Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #476 More on the Schmitzes, the Underground Reich and 9/11


Com­ple­ment­ing infor­ma­tion pre­sented in FTR#469, the pro­gram details the career of Joseph E. Schmitz—a very for­mi­da­ble indi­vid­ual who is Inspec­tor Gen­eral of the Depart­ment of Defense. A mem­ber of the Schmitz fam­ily dis­cussed in FTR#469, Joseph E. Schmitz is in a vitally impor­tant posi­tion in the Pen­ta­gon and is in a very sen­si­tive posi­tion with regard to a num­ber of the inves­ti­ga­tions relat­ing to 9/11. His brother—John P. Schmitz—is a part­ner with a pow­er­ful German-based inter­na­tional law firm that is also involved with a num­ber of 9/11-related inves­ti­ga­tions. This is very impor­tant, because it places the for­mi­da­ble Schmitz broth­ers in posi­tion to have a pro­found effect on the inves­ti­ga­tion of 9/11. As was the case with his father and as is the case with his brother John, Joseph E. Schmitz’s world is char­ac­ter­ized by a pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with “things Ger­man.” The pos­si­bil­ity that this obses­sion with “Ger­ma­nia” may her­ald an asso­ci­a­tion between the ultra right-wing Schmitz fam­ily and the Under­ground Reich is one to be seri­ously considered.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Joseph E. Schmitz’s cen­tral posi­tion with regard to a num­ber of 9/11-related inves­ti­ga­tions includ­ing: the Sibel Edmonds case, the issue of intel­li­gence col­lec­tion vs. civil lib­er­ties and the Abu Ghraib case; Joseph Schmitz’s mem­ber­ship in the ultra right-wing Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety; Schmitz’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ger­many; Schmitz’s mem­ber­ship in the Sov­er­eign Mil­i­tary of Malta; Schmitz’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the World Secu­rity Net­work; Schmitz’s mem­ber­ship in U.S. English—an “English-only” orga­ni­za­tion with white– suprema­cist lean­ings; the elder John Schmitz’s “Ger­man pre­oc­cu­pa­tion”; the elder Schmitz’s affin­ity for a col­lege founded by War­ren Carroll—whose name crops up in con­nec­tion with the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy; Joseph Schmitz’s fas­ci­na­tion with Gen­eral von Steuben—the Pruss­ian offi­cer who was the first Inspec­tor Gen­eral of the Pen­ta­gon; dis­cus­sion of the Steuben Society—a Nazi Fifth Col­umn orga­ni­za­tion in the United States dur­ing the World War II period; the Ger­man national secu­rity links to the World Secu­rity Net­work (with which Joseph E. Schmitz is affil­i­ated); review of the many power-political con­nec­tions of John P. Schmitz—Joseph’s brother.

1. Begin­ning the dis­cus­sion of Joseph E. Schmitz, the pro­gram notes his sig­nif­i­cant role in the case of FBI whis­tle blower Sibel Edmonds. Edmonds has charged the FBI with delib­er­ately cov­er­ing up infor­ma­tion dis­clos­ing suc­cess­ful infil­tra­tion of the bureau’s trans­la­tion depart­ment by peo­ple asso­ci­ated with drug deal­ers and ter­ror­ists. A recently posted Inter­net arti­cle raises the ques­tion of whether or not the Pen­ta­gon delib­er­ately leaked the name of the orga­ni­za­tion that was the focal point of Ms. Edmonds’ research. Such a leak jeop­ar­dizes Ms. Edmonds’ inves­ti­ga­tion (and health?). Again, it should be noted that Joseph E. Schmitz is at the epi­cen­ter of the Sibel Edmonds sit­u­a­tion. “The ongo­ing saga of FBI whistle­blower Sibel Edmonds’ small war with the Depart­ment of Jus­tice has gar­nered increas­ing media atten­tion in recent weeks. How­ever, this has almost entirely cen­tered on free speech and legal issues: John Ashcroft’s gag order, Judge Reg­gie Walton’s dis­missal of her case, and now, her open let­ter to the 9/11 Com­mis­sion. Incred­i­bly, the Commission’s final report failed to include her shock­ing tes­ti­mony con­firm­ing crime, cor­rup­tion and incom­pe­tence in the Fed­eral Bureau of Investigation—a fail­ing that greatly dimin­ishes the cred­i­bil­ity and trust­wor­thi­ness of the Com­mit­tee itself. How­ever this is just one dimen­sion of a very far-reaching story.”
(“Did Pen­ta­gon Reveal Name of Edmonds’ ‘Semi-Legit’ Group?”; Balkanalysis.com; 8/5/2004; p. 1;.)

2. “For aside from Sibel Edmonds’ legal cru­sade is the issue of per­sons and orga­ni­za­tions she encoun­tered whose part-time activ­i­ties touch on things from arms and drug traf­fick­ing to espi­onage and even ter­ror­ism. Some of these fig­ures (such as Can and Doug Dick­er­son) have been pub­licly named, but the Depart­ment of Jus­tice gag order on Sibel has pre­vented her from doing any­thing more than allud­ing to the other, and pre­sum­ably big­ger fish involved.” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

3. “That said, a pre­vi­ously unre­leased doc­u­ment from Sep­tem­ber 2002 may con­tain a key to unrav­el­ing the mys­tery at the heart of the case: who or what are the semi-legitimate orga­ni­za­tions that Edmonds has cryp­ti­cally referred to as being the major play­ers behind the major orga­nized crime rings whom Edmonds charges with endan­ger­ing Amer­i­can national secu­rity?” (Ibid.; p. 5.)

4. “On August 7, 2002, Sibel Edmonds launched a com­plaint with the US Air Force over the sus­pected ille­gal activ­i­ties of USAF Major Dou­glas Dick­er­son and his wife, Turkish-born FBI trans­la­tor Melek Can Dick­er­son and his wife, Turkish-born FBI trans­la­tor Melek Can Dick­er­son.” (Idem.)

5. “On Sep­tem­ber 10, Colonel James N. Worth, the direc­tor of the Inquiries Direc­torate in the USAF Office of the Inspec­tor Gen­eral, sent an offi­cial reply. This let­ter assured Edmonds that the Air Force’s Office of Spe­cial Inves­ti­ga­tions (AFSOI) had con­ducted a com­plete and thor­ough review of her con­cerns, and there­fore the case was closed. Of course, this did not deter the inde­fati­ga­ble Edmonds, whose lawyers whipped off a let­ter chal­leng­ing the valid­ity and depth of the Air Force’s inves­ti­ga­tion, had one even taken place on Sep­tem­ber 19.” (Idem.)

6. Ms. Edmonds wrote a let­ter chal­leng­ing the lead­er­ship of the Pen­ta­gon to respond to her charges. Her let­ter was addressed to Joseph E. Schmitz! “This 5-page chal­lenge was addressed to Depart­ment of Defense Inspec­tor Gen­eral Joseph E. Schmitz, and copied to Sen­a­tors Patrick Leahy and Charles Grass­ley, pre­vi­ous back­ers of Edmonds’ cause. Ear­lier today, Sibel Edmonds told that, ‘Nobody has men­tioned the DOD angle [of her case] to this date. There­fore we thought it would be appro­pri­ate to pub­lish this last let­ter in its entirety. Accord­ing to Edmonds, the cor­re­spon­dence can be pub­lished because it ‘was never clas­si­fied and their responses [were] sent via reg­u­lar mail, thus, not clas­si­fied either.’” (Idem.)

