WASHINGTON -- Last week the Department of Defense announced the
findings of an investigation into sexual abuse and military corruption
by Maj. General David R.E. Hale. But the woman who ignited the military
scandal with her charges last January calls the probe little more than
an official whitewash and cover-up designed to protect Hale's superiors.
Donnamaria Carpino and her ex-husband received a copy of the
Department of Defense Inspector General's report last Tuesday and were
shocked by what they saw as the sloppiness of the report issued by
Eleanor Hill, the Defense inspector general.
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"It (the report) is pathetic and anemic and is damage control. I hope
that a real criminal investigation will pick up on the obstruction of
justice, the fraud charges and the other criminal charges ignored in the
report," she said. "If they take out all of the sexual charges there is
enough there based on Hale's own words to send him to prison for
obstructing an official investigation, fraud and making false official
Last Tuesday, a stunned Pentagon press corps asked repeatedly if Army
Chief of Staff General Dennis Reimer would be investigated or held
accountable for allowing Maj. General David R.E. Hale to retire amid
charges of serious criminal misconduct. Reporters restated the same
question, positive that Mr. Bacon had not understood them.
Bacon stated over and over again that Gen. Reimer was not under
investigation and regardless of the outcome of any investigation, Reimer
would not be held accountable for his decision to allow Hale to quickly
and quietly retire last February.
"The purpose of this is not to review General Reimer's actions,"
Bacon said. "I don't see how I can be clearer than that. I have said it
four times, if I have said it once," Bacon scolded the reporters.
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Eight days earlier Mr. Bacon's boss, Secretary of Defense William
Cohen, was asked, "It's your office that will determine whether or not
the chief of staff of the Army acted properly." Cohen responded, "Yes,
ultimately I will have ... yes ... a very major role to play in this,
which is the reason that I can't comment." In a previous briefing the
secretary promised there would be a complete investigation by Defense
General Counsel Judith Miller into the circumstances surrounding the
sudden retirement of Hale. It was assumed by the Pentagon press corps
this would include the actions taken by Reimer.
"It is obviously a cover-up to protect Reimer's involvement in
allowing his friend to retire to escape criminal justice," says Carpino.
"Double standards" were a major issue in the court-martial of
Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney. Carpino suggests the Defense
Department is giving the appearance of conducting an honest
investigation and also of making "reforms."
The Pentagon has already announced "major changes" in how it handles
general officer retirements. General officers will now have to provide
"full disclosure" of any problems that may exist prior to retiring. Yet,
last March a senior Army personnel officer confirmed off the record that
the Army Chief of Staff violated Army regulation 600-8-2 in allowing
Hale to retire in the first place. Hale should have been "flagged" from
any favorable personnel action to include the approval of his retirement
The Army defended the action of Reimer on the grounds the ongoing
investigation had yet to produce a substantiated allegation. However to
initiate a flagging action under Army regulation 600-8-2, a proven
allegation doesn't have to exist, only the existence of an
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As for Hale, it is very likely he will be either recalled to active
duty to face justice or will be court-martialed from his retired status
as has been done by the Navy. Carpino and other observers believe the
price to purchase Hale's cooperation and perhaps his silence will be a
punishment that is a mere slap on the wrist compared to what would
happen to a sergeant or captain charged with the same crimes.
Ironically, a clemency hearing was held in Washington for Captain
Jeffrey Demary the same week Hill released the findings of the Hale
investigation. In 1996, Captain Demary was convicted and sentenced to 10
years in a military prison on two counts of false swearing and multiple
counts of travel voucher fraud. Charges remarkably similar to those
leveled against Hale, except Hale may also face multiple counts of
adultery. Silas Demary, who spoke for his brother at the hearing, says
he is acutely aware of the Army's double standard in the enforcement of
the Uniform Code of Military Justice and is now following the Hale case
with great interest.
