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Briefing from the Team Investigating Antiquity Loss in Iraq

Presenter: Marine Col. Matthew Bogdanos
May 16, 2003 10:00 AM EDT

(Live briefing from the team investigating antiquity loss from the Baghdad museum, Baghdad, Iraq. Also participating was Bryan Whitman, deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs))

Whitman: Hi. Good morning. Thank you again for joining us. We're getting a regular crowd here on the early morning.

Today is a little bit different, though. Instead of bringing you a component commander or a division commander from Operation Iraqi Freedom, we'd like to welcome Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, who joins us. He has been the person that has been leading a special group of military and civilian investigators who are working on the Baghdad Museum antiquity loss and recovery efforts. And in the short time that he's been working it, they've made some tremendous progress on recovering artifacts that have been hidden and rediscovered and turned in. And he's going to talk to you today, even though his work is not yet completed, I don't believe, but he'll let you know exactly where he's at, that -- what they've been able to accomplish so far.

We have 30 minutes for this, so if you have anything you'd like to say first, I'd let you do that, and then we'll get into some questions.

Bogdanos: Good morning. My name is Colonel Matthew Bogdanos. As the senior officer assigned to this investigation since it began, I am prepared this evening or this morning, your time, to issue a preliminary report of our findings. Once I've read my report -- that should take about 10 to 15 minutes -- I will be prepared to answer any questions, if you have any, of course.

In mid-April of this year, it was widely reported that that over 170,000 ancient artifacts had been stolen or looted from the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. After fierce fighting, U.S. forces secured the area. On April 16th, a tank platoon was positioned on the museum grounds to prevent any further damage. The U.S. government then dispatched a 13-member team from United States Central Command, consisting of military personnel and U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement -- or ICE -- agents to investigate the theft and to begin the recovery of the missing artifacts.

The primary goal was not criminal prosecution but the return of these antiquities to the Iraq people. The methodology was tailored accordingly and compromised four components:

The team sought first to identify missing antiquities.

Second, to disseminate photographs thereof to the international law enforcement and art communities for possible interdiction.

Third, to initiate community outreach with religious and community leaders and media in order to promote an amnesty or "no questions asked" program for anyone returning the antiquities.

And fourth, to develop leads on the possible location of stolen antiquities and then conducting investigative raids on those targeted locations.

From the outset, the investigation has faced several challenges, foremost among them being the museum's manual and incomplete record-keeping or inventory system. The team also struggled with the perception among some of the Iraqi people that the museum was associated with both the former regime and the Ba'ath Party. For example, after the team located boxes of priceless books and manuscripts in a western Baghdad bomb shelter, it attempted to return them to the museum. Although local residents were appreciative of U.S. efforts in protecting the items, they expressed concerns about returning them to the museum because of its perceived identification with the Ba'ath Party. After meeting with community leaders who said they would protect these boxes until a new government was instituted, the team received inventories for all 337 boxes and agreed to leave them locked in the shelter protected by a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week neighborhood watch.

Another issue concerns underground vaults in the Central Bank of Iraq. According to museum staff, they removed between 15 and 20 boxes of gold and jewelry, including the famed Treasure of Nimrud, to the vaults over the last 13 years. To date, the museum staff has produced partial inventories for those items. Because those vaults are still sealed, the team has not yet been able to verify the accuracy of those inventories.

The investigation also recovered the existence of a secret or protected storage location used by the staff since 1990. Museum officials admit several members of their staff know of its existence but are sworn to secrecy, vowing not to divulge its location until a new government in Iraq is established and U.S. forces leave the country. Officials have, however, promised to provide the investigators with a complete inventory of the items stored in the secret place by the end of this week.

Finally, having no other knowledge base to operate from, and for purposes of this phase of the investigation, the team has assumed that the inventories of antiquities listed by the museum staff as present in the museum when Operation Iraqi Freedom began was complete and accurate. This is not a commentary on their accuracy, simply an acceptance of the reality that any investigation must have a starting point. Thus premised, the investigation indicates the following:

Years before Iraqi Freedom, most of the gold and jewelry were removed from the museum and placed in the underground vaults of the Central Bank of Iraq. Months before the war, the staff moved manuscripts and scrolls to the western Baghdad bomb shelter. Weeks before the war, the staff moved many smaller pieces from the public galleries to the restoration room, storage rooms or the secret location.