7. “While this let­ter mostly refers to long-known aspects of the case, there is one very strik­ing ref­er­ence which may shed light on a nag­ging mys­tery: who or what are the ‘semi-legitimate orga­ni­za­tions’ that Edmonds has alluded to in the past? Accord­ing to the Edmonds team’s reply of Sep­tem­ber 19, the USAF Inspec­tor General’s let­ter had referred specif­i­cally to one American-Turkish Coun­cil, based in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., as being related to the Dick­er­sons. For the Edmonds team, this was a very strange dis­clo­sure: ‘Notably, in his let­ter of Sep­tem­ber 10th, Col. Worth states that OSI’s inves­ti­ga­tion focused on Major Dickerson’s rela­tion­ship with the American-Turkish Coun­cil. This state­ment is very trou­bling for a num­ber of rea­sons. First, Ms. Edmonds never even men­tioned the name of this orga­ni­za­tion in any of her com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the DOD, DOD IG, Depart­ment of the Air Force IG, and AFOSI, con­cern­ing this mat­ter.’” (Idem.)

8. “We asked Sibel ear­lier today if the American-Turkish Coun­cil was in fact the name of the key semi-legitimate orga­ni­za­tion that had infil­trated the FBI dur­ing her time there. Because of the DOJ gag order she is cur­rently under she could only say, ‘I can­not con­firm that they said it, we did not.’ Yet why would the Pen­ta­gon specif­i­cally name an orga­ni­za­tion, con­nect­ing it with the sus­pect in the case, if there was no rela­tion­ship? And why would they bring it to the atten­tion of exactly the peo­ple they would have wanted to con­ceal it from? Did they assume that the story would break, and there­fore that it wasn’t worth con­ceal­ing? Or was the whole thing merely a mis­take, a mis­un­der­stand­ing, a typo? In any case, there are clearly sus­pi­cious shades of the old para­dox, ‘are you still beat­ing your wife’ at work here.” (Ibid.; pp. 2–3.)

9. “What­ever it may or may not be, the American-Turkish Coun­cil is a Washington-based busi­ness asso­ci­a­tion ded­i­cated to friend­ship and the pro­mo­tion of U.S.-Turkish com­mer­cial, defense and cul­tural rela­tions. Again, accord­ing to the ATC web­site, its ‘ . . . diverse mem­ber­ship includes For­tune 500 and Turk­ish com­pa­nies, multi­na­tion­als, non-profit orga­ni­za­tions, enter­prises and indi­vid­u­als with an inter­est in U.S.-Turkish rela­tions.’ It boasts a star-studded board of direc­tors, includ­ing Chair­man and Retired USAF Lt. Gen­eral Brent Scow­croft; Pres­i­dent and CEO G. Lin­coln McCurdy; Exec­u­tive Vice-President George H. Perl­man of Lock­heed Mar­tin; and sev­eral other rank­ing fig­ures from cor­po­rate Amer­ica. Some of these as well as many other Amer­i­can and Turk­ish busi­ness heavy­weights are also well-placed on the ATC Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

10. “Indeed the ATC is clearly quite an impor­tant orga­ni­za­tion with the abil­ity to bring together highly influ­en­tial peo­ple. Accord­ing to its web­site, Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Erdo­gan addressed the organization’s ‘Golden Horn’ mem­bers (i.e., those com­pa­nies who cough up $9,500 annu­ally) at a June event spon­sored by Motorola, Ray­mond James, Boe­ing and Raytheon. In April, Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Richard B. Myers addressed the group. Every major com­pany known to man is either a mem­ber or a well-wisher. And so on and so forth.” (Idem.)

11. “How­ever, scru­ti­niz­ing the posted sched­ule cov­er­ing the 244-day period of Jan­u­ary through August 2004, one finds only 18 days that actu­ally men­tion sched­uled events. And there are no sched­uled events at all for Sep­tem­ber through Decem­ber (though they’re no doubt still being planned). So unless the ATC is hurt­ing for sec­re­taries to put things down in writ­ing, they don’t do too much meet­ing. . .” (Idem.)

12. “ . . . If the Pen­ta­gon did indeed inad­ver­tently blow the cover of this ‘semi-legitimate orga­ni­za­tion’ by mis­take in the cited let­ter of Sep­tem­ber 10, 2002, it would answer a lot of ques­tions besides help­ing to put the pieces together in this jig­saw puz­zle of intrigue.” (Idem.)

13. Next, the pro­gram high­lights some aspects of Joseph Schmitz’s pro­fes­sional resume. “Pres­i­dent Bush nom­i­nated Joseph E. Schmitz to be the Inspec­tor Gen­eral of the Depart­ment of Defense (DoD) on June 18, 2001. The Sen­ate con­firmed him on March 21, 2002. . . .”
(“Hon. Joseph E. Schmitz Inspec­tor Gen­eral Depart­ment of Defense” [from offi­cial post­ing on the web­site of the Inspec­tor Gen­eral of the DoD]; p. 1.)

14. Among the for­mi­da­ble Schmitz’s pro­fes­sional cred­its is his mem­ber­ship in the Fed­er­al­ist Society—an ultra-reactionary judi­cial orga­ni­za­tion that many legal pro­fes­sion­als feel is destroy­ing the foun­da­tions of Amer­i­can jurispru­dence. Like his brother John P. Schmitz, Joseph is a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ger­many. (For more about this orga­ni­za­tion, see below.) Joseph is also a mem­ber of the Sov­er­eign Mil­i­tary Order of Malta. Also known as the Knights of Malta, the SMOM is a pow­er­ful order of Vat­i­can knights.  “ . . . He has also served on the Steer­ing Com­mit­tee of the Wash­ing­ton Lawyers Chap­ter of the Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety for Law and Pub­lic Pol­icy Stud­ies. Mr. Schmitz grad­u­ated with dis­tinc­tion from the U.S. Naval Acad­emy in 1978 and received his J.D. degree from Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity in 1986. He is also a Young Leader Alum­nus of the Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ger­many and a mem­ber of the Sov­er­eign Mil­i­tary Order of Malta.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

15. Cat­a­loging some of the cases with which Joseph Schmitz is involved, the broad­cast notes his piv­otal role in the Abu Ghraib inves­ti­ga­tion. “The Pentagon’s inspec­tor gen­eral, fol­low­ing an eight-day trip to Iraq, said on Fri­day that abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison appeared to be the fault of a few sol­diers he called ‘bad eggs.’ ‘I’m not aware of any ille­gal orders that came from any lead­ers,’ said Inspec­tor Gen­eral Joseph Schmitz, mak­ing his first pub­lic com­ments since return­ing June 19. He said dur­ing his visit to Abu Ghraib, the new com­man­der there informed him that past lead­ers failed to get out enough and over­see the sol­diers.”
(“Offi­cial Blames Iraq Abuse on Lower Ranks” by Joe Mili­cia [AP]; Seat­tle Post Intel­li­gencer; 6/26/2004; p. 1.)

16. “Schmitz, the prin­ci­pal advi­sor to Defense Sec­re­tary Don­ald Rums­feld on the pre­ven­tion of fraud and abuse in the Depart­ment of Defense, said he is reserv­ing final judg­ment until he sees the results of sev­eral inves­ti­ga­tions of pris­oner abuse. . . .” (Idem.)

17. Schmitz is also at the cen­ter of the debate about the need to bal­ance intel­li­gence col­lec­tion in the war on ter­ror with civil lib­er­ties: “A senior Repub­li­can sen­a­tor yes­ter­day expressed con­cern that a Pen­ta­gon sur­veil­lance pro­gram could be used on U.S. cit­i­zens and may ‘have a chill­ing effect on civil lib­er­ties.’ In a let­ter to Attor­ney Gen­eral John D. Ashcroft, Sen. Charles Grass­ley (R-Iowa) alleged that the Jus­tice Depart­ment and FBI are more exten­sively explor­ing the use of the Total Infor­ma­tion Aware­ness pro­gram than they have pre­vi­ously acknowl­edged.”
(“Sur­veil­lance Plan Wor­ries GOP Sen­a­tor” by Dan Eggen and Robert O’Harrow Jr.; Wash­ing­ton Post; 1/22/2003; from SecurityFocus.com.)