To those familiar with the charges made by Carpino during her 96
hours of nterrogation by the Army Criminal Investigative Division, the
Defense IG Office of Program Integrity and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the report released to Congress last week by Hill seems
Many of the charges made by Carpino and supported by three
polygraphic examinations which she paid for herself are not even
mentioned in the report. Several key witnesses who would have provided
damning evidence against Hale were never questioned.
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There are also questions about the evidence presented in the report
and its findings. Hill's report ignores the facts gathered by her own
Office of Program Integrity, which is dedicated to a single task --
investigating general officer misconduct.
For instance, the report states on page 44, "Several witnesses
testified that they believed that the spouse of the (information
redacted) and MG Hale were in an improper relationship. "She testified
that she and MG Hale spent New Years Eve (December 31, 1997) together in
a (information redacted) hotel at that time she said she was divorced
from her husband. The spouse declined to discuss with us the nature of
her (his wife's) relationship with MG Hale while they were together in
Turkey." Sources stationed in Turkey believe they know the identity of
the New Year's Eve mystery woman and, who despite claims to the
contrary, was not divorced from her husband at the time.
In March of 1997, Specialist Luke Hecker was present at a meeting
between one of Hale's senior personnel officers and Carpino's
ex-husband. The officer complained that "General Hale was AWOL from the
NATO exercise and that he was out with the wife (of a another senior
staff officer) partying all night." This officer was very upset and
asked Carpino's ex-husband, a colonel, if there was some action that
they could take because of
General Hale's conduct that night. Luke Hecker was never questioned by
investigators, but he was quoted in the Washington Times has having
knowledge of another improper relationship between Hale and an one of
his enlisted soldiers.
The report states, "One witness testified that the marital problems
between (information redacted) may have been attributed to MG Hale. The
425th Air Base Squadron Commander testified that it was strange that
four of MG Hale's subordinate officer' s marriages ended in divorce, and
that all of them had worked for and closely socialized with MG Hale. He
stated that, '... a lot of marriages may have, in fact, been divorces
because of illegal affairs by M.G. Hale ... General Hale passed through
all of their lives.'"
As the commanding general of NATO's Land Southeast Command in Turkey,
Hale exercised almost total control over his soldiers and their
families. From the information available in the Defense IG report, it
appears he used this power to manipulate the wives of subordinate
officers into sexual relationships and then to bully and humiliate their
husbands into silence.
Even more disturbing is the failure of the Defense IG's report to
disclose the full extent of investigation made by the Defense IG's
Office of Program Integrity. In addition to Carpino's claim she was
coerced into a sexual relationship with Hale, she also reported that
Hale had engaged fraud in filing false travel claims and aided others in
submitting fraudulent travel vouchers, compromised classified
information, had knowledge of the cover-up of the Marshall Center
scandal, and ordered the overt religious persecution of a
Muslim-American family stationed in Izmir, Turkey.
The IG report hasn't a single word concerning the possibility Hale
engaged other acts of fraud involving the filing of false travel
vouchers and that Hale aided the New Year's Eve mystery lady in filing a
fraudulent travel voucher.
Both cases involve the right of soldiers and their family members to
return from overseas assignments at taxpayers expense to attend the
funerals of their parents or individuals who raised them through the age
of 16. This type of government funded travel is termed "in loco
In October or November of 1996, Hale's grandmother died and he took
an "in loco parentis" round trip to attend his grandmother's funeral. In
doing so Hale was claiming that his grandmother had raised him through
age 16, this despite the fact that Carpino claims Hale's mother was
still alive until he was in his 20s and that his father, a retired Air
Force colonel, is still living. With both of his parents living into his
adult years, it seems remote that his grandmother raised him and that
Hale would qualify for a taxpayer-funded trip home to the states for her
If Carpino's claim is true, this isn't a petty crime. It's the type
of fraud against the government that put Captain Demary in prison for 10
years. This charge puts a human face on the Army's double standard in
the enforcement of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A black captain
is convicted and goes to jail for 10 years. A white general retires and
goes to play golf.
