2008-01-29 DoD IG Response to JS FOIA


2008-01-29 DoD IG Response to JS FOIA

8 pages

Letter (2)
Statement of Work for the Review of the January 1991 Death of Colonel James E. Sabow (2)
Info Memo Review of the 1991 Death of Marine Corps Colonel James E. Sabow (2)
DoD Appeal FY 2004 Defense Authorization Bill Against Section 568 (1)
Discussion Paper on the 1991 Death of Colonel James E. Sabow of 7/2/2003 (1)

Aaron, Darryl R. Chief FOIA Requester Service Center

Crane, John R. Assistant Inspector General

Sabow, John David MD Plaintiff

Tenorio, Melanie, FOIA Requester Service Center

Full Text Below the Line

John David Sabow, MD
P.O. Box 5510
Rapid City, SD 57709
Dear Dr. Sabow:
This is in responseto your Freedomo f InformationA ct (FOIA) requestd ated
January3 , 2008. You requested” all files and any and all informationt hat may be found
in all DoD Offices and data banks including those of the US Marine colps, Dept. of the
Nur.y, Defense Intelligence Agency and the NCIS from the time frame of December 2000
until January 3, 2008 that pertain to Colonel James E. Sabow, USMC who expired on
January2 2,1991 and on JohnD avid Sabow,M D, SS# 172-32-5371b oth of whom were
born in Pittsburgh, PA.”
I have carefully reviewedt he documentsr esponsivet o your FOIA requesta nd
determinedt hat the enclosedd ocumentst hat originatedw ith the Office of the Inspector
Generalo f the Departmento f Defensem ay be releasedto you with redactions.T he
redactionsa re in accordancew ith the FOIA undert he following exemptions:
(b)(2): Information consisting of internal personnel rules and practices of an
(bX5): Information is predecisionali nterlintraa gencyd atathati s part of a
decision-makingp rocessc ontainingo pinionsa nd recommendations
(b)(6): The disclosure of information would constitute a clearly unwarranted
invasion of personal privacy of individuals.
(bX7XC): the disclosureo f information could reasonablyb e expectedt o constitute
an unwarrantedin vasiono f privacy in law enforcementr ecordso f individuals. Also, it is
usedt o protectt he identity of governmentl aw enforcemenpt ersonneln amedi n files. If
you determinet he attachedd ocumentst hat are highlighteds houldb e releasedp, lease
provide the following appeal information to the requester: Your appeal should be in
writing to the Appellate Authority, Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector
You have the right to appeal the decision to withhold information from you that is
responsiveto your FOIA request. If you shoulda ppeal,y our appealm ust be in writing to
the Appellate Authority:
Mr. John R. Crane
Assistant Inspector General
Office of Communicationsa nd CongressionaLl iaison
400 Army Navy Drive, Room 1034
Arlington, VA 22202-4704
To be consideredy our appeals houldb e postmarkedn o later than 60 calendard ays
from the date of this letter. Please give your reasons for the appeal and write “Freedom
of Information Act Appeal” printed clearly on the envelope and the letter. Also,
referencey our FOIA requestn umber0 8-0078i n your appeall etter,a nd include a copy of
this letter.
I am the official responsiblef or this determinationa nd havew aived all processing
fees. Shouldy ou have any questionsr egardingt his matter,p leasec ontactM s. Melanie
Tenorio at (703) 604-9779.
W*- Chief
FOIA Requester Service Center/
Privacy Act Office
As stated
A Staternento f Work for the Reviewo f the
Januarv 1991 Death of Colonel James E’ Saborv
I. Bachgroulrd
This Staternenot f Wor.k( SOW) was clevelopeds pecificallyt o detenninet he causeo f
deatho f Cololel JarnesE mery Sabowa t the Marine CorpsA ir Station,E l Toro,
Califorrria,o n January2 2,1991, given the nredicala nd forensicf actorsa ssociatedw ith
that death.
The catalystf or this SOW wast heN ationaiD efenseA uthorizationA ct for FiscalY ear
2114,Seition5 84,R eviewo f the 1991D eatho f MarineC orpsC oionelJ arneEs ‘
Sabow. Consequentlyth, is Statenrenotf Wolk (SOW)w asd evelopedto fully and
comprehensivelayd dressth e concernso f the CongressT. his SOW addressetsh ose
Congressionaclo ncems.
II. Purpose
