4 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Follow up to: Smoke out the Islamists

Reader comment on item: Smoking Out Islamists via Extreme Vetting
in response to reader comment: Smoke out the Islamists

Submitted by Larry R. (United States), Mar 10, 2017 at 11:25

Dr. Pipes' article "Smoking Out Islamists via Extreme Vetting" couldn't have come at a better time. It is painfully obvious that our nation is struggling with how to vet incoming immigrants and refugees. At the crux of this effort is what some would call "weeding out the undesirables," who either pose a safety or security risk, unlike those who desperately desire to assimilate into the American way of life.

Dr. Pipes in my opinion is spot-on with his assessment that America needs to evaluate the whole person during an applicant's vetting. This needs to be done in order to determine their eligibility to become U.S. citizens. For those coming from a country that have a bona fide government that can provide a legitimate history for the applicant the vetting process should be somewhat less intrusive. For those coming from a country that has either no bona fide government or the ability to provide a legitimate history for the applicant, the process will obviously include a more intrusive process to determine just who the applicant is. Dr. Pipes identified in his article that this process needs to include multiple interviews over an extended period of time. That the same questions be revisited and asked in different ways in order to catch those who were not honest in previous interviews. This has been a proven technique of law enforcement and the intelligence arena for a very long time. The premise being that lies are hard to remember, when the truth does not require any effort at all. Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain is quoted as saying "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." Over the years as a criminal investigator, and later as an intelligence officer, I have found this quote to be quite accurate to say the least.

In regards to using polygraph to vet an applicant, I am all for it. I can honestly say from having used polygraph hundreds of times in criminal investigations and later in the intelligence arena, it has been a useful tool at ferreting out the truth. In Dr. Pipes' article he states "even if a lie detector machine does not, in fact, provide useful information, attaching the interviewee to it might induce greater truth-telling." I have witnessed this first-hand when someone was about to begin their polygraph that they just broke down and capitulated to providing truthful information. The only caveat I would like to provide to using polygraph is, the polygraph is only as good as the person administering the examination. I firmly believe that if the polygraph is administered correctly with the proper protocols and the examiner is well trained and experienced, the outcome can only benefit the vetting process.

This all being said, I also agree with Dr. Pipes on his other techniques he would use in an interview, i.e. recording the interview, having the applicant take an oath to the information provided, (as stated earlier) conducting multiple interviews over an extended period of time, etc. all for the reasons already identified by Dr. Pipes.

I would consider the 93 questions that Dr. Pipes delineated in his article as the minimum that should be asked of an applicant. This list of questions is not unlike those currently being used by the U.S. military in screening non-U.S. workers for access to U.S. military installations in the Middle East.

In conclusion, I have to agree with Dr. Pipes in that we (the U.S.) need to slow down the vetting process, as we have way too many immigrants entering the U.S. too quickly.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Follow up to: Smoke out the Islamists by Larry R.

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)