On the 8th of April, the last of the staff left the museum. U.S. forces then became engaged in intense combat with Iraqi forces that fought from the museum grounds and from a nearby Special Republican Guard compound. It was during this period that the looting took place, ending by the 12th of April, when some staff returned. The keys to the museum, previously locked away in a director's safe, have never been found. U.S. forces entered the compound on the 16th of April and the investigation began on the 22nd.

Turning to the losses in the museum, it must be stressed that the loss of a single piece of mankind's shared history is a tragedy, but it is clear that the originally reported number of 170,000 was a gross, if dramatic, exaggeration. It is equally clear that numbers cannot possibly tell the whole story, nor should they be the sole determinant used to assess the damage done. Used appropriately, however, they do offer a quantifiable measure of both the initial damage and the success of recovery efforts.

In this regard, the investigation has revealed the following:

In the administrative area, all offices were ransacked, equipment stolen and safes emptied. Indeed, damage in the administrative area far exceeds that seen in the museum itself.

Turning to the public galleries of the museum, the staff had previously emptied the display cases, thus, of the 451 display cases in the galleries themselves, only 28 were broken. Many artifacts were moved to other locations, while larger statues and friezes were left on the gallery floor, either covered with foam padding or laid on their sides. Of these, 42 pieces or exhibits were stolen. Most notably and lamentably, the sacred Vase of Warka, a Sumerian piece from about 3000 B.C., and the Bisetti statue from about 2300 B.C. Of these original 42 pieces or exhibits, nine have been recovered in the first 25 days of this investigation. Thus, 33 are still missing. In addition, 15 other pieces were damaged, notably, the Golden Harp of Ur, although its golden head had previously been removed to a bank vault. A dozen clay pots lining the corridors were also damaged, and according to the staff, all damaged pieces are capable of being restored.

Turning to the Heritage Room, which consists of more recent pieces, such as scrolls, antique furniture and fine porcelain, museum officials have not yet compiled an inventory from that single room. However, 142 items stolen from that room have already been recovered.

The museum also has five storage rooms, or magazines, only, three of which were entered during this time period. Because these rooms contain tens of thousands of clay pots, pottery shards, statuettes and the like, from both museum-sponsored and individually-registered excavation sites, a complete inventory of items missing from here may take months. We can, however, make some preliminary findings with regard to the storage rooms.

The first and second-level storage rooms were looted, but show no signs of forced entry on their shared exterior steel door. The keys to this door were last seen in a director's safe, and are now missing. Some shelves were disturbed that contain the excavation site pieces, and many boxes were turned upside down and their contents either emptied on the floor or taken. In these two magazines, over 2,100 excavation site pieces -- jars, vessels, pottery shards and the like -- were stolen, of which almost 800 have been recovered so far. Several dozen clay pots were also broken and strewn about the floor and the aisles of the storage magazines. Another 150 smaller pottery pieces -- again, the vessels and the jars -- were also stolen from boxes contained in temporary storage rooms. Twelve of these have been recovered so far.

It was in the second-floor storage room or magazine that the investigation discovered evidence that one of the corners of the room was used as a firing position. The team found a window slit broken open from the inside with boxes against the wall placing the window opening at shooter's height. Found nearby were RPG parts, an ammunition box, an AK-47 magazine and grenade pouch, and a grenade that turned out to be a dud. This reinforces earlier discoveries of a box of RPGs on the roof of the museum library, and another box of RPGs on the roof of the children's museum. The latter, the children's museum, was the building from which RPGs were fired at U.S. forces. I should stress that there is no evidence that any fighters entered the museum compound before the staff left on the 8th of April.

Turning to the basement-level magazine, the evidence here strongly suggests that this magazine or storage room was compromised or entered not by random looters but by thieves with an intimate knowledge of the museum and its storage practices, for it is here they attempted to steal the most trafficable and easily transportable items stored in the most remote corner of the museum. The front door of this basement magazine was intact, but its bricked rear doorway was broken and entered.

This magazine has four rooms, three of which were virtually untouched. Indeed, even the fourth room appears untouched except for a single corner, where almost 30 small boxes originally containing cylinder seals, amulets, pendants and jewelry had been emptied, while hundreds of surrounding larger but empty boxes were untouched.

