BRIAN LAMB: Chris Cavas, let me start by asking you what you do for a living?
CHRIS CAVAS: I am a journalist. I cover Naval affairs; things that are on, over, above, and around the water. I like to cover them worldwide. I talked about the industry that builds these things, the people who operate these things, the people who buy them, the people who determine requirements - the operations that they do, and why do we need - why does anybody need all this stuff, and does any of it really work. And I write about things like that.
LAMB: Who reads it?
CAVAS: Who reads it; industry, The Hill, politicians, we're - Defense News is a worldwide publication. We're sometimes remarkably well-known. People in the naval industry around the world pay attention to us. Senior officers pay attention to us. Acquisition people pay attention to us.
LAMB: How big is the publication and who owns it?
CAVAS: I can't even tell you how big it is right now because I'm not really up on the - on the latest stats. And we are - we're owned by - it's - the company is called Sightline Media. And it's part of a media group that includes things like; Navy Times, Air Force Times, Army Times, Marine Corps Times. And these are newspapers that are directed at people in the services. It's not about them, really. It's on their lives. And we have other division that does, called (HistoryNet) that talks about things that are old, so.
LAMB: I want to show you some video from a company called Glenn Marine Group Asia. It's just a minute and it shows, kind of - it's a promo from them. And then I want to ask you - that's why we asked you here, to explain how they fit in to the world right now.
MALE: Headquartered in Singapore, the Glenn Marine Group is a premier integrated maritime service provider, with its own proprietary collection of support assets. Its scale of operations spans 54 million square miles, represented by a global network of nine regional offices that have operated in more than 32 countries.
The Glenn Marine Group's flagship company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, is Asia-Pacific's leading brand in naval fleet support. Its services extend well beyond pier side. As an integrated one stop center for all of Navy's needs, Glenn Defense Marine Asia is able to provide a wide range of customized solutions.
LAMB: Why does this company matter - (this) Singapore-based company matter to the United States Navy?
CAVAS: So when ships travel from port to port, you know, a ship is a self-contained entity at sea. It takes care of itself. When it goes in to port, it needs a number of support services.
It starts with; I need a pilot to meet me at a - at a - at a certain location, at a certain time. I probably need tugs to escort me and I need a place to drop the anchor - drop the hook or tie up. I need services once I tie up. I need somebody to be there with a brow - a gangway, so I can get on and off my ship.
I need to have somebody arrange to get shore power if I need it, to get food if I want it, to get water if I want it. And even then, I may want somebody to have some taxis available for me. And I want some phones available for me. And I might want to have a reception and I need some catering services.
So there are companies called husbanding agents. Husbanding, like husband and wife, that's - it's a very old term. It's not - it's nothing new. It's a classic maritime term. So worldwide, ports have husbanding companies, husbanding agents. And you need those services.
So we are a global Navy - United States Navy is a global Navy, travels all over the world. Everywhere we go, we need somebody to take care of those services for it. So we need to bid out on those services, get somebody to do that for us. It's really key to being able to operate in a certain area, to stay in a certain area, to do rest and relaxation in a certain area. Without it, you can't - you can't do it.
LAMB: Let me - let me ask you a different way. What have they - what has that company done to the Navy?
CAVAS: What has it done to the Navy? Well it's - for one thing, it's completely embarrassed the United States Navy. It's shocked the culture of the Navy that people - that people were corrupted to provide Glenn Defense Marine with - mostly with information about ship movements but other things as well, in exchange for - not that much money but fairly lavish lifestyles.
So they threw fabulous parties, had great dinners, provided prostitutes for a lot of people, gifts for their - really expensive gifts for their wives. Paid for family vacations - and we're talking on the order of - you know, 10 - 20 - $30,000 for a weekend. Some of their parties - I mean, dinner could cost 20 - $30,000 for six people.
LAMB: Let me read you a summary of what has happened up until now.
LAMB: This is what is known. Investigators have said that more than 200 people have come under scrutiny - I'll get you to break this all down - among them are; 8 newly indicted Navy officials - including an admiral, 13 people who have pleaded guilty, 6 others who have been charged, 4 admirals who have been disciplined, 2 others known to be under investigation, and more than 150 others not yet identified.
CAVAS: Right. So this - Glenn Defense Marine had a - it was one of the most sophisticated operations like this in the Western Pacific. And they had operations throughout the Western Pacific. Anybody who was in the Western Pacific at any time and made a port call, which is everybody who was out there, had some contact with something that was Glenn Defense Marine, whether they knew it or not.
So there's a - there are many levels of people who were involved with this. Some people had virtually no involvement other than they were - they were there. Some people were very deeply involved.
There was certainly criminal behavior that went on here. There were people who broke their oaths, who broke the confidence of - that was around them. They were passing classified information that they shouldn't have. They had inappropriate relationships any - on any number of levels.
The people who did this, by and large, are remarkably capable people. They're professionally respected. A lot of these people were widely known for their professional accomplishments, not because before (them) - before they were arrested. And some of these people really had a lot of respect from a lot of people. These are not dumb people. But they clearly were doing some dumb things.
And part of what's interesting is they didn't make that much money for it. This wasn't like people were - people were not making a few hundred thousand dollars here, nobody made a million dollars. They were selling their careers for - fairly short, I think - and that surprises people. People are surprised that so many people could be compromised like this.
But Glenn Defense Marine wanted information. So they wanted to know where ships are going to be. They could prepare for it. They could - they had certain ports where they had a lot power. We own all the concessions in this port. We do not own all the concessions in that port. We hear you're going to that port. Can you do what you can to see - if you don't go there, can you come here?