18. “The TIA pro­gram aims to develop tech­nolo­gies to sift through ‘ultra-large’ data ware­houses and net­worked com­put­ers for threat­en­ing pat­terns among every­day trans­ac­tions, such as credit card pur­chases and travel reser­va­tions. The sys­tems would, among other things, help ana­lysts search ran­domly for indi­ca­tions of travel to risky areas, sus­pi­cious e-mails, odd fund trans­fers and improb­a­ble med­ical activ­ity.” (Idem.)

19. “The effort, a project of the Defense Department’s Infor­ma­tion Aware­ness Office run by for­mer national secu­rity adviser John Poindex­ter, has become the focus of heated crit­i­cism from civil lib­er­ties groups and some law­mak­ers, who fear a poten­tial intru­sion on pri­vacy rights.” (Idem.)

20. “Bush admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials have said that the crit­i­cism is overblown and that the project is designed only to thwart ter­ror­ist activ­ity over­seas. But in response to ques­tions from Grass­ley, Defense Depart­ment Inspec­tor Gen­eral Joseph E. Schmitz acknowl­edged that sev­eral domes­tic agen­cies, includ­ing the Jus­tice Depart­ment, FBI and Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity, have talked with the Pen­ta­gon about the project. Schmitz also con­firmed that the FBI is nego­ti­at­ing a for­mal agree­ment ‘for pos­si­ble exper­i­men­ta­tion with TIA tech­nol­ogy in the future,’ accord­ing to a copy of his response.” (Idem.)

21. Schmitz is also involved with a con­tro­versy about the elec­tronic bug­ging of the IG’s office, as well as the issue of a secu­rity clear­ance granted to a Mus­lim main­tain­ing mul­ti­ple aliases: “The Wash­ing­ton Times quoted a Pen­ta­gon ‘info memo’ from Inspec­tor Gen­eral Joseph E. Schmitz’s as say­ing: ‘On Jan­u­ary 19, 2002, dur­ing a rou­tine meet­ing with the Direc­tor of Secu­rity for the Depart­ment of Defense, it was reported to my staff and me that a poten­tial ‘lis­ten­ing device’ was pre­vi­ously dis­cov­ered in the infra­struc­ture of the Depart­ment of Defense Inspec­tor Gen­eral.’”
(“Bug­ging Found in Pen­ta­gon Inspec­tor General’s Office” [PTI]; Hin­duon­net; 7/26/2004.)

22. It is dif­fi­cult to imag­ine how the lis­ten­ing device could have been installed in the Pen­ta­gon with­out the knowl­edge of some peo­ple in the mil­i­tary. “ ‘The DoD Direc­torate of Secu­rity con­ducted a rou­tine sweep for elec­tronic lis­ten­ing devices in cer­tain areas of the ninth and tenth floors of the DoD IG on August 7, 2000. The sweep revealed that a wire had been installed inside the wall struc­ture lead­ing to and from the ninth and tenth floors of the Dod IG areas which com­prise the Defense Crim­i­nal Inves­tiga­tive Ser­vice and the per­son­nel office space of the Inspec­tor Gen­eral,’ the memo says.” (Idem.)

23. “Another touchy issue for Schmitz was that a series of inter­nal memos from his staff showed that a Mus­lim who was employed as an audi­tor granted a ‘top secret’ secu­rity clear­ance was not an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen. ‘He pos­sesses a Social Secu­rity num­ber tied to mul­ti­ple con­firmed aliases,’ a May 2002 memo said.” (Idem.)

24. Sup­ple­ment­ing dis­cus­sion of the elder John Schmitz (the father of John P. and Joseph E. Schmitz) the pro­gram notes his writ­ing of the intro­duc­tion to the John Birch Soci­ety tract None Dare Call It Con­spir­acy. “ . . . He also wrote the Intro­duc­tion to Gary Allen’s best­seller, None Dare Call It Con­spir­acy (1971). . . .”
(“The Hon­or­able John G. Schmitz” [obit­u­ary]; MaryKayLetourneau.com; 1/12/2001; p. 1; accessed at: http://www.MaryKayLetourneau.com.)

25. Fur­ther devel­op­ing a theme intro­duced in FTR#469, the broad­cast notes the pre­pon­der­ance of “Ger­ma­nia” in con­nec­tion with the Schmitz family—a phe­nom­e­non that may beto­ken involve­ment with the Under­ground Reich. “ . . . Fed­er­a­tion of Cit­i­zens of Ger­man Descent ‘Out­stand­ing Cit­i­zen Award for Integrity and Honor’ . . . .” (Idem.)

26. “ . . . He trav­eled to Ger­many as a par­tic­i­pant in the offi­cial Inter­na­tiones pro­gram and was hon­ored in 1973 by the Cologne daily news­pa­per Rund­schau with the ‘Der Herr Schmitz Ordens’ rec­og­niz­ing his Rhineland ances­try . . . .” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

27. At the con­clu­sion to her obit­u­ary for her father, Mary Kay LeTourneau requests that peo­ple memo­ri­al­ize her father by con­tribut­ing to Chris­ten­dom Col­lege, founded by War­ren Car­roll. War­ren Car­roll is a very inter­est­ing fel­low. “ . . . In lieu of flow­ers, the fam­ily sug­gests char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tions to Chris­ten­dom Col­lege, 134 Chris­ten­dom Drive, Front Royal, Vir­ginia 22630. . .” (Idem.)

28. War­ren Car­roll was a mem­ber of CUSA, part of an ultra right-wing milieu in Dal­las that appears to have par­tic­i­pated in the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. (For more about CUSA, see FTR#120, as well as RFA#11—avail­able from Spit­fire.) “June 13, 1963, Larry Schmidt to B. Weiss­man in Munich, Ger­many: ‘War­ren Car­roll, our only other recruit to CUSA, is already a PhD and two MS’s. War­ren is a scriptwriter for Life­line, the H.L. Hunt tele­vi­sion and radio series. Hunt is the mil­lion­aire oil­man’ . . . ‘War­ren is 32, for­mer CIA man. Don’t worry, he has been checked out’ . . . . ‘Hunt checked him out’ . . . After Jack Ruby was arrested for killing Oswald inside the Dal­las jail, there were copies of War­ren Carroll’s Life­line on the seat of his car. The sec­tion was on ‘Hero­ism,’ on how to become a ‘hero.’ This is inter­est­ing because one of the first rea­sons Ruby gave for killing Oswald was, ‘I wanted to show them a Jew had guts.’”
(“The Nazi Link to the John F. Kennedy Assas­si­na­tion” by Mae Brus­sell; The Rebel [now defunct pub­li­ca­tion launched by Larry Flynt]; 11/22/1983.)