The thieves here had keys that were previously hidden elsewhere in the museum. These keys were to the storage cabinets that lay immediately adjacent to these boxes. In those storage cabinets were tens of thousands of Greek, Roman, Hellenistic and Islamic gold and silver coins, one of the finest collections anywhere.

Ironically, the thieves appear to have dropped the keys to those storage cabinets in one of those plastic boxes on the floor. After frantically and unsuccessfully searching for them in the dark -- there was no electricity, and they were using foam padding, lighting that afire for light -- after searching for them in the dark and throwing the boxes in every direction, they left without opening any of the storage cabinets. After a methodical search, the team found the keys underneath the debris, underneath these strewn boxes. The inventory of this room will also take weeks, but it appears that little was taken and a catastrophic loss narrowly averted.

To date, this investigation has resulted in the following: Located 337 boxes containing 39,453 ancient books, Islamic manuscripts and scrolls safeguarded in that bomb shelter in western Baghdad. Identified a vault containing 616 pieces of the treasures of Nimrud and another vault containing 6,744 pieces of gold and jewelry in the undergrown vaults in the Central Bank of Iraq. And finally, we have recovered 951 pieces, including one of the oldest known bronze-relief bulls, a pottery jar from the Sixth Millennium B.C., and one of the earliest known Sumerian statues.

Hundreds of these pieces that have been recovered have come from Iraqi citizens pursuant to the amnesty or no-questions-asked program. And they have stressed their desire to return these items to the U.S. forces for safekeeping until a lawful and democratic Iraqi government is elected. Several hundred more were returned by Dr. Chalabi after being confiscated from a car at a checkpoint near Kut.

This team's mission was to a conduct a preliminary investigation into the theft and looting in order to begin the recovery. This phase of the investigation is now substantially complete, but a small contingent of the team will remain here until all of the inventories in all of the storage rooms are completed and the final numbers are known. The evidentiary findings in this report will ultimately be provided to the Iraqi government for appropriate legal action.

The majority of the work remaining, that of tracking down each of these missing pieces will likely take years. It will require the cooperative and concerted effort of all nations.

There are two components to this global aspect of the investigation worth noting. First, in order to intercept these artifacts, we must make the missing items universally recognizable among the international law enforcement and art communities, using all available tools, to include Web Sites, international media and local law enforcement officials. Second, we must continue to develop confidential sources within the art smuggling community in order to track, recover and return these pieces. Both of these components have already begun.

The missing artifacts are, indeed, the property of the Iraqi people. But in a very real sense, they represent the shared history of all mankind. It is this knowledge that informs our confidence that the recovery effort will succeed. The United States government, the United States Central Command and this team are committed to restoring these priceless treasures of our history to their rightful place. I speak for all of us when I say we are proud to have begun the journey and honored to have served. And now, if there are any questions, I'd be happy to take them.

Whitman: That was a very comprehensive summary there, but I'm sure we have some follow-up and clarification that we'd like to ask you about.

So, go ahead.

Q: You mentioned that hundreds more, and I didn't catch the whole phrase -- 100 more items were taken from Dr. Chalabi near Kut. Can you tell us a bit more about that, what happened there?

Bogdanos: Certainly. Several weeks ago, there was a white pickup truck traveling in the Kut region, south of Baghdad. And it was stopped at a checkpoint. In the car were, in one of those aluminum footlockers that the museum uses for its storage practices. The individuals at the checkpoint associated with the Iraqi National Congress stopped the car at the checkpoint and searched the car, finding these antiquities -- pieces that came from the Iraq Museum. They confiscated those items and brought them to Dr. Chalabi, who then returned them to us.

Q: Hi, sir, this is Kathy Rhem from the American Forces Press Service. Could you elaborate some on the makeup of your team, what the members' areas of expertise are? And give us some of your background, what prepared you for this mission, what your area of expertise is.

Bogdanos: Okay. And I'm sorry, I could -- I heard the first part of the question about the makeup of the team. Let me answer that part. And then if there's more, please follow up.

