Revised 1/8/01



While at Commerce, Sockowitz, a 1992 Clinton/Gore fundraiser, held a top-secret clearance and kept classified files in a safe. After being transferred to the SBA (without a debriefing) he came back to Commerce and remove 136 files. After he left the SBA he was not debriefed. He now works for the Strategic Planning Group in Bethesda, Md., an international business consulting firm. Justice stopped looking into the security breach matter in December '96 without ever talking to Sockowitz, or his boss whom he followed to SBA, Ms. Lew. Nolanda Hill told Judge Lamberth in March of 1998 that Brown worried that Sockowitz might have ''funneled information to others.''

Among the files of Ira Sockowitz was ''A Study of the International Market for Computer Software With Encryption.'' The CIA marked portions of this report ''secret,'' and the U.S. Bureau of Export Administration said disclosure could ''damage the national security by revealing export control problems that could be exploited to the detriment of the United States.'' Sockowitz also got documents on satellite encryptions from Hoyt Zia, chief counsel for Commerce's Bureau of Export Administration. Zia is a former Democratic National Committee fund-raiser and close friend of Huang.

Also in the Sockowitz files were memos, notes, and file folders from Commerce and the National Security Council on encryption or decoding software, exports and policy options; Satellite-project information; "Space Launch;" "Uranium from Russia;" A CIA report on Russian economic development; and Biographies on foreign political leaders in Bosnia, Croatia, India, Turkey, and Russia.

There are curious connections between Commerce and a Washington based multi-billion dollar satellite company called Iridium, a company created in 1987 with direct ties to late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and the Democratic party. Leo Mondale, a nephew of the former vice president, is vice president of strategic planning for Iridium. Mondale and Motorola executive Edward Staino hired four of Brown's former employees with high level security clearances to help run Iridium's project on worldwide telecommunications. Motorola also took part in Brown trade-mission trips.

In May of 1995 a former assistant secretary of Commerce, Lauri Fitz-Pegado, a long-time friend of Brown and special adviser to the chairman of the DNC, became vice president of the Iridium division called Global Gateway Management. Her responsibilities at Iridium include coordinating meetings and trips with international investors. She was joined there by her former Commerce assistants Pilar Martinez, Charlotte Kea and Andrew Balfour, who was a director under the executive secretary for Commerce.

Iridium and its investors are hoping to launch 66 low-orbiting satellites to provide wireless communications to deliver voice, data, facsimile and paging services anywhere on the globe at a price of $3 a minute. Once the satellite fleet is in space the system is expected to be operational in September 1998. The team: Russia's Ministry of Atomics; Krunichev Space Research and Production Space Center in Balkonur, Kazakhstan; China Great Wall Industry Group; Iridium China; Iridium Africa; COM DEV of Ontario; Iona Technologies of Dublin; Thai Satellite; and Motorola of India. The America list of companies includes Lockheed Martin Corp., Missiles and Space Division, in California; Sprint; Hewlett Packard; McDonnell Douglas Aerospace of California; Raytheon of Massachusetts; and ARINC of Maryland which does contract work of the CIA.

In 1993, Lockheed Martin (an investor) made one political contribution. In 1995-96, the company made 576 contributions - both to Republicans and Democrats, including $1.6 million in political action committee, or PAC, gifts. Sockowitz walked out with the classified information on the billion-dollar satellite deal that Lockheed entered into with the Khrunichev Space Center in Russia - which is part of the Iridium deal.

Russia's ministry of Atomics (an investor) was allowed to obtain supercomputers capable of designing nuclear weapons. A Russian organized crime figure, Clinton White House guest Grigor Loutchansky, is a player in Iridium's telecommunication plan. Loutchansky is suspected of trafficking in nuclear materials. Sockowitz had a folder called "Uranium from Russia," which may have contained details on US efforts to purchase left over weapons-grade uranium from Russia and revealed where 1,000 tons of such uranium may be stored.

Beijing (an investor) obtained special export waivers. In 1994, AT&T was allowed to send video-conferencing and sophisticated remote command and control systems to a Beijing based company HUA MEI, whose board of directors are members of the People's Liberation Army, or PLA. In 1996 RSA Data Security signed a distribution and development agreement with China's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Graduate School Laboratory of Information Security, which trains Chinese intelligence agents. RSA had been courting a relationship with China ever since the company attended an encryption conference in Beijing in 1995. The company toyed with selling its encryption patent to the federal government but never did. Indeed, it obtained a special waiver for sales to Beijing at a time when competitors were being prosecuted for selling similar encryption technology overseas. Sockowitz had the files on RSA and its patented encryption technology.