29. More about the promi­nence of “Ger­ma­nia” in con­nec­tion with the Schmitz fam­ily: “ . . . Dur­ing his active naval career, he served as . . . the Nav­i­ga­tor of a Ger­man destroyer (through the Per­son­nel Exchange Pro­gram) . . .”
(“Hon. Joseph E. Schmitz Inspec­tor Gen­eral Depart­ment of Defense”)

30. In eval­u­at­ing the Schmitz broth­ers, it is impor­tant to note their impor­tant posi­tions in var­i­ous aspects of the 9/11 inves­ti­ga­tions. The pro­gram reviews infor­ma­tion from FTR#469 about John P. Schmitz. The younger John Schmitz has—as Mr. Emory says—more con­nec­tions than a switch­board. Among the younger Schmitz’s cred­its is his rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the elder George Bush dur­ing the Iran-Contra and Iraq­gate affairs. Note that he joined with Janet Rehn­quist (the daugh­ter of the Chief Jus­tice of the Supreme Court) in pro­tect­ing Bush. “ . . . There’s still another chap­ter to the story. John G. Schmitz’s son John P. Schmitz did not share his father’s dis­dain for George Bush, whom he served as Deputy Coun­sel from 1984 to 1993. He was involved in Iran-Contra as a deputy to C. Boy­den Gray (and as an asso­ciate of Janet Rehn­quist.) Schmitz was one of the few Iran-Contra play­ers to refuse to be inter­viewed by the inde­pen­dent coun­sel, and was highly instru­men­tal, as was Rehn­quist, in pro­tect­ing Bush. Bush was never ques­tioned, and a diary he kept was never exam­ined; Walsh’s final report read ‘The crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion of Bush was regret­tably incom­plete.’ (Chap­ter 28, sec­ond para­graph.).” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

31. Schmitz’s other clients place him in the “mix” of the var­i­ous 9/11 inves­ti­ga­tions and law­suits. In addi­tion, the younger Schmitz (a part­ner in a Ger­man inter­na­tional law firm) rep­re­sents many Ger­man corporations—more about that below. Among his cred­its is his pres­ence on the Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ger­many, an orga­ni­za­tion whose her­itage is at one with the Amer­i­cans who reha­bil­i­tated Third Reich alumni to serve in the Fed­eral Repub­lic of Ger­many (as well as for U.S. intel­li­gence.) “Since then, John P. Schmitz has popped up every once in awhile. He seems to have had deal­ings with Iraq before the Gulf War, and with his present law firm has worked for Enron, Bayer (pro­ducer of Cipro), and United Air­lines (9/11 law­suit); his firm also has a Cen­tral Asian office in Tashkent. Schmitz, along with many men of high repute, is a mem­ber of the boards of direc­tors of the Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ger­many and the Atlantic Coun­cil of the US. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

32. The Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ger­many was founded by John J. McCloy and Eric M. War­burg. McCloy was one of the prime movers of the Amer­i­can power elite in the twen­ti­eth cen­tury and War­burg a part of the promi­nent War­burg inter­na­tional bank­ing fam­ily. (For more about McCloy, see—among other programs—The Guns of Novem­ber and RFA#2—avail­able from Spitfire—as well as FTR#’s 428, 446. For more about the War­burgs, see Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M11—avail­able from Spit­fire.) Note that among the offi­cers are Henry Kissinger and a pro­tégé of Kissinger’s—Richard Burt. Kissinger al

so was deeply involved in the machi­na­tions involved in bring­ing Third Reich alumni into the U.S. national secu­rity estab­lish­ment. (For more about Kissinger, see—among other pro­grams FTR#29.) “The Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ger­many (ACG) is a pri­vate, non­profit, national orga­ni­za­tion that was incor­po­rated in New York City in 1952. Its found­ing lead­ers were: John J. McCloy; Eric M. War­burg . . . [Offi­cers include] Richard Burt . . . Among the board of direc­tors are: Henry A. Kissinger; Brent Scow­croft.”
(“Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ger­many”; SourceWatch.org.)

33. As a part­ner in Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw, the younger John Schmitz is in a very sen­si­tive posi­tion with regard to a num­ber of 9/11 related inves­ti­ga­tions: “We were shocked to observe how tough and some­what per­sis­tent Richard Ben Veniste was dur­ing his oppor­tu­ni­ties for ques­tion­ing. This is the same Richard Ben Veniste, a for­mer Water­gate pros­e­cu­tor, who is a part­ner in the Ger­man inter­na­tional law firm, Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw which hap­pens to be the lead firm rep­re­sent­ing United Air­lines against 9/11 vic­tim fam­i­lies in the New York City lit­i­ga­tion in Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein’s Dis­trict Court in Man­hat­tan. [Empha­sis added.] This famous lawyer even rep­re­sented the most rec­og­nized Amer­i­can drug dealer in the his­tory of the United States: Barry Seal of Mena, Arkansas fame. But inter­est­ingly, Ben Veniste won our award as the most tena­cious inter­roga­tor on both days, even though the lines of ques­tion­ing were not con­sis­tently intense or press­ing on a con­tin­ual basis.”
(“Con­flict of Inter­est?” by Tom Flocco; p. 1; ParaPolitics.info.)

34. “Curi­ously, no one has ques­tioned whether Mayer-Brown’s part­ners would have ‘water-cooler and whisper-access’ to all the sub­poe­naed dis­cov­ery requests and infor­ma­tion flow regard­ing both the Kean Com­mis­sion hear­ings and depositions—public and pri­vate, but also Judge Hellerstein’s New York City lit­i­ga­tion. But that’s not the half of it. For the Mayer-Brown law firm has another part­ner named John P. Schmitz, who was the twelve-year deputy coun­sel to George H.W. Bush dur­ing his vice-presidency and presidency—thus afford­ing the White House a behind-the-scenes source for infor­ma­tion flow, dis­cov­ery, sub­poe­nas, and evidence-access regard­ing both the Com­mis­sion and the New York lit­i­ga­tion. [Empha­sis added.]” (Idem.)

35. As dis­cussed in FTR#305 and in the book Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile, the Ger­man core cor­po­ra­tions are admin­is­tered by the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion. (There is more dis­cus­sion of this in FTR#155). “Addi­tion­ally, Mayer-Brown also has clients that include Bayer AG (Ger­man maker of the antibi­otic Cipro which fights Anthrax, about which Larry Klay­man and Judi­cial Watch (JW) will have keen inter­est. [Empha­sis added.] JW has filed suit seek­ing the Administration’s anthrax doc­u­ments to ascer­tain why the White House start­ing tak­ing heavy doses of Cipro on the day of the attacks—nearly a month before anthrax was even dis­cov­ered on Capi­tol Hill, and while postal work­ers con­tin­ued to sort mail in con­t­a­m­i­nated offices—some dying in the process.” (Idem.)

36. “John Schmitz’s Mayer-Brown pro­file also reveals Enron, adding that ‘we were active in Ger­many [with Enron] until the end. . . . It [bank­ruptcy] sur­prised me as well as any­one else,’ accord­ing to Reuters (1–4-2002). [Empha­sis added.] More­over, Mayer-Brown also rep­re­sents Deutsche Bank on a reg­u­lar basis regard­ing its elec­tronic com­merce activ­i­ties; and curi­ously, Schmitz’s law firm main­tains an office Tashkent, Uzbek­istan, along with Enron—if only to make sure oil is well in the Caspian Sea basin. And Deutsche Bank is knee-deep in pre-9/11 insider trad­ing stock prof­its. Enough said. . . .” (Idem.)

37. Return­ing to the sub­ject of Joseph E. Schmitz, the show notes his involve­ment with an orga­ni­za­tion called U.S. Eng­lish. Osten­si­bly formed to pro­mote Eng­lish as the offi­cial lan­guage of the U.S., the orga­ni­za­tion appears to have some white suprema­cist lean­ings: “A U.S. Supreme Court rul­ing Tues­day now makes it harder to pros­e­cute alleged gov­ern­ment discrimination—and could raise hopes for Eng­lish only laws through­out the coun­try. In the Alexan­der vs. San­doval case, lawyers rep­re­sent­ing a Mex­i­can immi­grant named Martha San­doval argued that the state of Alabama’s Eng­lish only law dis­crim­i­nated against Sandoval’s abil­ity to take a driver’s license exam, which the state pro­vides only in Eng­lish. In a razor-thin 5–4 deci­sion, the Court ruled that Alabama did not vio­late the Civil Rights Act on the notion that, in this case, not pro­vid­ing Span­ish driver’s license exams has a ‘dis­parate impact’ on minori­ties. Chief Jus­tice William H. Rehn­quist and Jus­tices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, San­dra Day O’Connor and Clarence Thomas com­prised of the major­ity vote. . . .”
(“A Blow to Civil Rights” by Michael O. Col­lazo [LATino News Net­work]; p. 1)

38. “ . . . Though this case did not rule whether or not Alabama was allowed to main­tain an English-only law, the Court’s rul­ing can be con­sid­ered as a vic­tory for pro­po­nents of Eng­lish as this country’s offi­cial lan­guage. ‘We are delighted the Supreme Court has rejected the ACLU’s attempt to kill offi­cial Eng­lish in Alabama,’ said Joseph E. Schmitz, a board mem­ber of U.S. Eng­lish, an orga­ni­za­tion push­ing for estab­lish­ing Eng­lish as this country’s offi­cial lan­guage. The Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union helped bring on this case-action suit. ‘Although the major­ity opin­ion is lim­ited to a nar­row issue of con­gres­sional intent, this is a tremen­dous sym­bolic vic­tory for offi­cial Eng­lish.’” (Idem.)

