Thursday, 20 May 2010

Truth serum and lie detectors

Following on from yesterday's "what makes a lie" post, I want to talk about truth serums and lie detectors. If either of these things were really reliable, not only would spy and terror suspect interrogations be very different (and much more civilised) but so would court rooms, police questioning and many other situations where we want to be certain of getting at least someone's subjective version of the truth without complications.

Instead of swearing people in, we'd just dose them with sodium thiopental or sodium amytal, hook them up to a polygraph and ask away. If you want to find out whether someone is a terrorist, do the same thing, and no need for waterboarding, sleep deprivation or other torture methods. Some believe that the fact such torture still goes on is good evidence that no reliable truth serum or lie detector exists, even in the most secret depths of underground government laboratories. If they did, then surely interrogating terrorism suspects would have been an excellent opportunity to put them to use.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Unless the torture was a cover-up to distract us from the secret truth serums.
PPS - But that's being a little too paranoid.

1 comment:

Charles said...

You well versed in the CIA acid tests?

it never really panned out as a truth serum, but those guys had a hell of a good time with all those experiments.

Sadly, one guy died.