The intent of this SOW is to have an independenmt edicala nd forensice xpertr eview
of ColonelS abow’sc leathi,. e.,a reviewc onductedb y a conh’actonr ot affiliatedw ith
any agency or activity of the Department of Defense (DoD) or any private practice that
5as previously had input into or teviewed the death of Colonel Sabow. The experl
*u.t b” cunentlyB oardC erlifiedb y theA ntericnnB. oard of Patholo,giyn Forensic
pathoiogy,o r its equivalerrtT. he resulto f the revieww il1be a detenninationo f the
caltseo f bolonel Sabow’sd eath,g ivent he medicala ndf orensicf actorsa ssociated
with that death;t o clarify whetherr nurdero r suicidec ausedC olonelS abow’sd eath;
a1d to provide tlose cletenninationisn a comprehensivwe ritten report that explains
how thosed etenninationsw erer eached.
ilI. Scope
The contractorw ill concludeth e causeo f ColonelS abow’sd eath,w ith the supporting
evidenceil clexedw ithin the leport andp rovideda sa ppenciicetos thatr eport. The
repor-wt ill aiso include an appendixl istirig eachi rrdividtrali nteruiewed’
1) The originald ocumentso f evidencec oncenlingth e causeo :fC olonel
Sabow’sd eath,i. e.,t he Reporto f Investigationa ndt he medicaia ndf orensicf actors
associatewcli th his death,w ill be retainedin the Office of the InspectolG eneral,
Department of Defense (OIG DoD) (Office of the Depuly Assistant Inspector General
forilnvestigativeP olicy andO versiglrt),400A rrny Navy Drive, Arlington,V A 22202-
Thosed ocumentsi, vill be availableo n-sitet o the contractora s of contracta wardf or
reviewa ndr eproductionw, ith governmenptr ovidedo ffice spacea ndg eneraol ffice
2) A11d ocumentsa nde videncere producedb y the contractowr ill be “For
Official Use Only.” As snch,t he conh’actoirs not authorizedt o releaset hose
docutnentso r infolmation containedt hereint o any persollo r activity unlesst hat
releaseis necessarfyo r makingt he determinationrse quiredin this SO!\i. ).Ioo ther’
reieaseo f information will be made;r ather,r equestsfo l infonnationm ustb e forrnaily
subrnittedb y the requestort o tire OIG DoD for releasea uthorizationin advancei,n
accor:dancwei th the guidelinese stablishebdy theD oD to implement:
. Title 5, United StatesC ode,S ection5 52,” Freedomo f InformationA ct
(FOIA),” as anrended,
. Title 5, UnitecSl tatesC ode,S ection5 52(a),’oThPer ivacyA ct of
19J4,” as amended.
3) Flonr the contract award, an OIG DoD escort and the original documents
will be availablet o the contractorf rom 9 a.m. tlrrough5 p.rn.,M onday tluor.rghF riday,
excludingf ederalg ovemmenth olidays,u nlesst he contractorm alcesa rrangementisn
advanceth at canb e supportedb y the OIG DoD.
4) The contractowr ill directlyc ontactw itnessesa, sn eeded.
5) Exhuraation of the body is not authorized.
The contractors hallp rovidea onet o two pagei nformals tatusu pdate3 0 daysa fter
contracta ward,a nd the completedc onrplehensivew ritten andi ndexedl eport, with
supporlingd ocumentationn, o later than 60 daysa fter contracta ward.B oth the update
andc ornpietedre portw ill be submittedd irectlyt o the OIG DoD. The contlactorw ill
proviclete n (10) copieso f the completedre portt o the OIG DoD.
THROUGI{: Deputy Director for InvestigativeP olicy and Oversiglrt
uoo*’I Directoro f Policya ndP rogramsIn, vestigativPeo licya nd
SUBJECT: Reviewo f the i991 Deatiro f MarineC orpsC olonelJ amesE . Sabow
. The ConferenceR eporlt o AccompanyH .R. 1588,N ationalD efenseA uthorization
Act for Fiscal Year: 2004, Section 584 (TAB A), signed November 23,2003,
provides that:
The “Secretaryo f Defenses hall provide that the evidencec oncerningt he cause
of the deatho f ColonelS abowa ndt he rnedicala ndf orensicf actorsa ssociated
with thatd eaths hailb e reviewedb v medicala ndf orensice xperlso utsidet lre
D eparlmerrto f Defense;”
This review shali commence “not later than 60 davs after the date of enactment
of thisA ct,” i.e.,J anuary2 2,20A4;
The focus of the review “shall be to determine the cause of the dealh;” and
The Secretaryo f Defenses hall submit a rvritten report to both the Senatea nd
HouseC ornmitteeo n Armed Servicesw itliin six rnonths( i,e,,b y May 22,