39. “ . . . And the plot thick­ens. Neal fur­ther reports that the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter has listed Lubin­skas as a con­tribut­ing edi­tor to the racist pub­li­ca­tion the Amer­i­can Renais­sance mag­a­zine. The magazine’s edi­tor Jared Tay­lor, also leader of the white-supremacist group, Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens. . . . In fact, Neal reports that Lubin­skas has even shared s stage with for­mer Louisiana Klans­man, David Duke. . . .”
(“Arnold’s Lan­guage Bar­rier”; Mother Jones; 9/8/2003.)

40. Inter­est­ingly (and per­haps sig­nif­i­cantly) the founder of U.S. Eng­lish emi­grated to the U.S. from Chile in 1965. At that time, many of the Nazis (and their off­spring) who had fled to Chile and other Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries began mov­ing to the U.S. (For more about this, see FTR#465.) “Mauro E. Mujica—who was born in Chile and immi­grated to the United States in 1965—has been chair­man of the Board and CEO of U.S. Eng­lish since Jan­u­ary of 1993.”
(“Mauro E. Mujica: Chair­man of the Board and CEO of U.S. Eng­lish”; thumb­nail biog­ra­phy from The Glob­al­ist website.)

41. The next point is inde­ter­mi­nate in nature. Explor­ing fur­ther the pre­pon­der­ance of “Ger­ma­nia” in the l

ives of the Schmitz fam­ily, the pro­gram notes Joseph Schmitz’s fas­ci­na­tion with Gen­eral von Steuben, the first Inspec­tor Gen­eral of the Army and a gen­uine rev­o­lu­tion­ary war hero. This may well be per­fectly inno­cent. How­ever the Steuben Soci­ety was a major ele­ment in the Nazi Fifth Col­umn in the United States dur­ing the World War II period. Is it pos­si­ble that Joseph E. Schmitz’s fas­ci­na­tion with Steuben has some­thing to do with this? “ . . . While today’s Army Inspec­tor Gen­eral is the mod­ern day per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of the endur­ing legacy of Gen­eral von Steuben, it is also clear that Gen­eral von Steuben is much more than the found­ing father of the Army Inspec­tor Gen­eral sys­tem. He is, of course, that. Not only is the first les­son plan of the Army Inspec­tor Gen­eral School devoted to Gen­eral von Steuben, the entire 3-week course is per­me­ated with the ‘Von Steuben Model.’ He is the endur­ing prime role model for every one of the 239 prin­ci­pal Army Inspec­tors Gen­eral, a ver­i­ta­ble ‘IOG-Network’ of senior offi­cers serv­ing full time in assis­tance, inspec­tion, non-criminal inves­ti­ga­tion, and ‘teach and train’ func­tions at every major com­mand around the world. . . .”
(“The Endur­ing Legacy of Inspec­tor Gen­eral von Steuben” by Joseph E. Schmitz; 5/7/2003; p. 1 [PDF download].)

42. About the Steuben Soci­ety and its World War II-era Nazi con­nec­tions. “One such Con­gress­man and Steuben Soci­ety mem­ber was Repub­li­can House mem­ber John Schafer from Wis­con­sin. His con­gres­sional record was one of com­plete oppo­si­tion to any defense mea­sure. In speak­ing with [John Roy] Carl­son, inves­tiga­tive reporter pos­ing as a pro-fascist, Schafer was quoted as fol­lows talk­ing about a rev­o­lu­tion against democ­racy: ‘The Bloody kind. There will be purges and Roo­sevelt will be cleaned right off the earth along with the Jews. We’ll have a mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship to save the coun­try.’”
(The Nazi Hydra in Amer­ica; “The 1930’s: Nazis Parad­ing on Main Street—Part 5: Con­gress­men and Seditionist”.)

43. “Schafer leaves lit­tle doubt as to his feel­ings about democ­racy in the quote. Another Sen­a­tor, Repub­li­can Rufus Hol­man from Ore­gon, openly praised Hitler on the floor of the Sen­ate. The small excerpt below from the speech leaves no real doubt as to his pro-Nazi views: ‘I doubt if the right is all on one side among the present bel­liger­ents. At least Hitler has bro­ken the con­trol of the inter­na­tional bankers and traders over the rewards for the labor of the com­mon peo­ple of Ger­many. In my opin­ion it would be advan­ta­geous if the con­trol of the inter­na­tional bankers and traders over the wages and sav­ings and the man­ner of liv­ing on the peo­ple of Eng­land could be bro­ken by the Eng­lish peo­ple, and if the con­trol of the inter­na­tional bankers and traders over the wages and sav­ings and the man­ner of liv­ing of the peo­ple of the United States could be bro­ken by the peo­ple of the United States.’” (Idem.)

44. “The code words of inter­na­tional bankers and traders meant Jews. Hol­man inserted sev­eral pro-Nazi pro­pa­ganda pieces into the con­gres­sional record as well. Nor was this the only time Hol­man had praised Hitler. As Oregon’s State Trea­surer, he had praised Hitler’s ster­il­iza­tion pro­gram result­ing in the amend­ment of Oregon’s sodomy law in 1935 to include all moral degen­er­ates and sex­ual per­verts whether, they had com­mit­ted a crime or not. Ore­gon at the time used cas­tra­tion rather than vasec­tomy.” (Idem.)

45. “[Ernest] Lun­deen was secretly pro-Nazi and received money not only directly from [Nazi spy George Sylvester] Viereck but also from the Ger­man Board of Trade and the Steuben Soci­ety. Mal­oney had deter­mined that other con­gress­men had accepted Nazi money in deals to pub­lish books through the noto­ri­ous Flan­ders Hall, a fas­cist pub­lisher closely asso­ci­ated with Viereck. Among those that had made deals with Flan­ders Hall were Bur­ton Wheeler of Mon­tana, Ger­ald Nye of North Dakota, Jen­nings Ran­dolph and Rush Holt of West Vir­ginia and William Strat­ton of Illi­nois. On June 13, 1940, Thom­sen reported to Ger­many that it was nec­es­sary to take lit­er­ary coun­ter­mea­sures against Roo­sevelt. In this plan Thom­sen made con­tact with New York lit­er­ary agent William Lengel and pro­posed a series of five books.” (Idem.)

