your sole intention to serve the public interest?
  5. Is there anything that you would not want the American People to know about you that could compromise your ability to perform your public duties and responsibilities?

Perhaps you can think of additional questions that might be asked.

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