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Easy Peasy

1986: A year after CIA counterintelligence officer Aldrich Ames began betraying secrets to the Soviets, the American spy agency scheduled a lie detector test for him. Although it was only a routine test, it put the wind up Ames.

He got in contact with the KGB and asked them to suggest ways to foil the polygraph. Their advice: “Get a good night’s sleep, and rest, and go into the test rested and relaxed. Be nice to the polygraph examiner, develop a rapport, and be cooperative and try to maintain your calm.”

The advice was simple, and it worked. Ames breezed through the test; the polygraph operator remarked that his responses were “bright” and “direct”. Ames continued to supply top-secret information to Moscow, passed another lie detector test in 1991, and wasn’t arrested for espionage until 1994.

Source: Tim Weiner, David Johnston and Neil A. Lewis, Betrayal: The Story of Aldrich Ames, an American Spy (1995), pp. 89–91, 162–3

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