Iridium's Chinese partner, Iridium China (Hong Kong) Ltd., is managed by mainland-born Wang Mei Yue. Wang Mei Yue also happens to be head of China Aerospace International Holdings Ltd. (CASIL) in Hong Kong. CASIL is part of China's defense industrial complex, and is also where Liu Chaoying, the daughter of a top Chinese military official, was employed as a vice president; she is the figure who allegedly funneled money to the Democratic Party. According to the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong, three officials from CASIL sit on the board of Iridium China.

8/28/98 Masood Haider DAWN (Pakistan) "The brother of Osama bin Laden is a director of a US telecom giant, Irridium LLC, according to reports. Although the Clinton administration has made Osama the world's most wanted man, the rest of the family does millions of dollars in business with the US, reports say. Sheikh Hasan bin Laden, one of Osama's many brothers in a Saudi family of immense wealth and far-flung enterprises, is listed by the Securities and Exchange Commission as a director of Iridium LLC, the New York newspaper Daily News said.."

Chicago Tribune 11/2/96 Mary Jacoby David Jackson ".Amid a growing controversy over political contributions, authorities Friday continued to inspect contents of a safe with files that were apparently kept for a top Democratic Party fundraiser by an official in the Small Business Administration. The inspection came a day after 25 of at least 40 files reportedly kept for fundraiser John Huang were taken by a representative of the Central Intelligence Agency, and are being held by that agency, according to congressional sources. The CIA move raises questions as to what the agency is looking at and why. Some of the materials may be classified Commerce Department records involving trade missions. The confluence of foreign trade and campaign contributions is at the center of the current campaign finance controversy.A day after the CIA took possession of the 25 files, 15 others remained in the custody of the Small Business Administration's inspector general. A detailed inventory of those 15 files shows they concerned a broad range of topics and appear to be briefing and background papers for trade missions. It is not clear if they were all collected by Huang, formerly a Commerce Department official, or relate to topics he was working on while at Commerce. Several of the files detail efforts by U.S. computer companies to sell "encryption" software overseas..An official familiar with the investigation said Ira Sockowitz, special assistant to the SBA's deputy administrator, has kept the files in a 600-pound safe that he had installed on Aug. 2. Sockowitz worked at the Commerce Department with Huang, and was detailed to the SBA from the Commerce Department in late May. He began working officially for the SBA on July 7.."

WorldNetDaily 4/6/99 Charles Smith "…In April 1996, Secretary Brown lost his life in the former Yugoslavia. Brown died in a plane crash just outside of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Brown died along with a host of the highest and mightiest of U.S. Corporate heads….. However, another Commerce employee was involved in the fatal Croatia trip. Ira Sockowitz, a DNC fundraiser, New York banker and co-worker of John Huang at the Commerce Dept. was scheduled to fly into Cilipi airport along with Brown. Curiously, Sockowitz chose to leave ahead of Brown on an advance flight instead of going with the Secretary on a flight packed with DNC fat-cats. After the crash, Sockowitz was the man in Croatia that identified Ron Brown's body. Once he was safely back in D.C., Ira Sockowitz collected a vast array of information on Bosnia and Croatia given to Ron Brown for that last flight. In August of 1996, Ira Sockowitz quietly took detailed bios of the Bosnian and Croatian leaders out of the secured facility at the Commerce Department to his new job at the Small Business Administration. These secret documents would join a host of other classified material from the Department of State, NSA, CIA, Commerce, Russia, and France. All hidden in a personal safe just before the 1996 Presidential election…."

Softwar "…However, adding to this mystery, another Commerce employee seems to have been involved in the fatal trip. Ira Sockowitz would collect a vast array of information on Bosnia and Croatia just days before the troubled Mr. Brown would leave for his trip. Fresh bios on all the right people, prepared by an array of professionals from every field of science. This information involved the people Mr. Brown was scheduled to meet in Bosnia and Croatia. Later, in August of 1996, Ira Sockowitz quietly took these bios of the Bosnian and Croatian leaders out of the secured facility at the Commerce Department to his new job at the Small Business Administration. These secret documents would join a host of other classified material from the Department of State, NSA, CIA, Commerce, Russia, and France. All hidden in a personal safe just before the 1996 Presidential election…."

Softwar "…The basic components of a modern war-rocket are the rocket itself, and a re-entry vehicle which is nothing more than a satellite with a heat shield. To control a modern ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile) you need a computer, some software and a code system. The computers provide the control and the secret codes ensure it will only respond to master. The final component is, of course, the nuclear warhead. Ira Sockowitz left the Department of Commerce and went to his new job at the Small Business Administration with boxes of secret materials. He shouldn't have taken them from the secured facility at Commerce. Inside these boxes are all the basics of modern warfare. Inside one box were materials on secret code keys and the US companies that make them, consuming over half of the materials taken. This author has already spent a great deal of time pursuing some of these documents…."

