Intel agencies up lie detector use to find leaks


(CBS News) - The nation's top intelligence officer is revising the polygraph tests given to federal employees of intelligence agencies, to aid in the investigation of leaks of classified information.

National Intelligence Director James Clapper announced Monday that a question would be added to the routine lie detector tests given to employees, specifically asking if they have given information to reporters.

The polygraphs tests are given to new employees of such agencies as the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Security Agency, and repeated when their security clearances are renewed.

So far, only the CIA has asked specifically about leaks to reporters.

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Speaking to Reuters, an intelligence official said the question would be added to other agencies' tests, and would be modified to cover communications with journalists and the media.

"It is my sincere hope that others across the government will follow our lead," Clapper said.

Clapper also said that internal investigations of purported leaks would be led by the Intelligence Community Inspector General if the Justice Department declines to pursue investigations owing to fears of revealing national security secrets.

CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes says Republicans in Congress will likely call the announcement "a good first step," but that they are really concerned about leaks which have already occurred.

"They don't believe that the administration can adequately investigate itself and pursue these cases with criminal investigations, if warranted," Cordes said.