DoD News BriefingTuesday, October 10, 2000, 2:05 p.m. EDT
Presenter: Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
Q: Craig, in connection with DoD's investigation into any classified materials that might have been compromised along with the investigation of John Deutch's laptop, are any floppies missing containing his logs or diaries?
Quigley: Well, that's a hard one to give you a straight answer to. We have not recovered any floppies -- I guess I should be clear about that. It's our understanding that as originally entered into computers, the material was indeed transcribed onto floppy disks, but we do not have those floppy disks; those have not been recovered. It would be a question we would need to ask of Dr. Deutch -- Do you still have them? Where are they? What did you do with them? -- Questions of that sort. But he has declined, through counsel, to answer questions on that, so far, at least. And that's where we are.
Q: Well, how do you know, the floppies exist? You say it was determined that the floppies -- you do know that floppies of material exist?
Quigley: We know that there were floppies as part of the -- as you recall, we've got two pieces of the DoD investigation of this ongoing, Charlie. On the one hand was the IG, which was looking at the hardware, if you will, the computers themselves, any sort of data media and where they were, can we track them down, have they been recovered either by DoD or by the CIA? And on the other hand, the assistant secretary for Command and Control, Communication and Intelligence, is doing an assessment of the information that would have been on those computers and hard drives and floppy disks and what have you. As part of the IG's investigation, they learned that there were indeed some number of floppy disks that were used initially by Dr. Deutch to take the information as he entered it into his computers. We know we don't have them, but that's about where our knowledge actually ends. We'd like to know where they are, what happened to them, things of that sort. But the only thing we know for certainty, I guess, Charlie, is that we don't have them.
Q: Are you concerned that the information on that has been compromised?
Quigley: Well, it's something, I guess, Bill, that you never know until you have it, and you'd want to have a sense of confidence of having checked, to make sure that if you have seen everything, if you have taken a look at the data and the information that is on those mediums, whether they're floppies or zip drives, or what have you, then and only then will you have that sense of complete certainty that you know what was there.
So I guess --
Q: Did it include classified information?
Quigley: We have not seen the floppies.
Q: Craig, anybody --
Q: Do you assume that there was classified information?
Quigley: Well, I'm not -- we're not going to assume. I mean, we really would like to have the information, have the floppies to take a look at. That's where the real proof of the pudding is.
Q: So you don't know what's on the floppies? These are not necessarily the floppies that his diaries --
Quigley: We don't know what's on the floppies. We have not seen the floppies.
Q: So you don't know what's on these floppies?
Q: Anything he might have downloaded from his hard drive?
Q: Has anybody asked him where they are?
Quigley: Well, that was the point I was trying to make before, Ivan. I mean, we have -- we would like to ask, but he has declined to answer questions at this point, through counsel.
Q: How do you know that there are disks, portable disks, that were made?
Quigley: Based on the observations of those that he worked with, that had seen him from time to time entering the information onto floppies.
Q: And were these disks that were used to transport information from one computer to another?
Quigley: That's -- as best we can determine, Jamie, yes.
Q: Were these backup files, or were they used to take, for instance, information from the --
Quigley: I can't characterize them for you. I don't know if they were meant to be the principal or the backup.
Q: And you don't know, for instance, if these disks were subsequently destroyed --
Q: -- or, you know, thrown out or disposed of in some manner?
Quigley: We don't. We know we don't have them.
Q: I'm just trying to understand the history of his cooperation or lack thereof. When you were tracking down the various hardware pieces -- the CIA did this, I guess, and you did it, too --
Q: -- did that include his own personal computers that he had at home? And did he cooperate in that, to some extent, and then he stopped cooperating when you wanted to know other things? Can you characterize it?
Quigley: No to the first question. On -- if this was a computer that he had purchased personally, as you or I would, with -- to go to a computer store and buy one, those are not the ones we're talking about. We're talking about the government-owned computers he -- both in DoD and in CIA. So those were the ones that our IG was tasked with trying to track down where they were, where the hard drives or other data mediums for those computers were.
Q: And you tracked them to places all around the country and got ahold of all those, as I understand.
Quigley: That's my understanding, yes.
Q: And then from looking at that, you found out that things had been -- floppy disks had been --
Quigley: No, it was more -- it was more from the personal observations of others.
Q: Personal observations.