Softwar "…Yet, Mr. Sockowitz was interested in far more than encryption software. Many more documents left with Sockowitz. The descriptions, forced from the Clinton administration by Judicial Watch, are all that have been released. For example one file in the "SPACE LAUNCH" folder is described as: "Cover sheet for classified info; memo to Bettie Baca from William Reinsch re National Interest Waiver for XXXXXXX Communications Satellite Project with attachments - 4 pages classified documents and 10 pages unclassified documents and Executive Secretariat Clearance Sheet." Bettie Baca is very familiar to Softwar. Ms. Baca wrote this in response to our April 4, 1997 FOIA request for information on the US government project to nationalize the computer security industry: "Seven documents which provide legal advice concerning project Clipper are being withheld under attorney-client privilege incorporated into exemptions (b)(5), two documents are being withheld under the attorney-client privilege and deliberative process privilege incorporated into exemption (b)(5) and one document is being withheld under the deliberative process privilege incorporated into exemptions (b)(5)." …"

Softwar "…Finally, and most chilling of all is the Sockowitz folder labeled "URANIUM FROM RUSSIA". Inside this folder were details of US efforts to buy left-over weapons grade uranium from Russia, including memos to Ginger Lew and others on "Suspension Agreement on Uranium from the Russian Federation". There are even documents filed on Canada: Russia currently has 130 tons of weapons grade plutonium and over 1000 tons of weapons grade uranium left over from the Cold war. These radioactive isotopes pose a great risk to world peace and a great temptation for terrorist states. For example, in late 1995, US intelligence officials picked up indications that Iran was engaged in an effort to steal or purchase 600 kilograms of enriched uranium stored at an unguarded site in the former Soviet Union. Defense officials responded with a plan called "Operation Sapphire" in which the US bought the leftover uranium and quickly transported it to a processing facility where it was diluted for use in commercial nuclear reactors…."

9/1/97 Tim Maier Insight Nation "…Secrets abound. Ira Sockowitz knows that all too well. The former New York administrative law judge and 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign fundraiser walked out the Department of Commerce in June with 2,800 pages of intelligence documents - many dealing with sensitive and highly secret satellite and encryption technologies. "He knew what he was doing," says one congressional investigator. "He had to. He held one of the highest level of clearance - top secret with code word." ….The interest House investigators have shown in Sockowitz is in sharp contrast to the strategy of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which chose to leave the Sockowitz case to others. It also is a signal that the House plans to concentrate on activities at Commerce - just the opposite of Attorney General Janet Reno, who shut down the Justice Department's probe of Sockowitz without even interviewing him…The value of the records could be tremendous for commercial brokers in the international-consulting business - the line of work to which Sockowitz return after his stint with SBA. Congressional investigators would like to know if he has used secret information obtained from those files in any manner for his Washington consulting firm, which conducts strategic planning for international companies. Does it make sense the SBA would be interested in secret information contained in those files relating to rockets, satellites, encryption and CIA political assessments of CHina, Russia and other foreign nations?…."

9/1/97 Tim Maier Insight Nation "… Congressional investigators believe Sockowitz zeroed in on these files because they were a hot commodity in an explosive high-tech market. So hot were they that in November the CIA "blocked access" and prevented House investigators from viewing the documents taken by Sockowitz even though the investigators had all the proper clearances…..Upon first impression the inventory list appears to be a collection of intelligence documents with no apparent common thread connecting them. But there may be. Insight has discovered a trail that leads from Commerce to a Washington based multi-billion dollar satellite company called Iridium. The bulk of the Sockowitz files contain information that could be greatly beneficial to Iridium or its competitors - especially in terms of contracts, customers, and international assessment of foreign countries. Iridium is working with an international team of leading aerospace and electronic leaders in Russia and Red China to construct a worldwide telecommunications network…..Created by Motorola in 1987, Iridium has direct ties to late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and the Democratic party; Leo Mondale, a nephew of the former vice president, is vice president of strategic planning for Iridium. This year Mondale and Motorola executive Edward Staino hired four of Brown's former employees with high level security clearances to help run Iridium's project on worldwide telecommunications. Motorola also took part in Brown trade-mission trips. Lauri Fitz-Pegado, former assistant secretary of Commerce - and a long-time friend of Brown - and special adviser to the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, now is vice president of the Iridium division called Global Gateway Management. She went on board May 5, 1997. Her responsibilities at Iridium include coordinating meetings and trips with international investors. She is joined there by her former Commerce assistants Pilar Martinez, Charlotte Kea and Andrew Balfour, who was a director under the executive secretary for Commerce…"

