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Joseph E. Schmitz
Defense Department Inspector General

In office
March 21, 2002 – September 9, 2005
Personal details
Born August 28, 1956 (age 64)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Stanford University
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy

Joseph Edward Schmitz (born August 28, 1956 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)[1] is an American lawyer, former Inspector General of the Department of Defense and a former executive with Blackwater Worldwide, a private contractor providing security services to the U.S. State Department and the U.S. military.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Joseph Edward Schmitz is the son of John G. Schmitz, former California State Senator, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Presidential candidate (1972). Schmitz attended Catholic schools as a child and Georgetown Preparatory School while his father served in Congress. He holds a Bachelor of Science (1978) from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and a Juris Doctor (1986) from Stanford University. He was on the wrestling team at the Naval Academy. His siblings include Mary Kay Fualaau, Jerome Thomas Schmitz and John Patrick Schmitz.[2]

Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Schmitz served in the U.S. Navy for approximately four years, including a stint as an exchange officer with the German Navy. Schmitz left active duty and was in the Naval Reserve until 2001. After leaving active duty, Schmitz attended law school. He clerked with James L. Buckley, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was a special assistant to Attorney General Edwin Meese III during the Reagan Administration.[2] Schmitz entered the private sector in 1987, eventually joining the Washington, D.C., firm of Patton Boggs LLP.[3] He was an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University in the 1990s. He founded his own firm, Joseph E. Schmitz, PLLC, in 2008.[4] The company's domain jespllc.com was registered with Bethesda Hosting on May 22, 2010.[5]

He is a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.[6] He is an author of the anti-Islam report, Sharia: The Threat to America.[7] In 2008, he argued for the application of Sharia law in his plea to dismiss the Florida court case against Blackwater regarding Blackwater Flight 61.[8] This contradiction was first noted by Jeremy Scahill of The Nation.[9]

He is known to have a fascination with Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, having installed seals bearing the Von Steuben family motto in the Inspector General's office during his time there.[10]

As Inspector General, Schmitz showed an unusual interest in the sex slave trade, investigating involvement of the U.S. military in the sex trade in South Korea, Bosnia, and Kosovo, but found nothing other than petty prostitution.[11] His immediate family has a history of unusual sexual relationships with students. His father, John G. Schmitz, admitted having an affair with German exchange student, Carla Stuckle, whom he taught while a professor at Santa Ana College. He fathered two children by her for which he admitted fatherhood but refused to take responsibility, even after their mother's death. They ultimately ended in a state orphanage.[12] Schmitz's sister, Mary Kay Letourneau, is a teacher who served 7 years in prison following her 1997 conviction for rape of a sixth grade pupil. After her release from prison, Schmitz's sister married the pupil and they have since had two children.[10][13]

Inspector General of the Department of Defense[edit | edit source]

Schmitz was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Defense Department Inspector General on June 18, 2001. His nomination was held up in the Senate Armed Services Committee for unknown reasons until March 21, 2002[citation needed], when he was confirmed by the full Senate by voice vote. One of his first actions as Inspector General was to hire controversial republican operative L. Jean Lewis as his chief of staff.[11]

Allegations and Resignation[edit | edit source]

Although Senator Charles Grassley published numerous allegations against Inspector General Schmitz toward the end of his almost four-year tenure as the Senate-confirmed Inspector General of the Department of Defense, none of those allegations was ever substantiated. All of Senator Grassley’s allegations were investigated by an independent Office of Inspector General under the auspices of the Integrity Committee of the President’s Council on Integrity & Efficiency (PCIE), which on October 19, 2006, “concluded that there was no wrongdoing.”[14] [Citation: PCIE Integrity Committee Fax to PCIE Chairman, October 19, 2006. See also, “Corrections,” The Washington Post, p. A02, November 20, 2010 (clarifying that its prior article about Inspector General Schmitz, “failed to state that Schmitz was exonerated of any wrongdoing by the Integrity Committee of the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency in 2006“).]

Schmitz resigned as Defense Department Inspector General on September 9, 2005 in the wake of allegations that he intervened to obstruct the FBI investigation of fellow Bush appointee to the Department of Defense John A. Shaw in relation to contracting improprieties in Iraq for which Shaw was fired in December 2004.[10][15][16] The allegations also included interference in the investigation of Mary L. Walker's role in the Torture Memos scandal and Schmitz's redaction of an investigative report on Boeing to remove the names of White House officials before sending it to congress.[11][15] In addition to serious questions regarding Schmitz's independence from the White House, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) also submitted complaints that Schmitz had accepted a trip to South Korea paid for by a former lobbying client and similarly obtained eight tickets to a Washington Nationals basketball game.[17]

In a letter dated June 15, 2005, and posted on the Inspector General's website on September 2, 2005, Schmitz recused himself from investigating all matters related to Blackwater.[citation needed] After resigning, Schmitz took a position with the Prince Group,[2] a holding company for Blackwater Worldwide,[13] which provides security services and training to the U.S. military in Iraq and elsewhere. The Congressional Record states that "Congressional aides ... are still scratching their heads about how Schmitz got his job."[17]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Armed Services, Nominations before the Senate Armed Services Committee, first session, 107th Congress, 1616
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 NNDB, Joseph E. Schmitz
  3. Scahill, Blackwater, 303.
  4. Joseph E. Schmitz, PLLC
  5. WhoIs Records JESPLLC.COM
  6. WorldSecurityNetwork.com
  7. Sharia: The Threat To America, [1], Center for Security Policy, October 2010
  8. Bruce Falconer, In Florida Legal Case, Blackwater Demands Taliban Treatment, [2], Mother Jones, June 19, 2008
  9. Jeremy Scahill, A Real Sharia Law Promoter for Peter King to Investigate, [3], The Nation, March 9, 2011
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 T. Christian Miller, The Scrutinizer Finds Himself Under Scrutiny, [4], Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2005
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Pentagon Iraq War Intel "Not Illegal": Questions About DoD Inspector General's Flawed Report,[5], Daily Kos, Feb 9, 2007
  12. Denise Noe, Mary Kay Letourneau: The Romance That was a Crime[6], Crime Library
  13. 13.0 13.1 Blackwaters Top Brass, [7], The Virginian-Pilot, July 24, 2006
  14. Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency, Letter to Joseph E. Schmitz, [8], October 23, 2006
  15. 15.0 15.1 T. Christian Miller, Pentagon Investigator Resigning, [9], Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2005
  16. T. Christian Miller, Pentagon Ousts Official Under FBI Investigation, [10], Los Angeles Times, December 11, 2004
  17. 17.0 17.1 Congressional Record of the 109th Congress, First Session, No. 122, page 35, [11] U.S. Government Printing Office, September 27, 2005,

Literature[edit | edit source]

  • Miller, T. Christian. (2006). Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq. New York: Little, Brown and Company. See pages 68–69.
  • Scahill, Jeremy. (2007). Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. New York: Nation Books. See Chapter Seventeen: "Joseph Schmitz: Christian Soldier."

External links[edit | edit source]

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