Q: Is it fair to say, then, that Dr. Deutch has failed to account for an undetermined number of floppy disks, or disks that he was believed to have made during the course of handling this material?
Quigley: He has not volunteered the information on floppies, and he has declined to answer questions from us on their whereabouts, Jamie.
Q: He has not accounted for them.
Q: And you believe that they exist.
Q: Or existed at one time.
Quigley: Existed at one time, at least, yeah.
Q: I assume that the Pentagon isn't going to let the trail just fall dead right now. If he has declined through counsel to offer them voluntarily, what options are open to you now? Are you going to take legal action? Is he trying to hold out for some kind of a deal for immunity?
Quigley: I don't think we've come to that decision. And probably the lead on that would be the Justice Department, in any case.
Q: Have you referred this to the FBI or the Justice Department?
Quigley: We've been talking to the Justice Department as it's gone along, Bill, on what we found and information that we think would be helpful to them as well.
Q: Jamie, it doesn't seem like you're very concerned about the fact that this information or these disks may be out there.
Quigley: I don't think that's a correct characterization. I think we would very much like to know if they still exist, or, if they don't, how were they disposed of, and information like that. But we so far just have not been able to --
Q: Okay. And then you said also that the assistant secretary of Defense for C3I was conducting an assessment.
Quigley: Damage assessment, if you will.
Q: Damage assessment? When did that begin, do you know?
Quigley: In February. Concurrently with the -- there were two things started at the same time in February of this year, the one with the IG's efforts that I described, on the physical location of objects, of things. And on the C3I side, which started simultaneously, theirs was an assessment of the information that would have been contained on the computers, on the hard drive and things of that sort.
Q: How does Mr. Deutch's refusal to provide information about these disks affect the ability of this department to do that damage assessment?
Quigley: Whatever information there may be or have been on the floppies themselves, we don't have, and we don't currently have a means of finding out what there was.
Q: Could you characterize whether -- what's the Pentagon's reaction to this? This is somebody who was the second-highest in command here, went over to the CIA, is now refusing to cooperate. Are you all frustrated by this, or are you just taking it as each day comes?
Quigley: I think Secretary Cohen when he started the actions that we have been discussing here for the last minutes the end of February wanted very much to have an orderly process put in place where we could find out as much as we could both on the hardware side as well as the information -- what was the information, was it classified, how classified was it -- and that process is continuing. So I think if the thoroughness that's being exercised by both reviews is an indication, we take that very seriously.
Q: Just to clarify, do you have any idea how many disks are unaccounted for?
Quigley: No, we don't.
Q: And can you tell us whether they are floppy -- 1.4 megabyte floppy disks that hold a small amount of material, or are they, in fact, larger capacity storage media, such as --
Quigley: No, we think they were the smaller, 1.4 meg floppies, the conventional floppies that -- 3-1/2 inch that you used to use in a --
Q: Craig, following up on Pam's logical question, here was a man who was the number two here. Why has no one seen fit, say, going back to February, to invite him down for a cup of coffee and sit down and just discuss these things and ask, you know, where are these things, what did you do? It seems it's polarized now. And it seems to me that it should not have been polarized.
Quigley: Well, I don't think it was quite that simplistic, ever. We had worked to put together a list of questions that we wanted to ask Dr. Deutch. He declined to respond to those through counsel.
Q: When was that?
Quigley: I don't know. I'll see if I can get a time frame on that. But obviously, sometime between February and now, but I'm not sure. But -- [In July 2000.]
Q: Can we get the questions, too? Is that possible?
Quigley: I'll see what I can do. I'm not sure, but we'll see what I can do. [No, the list is not available for public release.] But it wasn't --
The point is, it's not that simple. You have only a limited number of ways to go. If I'm in possession of something -- and I'm probably the only person that knows what I did with it. Someone may have seen me put it somewhere. But if that were not the case, you really need to ask me where some object is that was in my possession. And we're kind of at a point here where we have to stop short of getting any further information from Dr. Deutch himself on the disposition of the floppies.
Q: One follow-up, if I may. Why is his counsel preventing him from providing this information? What's the concern here?
Quigley: Can't answer that one, Ivan. You'll have to ask him.
Q: Was any reason given by the counsel for not responding to the inquiry?
Quigley: Not to my knowledge.
Q: And is there any sort of formal response to the Pentagon's inquiry in the form of a letter or anything like that that could be released from Dr. Deutch's attorney explaining --
Quigley: Not that I'm aware of, no, but we'll check on that as well. [Dr. Deutch's attorney notified us by telephone.]
Q: As I understand it, the information involved here involves special access programs, which is some of the most sensitive DoD information. Based on what's been done so far on the assessment side, can you say whether classified information has been compromised?
Quigley: No, we can't say. That is part of the investigation that we're still doing, and that is something that we're still working on. We hope to come to a definitive answer on that, but I don't think we're quite there yet.
Q: And I'd also like to ask you about the George Wilson story in the National Journal. He discusses a chain of notification that appears to have broken down. You had one investigator writing memos to the, I think it was Mancuso, and then at a certain point a SecDef alert was written, but the SecDef alert made no mention of the fact that there were special access program information involved here. Is that, in fact, the case, and why didn't Mr. Mancuso report that to senior DoD officials?
Quigley: Well, it was the case that he had received a longer, more detailed memo of the circumstances from an investigator. Mr. Mancuso then took that and shortened it somewhat, and in that abbreviating of the information that was sent up to the secretary and deputy secretary, there was no mention of that. [This is incorrect. Mr. Mancuso had not seen the original, lower-level memo before sending his memo to the SecDef.]
I think his goal --
Q: No mention of?
Quigley: Of the special access programs. I can only think that his motivation was to shorten it, to make it quicker for the secretary and the deputy secretary to read, of the many pieces of paper that cross their desk every day, and still try to convey the intention of the original investigator. But it's true that the precise language that was used -- was in the original note to an investigator below Mr. Mancuso, but basically to the investigator's boss -- did not make it into the memo that went up to the secretary and deputy secretary. [Mr. Mancuso had not seen the original, lower level memo before sending his memo to the SecDef.]
Q: Craig, you said you've been in touch with the Justice Department on this whole thing. Is a decision being made on whether or not to legally go after this information? (Inaudible) -- the fact is you're not getting any cooperation.
Quigley: Well, that would be a Justice Department decision to do that, and I don't know.
Q: Is the Defense Department pressing to do that?
Quigley: I'm not going to get into what we may be pressing the Justice Department to do or not do. Plus, we're not quite done with what we -- we're getting there; we're close -- but we're not quite done with our aspect of this, either.
Q: But you can't --
Q: Related question -- related question.
I thought you were supposed to do your part, both the damage assessment and the IG part, and then the IG was supposed to sort of send it over to the Justice Department. But it seems like you're being frustrated in completing your part, so the Justice Department -- at what point do you say, "Hey we can't do our part, Justice Department. You have to get involved and legal action has to be taken to resolve this."
Quigley: Well, I think once we have come to the conclusion that we've taken it as far as we can, then you've got to convey to the Justice Department what you have found so far, to date, and make it clear that we could not get past this point, or we don't know -- in the case of the floppies, for instance, we don't know what is in those floppies because -- and give the reason and then turn it over to them for further action.
Q: Back to Dr. Deutch for a second. Just a sort of a semantic clarification. Did you indicate earlier that he also failed to return computers, as in laptop computers
Q: -- or something of that -- he did return the actual computers?
Quigley: Yeah. Or the IG has been able to locate them all. Yes.
Q: He's been able to locate all of the computers? So there are multiple computers that were also missing?
Quigley: Believe so. Well, "missing" implies some sort of mysterious unaccounting for. And that was not the case. Some had been transferred to other organizations. Some have been excessed by -- properly so -- by DoD. But we were able, through the record-keeping process, to track those down and account for them.
Q: But he's refusing to -- apparently refusing to cooperate with the central mission of the DoD investigators. Is there any suggestion by DoD people that he be arrested, or that any other action be taken to compel him to cooperate?
Quigley: I'm not aware of any at this point. No, Chris.
Q: Sir, do you have an idea about the time frame covered by the property which he has, or which -- ?
Quigley: Well, it would be the entire time that he was in the Defense Department. I don't have those dates in front of me. I know he left DoD in '95 to go over to CIA. And I believe he entered DoD here in '93. But I don't remember what months in '93 or '95, for that matter. But that entire window he would have used government-issued computers and software and hardware and whatnot. And so that entire period of time was of interest to us. [Dr. Deutch was under secretary of Defense for acquisition and technology from April 1993 until March 1994 and then deputy secretary of Defense from March 1994 until May 1995.]