NSA TESTIMONY ON THE SOCKOWITZ FILES UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA…. Civil Action No. 95-2228 RMU….JON A. GOLDSMITH, hereby declares and states: 1. I am the Chief of External Affairs and Policy for the National Security Agency (NSA). I have served in this position since January 1994. I have served in the NSA for twenty eight years.... Through the exercise of my official duties, I have become familiar with the referral by the Department of Commerce of the documents at issue in this case: A STUDY OF THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET FOR COMPUTER SOFTWARE WITH ENCRYPTION (hereafter the "STUDY"), a document authorized jointly by the Department of Commerce and NSA…… 4. NSAs signals intelligence mission is to obtain information from foreign electromagnetic signals and to provide reports derived from such information or data, frequently on a rapid-response basis, to military commanders, national policy makers and the intelligence community of the United States government. A primary signals intelligence mission of the NSA is to intercept, communications of foreign governments in order to obtain foreign intelligence information necessary to the national defense, national security, or the conduct of the foreign affairs of the United States. The signals intelligence collection mission of the NSA provides national policy maker and the intelligence community with highly reliable foreign intelligence information. Information obtained from intercepted foreign communications is called communications intelligence (hereinafter "COMINT"). NSA's COMINT efforts constitute part of the core functions and activities of the Agency…. 6. In developing its portion of the STUDY, NSA sought and received, information from the Department of State, the CIA and from foreign sources. Some of the information NSA acquired from these sources is classified or otherwise protected information. Those portions, along with the classified or otherwise protected NSA originated information, are identified below in the Vaughn index sections of this declaration….PART II: INDEX OF SPECIFIC PARAGRAPHS WITHHELD From the Document "A STUDY OF THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET FOR COMPUTER SOFTWARE WITH ENCRYPTION," Dated July 1995….. Page II-2, 3rd full paragraph, last sentence: References the views of NSA on the export control process and is protected in its entirety pursuant to exemption (b) (1) (E. O, 12958, Section 1.5 (c), and (g)), exemptions (b) (2) and (b) (3). (Applicable statutes 88-36 and 403). Page II-8, 2nd full paragraph, last sentence: This sentence refers to international export controls and is protected in its entirety pursuant to exemption (b) (1) (EO 12958, Sections 1.5 (b), (c), and (g)). (Applicable statutes 86-36 and 403)…..Refers to export controls between the United States and Canada and is protected in its entirety pursuant to exemption (b) (1) (EO 12958, Section 1.5 (b) and (d))….. Executed this 14th day of June 1996…"

Michael Chapman Investor’s Business Daily 6/19/98 "…When the White House in '96 abruptly gave the Commerce Department power to control exports of sensitive technology to China, it came as a shock... Even more shocking is that, during that same year, Commerce had a hard time controlling breaches of security within its own building. In fact, shortly after the transfer of controls, a former Commerce employee walked in, put classified files about encryption and satellites in a box, and walked out the door. That former employee was Ira Sockowitz, who had been special general counsel at Commerce. Without authorization, he took 136 files -- a total of 2,800 pages. It's unclear how those files were used. But the trove Sockowitz took contained data vital to U.S. security -- and valuable to rival nations. And they may be linked to the current probe of whether technology was illegally transferred to China. Encryption data, for instance, are used by U.S. intelligence to keep government communications -- including instructions sent to satellites or nuclear missiles -- secret. The CIA deemed the material so sensitive that it tried to seize Sockowitz's files as soon as it learned what had happened. Despite the security breach, the Justice Department has decided there is no case against Sockowitz, and Commerce's own inspector general also balked at a probe. Sockowitz claims his reasons for taking the files were innocent. Still, the Sockowitz affair raises troubling questions about the connection between national security and the White House's drive to raise campaign cash in '96.

Michael Chapman Investor’s Business Daily 6/19/98 "…While at Commerce, Sockowitz held a top-secret clearance and kept classified files in a safe. Among these papers was "A Study of the International Market for Computer Software With Encryption." The CIA marked portions of this report "secret" and the U.S. Bureau of Export Administration said disclosure could "damage the national security by revealing export control problems that could be exploited to the detriment of the United States." The secret sections could reveal weaknesses in U.S. encryption defenses, David Sobel, general counsel of the Electronic Privacy information Center, told IBD. Other papers Sockowitz locked away covered "remote sensing satellites," presidential waivers for satellite launches, "space commerce," and country files on China, Russia and India. Sockowitz also got documents on satellite encryptions from Hoyt Zia, chief counsel for Commerce's Bureau of Export Administration…"