According to sources stationed in Turkey at the time, Hale also
allowed one of his female companions, the wife of a subordinate officer,
to avail herself of a free "in loco parentis" round trip to the states
to attend the funeral of a close friend. Something clearly not in the
guidelines at all.
Also missing in action in the redacted copy of the IG report is any
reference to Carpino's claim that Hale provided classified information
to her to prove to her how well-connected he was. Carpino says Hale had
once been the head of the Army's "black operations" program.
One question asked during the three polygraphic examinations
conducted by Danny Bragg, a former special agent for the Virginia State
Police, may explain the reluctance of the Department of Defense to
anything other than to throw a smokescreen of "national security" around
the entire issue of Hale's retirement and the possible misconduct of the
Army chief of staff.
Carpino was asked the following question: "Did you lie when you said
that General Hale showed you (what Hale claimed to be) Top Secret
information from General Yitzhak Mordecai about the Israeli Black
Program and that his contacts could find you any where?"
A signed affidavit from Bragg stated Carpino did not exhibit
reactions "normally indicative of deception and was being truthful to
the relevant questions asked." When contacted after Carpino's second
polygraph, Bragg, who has conducted more than 8,000 polygraphic
examinations, stated, "Oh yeah, no question about it. She's telling the
Carpino submitted the three examinations paid for out of her own
pocket, but the IG investigators rejected the results because they were
not conducted by the Defense Department. Carpino repeatedly requested to
take a Defense-sanctioned polygraph, but the investigators refused.
"Last year the Department of Defense gave 32,000 polygraph
examinations," says Carpino who looked up this fact on the Internet.
"It's not like Department of Defense doesn't believe in them."
Carpino's claim was taken seriously enough for Dennis McSweeney, the
lead investigator, to question Carpino's husband about this issue.
According to Carpino's ex-husband, McSweeney stated, "We think we
have everything figured out. There is just one thing left. This
classified stuff is a real puzzlement." McSweeney went on, "Are you sure
that you did not bring any classified materials home?" "Absolutely not,"
stated the ex, "never in my career and I will gladly take a polygraph to
McSweeney, "Could she have seen something in your office?" Carpino's
ex-husband answers, "No, I was a personnel officer, not involved in
operations, intelligence or security. I do not know why you refuse to
accept the most plausible reason. She may have seen it in his office or
McSweeney, "Did he have a safe in his quarters?" Answer, "I don't
know I never checked it out. You guys refuse except the obvious, she is
telling the truth."
Another individual questioned by Dennis McSweeney and investigator
Patty Langford as being a source of the classified information was Terry
E. Provence. Provence and Carpino had chance meeting at London's
Heathrow Airport during a flight layover and became friends. In a story
published in the Washington Times June 12, Provence, a Florida-based
international consultant, said investigators asked him about his sexual
relationship with Carpino. He stated they are nothing more than friends.
"I think (the investigators) were satisfied, but disappointed, is the
impression I got ... because they kept going back to the asking those
same questions again, just rephrasing them," said Provence. Mr. Provence
did not return calls made to verify Carpino's claim that he was also
questioned about the compromise of classified materials.
Perhaps it is Carpino's claim that Hale had knowledge of the Marshall
Center scandal that may be the motive behind the Department of Defense's
initial attempts to protect Hale. Marine Corps Col. Ernest Beinhart, who
was the first to report the abuse of power and the mismanagement of
millions of dollars, states, "The cover-up at the Marshall Center
involves a compromise of integrity at the top level of the Department of
Defense." Beinhart claims there was a cover-up of a cover-up which
involved powerful individuals in the Department of Defense.
Carpino states when Hale returned from his October 1997 trip to the
scandal-plagued George C. Marshall Center for Strategic Studies in
Garmisch, Germany, he made a fantastic boast. Hale claimed that nothing
could ever happen to him because he "had the goods" on some of the most
powerful individuals within the Department of Defense. The names he
dropped were Gen. George Joulwan, the former Supreme Allied Commander
Europe, and the DoD's chief legal counsel, Judith Miller. Hale promised
if the truth got out this one "Joulwan would be in big trouble and
Judith Miller would be out of a job."
