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DoD News Briefing - Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA

Presenters: Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
October 10, 2000 2:05 PM EDT

Quigley: Okay. We will start the second part, ladies and gentlemen. I have several announcements today. For starters, an update on Secretary Cohen's travel: on Sunday, Secretary Cohen met with the Greek minister of defense, and then yesterday he met with defense ministers during the Southeastern European Defense Ministerial in Thessaloniki, Greece. He recognized Croatia's role as a new member and the enormous success that the Southeastern European Defense Ministerial has seen in creating a multinational force to help promote peace in the region.

Today he's in Birmingham, England, where he attended a bilateral meeting with the U.K. minister of defense and NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson. Also, he is attending the NATO informal ministerial working session, where the ministers are discussing the NATO Defense Capabilities Initiative and the European Security and Defense Identity. We expect to get an update soon from the press briefing there that should be completed by now, but just now, I believe. And the talks are expected to conclude today and the secretary will return very early tomorrow morning to Andrews Air Force Base.

Tomorrow afternoon, the National Defense Commission First Vice Chairman and Director-General of the Political Bureau of the Korean People's Army, Jo Myong Rok will meet here at the Pentagon with Secretary Cohen. Vice Marshal Jo is scheduled to meet today with Secretary Albright and President Clinton. Secretary Cohen will continue the substantive talks on a range of topics of concern to the United States, including nuclear and missile issues.

Q: What time is that meeting --

Quigley: Four o'clock. Four o'clock arrival.

Q: Is there going to be any kind of briefing after -- are they going to hold a public --

Quigley: No, I don't believe so. I don't think that's the intention.

Q: Can we try and get some kind of readout afterwards? How long is the meeting scheduled for?

Quigley: I think it's an hour total in the building, I believe. We'll see what we can to get you some sort of a readout of topics discussed and the like, yeah.

Q: Will there be any kind of arrival photo opportunity?

Quigley: The arrival itself will not be a formal one, per se, but if you wish to have a photographer or a videographer present, yeah, that will be an option.

Approximately 250 soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Special Forces Group, Airborne, headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, along with other Europe-based support units, are deploying to Nigeria this week to begin preparations for equipment fielding and training for Nigerian battalions for possible peace-enforcement operations under the U.N. in West Africa. This is the next phase of Operation Focus Relief, which was announced a few months ago by the president.

You will recall the U.S. is committed to training up to five battalions of West African peacekeepers in support of the U.N. Mission in Sierra Leone.

Q: This is a follow-up to the Ghana -- we sent groups to Ghana earlier, did we not?

Quigley: It's a subset of that, yes. Or, I should say, this is the larger one with Nigeria, Ghana, and a third country I can't think of right now, Charlie. Let me check on that; there was a third nation.

Q: When are they going?

Quigley: Are en route; small numbers are already there. In the days ahead it'll grow to about 250 total.

Q: For how long?

Quigley: No real time frame on that, Pam, but rather, it's objectives. We know that we -- this training is all about familiarization with equipment and tactics and the mechanics, if you will, of a Chapter 6 operation in Sierra Leone. So it's objective-based rather than calendar-based; I guess I'd put it that way.

Q: What kind of equipment are they being trained on?

Quigley: The individual weapons; crew-served weapons, communications equipment, individual soldier equipment; all of the part that you would consider fairly standard components of a light infantry unit in that part of the world.

Next, in recognition of its continued success in meeting and exceeding its recruiting goals, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones, last week awarded the Navy Unit Commendation to the Marine Corps Recruiting Command which oversees the service's 3,235 recruiters and support staff.

Although the commendation covers the period from July 1, 1998 to July 31, 1999, Marine Corps recruiters have met the service's recruiting requirement and even exceeded those goals for more than five consecutive years. The Marines recruit nearly 40,000 men and women each year.

Next, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Dr. Rostker, will host the Department of Defense's annual awards ceremony, recognizing DoD organizations with outstanding affirmative action programs for people with disabilities, and 18 outstanding DoD employees with disabilities, tomorrow, here in the Pentagon, at 2:30, in Room 5A1070. Thomas Bryant, a member of the District of Columbia Mayor's Committee for Persons with Disabilities, will be the keynote speaker.

In support of the national observance to promote employment of people with disabilities, DoD has designated October as Disability Employment Awareness Month throughout the department. This year's observance theme is "Ability You Can Bank On." This was established by the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities.

And finally, we are pleased to welcome a group of Dutch journalists who are visiting the United States this week to get a closer look at the upcoming U.S. election and its implications for the transatlantic relationship. The visit is organized by the Netherlands Atlantic Commission and sponsored by the Foreign Press Center at the State Department. Welcome to you all. Good to have you with us.

With that, I'll take your questions.


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.

(Cross talk.)

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?

Quigley: Correct.

Q: Anything he might have downloaded from his hard drive?

Quigley: Correct.

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 --

Quigley: No.

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 --

Quigley: Yes.

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.

Quigley: Yes.

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.

Quigley: Correct.

Q: And you believe that they exist.

Quigley: Yes.

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: Admiral?

Quigley: Yes.

Q: Any readout on the bilateral meeting you mentioned earlier between Secretary William Cohen and the Greek Minister of Defense Apostolos Tsokhatzopoulos yesterday in Thessaloniki?

Quigley: I don't have a readout on any of their conversations, Lambros, that took place yesterday, I do not.

Q: One more question.

The chief of the Greek air forces, Air Force General Dimitris Lintzerakos --

Quigley: Yes.

Q: -- is in the Pentagon today for talks. Anything on that?

Quigley: Well, he's being hosted by his counterpart, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, General Ryan. I think he's also meeting with the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, I believe, General Myers.

I know they're talking about a variety of issues of common concern between the United States and Hellenic air forces. I think some of the topics include the recent decision by the Greek government to purchase the Block-50 F-16s, training issues -- just a variety of topics, I think, that would be considered of interest to both of the air forces.

Q: Also on the Joint Strike aircraft project?

Quigley: I don't know if that was on the list of topics to be discussed. It certainly could be. But I don't know that that was among them.

Q: Craig, sticking to the region; Turkey has become the ninth country, I believe, to send a relief flight into Baghdad. What's the Pentagon reaction to that?

Quigley: Well, from our perspective of being cognizant of flight activity in operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch, we're certainly very much aware of the flight activity that's going on. The Turkish flight, for instance, flew through the Northern Watch airspace to go straight south from Turkey into Iraq. We're very much aware of its flight path and watched it as it proceeded.

But on the diplomatic side, it's just not an issue that we have the lead on, Jamie. On the sanctions flights, I would refer you to the State Department on that.

Q: Turkey is a NATO ally. Is the Pentagon not disappointed that it is making a point of giving aid and comfort to Baghdad at a time when the United States --

Quigley: Well, it's my understanding on this one that there was a notification made to the U.N. Sanctions Committee, and with the notification and permission, you know, from the Sanctions Committee of the U.N., that those are not indeed violations.

Q: I'm not suggesting that there was a violation. I'm just suggesting that Turkey has added itself to the growing list of countries that seems to be creating a momentum to lift the air embargo which the United States says it supports. At the same time, Turkey is a member of the same NATO alliance and in fact is providing basing for U.S. planes patrolling the no-fly zone. Isn't there somewhat of an inconsistency there?

Quigley: I think there was a procedure, a process set up by the Sanctions Committee for humanitarian flights into Iraq. And I don't know if you can ask for more than to follow the procedures that have been set up by the U.N. Sanctions Committee in order to fly those humanitarian flights. They appear to be in compliance with the Sanctions Committee guidelines.


Q: On Yugoslavia, two questions. In the Southeastern European Defense Ministerial, was there any talk about inviting in Serbia? I don't know, maybe they're already part of it, but I doubt it. And the second question is, is there any talk of some kind of military-to-military contact with Kostunica's government, given that U.S. peacekeepers are occupying the southern part of the country?

Quigley: I don't believe that Serbia is an existing part of the Southeastern Defense Ministerials, and I don't know -- I don't have a readout of discussion topics from their meeting. And at this point, I don't know of any effort to establish a mil-to-mil relationship quite yet. That's certainly something we could look at down the road. But I think there's plenty of items on President Kostunica's plate right now, and it's probably a little premature to go down that road.


Q: Admiral, the DoD authorization bill is to be on the House floor tomorrow. It includes the TriCare for life provisions for military retirees over 65 that Secretary Cohen had expressed concern about the cost of. I'm wondering if the department now supports those provisions in the form they've been reconfigured in, or if you have a position.

Quigley: We got the language of the bill this morning. And I just checked just before we came out here, about an hour ago. And we were still reading and making sure that we understood the specifics of the language and the dollar implications.

So it's a work in progress, Dale. But I don't have a reaction yet.

Q: Craig?

Quigley: Yes.

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

Quigley: No.

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.]


Q: On the Middle East, it's been reported that Israel is moving troops around for a possible operation in Lebanon. What are you seeing terms of those troop movements, and are you seeing any corresponding troop movements in, say, Syria or other places?

Quigley: We see a very unsettled time in the Middle East right now. We would only add our voice to the other voices that are calling for calm and a solution other than force, to come to some agreement, to resume talks and resume a peaceful resolution of differences in that very volatile part of the world.

Q: Are you seeing troop movements there?

Quigley: You're seeing throughout that entire region an increase in troop movements. I think you've probably watched that and read about that in newspapers, radios, and televisions around the world over the past several days. That's the exact same thing that many voices are now trying to calm, to cool the tempers that are involved and try to find a peaceful solution, rather than the force of arms.

Q: Other than Israel, are there other places that you're seeing troop movements? You said "in the region."

Quigley: I don't know.


Q: Craig, has there been any movement of U.S. forces or equipment as a result of the latest events in the Middle East?

Quigley: No. No. Certainly paying attention, as is the rest of the world, but no, we have not moved any forces.