The team itself -- we've got now 14 members, but it's a part of a larger team, the Joint Interagency Coordination Group. It was formed by U.S. Central Command shortly after September 11th. It contains military members and law enforcement agents from 12 different U.S. governmental agencies. When we received this mission from General Franks, it was my job to task-organize a team to come here to do this particular mission. We have -- of the 13 people that began the mission, three of those are military: one Air Force, one Army, and one Marine. And then, 10 of those are from what used to be Customs, but since their movement to the Department of Homeland Defense -- or, Security, excuse me -- is now Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

We are trained investigators. Customs, as you know, is the -- one of the internationally recognized subject matter experts in art smuggling. And that's -- we are here in that capacity, to investigate what happened and then start the art smuggling trail, if you will.

And I know you had a second part of that, which I couldn't hear.

Q: The other part of my question was on your background. Are you a Military Police officer, and do you have any special background in art or antiquities that helps you with this mission?

Bogdanos: Well, I'm actually a recalled reservist. I was recalled to active duty immediately after September 11th. But before this -- I'm a homicide prosecutor with the Manhattan -- or, New York County District Attorney's Office. I've been there for about 15 years now. In terms of my educational background, I have a master's in classical studies. But the team itself is here as an investigative team.

Q: Sir, it's Mike Mount with CNN. A question on the number of valuables that were in the museum. Do you have an overall number of items that were in the museum, not just taken, but as a whole?

Bogdanos: No. And as I mentioned in the report, it's important to understand several limiting factors here or challenges that we've had to struggle through. The first is, there is no master list. There was certainly no computerized list, but there was also no master list of everything that's in the museum. What you have instead are different departments or different sections of the museum that would keep their own individual inventories. Some of those are more complete than others. In many cases, the inventories themselves were in the administrative offices, which were ransacked, and were destroyed or stolen along with the antiquities themselves. So we have in some cases been forced to recreate inventories.

And on a numbers issue, I'd like to -- I've brought some of the pieces that we've actually recovered. And if we could now, I'd like to have the camera move to that because I'd like to highlight some of the issues with regard to numbers, and why numbers used inappropriately don't offer a clear indication of the extent of the damage.

I'll start with here. You see before you here you have 15 pieces of pottery, pottery shards. Each of these items, when they were recovered at the excavation site, were recovered in this condition. Well, if these are stolen, they're 15 items stolen. If they're recovered, they're 15 items recovered. But turning to the item right next to it, it is a Sixth Millennium pot from Tel Hasuna . It represents one number, but surely this piece has more historical significance than the other 15. Understand also that because these were stored in different locations in the museum, the inventories would have been prepared by different staff members, and the inventories themselves will be separate.

So I know that's not an answer you want to hear, but you need to give the museum staff a little more time in order to get the number that you're looking for.

Q: Sir, Brian Harbin with ABC News. At this point, do you have any leads, do you have any suspicions on whether was this an inside job, were these Ba'athists, master criminals with ties to organized crime internationally? And also, have you picked up anything with the leads that you've been trying to chase down with Interpol and some of the international agencies?

Bogdanos: Okay. Now I know why Mr. Rumsfeld insists on one question at a time. If you could break that down for me -- and I didn't hear the first part -- that would be great.

Q: Yeah, the first -- sure. The first part was really just one long question. What is your suspicion -- who's behind this? Do you think these were insiders who worked at the museum? Were they Ba'athists? Were they outsiders from outside Iraq who have ties to organized crime?

Bogdanos: Got it. Let me address the part about if they were Ba'athists. Politics gets in the way of a good investigation. I don't know the political affiliation of the individuals that did this.

But here's what I can tell you about what the investigation has uncovered so far. There appear to be multiple groups of individual -- or individuals. You have one set who appeared -- or, the evidence strongly suggests, knew what they were looking for and selected items from the public galleries.

You have then a second set or a universe of individuals in the basement storage magazine, most -- especially, that required an intimate knowledge of the museum itself and its storage practices. Whether that knowledge came because it was an employee him- or herself who did it, or who got the information from an employee, we're not able to say at this point.

Then you have a third group, and that would be the more indiscriminate looters, I think, the press has been calling them.

In reality, what you have is a combination of all three of those. Whether they're working in concert with each other, whether the individuals who knew what they were looking for opened the doors in order to allow people in, to cover their tracks, that's not something the investigation has determined just yet. We have determined that there appear to be three separate dynamics.

And I think you had another part of that question.

Q: Yeah. The last, sir, was, you mentioned that you've been putting photos of some of the artworks out in the international law enforcement community. I'm just wondering if those efforts have borne any fruit. Have you picked anything up trying to be sold somewhere overseas?

