DoD News BriefingThursday, February 1, 2001
Presenter: Rear Admiral Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
Q: All right. And two, does the report you all issued today on John Deutch, does that effectively close the case over here, close your part in it?
Quigley: It does. It does. That completes the second of the two elements that Secretary Cohen put in place some months ago. And it does.
Q: And there'll be no punishment because of the fact that he was pardoned.
Quigley: It was our understanding that the pardon was absolute. So, yes.
Q: Could you characterize for us what all the black stuff right at the end is -- the possibility of compromise? It says "unclassified," and then I see this -- (inaudible) -- "noforn," and then it's all blacked out, and then "thus, while the possibility of compromise cannot be foreclosed" -- it's very tricky, and I'd like to judge for myself. What can you tell us to characterize that information?
Quigley: The elements that were blacked out were classified.
Q: Yes. But what kinds of things did they say?
Quigley: I don't think I can characterize it for you, I'm sorry. (Laughter.)
Q: I mean, would you say people's names, sometimes --
Quigley: Well, yes. I mean, if the -- you delete two -- either or both of two categories. One is Privacy Act information -- individuals' names, Social Security numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, things of that sort -- and classified information. And the elements here would fall under the classified information category. But I can't characterize that for you. That's why it's redacted.
Q: But, I mean, the way that's written, it could say, well, this and this and this and this have been gone missing, and then we get this thing, but, on the other hand, we conclude nothing's really been compromised, right?
Quigley: We tried very hard to give you a redacted version as opposed to an unclassified, new version in order to assure you that that is, indeed, the report with the real signatures at the end. And the best way that we know how to do that is to go with the blackout in the sections that meet one of those criteria for the redaction. But can't characterize those sections for you, I'm sorry.
Captain Taylor just said that I had misspoken and said "Secretary Cohen." I'm sorry. Secretary Rumsfeld due to leave tomorrow afternoon. Sorry.
Q: I think perhaps what Pam was asking you is you have a heck of a lot of blacked out stuff there, and then that last sentence seems to suggest that to make a redacted story short, so to speak, we can't guarantee that none of this information's been passed on. That's what that sentence says.
Quigley: That's true. Let me --
Q: The sentence does say "We have no evidence of," but it states that "we can't guarantee."
Q: And the reasons, apparently, are in fact redacted ---
Quigley: Right. That's true.
Q: Why can't you guarantee --
Quigley: Let me try to just explain that part as to why we can't guarantee. We have no evidence of a compromise of classified information. But by the same token, we cannot guarantee -- I can't prove a negative, Charlie. That's the problem here. I can't prove that there was something that we perhaps did not find or some other action by Dr. Deutch that would have possibly compromised the material. But from our technical inspection of the materials that we had access to, that he used, we can find no evidence of compromise.
Q: Was it clear --
Q: Can you explain how it was that they were looking? Were they looking for evidence of, like, Internet worms, that maybe a hacker had been on there and putting trapdoors?
Q: So they were looking for that? They were also looking for the quality of information that was on that and that -- if that had gotten out, or were they looking for evidence through other intelligence channels that something new, this bit of information that had been in Deutch's e-mails or journals --
Quigley: Really, the focus was more on the former -- the first of those three, I guess, I should say -- and trying to determine if there was any evidence of a means to hack into those storage mediums through which you could then gain access to some of the classified information that you -- that was found there.
Q: And the -- (off mike)?
Quigley: The journals or the -- "floppy" is not the right term. It's a more capable storage medium than a floppy disk. But they contained a mishmash of classified and unclassified information. So the -- you had a combination of technical experts looking for the items that we've just been discussing here, as well as the subject matter experts on some of these classified topic areas trying to ascertain, "Is it still classified?" Sometimes the stuff is quite perishable. Sometimes it has more longevity. So if it's still classified, you know, do we have -- what sort of damage might be done if that information were compromised? But you know, really, the most important was, do I see anything there that would tell me that there's evidence of compromise of the material?
Q: Is one of the problems in proving that negative that there exist hacker tools that cannot be detected, trapdoors and worms and Trojan horses that can't be detected?
Quigley: Not that we know of. But that's such a fast-moving field that today's knowledge is tomorrow's -- I mean, there's just -- it just changes so very, very fast. And I mean, for any of us that have an anti-virus program on our home PCs, you have absolutely have to keep continually updating because hackers and other ne'er-do-wells on the Internet are constantly trying to defeat the very anti-viral protections that other people are putting in place.
So you've got an offense, defense constantly in play. But from the best that we can determine, we show no evidence there -- there is no evidence produced to show that there was any compromise.
Q: So we got lucky?
Quigley: Well, I think we should consider ourselves very fortunate, yes.