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Letters To Department Of Defense Inspector General And General Counsel Request Inquiry Into Conflict Of Interest At Defense
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
September 17, 2002 No. 46/02 (202) 785-8430

Letters To Department Of Defense Inspector General And General Counsel Request Inquiry Into Conflict Of Interest At Defense

WASHINGTON, DC -- On September 6, 2002, the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) sent letters to the Department of Defense's (DOD) Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz and General Counsel William J. Haynes requesting an inquiry into a conflict of interest by two high ranking Defense Department officials, namely, Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Richard Perle, chairman of the Defense Policy Board, because of their past dealings with Turkey.  Mr. Feith was a registered foreign agent for Turkey and Mr. Perle was a consultant for Turkish interests.  The issue was raised in a joint letter of September 4, 2002 to President George W. Bush.  The letters to Messrs. Schmitz and Haynes, written on behalf of the signatories to the joint letter of September 4 to President Bush, state:

"There are two high-ranking Defense Department officials with an apparent conflict of interest regarding U.S. relations with Turkey. Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, is a former registered foreign agent for Turkey from 1989 to 1994. Mr. Feith was principal for International Advisors Inc. (IAI). As such, he received $60,000 annually and his law firm Feith and Zell received many hundreds of thousands of dollars from IAI. He was previously a special assistant to Richard Perle at the Defense Department.

"Richard Perle, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, is the non-paid chairman of the Defense Policy Board. Mr. Perle resigned from the Reagan Administration in 1987 before the end of the Cold War and went to Turkey and negotiated an $800,000 contract for IAI, a company which he initiated and for which he recruited six former Executive Branch officials. He became a consultant to IAI and received $48,000 annually from 1989 to 1994. IAI, Turkey's foreign agent, registered with the Justice Department, received $800,000 from Turkey in 1989, and then received $600,000 annually from 1990 to 1994.

"We believe these facts amount to a conflict of interest regarding any matters dealing with U.S.-Turkey relations which would require Mr. Feith and Mr. Perle to recuse themselves, at a minimum, from any such matters.  Consideration should be given to their removal. What role did Under Secretary Feith and Mr. Perle play in the recommendation to revive grant military or economic aid to the Turkish military-controlled government?”

The letters to Joseph E. Schmitz (click here) and William J. Haynes (click here) are attached. For additional information, including copies of other documents referred to herein, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected]. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.