And they would approach key officers, for the most part, and like on the planning staffs. So the 7th Fleet is the U.S. fleet in the Western Pacific, based in Japan. So they would approach operations officers, planning officers, protocol officers who worried about where we're going to go.
For example, the Navy pays a great deal of attention to R&R. We have lots of ships that go out to the Middle East. You might be surprised to know that four or five months in the Persian Gulf is not a party time, particularly if you're - if, you know, we have ships full of - full of young 20-year-olds who want to have a good time. And they work hard, they really do work hard.
There's not a lot of opportunity to blow off a lot of steam in the Mid-East; there's some. It's not - it's not barren. But it's not like some other parts of the world. So when the ships are in transit, when they're coming from the - coming or going to the Unites States and they're passing through the Pacific. That might be the best part - the best opportunity that the Navy has to give the crew of that aircraft carrier a well deserved break.
LAMB: Let me put on the screen, a fellow who calls - I don't know if he calls himself this, but he's called Fat Leonard. Who is he and how does he impact this?
CAVAS: So he's a larger than life guy. He - for a while, he was a larger than most people guy, which is why he got the term Fat Leonard. And was close to 400 pounds at one point, he's lost a lot of weight. But he was a big, fat guy. He was Fat Leonard.
Extremely gregarious, extremely outgoing; he is all about - he's the classic host. We're here to have a good time, great to see you. I've arranged all this. Look, we've got - we have a little - come in to this room, look what we've arranged for you, it's a fabulous. He would ingratiate himself with everybody; he was a classis manipulator. He would go out of his way to be seen with anybody of any importance.
He would have photographers there to take pictures, just about anybody of any - any significant person at any social event, here's Fat Leonard, "great to see you Admiral" and "Oh, here's a photographer, let's smile."
Everybody has had their pictures taken with Fat Leonard.
LAMB: Well, we got an example of former Chairman and Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, there's a picture of him…
LAMB: …with Fat Leonard. Do - did you - did Mike Mullen know - Admiral Mullen know who he was?
CAVAS: Everybody knew that he was Fat Leonard and he ran Glenn Defense Marine and Glenn Defense Marine was this big husbanding agent. Did they know that all this corruption was going and that so much - so much was happening in the background?
It doesn't appear that that was the case at all. And for every one of these pictures, I mean, frankly, as a - as a newspaper, I'm reluctant sometimes to run these pictures because there are - there's hundreds of these pictures.
You can find - one of the first pictures that came out was one with - with the CNO, just after Mike Mullen, Gary Roughead, and - but everybody's had these pictures taken. Every - there's - everybody was there, and it's just a glad-handing thing.
So - they - they didn't even necessarily have to be doing anything other than "I'm here and here's Fat Leonard and here's a photographer."
LAMB: Where is Fat Leonard today?
CAVAS: Fat Leonard is in jail in - in San Diego, California. He was arrested in September 2013. He was actually lured to the United States, it was - it was - the investigation that's going on now, that's spearheaded now by the Department of Justice, started off as a Naval Criminal Investigative Service, NCIS, investigation.
And Leonard, I think he's a resident of Singapore, he wasn't born there, but…
LAMB: (He's) Malaysian.
CAVAS: Malaysian. He was lured to come to the United States for - to close a business deal and so they got him in the - in the U.S. with - with jurisdiction and then he was arrested.
He had pled guilty, he has not been sentenced. He pled guilty in 2015 and he has not been sentenced. He's not the only one who's not been sentenced, who has - who has pled guilty. So, the prosecution against him is over, but they have not adjudicated that.
So, they are waiting - the supposition there, and this is just a supposition, good justice won't confirm this, is that he's still providing information to the investigation and they're waiting to see how far this goes.
LAMB: How many are in - how many former navy officials are in prison?
CAVAS: In prison, I'm not sure right now, but there have been 25 charged total. About half of them - almost half of them, are now in - in prison, one way or another, they've been sentenced.
LAMB: Let me go back to 2000 - I think it's '15, yes, March of 2015, just to put an official touch on this. This is the former Secretary of the Navy, right, Mabus, used to be the governor of Mississippi?
LAMB: Talking at a hearing on Capital Hill, about this very thing:
RAYMOND MABUS: "The reason this was uncovered is that we set up financial tripwires that Glenn Defense Marine Asia, GDMA, went across. And so, red flags were raised. NCIS invested this for three years, with no leaks.
We, during that investigation, found that an NCIS agent was furnishing Mr. Francis with information, that - that set up some information to him, and it led to Mr. Francis believing that the investigation had been shut down and allowed us to - to arrest him on American soil."
LAMB: How well did he handle this?
CAVAS: I'm not sure you got, you know, -- Ray Mabus is - is the kind of person that people criticize heavily or they don't criticize heavily. So, there's not - not much of a middle ground.
Frankly, I - I'm not sure what else he could've done. I think - think this was done pretty well.
The - the investigation began - this investigation began in 2010, the agent that was being referred to there was something that Leonard was always part of his - his modus operandi of getting moles in different places was to warn of - of investigations with any - anybody actually probing into something, this guy would let him know.
They - they had managed to give him some false information to work it out. When the arrests were made in the middle of September 2013, the Navy moved with some alacrity, to suspend operations with Glenn Defense Marine.
They instigated the - the Secretary ordered an audit of all of their practices, all their contracting practices, and an audit not just to look for inappropriate that went into Glenn Defense Marine, but also for weaknesses in contracting that - that would allow these - these sort of excesses and abuses to - to work their way in.