46. Joseph Schmitz is closely asso­ci­ated with the World Secu­rity Net­work. An exam­i­na­tion of that organization’s exec­u­tives again raises the ques­tion of pos­si­ble affil­i­a­tion with the Under­ground Reich. The pro­gram con­cludes with an exam­i­na­tion of the pro­fes­sional biogra­phies of some of the World Secu­rity Network’s exec­u­tive per­son­nel. “Dr. Huber­tus Hoff­mann: Pres­i­dent and Founder—Dr. Hoff­mann has worked as advi­sor in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment (Office of Prof. Hans-Gert Poet­ter­ing), the Ger­man Bun­destag (Parl. State Sec­re­tary of Defense Peter Kurt Wuerzbach MP) and the U.S. Sen­ate (Sam Nunn, Gary Hart) in defense affairs for many years. He was Research Fel­low at CSIS, George­town Uni­ver­sity. He worked as a jour­nal­ist in the White House Press Corps, as Edi­tor in ZDF, the largest TV sta­tion in Europe, and man­ag­ing direc­tor of large Ger­man media com­pa­nies . . . Dr. Hoff­mann is reserve offi­cer in the Ger­man Army (Field Artillery.) Dr. Hoff­mann has from 1979 to 1983 sup­ported NATO’s Two Track Deci­sion to deploy medium range nuclear weapons in Europe com­bined with mutual arms reduc­tions (SS-20) on the Russ­ian side which put him on the tar­get list of RAF, the Ger­man ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion. He sup­ported the Muja­hadin from 1985–1990 against the Russ­ian inva­sion of Afghanistan, vis­it­ing them in the moun­tains in 1985 and writ­ing the Afghanistan report for the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment. In 1992, he was Chair­man of the Eesti Com­mit­tee Report (asked by its Pres­i­dent Tunne Kelam) about the Future of the ‘Baltic Hanseatic Region’ (Oblast Kalin­ingrad; Lithua­nia; Latvia, Esto­nia) which helped to cre­ate sta­ble demo­c­ra­tic states in the Baltics. . . .”
(Pro­fes­sional Biog­ra­phy of Dr. Huber­tus Hoff­mann; WorldSecurityNetwork.com.)

47. “Dieter Far­wick: Global Editor-in-Chief—Former Direc­tor of German’s ‘Fed­eral Armed Forces Intel­li­gence Office’. Mr. Far­wick is retired Brig. Gen­eral of the Ger­man Army. He was a close aid to for­mer Ger­man Defense Min­is­ter Man­fred Woerner, the later NATO Sec­re­tary Gen­eral and is author of five books about defense pol­icy. . . .”
(Pro­fes­sional Biog­ra­phy of Dieter Far­wick; WorldSecurityNetwork.com.)

48. “Hans Wal­ter Jan­itschek: Vice President—Mr. Jan­itschek was born in Vienna (Aus­tria), joined United Press and Reuters, and worked as For­eign Edi­tor of Vienna’s largest news­pa­per ‘Kurier’ and Eco­nomic Edi­tor of ‘Express’. He served as Direc­tor of the Aus­trian Infor­ma­tion Ser­vice in New York in the 60’s and the 70’s as Spe­cial Assis­tant to Under-Secretary Gen­eral for Pub­lic Infor­ma­tion and Sec­re­tary of the UN Infor­ma­tion Com­mit­tee. . . .”
(Pro­fes­sional Biog­ra­phy of Hans Wal­ter Jan­itschek; WorldSecurityNetwork.com.)

49. “Klaus Becher is an ana­lyst of inter­na­tional secu­rity, defense and tech­nol­ogy pol­icy based in Bonn and Lon­don. . . .Dur­ing the same period, he also served as secretary-treasurer of the Ger­man group of the Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sion. From 1988 to 1997, he was a research fel­low at the Ger­man Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions. . . .” (Pro­fes­sional Biog­ra­phy of Klaus Becker; WorldSecurityNetwork.com.)

50. Inter­est­ingly, Baron von Steuben (the descen­dant of the Army’s first IG, with whom Joseph E. Schmitz is so taken) is a mem­ber of the World Secu­rity Net­work. “Hen­ning von Steuben: Henning-Hubertus von Steuben—Member of the Inter­na­tional Advi­sory Board of World Secu­rity Net­work; Pres­i­dent of the Steuben Fam­ily Asso­ci­a­tion . . .”
(Pro­fes­sional Biog­ra­phy of Henning-Hubertus von Steuben; WorldSecurityNetwork.com.)


One comment for “FTR #476 More on the Schmitzes, the Underground Reich and 9/11”

  1. We learned some­thing more about Don­ald Trump’s intended for­eign pol­icy goals: he appears to be con­sid­er­ing a US pull out of NATO. Trump also released a list of five of his for­eign pol­icy advi­sors, which just hap­pens to include a cer­tain for­mer inspec­tor gen­eral of the Depart­ment of Defense:

    The Daily Beast

    Don­ald Trump’s New For­eign Pol­icy Advis­ers Are as Rot­ten as His Steaks

    The wannabe POTUS rolls out his global brain trust: a col­lec­tion of char­la­tans includ­ing a Chris­t­ian hate-monger and a Bush-era offi­cial who blocked inves­ti­ga­tions of his pals.

    Shane Har­ris
    03.21.16 3:00 PM ET

    A Chris­t­ian aca­d­e­mic accused of incit­ing vio­lence against Mus­lims. A for­mer Pen­ta­gon offi­cial who blocked inves­ti­ga­tions into Bush admin­is­tra­tion big­wigs. And an assort­ment of self-professed experts prob­a­bly few in estab­lished for­eign pol­icy cir­cles have ever heard of. These are the minds advis­ing Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump on for­eign pol­icy and national security.

    Trump, who has been pressed for months to name his coun­cil of advis­ers, revealed five in a meet­ing with the Wash­ing­ton Post edi­to­r­ial board on Tues­day: Keith Kel­logg, Carter Page, George Papadopou­los, Walid Phares, and Joseph E. Schmitz.

    Few of these names will reg­is­ter with most vot­ers, or many experts in Wash­ing­ton. None of them are espe­cially sought after for for­eign pol­icy views and national secu­rity exper­tise in the nation’s capital—which may be why they’re attrac­tive to Trump.

    Trump revealed lit­tle about what spe­cific advice they’d given so far, or how any of them may have shaped Trump’s sur­pris­ing new posi­tion that the U.S. should rethink whether it needs to remain in the seven-decades-old NATO alliance with Europe.

    Sound­ing more like a CFO than a commander-in-chief, Trump said of the alliance, “We cer­tainly can’t afford to do this any­more,” adding, “NATO is cost­ing us a for­tune and yes, we’re pro­tect­ing Europe with NATO, but we’re spend­ing a lot of money.”

    U.S. offi­cials, includ­ing for­mer Defense Sec­re­tary Robert Gates, have said that Euro­pean allies have to shoul­der a big­ger bur­den of NATO’s cost. But call­ing for the pos­si­ble U.S. with­drawal from the treaty is a rad­i­cal depar­ture for a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date—even a can­di­date who has been endorsed by Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

    It also wasn’t clear how Trump’s arguably anti-interventionist posi­tion on the alliance squared with his choice of advis­ers. The most well-known among them is Phares, a polit­i­cally con­ser­v­a­tive aca­d­e­mic who has accused Pres­i­dent Obama of “appease­ment” toward rad­i­cal Mus­lim ter­ror­ists and called for more U.S. mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion in the Mid­dle East.

    To his detrac­tors, Phares is a rare com­bi­na­tion of light­ning rod and dog whis­tle. His var­i­ous claims about a creep­ing, under­ap­pre­ci­ated jihadi “apoc­a­lypse” against the West will find quar­ter with Trump’s broad sus­pi­cion of Mus­lims and his call to ban for­eign Mus­lims from enter­ing the U.S.


    This isn’t Phares’s first time as a pres­i­den­tial adviser. As The Daily Beast reported in 2011, Phares’s work co-chairing the Mid­dle East pol­icy team for then-GOP can­di­date Mitt Romney—who has recently vowed to fight against Trump’s nomination—prompted the Coun­cil on American-Islamic Rela­tions to call on the can­di­date to ditch Phares, whom it called “an asso­ciate to war crimes” and a “con­spir­acy the­o­rist,” cit­ing his ties to a vio­lent anti-Muslim militia.

    Mother Jones reported that in the 1980s Phares, a Chris­t­ian who was then active in Lebanese polit­i­cal groups, trained mil­i­tants in ide­o­log­i­cal beliefs to jus­tify a war on Mus­lim and Druze fac­tions, prompt­ing a for­mer CIA offi­cial to ques­tion why a man with ties to for­eign polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tions was advis­ing a U.S. pres­i­den­tial candidate.

