FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1999-03-19

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
(202) 785-3801

HISTORIC GUILTY PLEA ENTERED BY MAJOR GENERAL DAVID R.E. HALE

Major General Hale Faces Potential Charges In Texas Based On Frivolous Lawsuit; Press Conference By Donnamaria Carpino Madden To Be Held Tomorrow Morning

WASHINGTON, D.C. --

Major General (ret) David R.E. Hale pled guilty today to seven counts of "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman" and one count of making false official statements. Before a court-martial proceeding at Ft. Lewis, near Tacoma, Washington, Major General Hale admitted that he had engaged in improper relationships with four wives of his subordinates including the prosecution's primary witness Donnamaria Carpino Madden, and then lied to military investigators and officials to hide his misconduct. This is the first time in nearly fifty years that an Army general faced court-martial proceedings.

"I am exalted that justice has prevailed. Major General Hale brought dishonor upon himself and his uniform not because of his sexual misbehavior, but because of his disgraceful disloyalty and betrayal to those who were misled by his false leadership and friendship" said Mrs. Madden. Those senior officials within the Army's leadership ranks share in the disgrace for running to Major General Hale's defense without examining the true facts, added Mrs. Madden.

Major General Hale's criminal woes may not end with his court-martial plea. In a defamation action he filed in Texas against Mrs. Madden in August 1998, Major General Hale filed a sworn affidavit in support of his denial that he ever committed an adulterous relationship and that Mrs. Madden "concocted fantasized details." That suit was nonsuited and Major General Hale was fined $2,500 for attempting to intimidate a material government witness for the "purpose of harassment." Major General Hale's entering of a guilty plea unequivocally demonstrates the frivolousness of his lawsuit and may open himself up to potential criminal charges for defrauding the court and/or perjury. Appropriate Texas officials are being notified of today's guilty plea.

Although the military criminal case against Major General Hale may be over, the Army and Air Force still face repercussions from his misconduct due to a pending civil action filed by Mrs. Madden in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit charges that Army and Air Force officials intentionally released privileged medical and other defamatory information in an attempt to discredit Mrs. Madden's allegations against Major General Hale. In the initial stage of the criminal investigation, senior military officials repeatedly intimated Major General Hale's accusation that Mrs. Madden was a "stalker" to reporters; a characterization the government has now openly admitted was false in court papers filed this month.

"The court-martial has resulted in the attainment of individual accountability, but institutional accountability is still shamelessly lacking. What about the misconduct of senior military officials who sought to disparage Mrs. Madden's reputation based on proven lies? What about the blatant and intentional violation of Mrs. Madden's privacy in order to defend one of their own?," said Mark S. Zaid, Mrs. Madden's attorney and Executive Director of The James Madison Project (JMP). The eyes of justice should not be blind to institutional misconduct, added Zaid.

Major General Hale was charged with 17 violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice on December 9, 1998, following nearly a one year long investigation prompted by allegations of misconduct filed by Mrs. Madden. Despite facing charges of criminal conduct, Major General Hale was permitted to retire in February 1998; a move so criticized that Secretary of Defense William Cohen implemented new retirement guidelines in October 1998.

JMP is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization with the primary purpose of educating the public on issues relating to intelligence gathering and operations, secrecy policies, national security and government wrongdoing.

A press conference will be held tomorrow, Thursday, March 18, 1999, at 1501 M Street, N.W., Suite 550, at 10:30 A.M. E.S.T.