Regarding the Condit lie

Regarding the Condit lie detector test, here’s some other morsels to keep in mind.

In his post tonight Mickey Kaus notes that Aldrich Ames, the notorious CIA spy, passed a number of lie detector tests. So clearly the technology is not infallible.

But this only scratches the surface of the story.

The polygraph expert retained by Condit attorney Abbe Lowell is named Barry Colvert, a former FBI lie detector expert. One of the bullet points on Colvert’s resume is that he did the interrogations of Aldrich Ames. Now I don’t know if the tests Ames beat were administered by Colvert. But it seems like a definite possibility. So it’s not just that Ames beat a lie detector test. It may be that he beat this expert.

But there’s more. A lot more.

Back in January 1998 when former Teamsters’ President Ron Carey was trying to fight off an indictment and expulsion from the union over the campaign donation-swapping scandal, he decided to take a lie detector test to clear himself. He passed the test.

The test was administered by none other than Barry Colvert.

Now this is a little painful for me to say, because I always liked Ron Carey, but the bottom line is that he was eventually indicted. So Colvert’s results look a little iffy in retrospect.

More striking though is the way that test was apparently administered. Read this snippet from a January 21st, 1998 AP story and see if the Carey test doesn’t sound very similar to the one Abbe Lowell described Colvert administering to Gary Condit.

Barry Colvert, an agent for 35 years who interrogated Aldrich Ames and other high-profile spies, asked Carey two crucial questions about the scheme.

“I did not find any indication of deception in either of those primary questions,” Colvert said. He added that, “If the readings were close and flat, I wouldn’t have rendered that opinion.”

Colvert’s questions and the questions posed to Carey by his attorney, Reid Weingarten, were limited to charges that about $735,000 was donated by the Teamsters to generate contributions to Carey’s re-election campaign.

Carey was not asked if he knew that other labor leaders, including AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Rich Trumka, allegedly had funneled prohibited donations to his campaign.

Sounds similar, doesn’t it? Highly restricted questioning … “two crucial questions” … “the primary questions” etc. And apparently no follow-ups on the factual nitty-gritty of the case.

(Carey seems to be the only other high-profile case Colvert has handled since he went into private practice in 1997 — I base this on a Nexis search on Colvert’s name which revealed no mentions beside those tied to Carey.)

And then there’s one more detail.

My understanding is that, at approximately this time, Carey had working for him a PR consultant by the name of Marina Ein. (I do not know whether she was still working for Carey at the time of the test in January 1998 — but I know she was shortly before that.) And as you’ll remember, if you’re following the case, that’s the same Marina Ein who is now working for Gary Condit.

What does this all mean? I’m going to let the information speak for itself. But it does make you wonder.