Bogdanos: So far we have not. We this afternoon arranged with Jordanian customs officials -- we'd arranged it earlier, but -- to make all of the artifacts that have been seized by Jordanian customs available to us. We sent a Customs representative to Amman to photograph all of those items. And we don't yet have the results of that to know whether any of those items are, in fact, artifacts that have been taken from the Iraq Museum.

I do want to stress that the global interdiction or interception program is going to take time.

Q: This is Jim Mannion from Agence France-Presse. Early on, you said that your priority is recovery rather than prosecution. But has anybody been detained? And -- I mean, and certainly, there's -- I would think that particularly in the case of the, you know -- the thieves, that prosecution is going to be part of this, isn't it?

Bogdanos: Well, let me answer your first part first. Yes, the goal of this phase of the investigation was clearly the recovery of these artifacts. Hence, for example, the amnesty program. It's not a program you would have if your goal was solely criminal prosecutions. But I need to stress that that's this phase of the investigation. As I mentioned earlier, all of the findings and all of the evidentiary details of the report will be made available to Iraqi authorities for criminal prosecution, if that's deemed appropriate.

Q: Barbara Starr, sir, from CNN. I was trying to make the numbers add up. Is there any summary statistic you could just give us from all of your categories about numbers of items stolen, numbers of items recovered?

Bogdanos: In terms of -- I can tell you numbers of items either located or recovered, and that is in the report which will be made available. And I've already mentioned that we have 951 items that have been actively recovered, either through going out and getting them or through the amnesty program, people walking up; but more usually, going to a third site, a neutral site, and picking those items up. In addition to that, the items we've located -- I mentioned 39,453 manuscripts, the 616 pieces of the Treasures of Nimrud, the 6,744 pieces of gold and jewelry that are in the Central Bank of Iraq. And I point out again, we have not gained entry yet to those vaults. We are going off of the inventories that we have received from the museum staff that tell us that those are in there.

Now, in terms of the items missing, I can tell you what I said before about the public galleries themselves, those display items, if you will. And of those, 42 were originally stolen and nine were recovered, so 33 remain missing.

But it's simply, at this point, impossible to give you numbers, because there are tens of thousands of pieces that don't just have to be counted, but they have to be counted and compared against inventory lists that, in some cases, don't exist or can't be found.

Q: Sorry, to make sure I absolutely understand, the list you went through of items you described as located -- 39,616; 6,744, there was no indication that those were stolen. Those are things you came to understand the location of where they were.

Bogdanos: Those are items that were removed from the museum prior to the war, and we have located them; that's correct.

Q: Thank you.

Q: This is Will Dunham with Reuters. Can you go back and explain again why there has not been access to the vaults? And was it -- the material that's there, we're trusting that it's there because it's been inventoried as being there?

And just one other thing. It's proper to say that we simply don't know -- you folks don't know how much is missing right now, because you haven't seen what's in the vaults, and there's other stuff that just simply can't be accounted for because it hasn't been seen yet. Is that correct?

Bogdanos: I guess the answer to your question would be no, that's not correct. So let me see if I can answer those in seriatim.

Access to the vaults. This is an investigative team. The vaults will be opened at an appropriate time by an appropriate authority. It's -- (chuckles) -- this team doesn't have the authority to open underground vaults of the Central Bank of Iraq. That is not to say they won't be opened. They will, but by an appropriate authority.

The second point to your question, I think, was that we're trusting that the inventories -- or that they're there. No, we are, for purposes of this phase of the investigation, assuming that the inventories are complete and accurate. When the bank vaults are opened, there will be an investigator physically present to determine whether or not the items that are in the underground -- or claimed to be in the underground vault are in fact in the underground vault.

And then the third part, I think, was something like we don't exactly know what's missing. And I'm sorry to repeat myself. We know what's missing from certain rooms, but when you get to storage rooms that contain upwards of 100,000 different pieces, each of which has to be individually counted and catalogued and compared against an original excavation site number, that's going to take time.

Q: Who is going to open -- who will be the proper authorities to open those bank vaults, and what's the timing on that?

Bogdanos: You're going to have to ask someone a whole smarter than I that question. That's something above my level.

