Brett Kavanaugh exhibited undeniably deceptive behaviors during his questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual assault, according to a former CIA official.
Phil Houston, who specializes in detecting deception via a model he developed during his years interrogating for the CIA, wrote in Law & Crime Thursday of Kavanaugh’s testimony: “Rarely have I seen a case in which the deception was so vividly presented.”
> One needed look no further than the blistering attacks, the repeated evasiveness, and the rigorous effort Kavanaugh devoted to influencing our perception of him. This telling combination of attack, evasion, and persuasion behaviors presented the lie in astounding clarity.
Houston said as Americans struggled to determine who was being truthful during the testimony — Kavanaugh or Ford — the evidence was in a place people least expect.
> Many who watched last Thursday’s hearing came away frustrated by their failure to identify that one statement or one obvious indicator that either Ford or Kavanaugh was telling the truth, and it didn’t seem to materialize. What they were missing is the fact that in order to find the truth, you often have to look where it isn’t. Truth, you see, can be found in the absence of lies.
> From my view, the clues to the truth we all so desperately wanted to find—whether or not Kavanaugh did what Ford had alleged—were right there in front of us for all to behold. The deceptive behaviors were plentiful.
Houston analyzed Ford’s behaviors as well, finding that she too presented a less-than-truthful testimony:
> She exhibited significant evasiveness around her intent, and around what had taken place that prompted her to take the steps that ultimately led to that hearing room. In my opinion, Ford has not been truthful about her motivations for making these allegations against Kavanaugh, nor about the process that brought them to light.
What, then, should be done with this information?
Houston said his “goal is simply to help lift the veil of deception for everyone, so that the decision as to whether or not Kavanaugh should be confirmed can be as well-informed as it can possibly be.”
> What appeared to be the public display of deception by both the accuser and the accused in this case is yet another test of the character of our nation’s political leadership, and it’s a tough one. Rarely have I seen a case in which the search for truth has been so highly politicized, and for good reason. The stakes are enormous. The political prize that will be awarded based on the outcome of Kavanaugh’s confirmation process presents the most compelling opportunity we have seen in years for one political party to gain advantage over the other.