    Phares has his sup­port­ers, chiefly in neo­con­ser­v­a­tive for­eign pol­icy cir­cles and among con­ser­v­a­tive pun­dits and ana­lysts. But those con­nec­tions drew scrutiny in 2012 when the group Media Mat­ters for Amer­ica alleged that Phares’s con­nec­tions to the Rom­ney cam­paign weren’t prop­erly iden­ti­fied when Phares was work­ing as a con­sul­tant for Fox News.

    Another Trump adviser, Schmitz, has served in gov­ern­ment, as the Defense Depart­ment inspec­tor gen­eral. Schmitz was brought in dur­ing the first term of Pres­i­dent George W. Bush with a man­date to reform the watch­dog office, but he even­tu­ally found him­self the sub­ject of scrutiny.

    “Schmitz slowed or blocked inves­ti­ga­tions of senior Bush admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials, spent tax­payer money on pet projects and accepted gifts that may have vio­lated ethics guide­lines,” accord­ing to an inves­ti­ga­tion by the Los Ange­les Times in 2005. Cur­rent and for­mer col­leagues described him as “an intel­li­gent but eas­ily dis­tracted leader who seemed to obsess over details,” includ­ing the hir­ing of a speech­writer and designs for a bathroom.

    Schmitz also raised eye­brows for what the paper’s sources described as his “unusual” fas­ci­na­tion with Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, a Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War hero who’s regarded as the military’s first inspec­tor gen­eral. Schmitz report­edly replaced the Defense Depart­ment IG’s seal in its office across the coun­try with a new one bear­ing the Von Steuben fam­ily motto, Sub Tutela Altissimi Sem­per, “under the pro­tec­tion of the Almighty always.”

    “Schmitz also raised eye­brows for what the paper’s sources described as his “unusual” fas­ci­na­tion with Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, a Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War hero who’s regarded as the military’s first inspec­tor gen­eral. Schmitz report­edly replaced the Defense Depart­ment IG’s seal in its office across the coun­try with a new one bear­ing the Von Steuben fam­ily motto, Sub Tutela Altissimi Sem­per, “under the pro­tec­tion of the Almighty always.”“
    Yeah, “usual fas­ci­na­tion” is a good way to describe Joseph Schmitz’s obses­sion with Baron Von Steuben. It’s also worth not­ing that Joseph’s brother, John P. Schmitz, is a lawyer who spe­cial­izes in US/German reg­u­la­tory issues who’s clients include Bayer AG, Ber­tels­mann, Bosch GmbH, Deutsche Welle.

    So if there’s one group that should love to see the Schmitz’s once again return to influ­en­tial posi­tions in a US admin­is­tra­tion, it’s prob­a­bly major Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions. Espe­cially of Joseph ends up over­see­ing more inves­ti­ga­tions, since, as this 2005 LA Times arti­cle notes, Joseph didn’t just exhibit an obses­sion Baron Von Steuben while serv­ing as the Defense Department’s Inspec­tor Gen­eral. He also had an obses­sion with pre­vent­ing polit­i­cally sen­si­tive inves­ti­ga­tions:

    The Los Ange­les Times

    The Scru­ti­nizer Finds Him­self Under Scrutiny
    Joseph Schmitz, for three years in charge of inves­ti­gat­ing waste, fraud and abuse at the Pen­ta­gon, is now the focus of complaints.

    Sep­tem­ber 25, 2005|T. Chris­t­ian Miller | Times Staff Writer

    WASHINGTON — When Joseph E. Schmitz took over as the Pentagon’s inspec­tor gen­eral in 2002, the largest watch­dog orga­ni­za­tion in the fed­eral gov­ern­ment was under fire for fail­ing to fully inves­ti­gate a senior offi­cial, fal­si­fy­ing inter­nal doc­u­ments and mis­treat­ing whistle-blowers. He pub­licly pledged to clean it up.

    Three years later, sim­i­lar accu­sa­tions now sur­round Schmitz.

    Schmitz slowed or blocked inves­ti­ga­tions of senior Bush admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials, spent tax­payer money on pet projects and accepted gifts that may have vio­lated ethics guide­lines, accord­ing to inter­views with cur­rent and for­mer senior offi­cials in the inspec­tor general’s office, con­gres­sional inves­ti­ga­tors and a review of inter­nal e-mail and other documents.

    Schmitz also drew scrutiny for his unusual fas­ci­na­tion with Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, a Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War hero who is con­sid­ered the military’s first true inspec­tor gen­eral. Schmitz even replaced the offi­cial inspec­tor general’s seal in offices nation­wide with a new one bear­ing the Von Steuben fam­ily motto, accord­ing to the doc­u­ments and interviews.

    The case has raised trou­bling ques­tions about Schmitz as well as the Defense Department’s com­mit­ment to com­bat­ing waste, fraud and abuse of tax­pay­ers’ money, espe­cially in polit­i­cally sen­si­tive cases.

    Schmitz comes from a fam­ily that is no stranger to con­tro­versy. His father was the ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive Orange County con­gress­man John G. Schmitz, who once ran for pres­i­dent but whose polit­i­cal career ended after he admit­ted hav­ing an affair with a Ger­man immi­grant sus­pected of child abuse. Schmitz’s sis­ter is Mary Kay Letourneau, the Wash­ing­ton state teacher who served more than seven years in prison after a 1997 con­vic­tion for rape after hav­ing sex with a sixth-grade pupil with whom she had two chil­dren. After Letourneau’s release from prison, she and the for­mer pupil, now an adult, mar­ried each other.

    Schmitz, who resigned on Sept. 10 to take a job with the par­ent com­pany of defense con­trac­tor Black­wa­ter USA, is now the tar­get of a con­gres­sional inquiry and a review by the President’s Coun­cil on Integrity and Effi­ciency, the over­sight body respon­si­ble for inves­ti­gat­ing inspec­tors gen­eral, accord­ing to the doc­u­ments and interviews.

    “I’ve seen this office become involved in many ques­tion­able projects despite strong and per­sis­tent oppo­si­tion from senior staff,” said Sen. Charles E. Grass­ley (R-Iowa), chair­man of the Sen­ate Finance Com­mit­tee, whose office is pur­su­ing com­plaints about Schmitz. “It appears to me that this has cre­ated a lack of respect and trust, and has resulted in an inef­fec­tive Office of the Inspec­tor General.”

    In a brief response to writ­ten ques­tions, Schmitz said it had been “an honor to serve the Amer­i­can peo­ple as inspec­tor gen­eral of the Depart­ment of Defense.” He listed a series of accom­plish­ments, from elim­i­nat­ing three lay­ers of man­age­ment to estab­lish­ing a “new mis­sion, vision and core values.”

    With­out giv­ing specifics, Schmitz also said that some of The Times’ ques­tions “appear to include false or mis­lead­ing assump­tions and/or law enforce­ment sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion.” He directed fur­ther inquiries to the inspec­tor general’s office, which declined to answer the questions.

    Schmitz’s allies said he was being per­se­cuted. One senior Pen­ta­gon offi­cial defended Schmitz by say­ing that he was con­cerned about pro­tect­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of senior offi­cials in Wash­ing­ton, where polit­i­cal ene­mies can cause trou­ble with an anony­mous hot­line tip.


    Cur­rent and for­mer col­leagues described Schmitz, a for­mer attor­ney for the Wash­ing­ton law firm Pat­ton Boggs, as an intel­li­gent but eas­ily dis­tracted leader who seemed to obsess over details.

    They described a man­age­ment style in which Schmitz asked for updates on per­sonal projects — such as a new bath­room in his exec­u­tive suite or the hir­ing of a speech­writer — while avoid­ing sub­stan­tive issues such as tight bud­gets. Schmitz never won approval for the bath­room or the speechwriter.