Q: Sir, it's Pauline Jelinek of the Associated Press. I'm sorry. I don't understand. Are the vaults the same thing as the secret location that you said they won't tell where it is? I'm confused -- no. So can you tell us more about the secret location?

Bogdanos: Yes, ma'am. The underground vaults are two vaults that are in the Central Bank of Iraq. They are not the same as the secret location. The secret location is a particular location. Members of the museum staff have told us that they have sworn on the Koran not to reveal the location of that secret place.

What they have done for -- at least for this phase, is agreed to provide us with inventories of what is in that particular place. And I stress, as I have before, this is simply phase one of the investigation.

And I don't know if I've answered all of your question. If I haven't, please follow up, because I couldn't hear the last part.

Q: I'm sorry. They have already provided the inventories, or you don't have any idea what's in there?

Bogdanos: They have promised to provide inventories by the end of this week. So we do not yet have inventories for that particular location.

Q: Do you have any idea of what's in there without the full inventory, what kind of thing?

Bogdanos: Yes, ma'am. Anecdotally we have been told, through our interviews with the museum staff, what is in there. And primarily it's the items that were removed from the display cases. Remember I mentioned to you that there were approximately 400 -- exactly 451 display cases that were in the museum and had been emptied prior to the war? It's those items. We're talking about some gold and jewelry, pottery, beads. We're talking about amulets, pendants, ivory statuettes, ivory reliefs, things like that.

Q: Sir, this is Kathy Rhem from the American Forces Press Service again Can you describe the level of cooperation you've been getting and the working relationship your team has with the museum staff?

Bogdanos: Actually, perhaps the best way to do that is to introduce Dr. Donny George, who is the director-general of research and antiquities for the Iraq Museum. Many of you may have already known him previously from having spoken to you. So I'd like to introduce him now.

DONNY GEORGE (director-general of research and antiquities, Iraq Museum): Thank you very much, Colonel Bogdanos.

I really would love to express our thanks to Colonel Bogdanos and his team for what they've been doing. And we've been working together, I believe, as on one team to try to restore what has been looted from the museum. And I think this can give a good answer for your question.

Q: Thank you.

Q: Could we ask Dr. George to spell his name, sir?

Bogdanos: Certainly. It's Dr. Donny -- D-o-n-n-y, George -- G-e-o-r-g-e.

Q: Hi. Kathy Kay here again from the BBC. Two things. I'll start with one. Could you just clarify again how many people there are on your team, how many U.S. personnel you have working on this investigation?

Bogdanos: Ma'am, I'm sorry. The only word we got was investigation. I wonder if you could repeat that please.

Q: Can you tell us again exactly how many U.S. personnel you have working in this investigation?

Bogdanos: Now, it's -- it began at 13, and now it's 14 on the compound itself. And please understand we draw on the expertise of our fellow law enforcement and military officers throughout the world, like the Customs official in Jordan or FBI in Washington or Customs headquarters in Washington to disseminate the photographs to the Department of State and to Interpol. So we have 14 people working here and actually living on the museum grounds itself. But we have many more assisting in other locations throughout the world.

And I'm getting a signal that we're out of time. I don't know, should I -- am I supposed to allow one more question? How does this work?

Whitman: She has a follow-up on her question there or a second part to a question, and if we could get that in, they'll let you go then.

Q: Can you just tell us what's the most valuable items that's still missing? And what's the most valuable item that's been recovered?

Bogdanos: Okay, I need to preface this by saying that's like asking a parent, "Who's your favorite child?" I mean, these are all priceless treasures. But you're not going to want me to settle with answer. Perhaps the most valuable item that is missing is a white limestone votive bowl from Sumerian times, commonly called, "The Sacred Vase of Warka."

It's difficult to say what is the most important item recovered, though I do -- if I could show you over here, one of the items that we have recovered, in addition to the items I've shown you also, is this Sumerian statue, one of the first known free-standing Sumerian statues of -- as I understand it, of a priest. We have also recovered an Assyrian statue from 9th century B.C. of King Salmanazar, and we've recovered one of the oldest known or oldest recorded bronze bowls in relief.

Having said that, each and every time we recover a single piece, it's an absolute joy to those of us on the investigation.

Whitman: Well, we have exceeded the time that you've allotted for us, and we really do appreciate you taking the time. This has been very informative, and we appreciate the detail that you've been able to provide us today. Thank you.

Bogdanos: Thank you all.

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