Results of Ernest Medina's Lie Detector Test
of Chief Prosecutor William Eckhardt
me put some things in perspective. The first thing that I saw
when I began to look at this evidence was something very strange
about Medina's order. Medina was charged initially based upon
the theory of the government that he had ordered this inexcusable
carnage. As I began to read the evidence, a couple of things emerged
about the order. There is no doubt that there was a pep talk,
and we can talk about the nuances of that and whether it was permissible
or not. It is debatable, but there are certain kernels that come
out. There was a pep talk. The village was to be burned. The livestock
was to be killed. The dead livestock was to be used to poison
wells. If it was not military necessity, probably all three of
those were wrong, legally and morally. Make no excuse for that.
But I am going to hone it right now on the unresisting noncombatants,
the people. Everyone said there was a pep talk, but strangely
enough the more I looked, only those who said they received a
specific order were the ones who killed. Large numbers of men
did not shoot. Large numbers of men simply put their guns down
and just did nothing.
very concerned about that as I looked at it, and as time progressed,
F. Lee Bailey, who defended Captain Medina, requested a polygraph.
Polygraphs are made up of two parts: You question someone, and
then you test whether their responses are true or false about
the best way you know how to do it on a machine. The law is that
what they tell you is admissible in court, but the machine is
not. We wanted the answers to about sixty-five questions, and
we worked for about four days to see what answers we could get.
We used the president of the Polygraph Association. He was the
most reputable and the best polygraph examiner in the United States,
if not in the world. Over a series of weekends, we put Medina
on the box as they say, and that is what I need to talk about
in relation to the order.
were pertinent. Medina was truthful in response to this question:
"Did you intentionally infer"---note all the connotation
to that as to whether he had ordered directly or showed a want
to do it or not---"to your men that they were to kill unarmed,
unresisting noncombatants?" His answer was no. That was truthful.
The next question was what did he know. We did a "peak of
tension" test. It is the way, for example, that policemen
find dead bodies. Basically, you hook somebody up, and as you
move across a map, the person without saying anything reacts.
The question was put to him: "Did you know that your men
were killing unarmed, unresisting noncombatants?" We listed
ninety-minute segments of the day before, the day of, and the
day after the massacre. It was flat for the day before, but between
seven-thirty and nine in the morning of the massacre, the needle
went off the chart, not reacted, went off the chart. It went down
and then went off. Medina told us, orally, that he learned about
this when he, for the first time, saw a group of bodies at the
edge of the village between ten and ten-thirty. The law is that
you can use, as we did, that particular statement of time. We
couldn't use the polygraph chart, but the government's duty was
clear. No one knows what happened, but what probably happened
was that this group got out of control and he refused to stop