So, it was an organizational approach, it wasn't just a - just an effort to grab people on this particular GDMA issue. It was everything else. It wasn't - but there was another actually - another husbanding company called Inchcape, which also was sued by the Navy around this time period for what the Navy viewed as excesses.
GDMA - I mean, not nearly on the scale that GDMA was at, but they - so the Navy set up a consolidated disposition authority, CDA, and the idea with that was…
LAMB: Wait, I got to stop. Consolidated disposition authority, what in the world is that?
CAVAS: That is - so the idea is that justice runs its own investigation and justice is looking for criminal activity. Justice is not about ethics, justice is about criminal behavior. So, if they've got people, they investigate somebody, if they find no criminal behavior, nothing - nothing that they charge anybody with, they turn that invest - they're - they're done with that person.
They then turn that investigation over to the Navy run consolidated disposition authority. Consolidated in the sense of there are different entities within the Navy that could be investigating this, but why have everybody - why have all these different units do it, we'll do it in one effort, consolidated.
So, the Navy runs its own investigation on these people, looking for ethics violations. "You're right, you didn't break the letter of the law, but you certainly broke the standards of behavior that you were sworn to and that we expect people to adhere to."
And that has - that has turned into its own - that has taken on a life of its own and that has had a major effect on the Navy, particularly the officer corp. It continues to have major effect, it has no end in sight.
People cannot - cannot find out if they're actually - and I realize - "Is this an active investigation, what am I investigated for?" You can't confront your accuser. It's become a very pernicious - the whole thing has become a very pernicious investigation and it's effecting hundreds of people and there's no way to really quantify it.
I mean, I personally know a surprising number of people who appear to be under investigation. Are you still under investigation by justice, has justice turned that over to the - the CDA? It's hard to tell. And you…
LAMB: Let - let me put some faces on this, so that - and this - this may be a little tedious for people watching, but it's the only way you can understand the depth of this. Here's a rear admiral Robert - is it Gilbeau how do you pronounce it?
LAMB: Status, pleaded guilty June 2016 to making a false official statement. Punishment, criminal sentence pending, reduced in rank to Captain and retired from active duty in September of 2016.
He was an admiral. How bad…
CAVAS: Well, part of the thing here is that they've not - they've not, -- from the criminal investigation, there have been admirals caught up in this, but they were - they're not charged with behavior as an admiral, so people are promoted.
So, in the - the - the behavior that - and actually Gilbeau, Gilbeau, they, as - if I'm recalling correctly, they didn't charge him with any actual conduct in GDMA, they got him with lying to investigators.
LAMB: Will he go to prison?
CAVAS: He, I think, has some personal issues. I - I'm not sure what they'll do with him.
LAMB: OK, but let me keep going. Captain Daniel Dusek.
CAVAS: Right, Dusek, is in prison.
LAMB: Former Deputy Director of Operations for the 7th Fleet, Former Commander of the USS Bonhomme Richard.
LAMB: There he is on the screen, was a captain and why is he in prison?
CAVAS: Dusek was in the middle of all this. He was - he was part and parcel of some of the worst behavior here. He guided ships to ports that were controlled by Glenn Defense Marine. He provided classified information on ship movements.
The classified information that - that - that is always referred to here, as far as I'm aware of, in almost every case is about ship movements, plan to move ship movements in advance.
It's not necessarily unusual that we would share such information with a foreign commercial company or partner.
But this was -- none of this was done through any official channels. This was all -- just stuff feeding to them. So Dusek was right in the middle of it. He took -- for a while there he enjoyed a pretty good lifestyle out in westpac. He was routinely at some wonderful fabulous restaurants, great hotels, big time parties, lots of very expensive booze, lots of very expensive cigars, and lots of very expensive prostitutes.
LAMB: All paid for by …
CAVAS: All paid for by Glenn Defense Marine, and he had direct contact with Francis, with Fat Leonard.
LAMB: I want to bring up another fella, because this story -- if people haven't heard about this story it's a hard one. It's the fellow from a little town of Lanark Illinois, commander Michael -- is it mizowitz?
LAMB: Misiewicz. You see him on the screen there. He was born in Cambodia, brought over to this country by a U.S. Army -- a woman in the U.S. army, raised in this country and what happened to him?
CAVAS: This photo actually -- that a really sad photo. So he wasn't even -- at the time of this photo, he was the commanding officer of a destroyer. And the destroyer made a port call to Cambodia. It was the first official U.S. Navy visit to Cambodia since 1975, and he was the commanding officer of it. These were actually family members that came to meet him. This was a terribly touching moment. He was a -- I mean I've actually -- I know people who served with him. I've talked to -- and I actually interviewed him extensively. He was a very well thought of officer. People were stunned when they found out that he'd been caught up in this. But he -- he's a good example of the kind of targeted individual that GDMA would go after.
So most of these people didn't start off -- there are some exceptions, but most of the exceptions were in the very first wave of arrest in 2013. So the people who were complicit in these ongoing operations were by and large targeted one way or another.
LAMB: Where is he now?
CAVAS: He's in prison. He went to prison last year. He's gone for 76 months. He's the -- I believe he's the longest -- he's got the longest prison sentence so far, which is somewhat surprising.
LAMB: I think one of them got 12 years.
LAMB: I'll look it up and -- but I want to show you some video of when he went back to Lanark Illinois, spoke to his high school. It was a hero's welcome. The audio -- it was shot by somebody in the audience, it's a little hard to hear, but just listen to what he had to say.
