Wen Ho Lee
Hall of Shame
"Senate Looks into Former CIA Head's
Pardon," 2/16/01 Dallas Morning News, p. 6A. (Washington Post)
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence launched an
inquiry Thursday into former President Bill Clinton's pardon of former CIA chief
John Deutch, sending a letter to CIA Director George Tenet to determine whether
he or anyone else in U.S. intelligence was consulted.
A senior intelligence official responded Thursday night that
no one in the CIA knew of the pardon in advance. The official said that
Mr. Deutch's CIA security clearances - suspended in August 1999 as punishment
for home computer security violations - have been permanently revoked.
Mr. Clinton pardoned Mr. Deutch on Jan. 20 for mishandling
hundreds of highly classified documents on unsecured home computers linked to
The pardon caught Justice Department officials by
surprise. It came less than a day after Mr. Deutch had signed a plea
agreement in which he admitted to a misdemeanor and agreed to pay a $5,000 fine.
As a result of the pardon, said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.,
chairman of the intelligence committee, "Deutch essentially walked away
from what is one of the most egregious cases of mishandling classified
information that I have ever seen short of espionage."
Mr. Deutch could not be reached for comment.
"In Final Act, Clinton Issues Pardons,"
January 20, 2001 Associated Press. Clinton pardons John Deutch
but not Wen Ho Lee.
"Prosecutors negotiating to get guilty plea from ex-CIA chief: The deal would have Deutch
admit a misdemeanor for keeping U.S. secrets on a home computer," January 20, 2001
Orange County Register (AP)
Prosecutors have offered former CIA Director John M. Deutch a deal under which he would plead guilty to
keeping government secrets on unsecured home computers but receive no prison time, officials said Friday.
However, Deutch might be barred from regaining his security
clearances, they added.
Deutch, CIA director from May 1995 to December 1996, stored
and processed hundreds of files of highly classified material on unprotected home computers that he and family members also used
to connect to the Internet, according to an internal CIA investigation. The Defense Department's inspector general found
similar conduct during Deutch's prior service at the Pentagon.
Justice Department prosecutors were offering Deutch a deal under
which he would plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of
transferring classified information to an unauthorized location,
according to three government officials familiar with the case.
Although that charge carries a top penalty of a $1,000 fine and up
to one year in jail, Deutch would avoid incarceration, the officials
said, requesting anonymity. He also would avoid more serious
felony charges of mishandling government secrets.
Now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Deutch was stripped of his security clearances by CIA director
George Tenet in 1999. As a former deputy defense secretary,
Deutch also had Pentagon clearances, but he gave them up last
Officials said with a guilty plea, Deutch likely would be barred from
regaining those clearances and that that had been discussed in the negotiations.
Officials said a deal could be concluded soon but probably not
before the Clinton administration ends today.
"Pentagon Can't Find Deutch Disks,"
10/9/00 Washington Post
Pentagon investigators have been unable to locate computer
diskettes that ex-CIA Director John Deutch used to store a journal when working at the Defense Department,
The journal contained classified information.
Deutch has declined to be interviewed about the whereabouts of the disks, created during his tenure as deputy
defense secretary in the mid-1990s, officials said.
way to tell what their ultimate disposition might have been without talking to Dr. Deutch, and he has
declined requests for our investigators to talk with him on this or other
topics," Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, a Pentagon spokesman, said.
investigation of the missing diskettes comes after CIA officials already concluded that Deutch improperly recorded
government secrets in a private journal about his government experiences.
He stored the journal on electronic storage cards during his tenure as
head of the spy agency.
While the storage cards he used at CIA have been recovered, the
Pentagon was unable to locate the diskettes
Deutch created during his Defense Department days, when he began the
journal, officials said Monday.
The Pentagon has been conducting a
damage assessment to determine if his action jeopardized national security. The
Justice Department also is investigating whether any criminal charges are
Deutch's lawyer on Monday declined comment, citing the
Deutch cooperated with the CIA probe, and earlier
this year apologized for sloppy handling of classified
At CIA's urging, Pentagon criminal investigators began their
own inquiry in February into Deutch's handling of classified
information when he was the No. 2 defense official from 1993 to 1995.
They concluded he began compiling the journal during his tenure at the Pentagon and stored it on diskettes.
"Dr. Deutch was known to transport these floppy disks in his shirt
pocket," the investigators wrote in their
report, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
also found Deutch began to experience technical problems with the disks at the end of his tenure
at the Pentagon, prompting him to change to higher-capacity
storage cards at CIA. The electronic cards can store hundreds of times
more information than a single floppy disk.
According to the final
draft report, Pentagon investigators also found Deutch "declined departmental requests that
he allow security systems to be installed in his residence," where he
sometimes worked on classified documents. His home computers were sometimes used
to access the Internet.