Michael Chapman Investor’s Business Daily 6/19/98 "…Zia is a former Democratic National Committee fund-raiser and close friend of Huang. In May '96, Sockowitz's boss, Lew, moved to the Small Business Administration. He followed as her senior adviser on May 27. Three days after he moved to the SBA, Commerce OK'd a Sensitive Compartmentalized Information clearance for Sockowitz, a level above top secret. It let Sockowitz view the government's most tightly classified papers on encryption. Sockowitz didn't get an SBA top-secret clearance until July 29. The agency never gave him SCI. Sockowitz returned to Commerce for a visit on Aug. 2, 1996. While his successor there, Jeffrey May, was out of the office, Sockowitz removed 136 files from his old safe. He told a secretary only that he was gathering some personal items. Sockowitz wasn't debriefed when he left Commerce, something that would have required him to return any classified papers he held. Commerce says Sockowitz violated his clearance by not returning the files. But Sockowitz says his clearance traveled with him to the SBA and that nothing in the security manual prevented him from taking files. Sockowitz also says he never disclosed the papers and they never left his possession. He claims he needed the files for his SBA job. But the SBA told the conservative weekly Human Events that it knew of no projects that Sockowitz was working on that involved encryption, remote-sensing satellites or China…"

Michael Chapman Investor’s Business Daily 6/19/98 "… Sockowitz left the SBA In November '96. Again. he was not debriefed. He now works for the Strategic Planning Group in Bethesda, MD, an international business consulting firm. The company didn't respond to repeated requests by IBD to speak with Sockowitz. Justice stopped looking into the matter in December '96 without ever talking to Sockowitz, Lew or May. Hill told Judge Lamberth in March of this year that Brown worried that Sockowitz might have "funneled information to others." Larry Klayman, chairman of Judicial Watch, told IBD some of the files may have made their way to "a consortium like Iridium." Iridium is a global satellite mobile-phone business with partners such as China Aerospace. It competes with Loral's partly owned subsidiary Globalstar. At least four of Sockowitz's ex-Commerce colleagues work for Iridium. "Sockowitz was the first evidence that there may be an espionage element to this," Klayman said, adding that "Hill can confirm a lot that went on on those trips that dealt with matters that were not legal." For her part, Hill has said that Brown talked to her about how Commerce wanted to end satellite-export controls and how "encryption was a big issue," Klayman said. "Hill can confirm that this whole transfer of satellite technology (abroad) was a major initiative of the Clinton administration, and particularly in the encryption area," Klayman said. "All these companies were competing. And we know from Hill that satellites were what they were after -- the big bucks. Brown was very interested." …"

Insight Magazine 5/26/97 "...There also are others involved in Clinton fund-raising to whom congressional committees are anxious to pose questions about interest in secret U.S. technology. Ira Sockowitz, a Clinton administration lawyer, admitted during a deposition with Judicial Watch, a Washington-based watchdog group pursuing the Clipper documents in relation to Huang's activities at Commerce, that he walked out of the Commerce Department with CIA, NSC and NSA classified files on encryption or decoding software, spy satellites, China, Russia and other countries. Sockowitz, who had a top-secret clearance, was appointed by Clinton to serve as a special legal counsel in Commerce. He says he simply was transferring the files to his new post at the Small Business Administration, where he became deputy administrator in the spring of 1996. The records removed contain some 2,800 pages, including a classified report called "A Study of the International Market for Computer Software With Encryption." Sockowitz, now a Washington consultant, claims he never met Huang, although the two men worked together on the Asian Pacific American Working Group--the principal unit in the DNC responsible for raising about $7 million in campaign contributions in the Asian communities during 1996--much of it returned because of questionable origins. 9/27/99 "....A State Department spokesperson told Inside Cover on Monday that it would be "a waste of taxpayer's money" to respond to questions raised by a newly uncovered log detailing Clinton administration actions after the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown's plane vanished from radar screens on April 3, 1996. The document, labeled "Confidential, Department of Commerce" and kept secret for more than three years, offers an internal government account of events on the day Brown died which is starkly different from the official government version on a number of key points. (See: Documents Reveal Two May Have Survived Initial Impact of Ron Brown Plane Crash) Among the most disturbing revelations is a log entry made April 3 at 9:40pm Croatian time, an hour and twenty minutes after the plane's wreckage was discovered, which shows concern at the highest levels of the Clinton administration about videotaping at the crash site: "Poloff Hovenier called to relay strong request from (Deputy Secretary of State) Strobe Talbott that HRT TV team in Dubrovnik not film at the crash site. DCM called state protocol chief Misetic who said he was already trying to get in touch with the team to stop it." The "no video" entry was logged just 42 minutes after Ira Sokowitz, then a Commerce Department official who was in Sarajevo at the time, notified Washington that two passengers "have been recovered alive from the crash." One of those survivors was Tech. Sgt. Shelly Kelly, who later died while being transported to a Dubrovnik hospital. Sokowitz's report of a second impact survivor became known only when Judicial Watch released the secret Commerce Department log to Inside Cover on Friday. The alleged survivor's identity remains a mystery. It is not known how long he or she may have lived after rescuers reached the crash site. ...." Dan Jacobson 1/1/99 "…… Immediately after the crash, the businesses that had executives representing them on the trip were informed that there were no survivors, and the White House implied the same by statements to the media. But through the legal actions of Judicial Watch, a previously undisclosed log from the Department of Commerce has recently been uncovered which shows that Ira Sokowitz, a Department of Commerce official, had notified the White House, some 40 minutes after the wreckage was discovered, that there were two survivors. One of those survivors is known to be Tech. Sgt. Shelly Kelly, who died from a broken neck in transit to a hospital in Dubrovnik. It is still not known who the other survivor was. Dan Jacobson 1/1/99 "…… This log also reveals that shortly after notification of the existence of two survivors, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott relayed a "strong request" that a TV crew from a station in Dubrovnik "not film at the crash site." The request was granted. The State Department has apparently offered no explanation as to why this request was made. Another unusual official action after the crash was the departure from USAF policies which require an initial consideration that the causes of all plane crashes are undetermined until an investigation is concluded. The White House and the Pentagon both rushed to the judgment, long before an investigation was carried out, that the crash was an accident. Secretary of Defense William Perry informed the press a day after the crash that "it was a classic sort of accident." There was no evidence at that time for Secretary Perry to make such a claim.