(Start Video Clip)
MICHAEL MISIEWICZ: Take time, you got the best (sponsored) force in the world in uniform. This reminds me of a recent article read, but by the time people (inaudible) for have a (wolves, sheep, or sheep dogs). For many there's a peaceful acceptance to being a sheep and hoping the wolves won't get them. Yet the good news in this positive and possibly naïve outlook is that it's OK to be a happy sheep, for it is the sheep dog's in our military and the public services, past and present who keep watch over those and will take action to keep the wolves at bay.
(End Video Clip)
LAMB: After he was convicted and sent to prison -- but when did you talk to him?
CAVAS: Actually the last time I talked to him was just a couple of days before he reported to federal prison.
LAMB: And what was his attitude at that point?
CAVAS: He's accepted it. He's -- I mean, he I think he's more -- you know, it's -- I think he's more resentful for -- he think he's been really stupid. He's still rationalizing a good bit of it. He is upset that other people -- he thinks other people were created -- were worse than he was and don't seem to have gotten punished as much as he does.
He says that there's still lots of people out there who haven't been caught up -- have yet to be arrested for anything.
LAMB: One of the pictures during the trial was him with -- I think it's a bunch of Japanese women, I'm not sure you can see it there on the screen.
CAVAS: Right, right, right.
LAMB: How important was this whole thing -- sexual favors in this process?
CAVAS: So -- well it was a regular feature of the kind of services that Leonard would provide to the people who provided him information. In Misiewicz's case he was approached by somebody that was already compromised, and these -- they would discuss with Leonard -- you know Leonard was always asking people -- you know find me a good candidate. Is this guy approachable, will he play ball with us?
Fine, you think he will, what are his weaknesses? What's his situation, tell me about this? Has he got money problems? Has he got romantic problems? Does he have relationship problems? At the time Misiewicz was actually having relationship problems with his wife. His marriage was not in a good place.
LAMB: What happened to it eventually?
CAVAS: He got -- he was divorced. But that wasn't going well. They've -- this is -- this is the sort of thing they would do. Suddenly he's at a party. Suddenly there's companionship and suddenly we're having a good time. And he was susceptible to it. And the thing was is that, they would routinely approach people in all manner of ways. People were constantly being put in compromising positions. This is a great photograph because this really is the -- this is sort of the ultimate of where all this is going sort of thing. But it didn't take much.
I mean everybody came in contact with him. It was hard for a lot of officers to be -- to do a West Pac tour and do a West Pac port call -- Western Pacific -- West Pac.
LAMB: We have a map by the way to show -- not to interrupt you -- but to show that part of world. And I need to ask you, when you talk about the seventh fleet, that's not the entire area, but it's a great deal of it.
CAVAS: That's their op area. And everything you see there, is the seventh fleet.
LAMB: How many ships in the seventh fleet?
CAVAS: It's not that many. It's a -- well there's the seventh fleet and then there's the seventh fleet area of operations, AOR. And the seventh fleet is based in Japan. It's home ported in Japan.
It's an aircraft carrier, its a couple cruisers and some destroyers. And they're best in Yokosuka in Japan, a GDMA port. They routinely travel throughout the region. The flagship Blue Ridge routinely makes -- they do two three-month patrols, generally speaking, a year. And they just go around from port to port to port. The Pacific is all about bilateral relationships. So the U.S. and -- there s no NATO in the pacific. So it's very important for the commander of the pacific fleet and the seventh fleet to constantly be going around in these different countries and keeping relationship going with their counterparts in those countries. So they routinely make all this port calls, every one of which was an opportunity for GDMA.
One thing that's lost of this a bit is that -- so that's the seven fleet, they live there. But everybody passing through the area also goes -- falls in under seventh fleet jurisdiction. And they would also call in all these ports. so San Diego based ships, Pearl Harbor based ships, Everett Washington based ships are routinely deploying to the fifth fleet CENTCOM - central command operations area in the Middle East; the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, the Red Sea. They have to pass through this area.
LAMB: Let me read some more. John -- is it Beliveau?
CAVAS: Beliveau, yes.
LAMB: Former Special Agent Naval Criminal Investigative Service downloaded and leaked scores of NCI S reports about pending criminal investigations into Glenn Defense. Status, pleaded guilty and December of 2013 to bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. Punishment, in October of 2016 to 12 years in prison.
CAVAS: I'm sorry (OK).
LAMB: And then brides taken, cash, laptop/computer, travel expenses, including airfare to Bangkok and two nights there in a hotel, a prostitute from the Philippines, three week five country vacation in Southeast Asia. He was NCIS.
CAVAS: He was the agent referred to by Secretary Mabus when he was talking. He was the agent who was...
LAMB: How often does that happen where you are actual...
CAVAS: It doesn't. That's a - that's kind of a classic mold. None of this - how often today does that happen?
LAMB: I guess that would be - yes, I'd like to ask you. How long have you covered the Navy?
CAVAS: I'm in my - well into my second decade doing it, but too - a long time.
LAMB: I mean, put this whole thing in perspective.
CAVAS: So, there's this criminal investigation, and there's an ethics investigation. And, it's - they're - one of the other things in the ethic investigation is falling directly falling out of the criminal investigation.
But, this is probably the widest and deepest ethics investigation in the history of the United States Navy. And, the criminal behavior aside, - so, I mean, part of this is you have - there's a criminal investigation that is certainly getting people for doing things that they should not have done.
They broke the law. There's no question about this. There's no question this was bad behavior.
