To Catch a Mole

Beyond deciding how to deal with those who disclose classified information, the Pentagon has been working on an older and more basic problem: how to screen out security risks. Increasingly, the Pentagon is turning to the lie detector for this purpose. In 1983, the last year for which a count is available, the Defense Department administered 21,000 routine polygraph checks to its employees. This year, with special congressional authorization, some 3,500 key officials who have access to highly secret information, or may be under consideration for such access, will be given additional polygraph tests. They will be specifically designed to see...

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