That’s how the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) General Counsel replied when faced with allegations that NRO security employees (polygraph administrators) declined to report child abuse to law enforcement authorities once an employee confessed to it during a polygraph test. The employee in question admitted to having sexually assaulted the girl and was still in contact with her.
Don’t really know what the polygraph is or how security clearances work? It’s easy. Here’s a very quick primer on the polygraph or lie detector machine.
It’s administered to job candidates who will be working in classified positions, usually Top Secret, and may focus on either Counterintelligence issues (foreign government contact, spying, terrorism links) or Counterintelligence and Lifestyle issues (literally everything else). One of the well known categories of inquiry is major crime. Regardless, polygraphs often turn up a plethora of confessions up to and including the molestation of children. So now you know.
To continue, according to a report this week by the McClatchy News Service, the NRO regularly failed to report or delayed reporting polygraph derived confessions of child abuse and sexual assault by employees and prospective employees because child abuse was “a state matter, not a federal crime.”
McClatchy originally reported these allegations against the NRO in 2012. It has taken two years for the NRO’s Inspector General (IG) to issue a report on the matter. What’s more, the IG report indicated that in addition to the non-reporting of crimes against children there is evidence of “significant shortcomings” in the agency’s polygraph program that may have negative security implications for the agency.
The report quotes an NRO official as saying the polygraph program was “terribly broken” and would require a “paradigm shift” to address shortcomings. The official added that the “current status of the NRO polygraph program is bleak.”
For a bit of perspective, the NRO is the agency responsible for spying on behalf of the United States via our vast satellite capabilities. A broken security apparatus for them means that the wrong people may be getting clearances and access to highly sensitive classified information. What’s more, the lowest common denominator approach to reporting child abuse, and child pornography on behalf of employees is absolutely disgusting. “Not my job” isn’t an acceptable reply to the implied needs of an abused child.
Especially concerning is that this is from an Agency whose motto is “nothing is beyond our reach” and used a West to East inversion of anti-Communism artwork as a template for one of their own missions. A word, the depiction of a world eating Octopus has never been a positive metaphor.