The missing diskettes are likely
to focus new attention on the government's ability to protect its most important secrets
an issue that has received extensive scrutiny in the aftermath of the Wen Ho
Lee case at the Energy Department nuclear weapons labs.
accused of downloading 10 computer tapes of nuclear weapons design secrets from the labs. Unable to locate
seven tapes, the government charged Lee with 59 felonies and kept
him in solitary confinement for nine months while trying to build
a case against him. The government eventually reached a plea bargain in
which Lee pleaded guilty to a single count of mishandling nuclear secrets.
He also agreed to tell what he did with the information he admits to
having downloaded onto tapes and unsecure computers.
government has not charged Deutch with any wrongdoing.
investigators who probed Deutch raised concerns about lax Pentagon computer security. They noted that
some computers the ex-official used were donated to schools without the hard drives being destroyed.
When investigators located the computers, they were able to recover
significant Pentagon information. None of the information was
classified, but the investigators warned that such lax security could result in "the
improper release and use of classified or sensitive information.
policy on what is required to dispose of these types of hard drives is not clear. We recommend that the
department implement policy that requires the destruction of all computer
hard drives, classified and unclassified, before the computer is disposed of
outside the DOD," investigators wrote.
10/19/00 Los Angeles Times
"Handling of Deutch Case Under Probe"
The Pentagon's chief internal watchdog is investigating
a former deputy defense secretary and other senior officials improperly stopped
a review that could have led to ex-CIA Director John Deutch being denied access
to secret military information.
Acting Inspector General Donald Mancuso said Wednesday the
investigation, started within the past few weeks, was triggered by events in
August and September 1999 that halted the Defense Department review.
Deutch's access to classified military material remained in
force until February 2000 even though the CIA had pulled Deutch's spy agency
security clearances in August 1999. The CIA acted because of Deutch's processing
of classified material on vulnerable, unsecure computers.
An internal Pentagon memo states John Hamre, a former deputy
secretary, was "involved" in the decision to stop the August 1999
Pentagon inquiry, and Mancuso's investigation is designed to determine whether
Hamre and other senior officials acted properly.
Deutch voluntarily surrendered his Pentagon clearances in February after defense
officials decided to invalidate them.
Hamre, who succeeded Deutch as deputy secretary of defense,
said in an interview with The Associated Press this week that he never tried to
stop the inquiry or revocation of Deutch's security clearances, and told
subordinates to cooperate with CIA.
"I never did instruct anyone not to proceed," said
Hamre, who left the Pentagon earlier this year and now heads a foreign policy
research organization, the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The CIA concluded that Deutch stored classified documents on
unsecured computers and kept a private journal with national secrets on disks
and computer storage cards he sometimes carried in his shirt pocket. Some of the
disks remain unaccounted for, and Deutch has apologized for his actions.
Justice Department prosecutors are investigating whether any criminal charges
Government officials familiar with Senate inquiries into the
Deutch matter say two Pentagon inspector general officials have told Senate
committees they recommended in February that Mancuso review the conduct of Hamre
and other senior officials in the Deutch matter.
Mancuso said Wednesday he was made aware in February "of
allegations concerning actions taken or not taken by the department in August
1999 concerning Dr. Deutch's security clearances."
He declined to confirm whether the investigators specifically cited Hamre, but
said their information "clearly related to individuals at the senior levels
of the Defense Department," a description that would include Hamre.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, whose staff has been
interviewing current and former Pentagon officials on their handling of the
Deutch matter, wrote Mancuso last week that he understood "Dr. John Hamre
may be the subject" of the investigation.
Grassley, who opposes Mancuso's nomination as permanent
inspector general, said the investigation would be a conflict of interest
because Mancuso has a "close association with Dr.
Hamre" that "may undermine the public's confidence in the
Mancuso denied a conflict. "There are no issues involving any senior
officials in this matter that would cause any concern as to appropriateness of
this office to conduct a fair and independent investigation," he said.
Hamre also denied a conflict, suggesting Grassley was simply
trying to thwart Mancuso's nomination. He said he has no personal ties to
Mancuso except that he has supported the acting inspector general's nomination.
Questions about Hamre's role in the Deutch investigation
arose in a Feb. 15, internal memo by David Crane, the inspector general's expert
on intelligence matters.
Crane's memo describes how a Pentagon security official made
a "routine request" for the CIA's investigative file on Deutch in
August 1999 "to determine whether there needs to be an emergency
suspension" of Deutch's Pentagon security clearance.
That official was told on Sept. 12, 1999, not to seek Deutch's CIA file, which
stopped the review, the memo says, adding that the official was "told Dr.
Hamre is involved in this decision."
Hamre disputed that account, saying he told Pentagon
officials to "proceed with regular order." He said that meant the
Defense Department would cooperate with the CIA's investigation of Deutch and
consider any material passed on by the spy agency "that would trigger an