Freeper Demidog 9/20/98 "…..Barbara Alice Wise, 48, was found dead on Thanksgiving weekend, 1996, in a locked 4th floor Department of Commerce office. Initial media reports said that the D.C. police were investigating the death as a possible homocide……. This was front page news in my mind but in fact the story was burried almost before it broke……. ……The first wire reports said that Ms. Wise was found "partialy nude" ( according to a Local TV station which sourced an unnamed policeman) in her locked commerce dept. office. Police at this time had not ruled out foul play. Neigbors were interviewed and were quoted as saying that Ms. Wise had been sick for the past 5 months. One neighbor said she had numerous health problems and was a nice woman who kept to herself……… In the second "Capitol" follow up report by reporter Jeff Nelson, Ms. Wise's health problems were upgraded to "severe and frequent including liver ailments" from the previous "been quite sick for the past 4 or 5 months". Also reported in this article was that a preliminary autopsy had been performed, in less than ten hours after the body was found and before her son or ex-husband had been notified, and had not determined a cause of death……."

Freeper Demidog 9/20/98 "…..I found a very brief mention in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution which apparently capped the story. In a column entitled "Q&A in the news", was this bit of information:
"Q: Has there been any determination of the cause of death of the woman who was found dead in her office at the Commerce dept?"
"A: Barbara Alice Wise 48, of Gambrills Md., died of natural causes, as the Journal-Constitution reported in December. An autopsy found that the cause was end-stage liver disease, with alcoholism as a contributing condition. Wise appeared to have been drinking in her office when she died the day before Thanksgiving. Her body was found by a co-worker the day after thanksgiving. The incident attracted an inordinate amount of attention because it occurred inside a federal office building. Wise was a 14-year employee of the International Trade administration, working in a section that helps U.S. companies boost exports."
…..In fact, no autopsy information has actually been reported in the press as far as I can tell. The preliminary autopsy was reported, but after that ( wish I had a Nexus/Lexis account) the story just totally dropped off the planet. And as I later found out, here has never been an official report made available to the public. Sound fishy? Read on. …."

Freeper Demidog 9/20/98 "…..…… The principles (Tuesday Sept 11th, 1997) Talked to the detective who handled the case today, Jerry Sitek. Ms. Wise was found completely nude in an adjacent locked office to her own. Her body was covered with bruises. She was found by a female co-worker on Friday, at 7:45AM when she went to sign in for work. Apparently the office where Ms. Wise was found was actually her Bosses' (he wouldn't give me the bosses name or of the co-worker who found Ms Wise). The "sign-in" book resided there. Wise was slumped over in the middle of the room on the floor. Sitek surmised that Wise had gotten up from where she was sleeping and fallen down dead shortly thereafter. ……. Sometime after 4PM on Wednesday the 27th, Wise had deficated on herself and had apparently neatly folded her soiled pantyhose along with her other clothing except for a sweater. She used the sweater as a blanket while she slept in her locked office. According to detective Sitek, co-workers said she stayed at the office often out of fear of going home, and often drank on the job. While Sitek would not go so far as saying her co-workers were correct, he led me to believe that her son beat her and that was the cause of her fear and bruises. When I asked Detective Sitek how he thought she would be able to get away with such heavy drinking on the job he responded that it happens all the time. A partially depleted 5th of Vodka was found in her purse, and an almost full glass of Vodka was found on a table next to her couch. Mr. Sitek claimed at least 2 causes of death while we talked on the phone:heart attack, and liver failure and some vagueness on other organ failure...(was she tortured?) Detective Sitek told me the bruises were too old to be any factor in the cause of death. …..Problems so far with the tale from Detective Sitek:

How does one drink so heavily that your liver fails and keep a job at Commerce? Perhaps this doesn't speak to any kind of cover-up but to the shoddy Human Resources dept at Commerce...

