William R. Johnson


Johnson, William R.

1. "The Ambivalent Polygraph." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 1, no. 3 (1986): 71-83.

The focus here is on use of the polygraph as a counterintelligence tool. "Secretary Schultz opines that 'a professional spy or professional leaker can probably train himself or herself not to be caught by the [polygraph] test.' Is he right? Probably not, if the operator really knows his job."

"Two books of possible use to those who may wish to read further are: Travis B. Patterson, 1979, Lie Detection Via the Polygraph, Marmaduke Press, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and John E. Reid and Fred E. Inbau, 1966, Truth and Deception: The Polygraph ('Lie-Detector') Technique, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore. The first (Patterson) is a succinct, unfootnoted, basically sound explanation for potential users of the machine. The second (Reid & Inbau) is a textbook by two criminologists .... Required reading for polygraph operators, it is replete with charts, diagrams, photographs, footnotes, and turgid prose.

"For those interested in the legalities of the polygraph, see S. Abrams, 1977, A Polygraph Handbook for Attorneys, D.C. Heath & Co., Lexington, Mass. For interest shown by our legislators see Use of Polygraphs, 9th Congress, 1st Session, 1965, and H.R.Rep. No. 2081, 89th Congress, 2nd Session, 1966.

"None of the foregoing references is concerned with the polygraph as a tool of counterintelligence."

2. Thwarting Enemies at Home and Abroad: How to Be a Counterintelligence Officer. Bethesda, MD: Stone Trail Press, 1987.

3. "Tricks of the Trade: Counterintelligence Interrogation." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 1, no. 2 (1986): 103-113.


Johnson, William R.

1. "Clandestinity and Current Intelligence." Studies in Intelligence 20, no. 3 (Fall 1976): 15-69. In Inside CIA's Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency's Internal Journal, 1955-1992, ed. H. Bradford Westerfield, 118-184. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

Clark comment: The argument that "the production of current intelligence and the conduct of espionage are incompatible" cannot be better made. Whether you agree or disagree with Johnson's thesis, it is necessary to either remake or refute the points he makes. In essence, Johnson looks at "the effect of anti-clandestine or semi-clandestine or non-clandestine collection for production in volume on the ability of the Clandestine Service to conduct espionage for strategic coverage" and finds that effect to be totally negative. This article should be mandatory reading for anyone seriously interested in "reforming" American intelligence.

2. "The Elephants and the Gorillas." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 1, no. 1 (Spring 1986): 42-56.

Clark comment: This is a succinct rendition of the conclusions reached in Johnson's classic article in Studies in Intelligence, "Clandestinity and Current Intelligence." He argues that "production of current intelligence and the conduct of espionage ... are not compatible and should not be conducted by the same organization."

[Analysis/Gen; CIA/Components/DO; Reform/70s][c]

Johnson, William R. "Ethics and Clandestine Collection." Studies in Intelligence 27, no. 1 (Spring 1983): 1-8.



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