LAMB: I want to read another one. Just so, again, so people can understand the cope of all this. A guy named Paul Simpkins, former Navy Contracting Supervisor based in Singapore, that's where the company was based, rigged Navy contracts in Thailand for Glenn Defense in exchange for $350,000 in bribes and prostitutes, acted as a secret fixer for the firm.
Pled guilty in June of 2016 to bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. Punishment sentencing in December 2016 to six years in prison plus $450,000 in fines and restitution. Here's what I found when I went beyond what's been reported.
He wanted Fat Leonard to provide him quote, "some clean, disease free women" when he got into port in Singapore. I mean, have you sat through any of these trials?
CAVAS: No. I have not. They're all in San Diego. I'm not …
LAMB: How typical is this in the Navy? I mean, over the years, without being Pollyannaish about it. And, maybe I shouldn't ask it this way but …
CAVAS: Well, typical - what. Typical demanding of your - of the guy who you're working for illegally of what kind of favors you want?
LAMB: No. I'm going to go another route. Typical of the Navy that when they end up in port that there are prostitutes. How big a deal has that been over the years?
CAVAS: You mean, in every port there's a - a sailor has somebody in every port? I think it's a fact of life. I think it's unavoidable. I think, it's unavoidable to go to a lot of high end hotels all around the world and not have somebody come up on you.
LAMB: $2,000 cigars?
CAVAS: You know, I was in a hotel in Singapore a year and watching guys come in clearly with someone of the night. And, the hotel - they are very good at looking the other way.
LAMB: I guess, what I'm getting at - that's not as unusual as having somebody like Fat Leonard paying for a prostitute. I mean, having contractors …
CAVAS: He just had to order it up. He just had to say I hope we have some entertainment. I hope we have some new entertainment. I hope - can you send us some pictures of the new entertainment. We're eager to see some of the pictures that you've got.
LAMB: Here's another one. Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless retired. Former Director of Intelligence Operations for the U.S. Navy and Intelligence Chief of the Seventh Fleet, arrested in California in March of 2017 and charged with conspiracy, bribery and making false statements.
His status case is pending. He has pleaded not guilty.
CAVAS: And, he was just charged. He was one the - he was one of the nine who were just charged.
LAMB: Did you know him?
CAVAS: I've not met him. No.
LAMB: And, what will happen? When will his trial be held if he doesn't plea out?
CAVAS: I have no idea. (Judges) will have a trial when their ready to have a trial.
LAMB: Well, I guess what I'm getting at is how long is this process taken?
CAVAS: Most of these folks have - they haven't had to try too many of them.
Misiewicz, for example, wanted to plead not guilty because he wanted to plead his case. And then, he was convinced to accept the reality that they were going to get him anyway.
LAMB: Here's Captain David - is it Lausman?
CAVAS: Lausman, yes.
LAMB: Former Commanding Officer of the USS George Washington, which is an aircraft carrier …
LAMB: And USS Blue Ridge …
LAMB: Which is what kind of a ship?
CAVAS: The flagship. It's the 7th Fleet flagship.
LAMB: Allegedly steered warships to ports controlled by Glenn Defense and sought to undermine its competitors. Arrested in Florida in March and charged with conspiracy, bribery, and obstruction of justice in making false statements. Status, case, and plea pending …
LAMB: Bribes allegedly taken for prostitution and travel. Commander Stephen Shedd, former Commanding Officer of USS Milius and Planning Officer for the 7th Fleet. Allegedly leaked classified information about ship movements to Francis. Arrested in Colorado in March and charged with conspiracy and bribery. Case is still pending, in this case. I can go on.
CAVAS: He's part - he is somewhat interesting in that he was - as a Junior Officer - as a Lieutenant Commander he was - he was on the staff of 7th Fleet and provided a great amount of information, ship movements, to GDMA. And then he was - his tour came to an end.
He was transferred out. He actually was - went to Tennessee. But he missed the lifestyle and he was a part of the personnel in Tennessee and managed to (wrangle) a return to the 7th Fleet and that lifestyle. And he came back as the (X.O.) of a destroyer - the (C.O.); but he came and went.
And the attractiveness of the lifestyle that Leonard provided these folks was like a drug. I mean, they couldn't do without it. It was - it was a lot of fun. And they would - they would go off and be straight for a little while. And then, it's time for a party.
And if they gave good information at some point, they would expect a good party. A lot of it was based on port calls or ships - the Blue Ridge, the flagship. You know, he always wanted the - Francis always was going for operations people on the staff of 7th Fleet, who could guide the ships.
LAMB: Francis is the Fat Leonard, who we think …
CAVAS: Fat Leonard. And Fat Leonard will email - these people had direct communications with Fat Leonard. In many cases, it was not through a mediary. It was a group of them.
LAMB: How much money did Fat Leonard get out of this in the first place? I mean the company.
CAVAS: Well millions, and millions, and millions. So Glenn Defense Marine routinely charge a lot of money. They were a high-end husbanding agent. They were one of the most comprehensive husbanding agents.
So you - anything you want, you could get from GDMA. Just say it, we'll find a way to get it. But you did pay for it. So there was a premium and it - the - this did not escape a lot of people's eye.
People were - there were - there were some investigations - I - there was one in 2006 that didn't go anywhere. They're - he wanted to know about investigations. And he would put pressure on senior people that - he was - it was - he'd compromised, to in turn put pressure to get rid of these investigations, make them go away.
Lausman was one of those people. He would reach out. I've heard this. Can you make this go away? Can you take care of this? And the guy would write a letter.
LAMB: You mentioned that there was an investigation back in 2006. I want to put in to this mix because it's a very local story in San Diego. And on the local PBS station there, they had a roundtable back in 2015 and there's a couple things that were said by Laura Winguard, who works for KPBS, and Craig Moran, who wrote stories for the San Diego Tribune. This is about 50 seconds.
Laura Winguard: I think, one of the things that's astonishing about this is like in 2006, they had a whistleblower and they didn't act on it. There was a good soldier who said; hey, these charges are just …
(Craig Moran): Way out of line.
Way out of line and the Navy ignored it. And I think it speaks to the culture of how things are going there. It's astonishing that they didn't act …
Male: Very much so, yes. That's really kind of the larger story is; how the Navy really administers and oversees what's become a very expanded program, as all the services have, of contracting out to private companies, services and things that the services used to handle themselves. And in this case, in particular, that's a big issue. I mean, because there were - not just that one person in 2006. But there are other indications in the record that people were raising their hand and saying, look …
(Craig Moran): Just a minute.
What about this? This is ridiculous. And they just couldn't get traction.
LAMB: How much did you know about the whistleblower back in 2006?
CAVAS: Did I know?
LAMB: Yes, did you - were you aware of it?
CAVAS: Not too much.
LAMB: When did we first know about that whistleblower?
CAVAS: I didn't hear about it until all this broke in - after 2013.
LAMB: So that kind of thing doesn't become public? I mean the Navy knew about it …
CAVAS: That - I mean, that just means I didn't do it. It's not - I mean, I - you know, criminal behavior is not the primary focus of what I do. It's - it comes in to my view …
LAMB: Defense News reporting to the business, to the Navy, to the Defense Department, to the contractors and all that …
LAMB: Let me - while we're at it, let me just show you what Admiral Richardson - I mean not - yes, John Richardson is Chief of Naval Operations. This was - and Craig Whitlock, asking this question. Craig Whitlock, for our viewers, is The Washington Post reporter who, other than what you've been writing, has been - really hasn't been spotlighted in the media much this whole story. Here is him back in 2016, in May, asking the Chief of Naval Operations what he thinks of this.
Craig Whitlock: Within the Navy, how is this case being felt? You know, what kind of damage is it causing? What sort of reaction is it causing among the many officers who obviously don't engage in that kind of behavior but are seeing some kind of a pattern of a problem out there?
John Richardson: I think you've characterized it very well. One, it's an investigation in progress, so we can only talk about it to a certain degree of detail. Two, the vast majority of our leaders, both in uniform and in the civilian force, are behaving exactly consistent with that trust and confidence that the American people have in us. For that small minority that were involved in this type of behavior - behavior that nobody can be proud of - we've got to let the investigation complete. And we'll respond to the information in a way that will, I hope, maintain and strengthen that trust and confidence that …
LAMB: What did you think of his answer and have they responded in any strong way?
CAVAS: Your touch on a number of things here pretty fast. So let's just say right away that that guy you just saw, it says Admiral John Richardson chief of naval operations. That in many people's view - -- the reason that that title is attached to that guy is because of the Fat Leonard GDMA investigation. Otherwise, he would have an entirely different job, the head of naval nuclear reactors, which is what he was (groomed) for from the back half of his career.
And he became the NR job - -- the NR job is a unique job within the Navy. It is a dual headed job that has energy department function as well. It oversees all naval nuclear reactors, just like that, all the submarines, and all of the aircraft carriers. And that's the old Hyman Rickover job, it was created Hyman Rickover. Some people might recognize that name. It is a unique job, it is a six year term, and it is a sunset term. Otherwise - -- in other words, you retire after that.
That's the only six year term in the Navy. It's unique. Richardson was already NR when this - when this broke publicly. And the Navy set up its consolidated this position authority that was run by - it was put under NR, John Richardson. And Richardson in many cases -- in many people's view point was a -- one of the most ethical people in the Navy. You don't get to be a -- I mean a (nuke), by definition is a pretty straightforward person that follows the rules. And the head (nuke), the NR is a pretty imposing position.
LAMB: So was he put in this position because of this?
CAVAS: He was NR, they had already -- they were already investigating a couple cheating -- like the test cheating scandals going on in the submarine service. And the Navy felt they had confidence in him so he was the chief adjudicator of the (CDA) so they -- the ethics part of this investigation, the post criminal investigation, now the Navy ethics probe, was Richardson's bailiwick. When the last CNO was retiring, it was time that Jon Greenert was retiring, some of the more highly thought of prospective reliefs for Greenert potentially could come under the Fat Leonard investigation, as apparently -- and apparently - and apparently because you can't confirm that anybody -- there's no statement that's issued that so and so was under investigation.
We found nothing. Nobody gets a clean bill of health. You only really find out if they caught you. So everything is assumed or it appears so or people heard this. But can you -- did the Navy issue a statement about it? No. But you talked about Admiral Mullen -- Mike Mullen who was chief of naval operations and then left that job to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was a pacific -- he was a big pacific admiral, he had to run into Fat Leonard.
He had to have his picture taken with Fat Leonard. Because anybody had their picture taken with Fat Leonard. Gary Roughead who came after him, was in the same position. Jon Greenert was a pacific commander. Everybody had ties, one -- even if it was just "I had my picture taken with the guy at party." So it was - there was the potential that you named somebody and he then could come under investigation and that would embarrass the Navy again. I still have never been able to get a straight answer if Admiral Greenert was officially on it -- under investigation. I've asked that question many of times. So Richardson was seen in some ways as a clean alternative. So the Navy took the unprecedented move of taking him out of NR.
And as the head of naval nuclear reactors, he's a submariner, he's a (nuke), he's all about it -- he's in charge of this very, very serious engineering position -- engineering and operations position that is very specific, and he was taken out of that and became chief of naval operations. And in many ways that's a piece of fallout from GDMA right there. If -- without this investigation he probably would still be NR.
LAMB: Let me drop back 23 years. Show you some video of a former chief of naval operations, by the name of Frank Kelso. Did you know him by the way?
LAMB: He's deceased.
CAVAS: I was in the same room a couple times with him but I don't know...
LAMB: He's deceased since 2013, but I wanted to run this because this is another time in the Navy's past that's not so stellar.
MALE: Well I think the greatest lesson learned from Tailhook is that we have to be more attentive to our House and what we do and how we act, so that we can prevent something like Tailhook from happening. I greatly regret that I did not have the foresight to be able to see that Tailhook could occur. In hindsight I clearly can see that. We need to work harder to be able to understand the changes that are taking place around us and to deal with them in a more -- at an earlier time than to let us get into a case like Tailhook where we have a very difficult problem. As you've all noticed, it's very difficult to come to end to. I think this is the end of Tailhook.
LAMB: So he had to leave as the chief of naval operations because of this.
LAMB: Did the Navy learn anything back then?
CAVAS: The Navy learned a lot. But some people don't learn anything. And that's throughout society and it's still true today. There are tone deaf people everywhere.
LAMB: But there were a hundred Navy people involved in this in some way implicated...
CAVAS: Well, so there were -- so Tailhook -- the Tailhook Association is the professional association of naval aviators. And once a year they have a gathering in Nevada -- the Tailhook Convention. And they talk about airplanes -- excuse me - they talk about airplanes, they talk about flight operations and they also have a lot of drinks and they have a lot of fun, they have a lot of good times. That was a tradition at Tailhook. And a lot of that behavior involved sexual behavior with women. That -- what a lot would consider that sexual assault.
A lot of people could be charged with sexual assault as criminal behavior. It wasn't just ethical, it wasn't just (the mori), and this was a routine feature of these conventions. 1991 they went too far, somebody made charges and I came out that this was going on, it was a major scandal. You're trying to change behavior, but it affected everybody. People had this -- the Navy investigation went way beyond just the aviation community. People had to sign a paper that said you weren't there. Anybody who was there was under great investigation.
A lot people resigned. A lot of people were found guilty of various levels of bad behavior. It was a -- really a deeply -- cathartic isn't the right word -- traumatic event inside the Navy culture -- definitely inside naval aviation, but within the Navy itself. And how you treated women. Were woman sexual objects or were they your professional peers? And clearly the way the aviators were treating women at the Tailhook convention was not as professional peers. So, this investigation went on for four or five years within the Navy and a great many of people were caught up with it.
A great many of people left -- were kicked out. And eventually the end -- as happens with throughout society, at some point a previously accepted form of behavior now becomes unacceptable. We're not going to do this anymore. So 20 years ago it was routine, nobody would think have -- you would hope that nobody would think of doing these things today. But some people get the message and some people don't.
So as with racism, as with discrimination of any kind is within -- you know, discrimination against a religion, as in sexual discrimination, sexual orientation. The (mori) has change. So the things you used to do, you don't anymore. And the message there was -- especially when you -- when the CNO is forced to resign, it reaches all the way into that office -- this is no longer acceptable, you make examples of people. You try to stamp it out. There's no question that abuses against women have not been stamped out in the U.S. Navy and they have not been stamped out anywhere.
LAMB: For people listening to you, and listening to our discussions, if they want to get a capsule of how many have been indicted and plead and everything else, Wikipedia happens to have a site that has them all listed. Most of the information comes from Craig Whitlock at the Washington Post. It's called the Fat Leonard Scandal (Site). I want to read off of that and ask you about this. The last page, I counted 31 people that have been involved in some way or another in this.
CAVAS: This is the criminal side?
LAMB: Not entirely.
LAMB: Rear Admiral Adrian Jansen, disciplined by the Navy received non judicial punishment by the Navy and forfeited $750,000 retirement pending. Vice Admiral Michael H. Miller, disciplined by the Navy, received censure in February 2015 and retired in August 2015. Rear Admiral Terry Kraft, disciplined by the Navy, received censure in February 2015 and was forced to retire.
CAVAS: Right. These were all CDA, this is non judicial.
LAMB: Yes. And Rear Admiral David Pimpo…
LAMB: …and they go through- it tells you what they've done wrong, but how often in the history of the Navy- I mean you said this is the maybe the worst- ethics and….
CAVAS: Not very often.
LAMB: But this many admirals, you know, had to step down or had to leave…
CAVAS: Well, you sort of have to ask the question "How prevalent is this behavior anywhere?"
CAVAS: So, this is- this happens to be the Navy under investigation. Nobody is looking at the Army, and nobody is looking the Airforce, and nobody is looking at the Marines. And they have their own issue right now with naked pictures online. The- you know, who's- if there's the investigation starts to turn out bad behavior. I mean, is it- this investigation is a Navy centered investigation. I don't know that anybody else has had this level of investigation.
LAMB: Well, for somebody that's tuned into this discussion late, please again go over what is- we're talking about this company- by the way is the company still in business? And is the Navy still do business with it?
CAVAS: The company, I believe is still in business, the Navy stopped doing business with them before 2013 was over. And part of the thing here is that this is not- I like their promotional video that you showed at the top of the show here. They featured all U.S. Navy ships in that, because the U.S. Navy is by far the most valuable customer you could have. But they by no means can (bind) to the U.S. Navy.
Virtually every Navy that goes through there and operates out there deals with Glenn Defense Marine- dealt with Glenn Defense Marine, I don't know what's happening today. That's all the navies, the Japanese, the British, the Germans, everybody. They dealt with cruise ships, had a huge business with cruise ships…
LAMB: Which they could easily pay off without any criminal activity.
CAVAS: …built cruise ship terminals. They- it was incredibly sophisticated operation. They dealt with every kind of ship that was out there. It was enormous operation, very sophisticated. The U.S. Navy happened to be a great customer.
LAMB: Let me try to simplify it for a moment for people who don't know how the Navy operates. If I were in the Navy and I was a connect with the Seventh Fleet. Basically I would pick up the phone and tell fat Leonard's company "We're going to go a certain place and here we're going to do business with you," or better than that the Glenn Marine Defense says "You go here…"
LAMB: "…instead of here because we're ready to serve you."
LAMB: And then the payoff comes for me- everything from hotels rooms and vacations and all that kind of stuff.
CAVAS: So Misiewicz the Cambodian fellow that you showed, was an excellent example of that. He was a deputy operations officer at Seventh Fleet. And Leonard had an operation going at Kota Kinabalu which is in Sobah Malaysia, that's the part of Malaysia that's on the Northwest coast of Borneo.
And it's right on the South China Sea, which people have probably heard of the South China Sea. It has become a rather strategic area. It's a big place, not small- it's a big place. But that was a port directly on the South China Sea. There was an aircraft carrier that was going to do a port call in Singapore, and Leonard said "I'm beefing up this whole operation in Kota Kinabalu, it's a great place, you ought to come up here, we'll do- it'll be a great place for liberty and we have all the concessions, we'll make a lot of money, it'll be great, can you do that?"
Misiewicz did do that, Misiewicz managed to change that port call for that carrier from, I think it was the Carl Vinson- but I'm not sure.
LAMB: How would he have that much power?
CAVAS: He- you lobby for it , you have meeting, you know what's the best part? This is a whole new place. We go to Singapore all the time. You know, it's like the port is here, it's- you're a ways from Singapore we know that. This could be- they have better beaches out here, they have what ever.
So he managed to sell it. They said OK. We had- it was not the first time the U.S. Navy was calling it the Kota Kinabalu, but it was the first time an aircraft carrier went there…
LAMB: 5,00 people?
CAVAS: 5,000 people, we're going to have a good time. There's a lot of money, there's a lot of hotels, a lot of fun here. So they went to the port, they did a week in Kota Kinabalu , everybody was happy, had a great time. Misiewicz actually got a letter of commendation for making that happen, we would never had thought of this without you.
LAMB: What year?
CAVAS: That worked out. I forget what year that happened. But it was- he got a letter of commendation for it. He was actually cited for it in his- when he left that position. Now, Glenn Defense Marine made more than 2 million dollars on that port call. So when a ship could come in, you're talking about a lot of money that will come your way for all these different services.
LAMB: They take care of the trash on board, the waste, all that stuff…
CAVAS: We're going to- exactly. So husbanding services. They made more than 2 million dollars on that- they were paid more than 2 million dollars for that port call. The- a similar port call to Singapore would have been much less than half of that. So it cost a lot more Misiewicz rationalized it and the Navy rationalized it, itself by saying well "We've opened a new strategic port right on the South China Sea and our ongoing and continuing relationship with China, that's something significant, we're not just confined to Singapore." That was viewed as a real accomplishment, so we paid for it- people paid a lot of money for it.
Now people were always questioning Glenn Defense Marine expenditures- bills, not expenditures- bills. Lots of people questioned, "Why are we paying this much?" There was a culture within the Navy that said "Don't worry about it, it's not your job," so the ship, you know, before you leave, it's the last hour before you shove off, you're signing a lot papers, you're signing a lot of papers, you're closing a lot of accounts. You've got agents coming on board, you're signing for this, that and the other. We're going to charge you for this.
And you're asking "What is this for?" For example, the brow, the you walk up and down- sometimes the U.S. Navy owns those brows, we just leave them there because we're going to come in- come in all the time. We're- so why rent one? We just have one, we'll just stick it over here and use it. And we would. We owned the (brow it says U.S. Navy on it.
And Glenn Defense Marine would charge 10, 20, 80 thousand dollars for the rental of a brow. And a signing- a supply officer signing for this might- why are we doing that? We own them, look it's ours, it says U.S. Navy on them. It doesn't say GDMA. And they were told "Don't worry about it we'll sign for it," and you're on a ship so- the pernicious effect of this- you're a supply officer. You have nothing to do with making these arrangements, they were all set up by people at the fleet level, at the local level, you're just the ship coming in here and using the services.
But you didn't arrange for this. You're not an agent and you don't necessarily deal directly with the agents, but you're the supply officer- you're the executive officer, you're the CO, you have to sign for this. So it's half an hour before I shove off, I've got to be out of here, we're shoving off at 10 o'clock, it's 9:30 and I'm signing these papers and I'm going "What is this for?" and somebody says "Don't worry about it, it's taken care of at fleet level," but I thought really, well this is ridiculous- yes, well this is just how we do it, don't worry about it. "I don't know, I don't think this is right, but I'll sign for it."
So now you're under investigation, is this your signature? Did you sign for that? Why didn't you pursue this further?
LAMB: There's a lot more we can talk about, we are out of time, CAVAS and Defense News, many year reporter for that organization talking about the Navy and the fat Leornard case. Thank you so much.