If one "frequently" sleeps in her office, wouldn't one make sure a blanket and pillow were available? And is sleeping at the office an accepted practice in the Commerce dept?

Wise lived alone ( her son also lived alone). Why would Ms Wise be afraid to go home to an empty house? And on a Thanksgiving weekend?

And if she was so damn sick, wouldn't she have needed a hospital months earlier? I have never seen a picture of Ms Wise but sure would love to see one.

When I asked Detective Sitek whether toxicology from the autopsy supported her heavy drinking, he said that most of the alcohol would dissipate and you wouldn't be able to tell if she was really drunk. I didn't want to argue, but This doesn't make sense to me. I realize that alcohol does in fact evaporate but once the flow of blood stops, the alcohol still in the bloodstream can no longer be carried to the skin through the capilaries. It seems to me that while it might not be totally accurate, a toxicoligy report would at least speak to the veracity of witnesses who claimed she was a drunk. The claim of alcoholism has a certain Blumenthal quality to it doesn't it?

Also, on the matter of the alleged beatings by her son. As soon as Detective Sitek mentioned this, I actually had the presence of mind to mention to him that Troy didn't live with his mother. At this point Detective Sitek just about gave himself whiplash backpeddling. He said, "now we are aware of that and I can't be 100% sure that it really happened but that's what we were told by her co-workers so that's where we assumed the bruises came from. But I'm not gonna say that's where they actually came from." DC's finest are not sure about much are they? At any rate the case according to Detective Sitek is officialy classified as a death of natural causes. It is not being persued at this time. And when I initially called to find out which detective I should be talking to, I was told by Lt. Brown that the case was no longer in the homocide binder. …….. "

Freeper Demidog 9/20/98 "…..….D.C. Coroners office I called the Coroners office on Wednesday the September 10th, 1997. The first thing I was told ( I had to talk to the PR's officer ) was that autopsies are never released to the public. I didn't know this. The relevance of this fact is apparent when you start comparing the statements of reporters who assert results of a document which has never been seen by their own eyes. You must be a member of the family to get the actual report or get permission from a family member. ……. I found out that the there were two Dr's involved in the Autopsy. The examiner was a Dr. Jaardemal. And the supervising examiner was a Dr. Germinac. I'm not sure of the spelling. I was given Dr. Jaardemal's direct phone number and told that Wise's case number was 96-1408. Any specific information would have to be handled by the Doctor. ……. Dr. Jaardemal would not give me detailed information about the results. Natural causes was the finding. Natural causes....I was about to ask her if she knew Fahmy Malak but I stopped myself. According to Dr. Jaardemal:

The bruises on her body were not caused by a beating. The Dr. was emphatic about this. She also did not die of a heart attack. (Strike two for Sitek) But for the life of me I could not get her to tell me what it really was. So perhaps it was liver failure, but as far as I know, you don't just keel over from liver failure. …..Now perhaps they're all just idiots and she really died of a kidney failure and the bruises are from the dialasis (sp?). Only thing is her co-workers would definately know about that, and the beating story wouldn't have held water from the start. She would have had to leave every three days for treatment and the bruises caused are horrendous. So she hid her dialasis treatment from her co-workers by telling them the bruises were from her son beating her? Boy would I like to make contact with her son Troy and her ex-husband. I wonder what they would have to say about this. It sure is interesting that not a single mention of any contact with them is in the press reports. Only Troy is mentioned. And I don't even know If Wise is her married name or her re-assumed maiden name..( Sue me, I'm stupid for not asking Detective Sitek but I was a bit nervous too. I don't need a tax audit :-) I did find an address and phone for a Troy Wise from Baltimore. Phone was connected to a fax. ….."

Freeper Demidog 9/20/98 "…..Mary King Department of Commerce Human Resources. [Barbara Wise] Wise worked under director Chris Christianson in the International Trade Administration. Christianson, according to King is far down the buearocratic food chain from the Secretary. Who shared the office with Wise? "OH I'm not allowed to give out information like that."... Conjecture alert : ……I'm hearing that Wise didn't share a suite with John Huang but with Ira Sockowitz. Remember the guy with "top secret with code-word clearance" who took a box of NSA encryption documents out of the Commerce dept. and stashed them in a safe at the SBA? Perhaps that mysterious box a Presidential aid was seen carrying off of Marine one was that box? ……"

