Intelligence: Troops Tote Portable Lie Detector


April 16,2008: PCASS (Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System) is yet another police type tool being issued to the troops in Iraq, to make it easier to find the bad guys. PCASS is a hand held lie detector. The device has three wires, with finger cups, that are attached to three of the subjects fingers. You then ask twenty questions, and the subject answers yes or no. PCASS them gives you a green (truthful), red (lying) or yellow (uncertain) indicator.

PCASS users are cautioned that the device can be deceived by anyone taught some simple techniques. But since most potential suspects the troops encountered are not highly trained, PCASS will allow separating potential terrorists from large groups of innocent people. PCASS is not the first bit of police technology the troops have been using. There is a quick explosives exposure test, which can be performed on the hands of people, to see if they have handled explosives or fired guns recently. Very useful. Later came the ID kit, which allowed troops to quickly take fingerprints (electronically), iris scans and photos of people. Names, location and other information is entered with this. Over several years of using the ID kit, a large database was built up, which led to catching thousands of terrorists.

None of these tools are, alone, spectacular. But taken together, over several years, the impact has been enormous.


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