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09-06-02 Letter to DoD Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                September 6, 2002

Mr. Joseph E. Schmitz
Inspector General
Department of Defense
400 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA  22202

Dear Mr. Schmitz:

I write on behalf of the signatories to the joint letter of September 4, 2002, copy enclosed, to President George W. Bush regarding false and misleading statements by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz on Turkey.  The letter contains a section on a conflict of interest at the Department of Defense by two high ranking officials, namely Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Richard Perle, chairman of the Defense Policy Board and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

We respectfully request an inquiry by you to this conflict of interest matter.  The section in the joint letter on the conflict of interest is as follows:

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 and $800,000 contract for International Advisors Inc., a company which he initiated and for which he recruited six former Executive Branch staff 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 joint letter was signed by the following leading Armenian, Greek and Kurdish American organizations:

  • The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)
  • The Order of AHEPA
  • The Hellenic American Women's Council (HAWC)
  • The Hellenic American National Council (HANC)
  • The American Kurdish Information Network (AKIN)
  • The American Hellenic Institute (AHI)

Thank you for your consideration regarding this matter.

Sincerely,

Gene Rossides

cc:
President George W. Bush
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld