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DoD News Briefing: Captain Michael Doubleday, DATSD (PA)

Presenters: Captain Michael Doubleday, DATSD (PA)
November 08, 1995 1:30 PM EDT

Tuesday, November 7, 1995 - 1:30 p.m.

Captain Doubleday: Good afternoon.

I have no announcements, so let me try and answer your questions.

Q: Do you have anything on the Post story and some other stories about Captain Greene possibly being taken off the promotion list?

A: I've, of course, seen those stories. But from our perspective here, I really am not in a position to speak on the subject of where the Secretary of the Navy may be in his deliberation process in this case.

I can tell you, however, that we have received no recommendation from Secretary Dalton, and, for further information, you probably ought to check with the Navy.

Q: Josh Gotbaum was nominated this morning by the White House for a position at the Treasury. Is he in the building, and can we get a statement from him?

A: I don't know if he's in the building, but we'll work that one and see what we can do for you.

Q: This morning Congresswoman Furse from Oregon officially made her request to the GAO to investigate Friday's C-17 decision. She says she wants a full explanation of the decision, and she's concerned that certain options -- which she did not describe -- were not fully considered. What's the response of this building to that charge?

A: We laid out our decisionmaking process in one of the longest press conferences we've ever held here in the building on Friday last week. I don't really have any comment on her statements today. It's certainly within her prerogative to ask for any information she may want to have, but I don't have any further comment on that.

Q: Do you know if Dr. Kaminski's office has heard from her, or have they contacted anyone on the Hill to explain this?

A: I have no information that would indicate that she has contacted Dr. Kaminski. He is not in country right now.

Q: Is the U.S. Government satisfied that the rights of the accused in the Okinawa case are being properly respected? That they're being treated properly by the Japanese authorities?

A: Indeed, we believe that the rights of the accused are being protected. I don't know if you're aware of the fact that there is a requirement for a representative of the U.S. Government to visit the accused on a regular basis. That, of course, is taking place. In addition to that, you may also be interested to know that the U.S. Government provides the Japanese counsel, legal counsel, which has been done for all three of the accused in this case.

Q: The families of two of those servicemen have issued an allegation that this had racial connotations. The fact that they were black men somehow contributed to the way they were being treated and the way the United States turned them over to the Japanese against our normal policy.

A: First of all, I want to point out that they were certainly not turned over to the Japanese against our normal policy. They were, in fact, retained in U.S. custody until they were finally indicted. That is the source of much anguish on the part of the Japanese.

Q: You don't see any racial angle to this?

A: Frankly, I have not seen any of that. I am unaware of any aspect of that that has appeared in any of the Japanese media. To my knowledge, that issue has not been mentioned at all in any of the coverage that's been done there. Up until the last few days it was not, to my knowledge, mentioned in any of the coverage here in the United States.

Q: Do you know what's happened to the fiscal year recruiting statistics? That's been long overdue to...

A: I'm not sure that it's long overdue. The fiscal year, of course, closes at the end of September. In fact, they're crunching the numbers right now, but I would not expect that there would be any major surprises in that. We've done very well in recruiting over the last few years. Although I don't have any of the specific numbers, I'm told there will be no surprises this year in that regard.

Q: Do you have any update on the internal -- shall we say -- inquiry regarding the CIA developments last week?

A: The inquiry continues, and Dr. White has met with General Minihan on at least one occasion. But as I say, the review -- the inquiry is ongoing. Beyond that, I don't really have any details at all for you.

Q: Were you delayed by development of some news that you can pass on to us?

A: No. Unfortunately, it was just another one of those meetings that I need to attend in order to keep posted on what's happening here.

Q: Housekeeping on the Secretary's meeting tomorrow with General Grachev. Are they expected to have a background briefing or some readout over and above the normal press conference they have when that's over?

A: To my knowledge, there's nothing beyond what they normally do, but, as any of you who travel with the Secretary know, there is an attempt always to get together with the news media and provide any information that is available at that point.

Just in case anybody has missed it, the Russian Minister of Defense, Pavel Grachev, and Secretary Perry are going to be meeting in Brussels tomorrow to continue discussions on Russian participation in implementing the military aspects of the peace agreement in Bosnia. That follows Dr. Perry's visit today to the training exercises that are going on at Hohenfels.

Q: Any reason to be optimistic about what will happen at tomorrow's session?

A: I don't have a good read on that, so let's just wait until we hear from Brussels what the outcome of those meetings are.

Q: As you may know, there's going to be another hearing on the House National Security Committee on Bosnia tomorrow with some in-government witnesses and out-of-government witnesses. You're probably aware of these various reports the Washington Times has had a couple -- to the effect that there's a sentiment on the Hill that the Administration has not made its case yet on the Bosnia deployment. Can you give us anything regarding any plans for further contact on Capital Hill -- appearances, presentations, testimony, whatever -- in order to make that case?

A: The contacts with Capital Hill are ongoing. I know that certainly we here in this building and other agencies in the government continue to meet with members of Congress. And, in fact, Dr. White has had one breakfast so far this week with members of Congress, and there's another scheduled for later in the week.

Each one of those meetings is designed to discuss with the membership exactly where we are in the process and to reiterate, again, the feelings of the Administration as to why we should be supportive of any peace agreement, if there is one.

Q: There seems to have been a successful effort to at least get the House to hold off on passing a resolution, cutting off funding -- preemptive strike. There was a rush a couple of weeks ago, it looked like the House was going to rush into that. Do you know if Dr. Perry or other people in the Administration will appeal to Speaker Gingrich to...

A: I am not aware of the specific contacts that have been made with the Speaker. But I am aware, as I said before, that there is a continuing attempt by various leaders in the Administration to remain in touch with the Hill leadership on what our planning -- how our planning is going, what our plans involve, and also on the very important aspect of maintaining the U.S. leadership role in this peace process if we ever hope to bring it to a successful conclusion.

Q: Is there any appeal to them not to...

A: I don't have any knowledge of that aspect of it. I think you might want to check with the folks over at the White House on that.

I'll be happy to answer any other questions, but let me just point out that Mr. Gotbaum is out of town until Friday. We'll make an attempt to get in touch with him and see if there's anything that we can provide.

Q: Do you know if anyone in DoD is looking into the case of this New York Deputy Adjutant General, concerning his role in the Fielder friendly fire case?

A: I am not aware of anything on that. In fact, I'm not sure I'm aware of exactly what the case is that you're talking about. You might check with DDI after the brief here and see if they've got anything.

Press: Thank you.

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