    He paid close atten­tion, how­ever, to the inves­ti­ga­tions of senior Bush admin­is­tra­tion appointees. At one point, inves­ti­ga­tors even stopped telling Schmitz who was under inves­ti­ga­tion, sub­sti­tut­ing let­ter codes for the names of indi­vid­u­als dur­ing weekly brief­ings for fear that Schmitz would leak the infor­ma­tion to Pen­ta­gon supe­ri­ors, accord­ing to a senior Pen­ta­gon official.

    “He became very involved in polit­i­cal inves­ti­ga­tions that he had no busi­ness get­ting involved in,” said another senior offi­cial in the inspec­tor general’s office.

    The Times has pre­vi­ously reported on Grassley’s alle­ga­tions that Schmitz inter­vened in inves­ti­ga­tions of senior Bush offi­cials. A review of e-mail mes­sages and doc­u­ments pro­vides new details.

    One case involves John A. “Jack” Shaw, a deputy under­sec­re­tary of Defense accused by whistle-blowers in Iraq of direct­ing a lucra­tive telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions con­tract to a com­pany whose board mem­bers included friends. Shaw has denied wrong­do­ing. His attor­ney did not respond to a request for comment.

    Schmitz, who had signed an unusual agree­ment giv­ing Shaw lim­ited inves­tiga­tive pow­ers, sent the case to the FBI over the objec­tions of his own inves­ti­ga­tors and then blocked them from assist­ing the FBI, accord­ing to inter­views and e-mails obtained by The Times.

    “It’s a safe bet you can bury some­thing at the FBI, because they won’t have time to look at it,” said one Pen­ta­gon official.

    After the pub­li­ca­tion of Times arti­cles about the accu­sa­tions lev­eled at Shaw, Schmitz helped to draft a press release in August 2004 that appeared to exon­er­ate Shaw. The release said that Shaw “is not now, nor has he ever been, under inves­ti­ga­tion by the [Depart­ment of Defense inspec­tor general].”

    Schmitz’s own staff stren­u­ously objected. Chuck Beardall, head of the agency’s crim­i­nal inves­tiga­tive ser­vice, said the release was “dead wrong and needs to be removed ASAP. Fail­ure to do so reflects poorly on the DOD’s and our integrity,” accord­ing to an Aug. 13 e-mail.

    But Schmitz told an assis­tant, Gregg Bauer, that he was inclined to “let the sleep­ing dog lie.”

    “We did the right thing by rec­om­mend­ing a less-inclined-to-misinterpretation” ver­sion of the press release, Schmitz wrote in an e-mail response.

    When con­fronted later by con­gres­sional staff about the accu­racy of the release, Schmitz told the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee in August 2004 that the release was “tech­ni­cally cor­rect.” But this year, when asked again, he acknowl­edged that the release was “inac­cu­rate.” The Depart­ment of Defense has also acknowl­edged that the infor­ma­tion in the press release “may not have been accurate.”

    Another case in which Schmitz inter­vened came when the inspec­tor general’s office began exam­in­ing the jobs received by Pen­ta­gon offi­cials who left for the pri­vate sec­tor, accord­ing to another U.S. offi­cial, who also declined to be iden­ti­fied because of the sen­si­tiv­ity of the issue.

    One of those on the list was Edward “Pete” Aldridge, the for­mer Pen­ta­gon pro­cure­ment chief who took a job with defense con­trac­tor Lock­heed Mar­tin. Schmitz would not sign a sub­poena allow­ing inves­ti­ga­tors to exam­ine employ­ment doc­u­ments, the offi­cial said.

    Instead, the offi­cial said that Schmitz cre­ated a new pol­icy that made it more dif­fi­cult to get infor­ma­tion by sub­poena by requir­ing addi­tional bureau­cratic steps. Dur­ing his tenure, Schmitz also made it harder to ini­ti­ate an inves­ti­ga­tion of a polit­i­cal appointee, requir­ing high-ranking approval before inves­ti­ga­tors could proceed.

    A Lock­heed Mar­tin spokesman con­firmed the com­pany had received a request that the firm “vol­un­tar­ily pro­vide” infor­ma­tion regard­ing Aldridge. It said it had “promptly and fully” responded to the request.

    Among other com­plaints about Schmitz, sev­eral senior offi­cials also said he did not aggres­sively pur­sue more funds for the agency. Although the Defense bud­get jumped almost 30% between 2002 and 2005, the num­ber of agents in the inspec­tor general’s office increased only 7%, from 307 to 329, accord­ing to depart­ment sta­tis­tics. Inves­ti­ga­tions into pro­cure­ment, health­care fraud and envi­ron­men­tal crimes have declined pre­cip­i­tously as agents focused on terrorism-related inquiries.

    Some of the more unusual com­plaints regard­ing Schmitz deal with what senior offi­cials called an “obses­sion” with Von Steuben, the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War hero who worked with George Wash­ing­ton to instill dis­ci­pline in the mil­i­tary. Von Steuben report­edly fled Ger­many after learn­ing that he was going to be tried for homo­sex­ual activities.

    Shortly after tak­ing office, Schmitz made Von Steuben’s legacy a focus. He spent three months per­son­ally redesign­ing the inspec­tor general’s seal to include the Von Steuben fam­ily motto, “Always under the pro­tec­tion of the Almighty.”

    He dic­tated the num­ber of stars, lau­rel leaves and col­ors of the seal. He also asked for a new eagle, say­ing that the one fea­tured on the old seal “looked like a chicken,” cur­rent and for­mer offi­cials said.

    In July 2004, he escorted Hen­ning Von Steuben, a Ger­man jour­nal­ist and head of the Von Steuben Fam­ily Assn., to a U.S. Marine Corps event. He also feted Von Steuben at an $800 meal allegedly paid for by pub­lic funds, accord­ing to Grass­ley, and hired Von Steuben’s son to work as an unpaid intern in the inspec­tor general’s office, a for­mer Defense offi­cial said.

    He also called off a $200,000 trip to attend a cer­e­mony at a Von Steuben statue ear­lier this year in Ger­many after Grass­ley ques­tioned it.

    Finally, Schmitz’s son, Phillip J. Schmitz, has a busi­ness rela­tion­ship with a group tied to Von Steuben. Schmitz, who runs a tech­nol­ogy firm, pro­vides web-hosting ser­vices for the World Secu­rity Net­work, a non­profit news ser­vice focused on peace and con­flict issues. Von Steuben serves on the network’s advi­sory board.

    Huber­tus Hoff­mann, a Ger­man busi­ness­man who founded the net­work, said Von Steuben played no role in assign­ing the con­tract to Phillip Schmitz, who is paid a “mod­est sum” for his work. Schmitz said he first made con­tact with Hoff­mann through his father but that he had never met Von Steuben.

    The rela­tion­ships trou­bled many at the Pentagon.

    “He was con­sumed with all things Ger­man and all things Von Steuben,” said the for­mer Defense offi­cial, who did not want to be iden­ti­fied because of the ongo­ing inquiries. “He was obsessed.”


    “Shortly after tak­ing office, Schmitz made Von Steuben’s legacy a focus. He spent three months per­son­ally redesign­ing the inspec­tor general’s seal to include the Von Steuben fam­ily motto, “Always under the pro­tec­tion of the Almighty.””

    It was always clear a Trump pres­i­dency would be really, really weird. And prob­a­bly very scary. But now we’re learn­ing about a new scary, yet weird, quirk of a puta­tive Trump pres­i­dency: the Schmitz broth­ers are prob­a­bly going to be return­ing to the halls of power.

    The ghost of Baron Von Steuben pre­sum­ably approves.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 21, 2016, 6:20 pm

Post a comment