Pentagon insiders suggest that General Joulwan's involvement in the
Marshall Center scandal cost him a shot to become the next chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff and forced him into retirement. Col. Beinhart
contends the involvement of a dozen or more senior general officers and
senior DoD civilians may possibly have been criminal because the
fabrication of false reports to cover the losses at the Marshall Center.
Col. Beinhart, with 30 years of service and a combat veteran, is
still on active duty because of the support of Marine Corps Commandant
General Charles Krulak. Krulak has openly aided Beinhart by calling on
the Secretary of Defense to have an open investigation that bypasses the
control Hill and Miller.
The investigation of the Marshall Center has simmered on the back
burners of the DoD IG's office since 1995. A source within the Pentagon
states three letters were recently prepared for Cohen's signature. Cohen
has only to select one of these letters, sign it, and close out the
business of Marshall Center. However, Col. Beinhart has urged Cohen to
not sign any of them lest he become part of the cover-up himself.
Beinhart and former Ambassador H. Kenneth Hill are prepared to go
public with what they know about the Marshall Center. However, so
powerful are the individuals involved in the Marshall Center scandal
that Congress and the press has thus far been reluctant to take a closer
look. A story about the Marshall Center set to run on a June 12, 1996
NBC Nightly News segment "The Fleecing of America" was spiked at the
last moment by a phone call from the Pentagon.
NBC was set to reveal that oversight for the Marshall Center project
was almost non-existent and it was mired in fraud, waste and abuse
because of the unfortunate choice of Dr. Alvin Bernstein to be its first
director. Bernstein, a three-star civilian equivalent, had expensive
tastes and the center was soon $4 million over budget and there was no
one to hold Bernstein accountable. So extravagant was Bernstein,
according to Beinhart, he managed to "spend more than $100,000
decorating his personal office."
Bernstein was ultimately removed from the Marshall Center, but a
golden parachute provided by the DoD safely floated him into a teaching
position at his same grade and pay. Still left unanswered is why
Bernstein was allowed to slip off the hook for wasting $4 million and
engaging in the abuse of many of the Marshall Center employees. Also
unanswered is why so many senior officers and civilians believed it
would be acceptable to violate regulations to protect Bernstein from
being held accountable.
After making his charges against Dr. Bernstein, Beinhart was summoned
to European Command Headquarters, and was told to recant his story of
fraud, waste and abuse and all would be forgiven. He would not and was
forced out of Germany, leaving behind his fiancee and his home. Beinhart
states "what happened to me was the equivalent of being raped, shot in
the head, and left for dead."
Perhaps the most explosive charge made by Carpino and ignored by Hill
in her IG report is that Hale claimed to have "done something to a
Muslim soldier" and "if it was found out he would go to jail."
That something, according to Mrs. Saabirah Howard, was to order
letters placed in the work computer of her husband who was under Hale's
command in Turkey. The letters contained insults to the founder of
Turkey, Ataturk, and under the Turkish Insult Law Mrs. Howard's husband,
Specialist Muhammad Howard, faced six years in Turkish prison. Why Hale
would do this is part of what NBC's Jim Miklaszewski called "a wild tale
that seems almost too unbelievable to make up." As wild a tale as it is,
important to remember that Ms. Carpino has taken and passed three
polygraph examinations. The results of which were rejected by the DoD.
Unfortunately the Department of Defense finds itself in a serious
dilemma in assigning black and orthodox Muslim-American soldiers and
their families to Turkey. The Department of Defense has elected to deal
with the racial and religious prejudices of one this nation's most
important allies by simply ignoring the problem.
Orthodox Muslim-American soldiers and their families receive no
warning at all concerning the strict secularism of the Turkish
government. A secularism that almost borders on extremism. There is no
doubt that the Turkish government should be free of any interference in
its authority to regulate religious expression of its own citizens.
