Jonathan Turley
George Washington University Law School
2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052

March 6, 2001

By Facsimile Transmission and Overnight Mail

The Honorable George J. Tenet
The Director of Central Intelligence
Washington, D.C. 20505

Re: United States v. CTRI Daniel M. King, USN Dear Sir:

As lead defense counsel in the above referenced case, I am again writing to you to ask for your intervention to stop on-going and serious violations of national security laws and regulations. Military co-counsel, LT Robert Bailey and LT Matthew Freedus join me in this request for intervention and investigation. In the fall of last year, I repeatedly wrote to you and other intelligence officials concerning these violations. Despite these letters and subsequent inquiries from members of Congress, violations have continued unabated in the case and witnesses have now given sworn testimony acknowledging such violations under oath. Moreover, despite assurances to Congress that inquiries have been made, critical witnesses have recently testified that no such inquiry or investigation has occurred. The failure to take even minimal steps to inquire into these violations is alarming. Even more distressing is the failure of any intelligence official to contact me or any member of the defense as to the specific allegations and supporting details.

As before, I wish to emphasize that this correspondence is not part of any litigation tactic. To the contrary, the prosecution of Petty Officer Daniel King is now virtually impossible given constitutional errors committed by the Navy. In fact, the Navy recently admitted to the media that it was moving to dismiss the charges against Petty Officer King. Petty Officer King has now been confined for over 520 days without the benefit of a formal charge, let alone a trial. In the pending speedy trial challenge before the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF), the Navy has waived the right to file a brief contesting our demand for a complete dismissal. As I stated in my prior correspondence, I informed you that my concerns stem from my obligations as a holder of a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearance as well as a former employee of the National Security Agency (NSA). As an academic and practitioner in the national security field, I have never witnessed nor heard of such flagrant disregard of national security rules and regulations regarding the handling of classified information as committed by the government in this case.

Given the gravity of these violations, I ask for the opportunity to detail these violations in a classified meeting or to prepare a classified report of the violations. I must also repeat my earlier request that an independent inquiry be made of these proceedings to establish the scope of national security violations. I strongly encourage you to act to contain any damage due to those violations, and to take appropriate action with respect to the responsible individuals.


It is clear from the record of these proceedings that various program and Navy officials have steadfastly opposed any formal review of the violations in this case due to their own professional and legal interests. While the defense has prevailed upon the Navy to tighten precautions in some significant aspects, violations remain on-going and it appears that there is a resistance to make changes out of a fear that such corrective action might be viewed as a further admission of misconduct or gross negligence.

I am particularly concerned about the testimony of Ms. Karan Wright, who until recently served as a security officer assigned to the proceedings. Ms. Wright admitted under oath that she had violated national security regulations in the proceedings and stated that other officials had also committed such violations. Ms. Wright, however, testified that no inquiry or investigation had been made of the security violations or procedures in the proceedings. This testimony was consistent with the knowledge of the defense. Despite an extensive record of such violations, including the release of program and classified material to unauthorized persons, there has been little effort by the Navy nor by other relevant agencies to act to avoid any further compromise of information. After defense counsel raised serious allegations of national security violations, no one has contacted the defense or sought further information from the complaining party.

There appears a complete lack of interest in these admitted violations of the handling and disclosure of extremely sensitive information. For example, when the defense wrote to the NSA concerning violations by LT Timothy Orr, NSA General Counsel Robert L. Deitz replied stating that no violations had occurred and that the allegations were meritless. Before reaching this conclusion, Mr. Deitz never contacted the complaining party. Accordingly, Mr. Deitz would have had to rely upon conversations exclusively with the accused party to reach such a conclusion. It is shocking that the general counsel for an intelligence agency would be so cavalier about allegations of security violations as not to make any independent inquiry with the complaining party. The violations by LT Orr were minor compared to those committed by other members of the prosecution and the program offices as confirmed throughout these proceedings. The handling of this matter shows the complete failure to respond to allegations of national security violations in a responsible and appropriate manner.

All of the defense correspondence regarding these violations has been unclassified. The defense anticipated that someone would arrange a classified meeting or method to permit a detailed presentation of these violations. The failure of any intelligence official to contact the accusing party on these allegations speaks volumes as to the reluctance of responsible agencies to acknowledge and respond to comprehensive violations by their own officials. Months have gone by without such an inquiry, an act of omission that itself constitutes a violation of national security regulations.


It is not possible to give details of the specific allegations of national security violations in this case in an unclassified letter. However, it is important to convey the scope and gravity of these violations. What is striking about these violations is that they involve virtually every possible failure to protect program and other classified information, including violations relating to (1) the physical facility for the discussion of classified material; (2) the marking, storage, and handling of classified material; (3) the disclosure of classified material to unauthorized personnel; and (4) the proper response to unauthorized disclosures and other national security violations. A few examples from each of these areas merit mention.


The defense has now attempted every possible official avenue to address these violations. The defense first raised its concerns with the immediate Navy officials and program officials responsible for the violations. When these officials refused to act, the defense asked Vice Admiral Joseph Mobley, the convening authority, to act. When this effort failed, the defense asked CDR Winthrop to act. When this failed, the defense wrote to you for intervention as well as other high-ranking officials. When this failed, the defense wrote various members of Congress on the intelligence committees. None of these efforts have produced an inquiry or investigation and the violations have continued.

What is especially disturbing is that every effort by the defense to address national security violations has been met with consistent and determined opposition from the Navy. The prosecutor in the case, CDR Jowers, has opposed every such effort, including determining if material in the proceeding required immediate action to avoid a compromise of national security. It was due to this opposition that the proceedings continued to occur in an improper SCIF and program material was released to unauthorized persons over the numerous defense objections.

In my earlier letters, I expressed confidence that my obligations were satisfied by raising these violations to you and to Congress. I can no longer make such an assumption. Due to the lack of response to my earlier letters, additional violations have occurred and national security interests have been compromised. I feel compelled to seek all possible avenues to spur meaningful action in this area without further delay.

I ask that three steps be taken immediately to address these concerns. First, I ask that an inquiry be made as to the scope of prior violations and the on-going failure to properly control program information in this case. Given the fact that program security officials, like Ms. McCaffrey, have had direct knowledge of these violations and not acted to prevent them, it is essential that this inquiry be made by an outside and independent panel. Second, at a minimum, the defense should be allowed the opportunity to detail these violations at the outset of such an inquiry and to speak with officials conducting the inquiry. Third, I ask for a formal revocation review of the clearances of those officials who either committed these violations or refused to take corrective action to protect the information. This review should also include a specific review of the program security under the supervision of Ms. McCaffrey, which was the source of the most extensive and serious violations in the course of these proceedings.

Please inform me if you intend to intervene in this matter or to order any of the three responses requested above. If you intend to refer this matter for investigation, please indicate whether you will also ask for a formal inquiry, defense presentation of evidence, or clearance revocation review. Given the on-going nature of these violations and the sensitivity of the information, I respectfully request an expedited response.


Jonathan Turley
Defense Counsel for Petty Officer Daniel King

The Hon. Donald Rumsfeld
The Hon. Robert B. Pirie, Jr.
RADM Donald Guter
VADM Mobley
CAPT McPherson
CDR Newcomb
CDR Sundel
CDR Winthrop
CDR Jowers
LT Bailey
LT Freedus
CTR1 King
Members of Congress