Reuters 3/18/00 Jim Wolf "…..Iridium LLC, a bankrupt $5 billion satellite telephone service, entered the history books on Saturday as one of the costliest corporate fiascoes of all time. The Washington-based company said it was cutting off telephone service to its 55,000 customers as of 11:59 p.m. on Friday, a prelude to court-ordered liquidation. Iridium's last act will be to ``de-orbit'' -- and ultimately burn up -- its constellation of 66 satellites now 485 miles high, which was the first to make staying connected possible from any spot on Earth. The network has been reported to have cost $5 billion to $7 billion. ….Bringing the satellites back must be coordinated with several U.S. government agencies. Motorola said it would take up to two years to burn up the last of the satellites in the atmosphere. Motorola, which held 18 percent of Iridium, the largest stake, said it would ``maintain'' the network while the de-orbiting plan was finalized, an apparent reference to steering the satellites away from danger. ……"

From Judicial Watch: At the July 18, 1997 and August 1, 1997 deposition of Fitz-Pegado, Judicial Watch discovered she and at least three (3) other former Clinton Commerce Department employees, who also had access to top-secret classified information, left Commerce and went to work for Iridium World Communications, Ltd.(370) Iridium is a multi-billion dollar company that is building a global wireless communication network that will enable subscribers to communicate using handheld telephones and pagers virtually anywhere in the world.(371) Iridium's global network operates through combining a series of low-orbit satellites with land-based wireless systems. The sixty-six (66) low-earth-orbit satellites communicate with each other through encrypted messages. Iridium is owned, in part, by state-controlled entities in China, Russia and India.(372) These are the same three (3) countries that were the subject of classified intelligence data secretly removed by Sockowitz from the Clinton Commerce Department and stored in his safe at the SBA.(373)

……..Obviously, Iridium stood to benefit enormously from the sensitive satellite encryption and telecommunications data that Sockowitz apparently removed from his safe at the Clinton Commerce Department and later kept in his safe at the SBA. Also, Fitz-Pegado seemingly had few qualifications for either her Clinton Commerce Department position, or her Iridium position, and ostensibly was hired because she was a close confidante of Secretary Brown and had accompanied him on trade missions.(374) It is more likely that Fitz-Pegado and her staff were extremely attractive to Iridium and its foreign joint-venture partners because they had access to top-secret, classified national security information while at the Clinton Commerce Department.

......,,The Clinton Administration's transfer to the Commerce Department of the power to control exports of highly sensitive technology, without even minimally adequate measures to properly protect that information, raises serious national security questions. Moreover, the revolving door uncovered by Judicial Watch raises the additional concern that highly sensitive information may have already been compromised. Were the individuals at the Clinton Commerce Department approving technology transfers to China on behalf of, or to aid companies they planned to work for after leaving the government? ……" Charles Smith WorldNetDaily ".........The Sockowitz files include secret reports on cryptography from the NSA, a secret report on Russia from the CIA, secret cables from France, secret documents on U.S.-Russian space launches, even materials on U.S. efforts to purchase weapon's grade uranium from Russia. Sockowitz also had the complete biographies on foreign political leaders in Bosnia, Croatia, India, Turkey, and Russia. The CIA deemed the material so secret that it tried to seize Sockowitz's files as soon as it learned what had happened. ............ The Sockowitz files were discovered only after an anonymous tip to the public-interest group Judicial Watch in October 1996. Judicial Watch then deposed Sockowitz, a former New York state administrative law judge. Sockowitz testified that he was an "advance person" for the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign. He was put on the 1993 inaugural committee at the request of vice president AI Gore's office. ...... Gore's office also approved that Sockowitz be appointed as a Commerce Department special general counsel in November 1993. At the Commerce Department, Sockowitz worked with John Huang "vetting" companies that wished to travel with Ron Brown on trade trips. ........ ........ Despite the security breach, the Reno Justice Department and FBI Director Freeh decided there is no case against Sockowitz. The Commerce Department's inspector general also decided against a probe. Sockowitz claimed his reasons for taking the files were innocent and his claims were taken without question. No federal law enforcement official has ever questioned Ira Sockowitz. ......." 12/6/00 "……The Department of Defense, through its Defense Information Systems Agency, last night awarded Iridium Satellite LLC of Arnold, Md., a $72 million contract for 24 months of satellite communications services. This contract would provide unlimited airtime for 20,000 government users over the Iridium satellite network. …… The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $252 million and extend the period of performance to December 2007. ……The Department has taken this action because the Iridium system offers state-of-the-art technology. It features on-satellite signal processing and inter-satellite crosslinks allowing satellite-mode service to any open area on earth. It provides mobile, cryptographically secure telephone services to small handsets anywhere on the globe, pole-to-pole, 24 hours a day. The system and its DoD enhancements will provide handheld service currently not available. ……"