However, the Turkish government also demands U.S. forces regulate the
religious expression of U.S. troops and their families assigned to
Mrs. Howard ran afoul of the Turkish authorities because of her
refusal to modify her wearing of traditional Islamic clothing, a
practice outlawed in Turkey. According to Carpino, Hale was pressured by
a Turkish general to have the Howard family returned to the states early
because of their religious practices. This is the fate of many orthodox
Muslim-American families stationed in Turkey.
While Hale had it within his power to return this family
no-questions-asked, it appears he didn't desire to answer a
congressional complaint should Mrs. Howard claim religious persecution
as the reason her family was returned early. Based on what she was told
by Carpino, Mrs. Howard believes Hale had the damaging letters placed in
her husband's work computer.
In short order Specialist Howard faced being chaptered out of the
Army for disloyalty and was threatened with going to a Turkish prison.
Given the choice of six years in a Turkish prison or an early return to
a stateside assignment, the Howards soon found themselves at Fort Bragg,
North Carolina. All of the charges against Howard evaporated as soon as
he left Turkey.
Predictably enough Mrs. Howard filed a complaint with Rep. Pete
Sessions of Texas. Equally predictable was the outcome of the
investigation. When Chris Homan, Rep. Sessions' district representative,
was informed that the charges made by Mrs. Howard had been confirmed by
Donnamaria Carpino, there was stunned silence. It seems that Sessions'
staff had not even bothered to inform the Howards of the outcome of the
Chris Homan stated that based on the IG report, "General Hale was a
hero for keeping Specialist Howard out of a Turkish prison and there
didn't seem to be reason to send the Howards a copy of the report."
Homan also pleaded they didn't have a forwarding address for the
Howards, as if the U.S. Army doesn't forward mail or couldn't provide
the current address of an active duty soldier to a congressional staffer
in less than a hour.
As for the issue of the racial persecution of U.S. troops in Turkey,
Cohen is already on top of this issue. Last January, four airmen
stationed at Incirlik Air Force Base, Turkey, were arrested and detained
by the Turkish police. It was alleged the commander of the base assisted
the Turkish police in the arrests and allowed a search of their on-base
quarters in violation of the Status of Forces Agreement.
After the U.S. Embassy made a complaint the four airmen were
released. TSGT Ray Hunnicutt, TSGT Mark Townsend, Airman Anitra Williams
and Airman Shymaine Williams believed the incident to be racially
motivated and were not satisfied with the local investigation conducted
by the Air Force. The four faxed a request to met with Cohen during his
April visit to Incirlik. During his brief visit Cohen didn't meet with
them, but four senior aides traveling with Cohen did. As a result the
Air Force agreed to the early return of the four to stateside
assignments as they requested. Also to be reassigned this summer is the
senior leadership at Incirlik. It wasn't clear if this also was an early
return and if it was punitive.
The four airmen are grateful to be returning to the states, as are
the Howards and other Muslim-American troops who have suffered as a
result of their religious beliefs. In a letter to the director of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has been acknowledged by
Supervisory Special Agent Jerome O. Campane, Mrs. Howard requested the
FBI to determine "if the DoD had this knowledge and was indifferent to
the fact black service members would suffer in Turkey as a result of
their race and/or religious beliefs." She also requested that "the
results of this investigation be given to the Civil Rights Division of
the Justice Department."
In "a wild tale that seems almost too unbelievable to make up" what
Mrs. Howard believes is that an American general engaged in acts of
overt religious persecution against her family to satisfy the religious
bigotry of a Turkish general.
The European edition of the Stars and Stripes newspaper recently ran
a story concerning the plight of Muslim-American soldiers and their
families assigned to Turkey. The story's author, Amee Seabolt, a
Washington based reporter for the Stars and Stripes, has been
unsuccessful in obtaining an official reason for why the Incirlik Four
are returning early to the states.