Morning Conversation and Polygraph Examination
Shortly after 06:32 on Day 2 of the time period under consideration, noises in the temporary quarters indicated that a civilian code-talker had awakened. From speech recorded by microphones concealed in the room, it was clear that both Ed Fluegel and Bruce Springsteen were awake at this point.
Bruce Springsteen: You awake, Ed?
Ed Fluegel: Yeah, I've been lying here for a while. What time is it?
BS: Let's see. It's about six thirty. You think I can turn on the lights without waking up Gordon?
EF: He's been sleeping pretty well, go ahead.
BS: Yeah, he's sleeping like a baby.
Unidentified Agent: Good morning, ah, Mister ... ah, civilian assistants.
BS: Huh ... the intercom.
UA: I noticed the light was on. It's a bit early, but I can get some breakfast brought to you in about thirty minutes. Or you can wait until oh-seven thirty and someone will be by to escort you to the dining room. You're not cleared to wander around the facility on your own.
BS: Dining room, huh? Not cafeteria? Sounds cozy. You guys don't have a breakfast nook?
UA: Officially this facility's eating area is classed as a dining room.
BS: How about some coffee? Yeah? [Louder] Coffee? Can we get some coffee for now?
UA: Ah, very well. I think I'm authorized to bring you coffee right away ...
EF: Great. Lucky ...
UA: But I'll have to make another pot. It's been a long night, you know. A few minutes, OK?
[Crackle: speaker turned off. Camera shows Ed Fluegel pointing to a stack of papers placed near the door.]
EF: Santa came by.
BS: Yeah, with homework.
Ed Fluegel picked up the stack, handing part of it to Bruce Springsteen.
EF: One book, two photocopies of it. This is Marcus's Manual of Akkadian. I bet they didn't get the permissions cleared properly with the publisher to make these copies.
BS: Hmm, I guess I could use to look at some Akkadian vocabulary. I thought I was pretty rusty, you know. But it turned out my translation was right on, when they quizzed me. Too bad for me.
EF: Yeah. I'm sure there's plenty I don't know. It's not like I've ever really tried to communicate in Akkadian.
BS: Well, I imagine they'll define all the code phrases beforehand, and it'll be mostly memorization.
EF: That would sort of defeat the purpose, wouldn't it? Somebody could figure out that there are only a dozen phrases being spoken, and just decode them ...
BS: Yeah. I'm sure there's lots of pointless procedures left over from decades ago, from World War II and so on, you know. I wouldn't put it past them.
The door to the temporary quarters opened at that time and the agent, not visible to the camera, held two cups of coffee through the door.
BS: Do you have any milk? Any sugar?
UA: Ah, yes, I have some sugar packets here, and ... will powdered creamer do?
BS: Sure. Thanks. Ed?
There was some silence for a while after the agent departed.
BS: Black coffee for a bitter man.
EF: [Laughter] Given the way things have been going ...
Gordon Doe awakened after the burst of laughter and sat up.
BS: Good morning.
GD: When are they coming by to take us to breakfast?
BS: They said any minute, actually.
The three were silent for a while. Ed Fluegel and Bruce Springsteen drank their coffee. Gordon Doe remained sitting up on his bed, unmoving.
EF: Have you done this kind of thing before, ah, Gordon?
Gordon Doe continued to sit in silence.
The door opened and Agent Virgule entered.
Agent Virgule: Morning, everyone. I see you're all up. We'll head to the polygraph examination and then get you some breakfast. Then it's off to the airfield.
AV: Yep. You ... probably don't want to drink much more of that coffee.
Ed Fluegel and Bruce Springsteen were escorted to separate polygraph examination chambers. Gordon Doe, who had already been granted security clearance, remained in bed.
Portions of Ed Fluegel's polygraph examination considered relevant to this report are reproduced below:
Polygraph Examiner: Make yourself comfortable.
PE: First, let me assure you that this test is not compulsory.
EF: Really? What do you mean?
PE: This is the standard statement. Please let me finish. Your refusal to take the examination, may, however, bar you from being assigned to any operation deemed sensitive to national security.
EF: But my being assigned to such an operation is compulsory, so ...
PE: Mister Fluegel. I don't know about the conditions of your coming here. I'm to go over the questions that you'll be asked before we start. We'll be discussing whether you've been in contact with any organizations or persons who might have an interest in this operation.
EF: Beside yourself, you mean.
PE: We'll also be discussing your commitment, in general, to U.S. national security.
PE: We'll be discussing political affiliations you may hold or may have held in the past. Including any actions that might be construed as subversion, protest, or dissent.
EF: The mind reels.
PE: All of which is necessary before you can be granted the proper security clearance. Shall we begin?
Videos show that at this point Ed Fluegel was connected to the polygraph examination machine, the standard digital machine in use by CIA. Fluegel's attitude is difficult to ascertain from the videos.
PE: Mr. Fluegel, have you been approached by any suspicious parties you suspect of being involved in the intelligence community ...
EF: Obviously I have.
PE: Let me finish the question please. Mr. Fluegel, have you been approached by any suspicious parties you suspect of being involved in the intelligence community of another nation?
EF: No, I have not.
PE: Very well. Mr. Fluegel are you or have you ever been affiliated with the Communist Party.
EF: You're joking?
PE: Answer the question please.
EF: I didn't know there still was a Communist party.
PE: This is the traditional security clearance examination, it needs updating, answer the question please.
PE: Can you phrase that as a sentence?
EF: I am not, nor have I ever been, affiliated with the Communist Party. I once went to a Communist party, but that was in college. I went dressed as Trotsky, with a fake rubber axe buried in my skull.
PE: That's very amusing, but please try to stick to the relevant details. Mr. Fluegel, have you ever been involved in an armed uprising of any sort.
EF: Ah ... No. I didn't even really rebel against my parents, actually ...
PE: Mr. Fluegel, if you were offered a large sum of money in exchange for information you may have learned or gleaned during this operation, would you consider disclosure?
EF: How much?
PE: How much money, or how much disclosure?
EF: I'm just kidding. No, I swear never to reveal anything learned here, not even the recipe for chipped beef.
PE: Very well. Mr. Fluegel, who are your favorite writers?
EF: Ah, you didn't warn me about this one. Aren't you supposed to stick to yes-or-no questions?
PE: Are you refusing to answer the question?
EF: No. Yes.
At this point, although the interview continued for twenty more minutes, a technical error likely caused by the examiner's unfamiliarity with the digital polygraph device resulted in the polygraph data being lost. The rest of the interview is not reproduced here.
Ed Fluegel was granted security clearance, and taken to breakfast, after this examination. His training began that day.