Q: Back to Turkey for a second. Has there been any changes in the operations out of Incirlik for Operation Northern Watch, or any communication from Turkey that they would like to place limitations on those operations?

Quigley: No, not yet, Chris.

Q: On the visit of the North Korean officials, is this the first time that Secretary Cohen has met with an official of North Korea?

Quigley: I am pretty sure on that. And we, to the best of our knowledge -- I'm always a little hesitant of saying "first," "fastest," "biggest," and whatnot, but I -- we don't think that there has been a North Korean official visit at the Pentagon before, period --

Q: You dealt -- you mentioned --

Quigley: -- in the history of this building and what happened shortly thereafter.

Q: Yeah, right. You mentioned that missile and nuclear issues would come up. Is the United States going to have any kind of a positive message for North Korea, or is Secretary Cohen going to give him any kind of assurances?

Quigley: Well, I think he's going to try to take a lead from both President Clinton and Secretary Albright. Both of them either have already or will before the day is done have spoken with him. And I think that he will probably get a pretty clear after-action, if you will, from their discussions and carry those discussions forward as best he can.


Q: On North Korea as well, what ever happened -- was DoD able to ascertain or get a copy of the letter that was supposedly sent from Pyongyang to Moscow with regard to their deal to stop doing ballistic missile work in exchange for satellite launch support from other countries? I mean, was DoD able to ascertain positively that that is a deal that's on the table?

Quigley: Not that I'm aware of, no.


Q: This is a quick follow-up. Chris asked you about whether Turkey had placed any restrictions on operations in the northern no-fly zone, and you said, "Not yet." What did you mean by that?

Quigley: It is indeed their airspace and it's their facilities, and things of that sort. I mean, we respect that greatly, and we value their contribution, but --

Q: Well, when you said "Not yet," is there any reason to expect that they're considering any response?

Quigley: I mean, if that was the impression I left you with, that was wrong on my part. I don't know of anything pending or --

Q: What about the meeting of the Turkish Parliament? They were talking about taking, in retaliation for --

Quigley: For the Armenian resolution?

Q: Yeah.

Quigley: Well, that's still a work in progress. I don't know how to predict the outcome of that, Pam. I don't know.

Q: The resolution, you mean?

Quigley: Yes. Yeah, and the reaction --

Q: And I apologize to my colleagues, but I have one more -- (laughter).

Quigley: That's okay. Boy, if I left that impression, I'm glad you brought it up. That was not my intent.

Q: The question of anthrax vaccine. Tomorrow is another -- another hearing in Dan Burton's committee on government reform. The issue there is, to some extent, the part that concern about the safety of the anthrax vaccine has played in the retention of U.S. military personnel, particularly in the Guard and Reserve. Do you have any evidence that problems of retention in the Guard and Reserve are due to concerns about the safety of the anthrax vaccine? Has that been a major factor, or a significant factor --

Quigley: I don't think it's been a major factor. I'm sure you can find some individuals who have left the Guard or Reserve rather than proceed with their anthrax vaccination, Jamie, but I don't think, in numbers, I don't think we've considered as a significant impact in that regard, no. People come and go for a variety of reasons. That is certainly one of them, but I don't think that would be a significant number, no.

Q: When people leave from the Guard and Reserve, do you ask them whether -- why they left, and do you ask them specifically if it was related to concern about the anthrax vaccine?

Quigley: Services try to ascertain the reasons for a departure, when a service member separates prior to, you know, retirement-eligible. You find the reasons vary widely, but what you can find from those exit interviews is if you do detect a trend or a particular issue that is really rising in prominence to cause a steeply larger number of people to leave, whether it's active duty or Guard or Reserve duty. And so far, to the best of my knowledge, we have not found -- we've found a lot of reasons, but none that would be a real spike indicating an area of great and growing concern, and that certainly would -- is not something that we have seen in great numbers.

Q: Just generally speaking, we just finished the fiscal year. Was retention of military personnel up or down for the last fiscal year, do you know?

Quigley: I will -- we still have it through -- only, so far -- through the end of August. If I could -- we need to hold on just a little bit longer until we get the end of the fiscal year data. And we should have it within another week or so, and then we can give a very accurate answer to your question.

The best you can get now is, I think, a general sense that we feel that we came darn close or we met the end-strengths for all the services. But there were some exceptions to that, but we need to wait for the exact numbers to come in before I can give you an exact answer.

Q: Do you think that the number of military personnel who are opting out of the military because of concern about the anthrax vaccine is a small minority, or how would you characterize it?

Quigley: I can't give you a number, but again, what we learn from the exit interviews is if there is an issue that has been proceeding along at a relatively constant level and if all of a sudden a sharp increase in the number of people that cite that as a reason for leaving, you all of a sudden say, "Whoa. Wait a minute. This is a big spike here in this reason why people are leaving service." And to the best of my knowledge, we have not seen that sharp ramp-up for that reason of those individuals leaving the service.

Q: Thank you.


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