2004)t hatp rovides” (1) the Secretaly’sc onclusionsa sa lesult of the review,
includingt he Secretary’sc onclusionrse gardingt he causeo f deatho f Colonel
Sabow,a nd (2) the conclusionso f the expertsr eviewingt hem atter’.”
. PossibleO IG DoD actionst o meett he requirementse tf orlh in Section5 84
Acceptr esponsibility.A ward a conh’actto a ForensicP athologisCt ertifiedb y
the American Board of Pathology, notpreviously irvolved rvith any aspect of oq)
b(ry- c)
DoD lG FOIA 24
prior actionsr elatedt o the deathi rrvestigationo f Colonel Sabow,t o conduct
the leview and provide a written reporl to the OIG DoD stating his/her
conclusions.A dr’aftS tatemenot f Work is at TAB B
Accept resporrsibility.R equesat non-DoD federalg overnrnenat gencyk nown
to perfor:md eathi uvestigationto conciuctth er eview;e .g,,t heD epartmenot f
the InterioL, Bureau of Inclian Affairs.
Defer acceptingr esponsibility. The Office of the Under Secretalyo f Defense
Cornptlollerw ill hold a meeting( usuallyi n iateD ecembert)o assigna ctiont o
DoD componentfso r SecDefr eportingr equilementsc ontainedin the Defense
Autholization and Appropriations Acts and committee reports. Tl:e OIG DoD
may not be assigneda ctiono n the reviewo f ColonelS aborv’sd eatho r, if it is,
will havet he opportunityt o arguet liat it shouldb e assignedto anothero ffice.
RECOMMENDATION: That you discusst his matterw ith the IG ande ncourageh im to
accept responsibility for the tasker and applove awarding a conh’acto Board Certified
ForensicP athologist.
As stated
P*paredorlzo3) 604I
DoD lG FOIA 25
Department of l)efense Appeal
FY 2004 Defense Authorization Bill
Subject:I rrvestigatioinn to the 1991D eailro f Maline CorpsC olonelJ amesE , Sabow
Langr:age/ProvisionS:.e ction5 68o f the Llouseb ill providest hat “the Secretaryo f Defenses hall
commencea new investigationi nto the deatho f Coionel JarnesE , Sabow,U nited StatesM arine Corps,
wlro died on January 22, 1991, at the Marine Corps Air Station, Ei Toro, Califomia”. The Senate
included no similar plovision.
DoD Position: The Departnrenot pposesth is provisionb ecausea reviewo f the investigationin to the
deatho f Col. Sabowh asa lreadyb eenc onductedb y the Office of the InspectorG eneraii n accordance
rvith section 1185o f the NationalD efenseA uthorizationA ct for FiscalY ear 1994,P ublicL arv 103-160.
An investigationb y the Navy Climinal l:rvestigativeS ervicei n 1991c oncludedti ratC ol. Saborvd ieda sa
resulto f a sellinflicted gurshotw ound. Sec.1 185r equiiedt he InspectorG eneralo f theD epartmeirot f
Defense to review certain deaths of members of the An’red liorces who died while orr active duty fronr a
caused etenlinedt o be self-inflicteda udt o conducta ny additionailn vestigationc onsideredn ecessartyo
detenline the causeo f deatir,A thoroughr eviewo f the NCIS investigationin to the deatho f Col. Sabow
was conductedb y the InspectorG enelaia ndt her esultsp rovidedt o severami emberso f Congressin
1996. Informatioir pertaining the IG review was also provided to tlre Senate Almed Services Corulittee
in connectionw ith the September1 2, 1996,h earingo n Deathso f Military Persomrewl hich May llave
ResrLltedfl om Self-InflictedC auses.F ‘urtheri-n vestigatiorra t this time is unlikely to provide anyn ew
infonnation into the cause of death of Col. Saborv.
The Department urges exclusion of this provision.
Comntroller Internal Control Notgs :
Subnrifter: Offrce of the l-nspecloGr eneral/i\4rC’. rane1604-8324
Page/SectioRn eferencesI:{ ouse,S ec.5 6 8
Reviewin g directorate/analyst:
Directol’ s reconmendationy’rationale:
oll the
1.991D eatho f ColoneiJ amesE . Sabow
On Aprtl 13,1994,t he Officeo f the InspectoGr eneralD, eparlmenot f Defense(D oD iG),
initiated a reviervc oncemingt he investigationsin to the deatho f ColonelJ amesE mery
Sabow,U nited StatesM arine Corps( USMC). This review was accolrlplishedu ndert he
provisionso f Section1 1 85o f the NationalD efenseA uthorizationA ct for FiscalY ear 1.994,
Title 10,U nitedS tatesC ode,S ection1 13,n ote,” Investigationosf Deathso f Menrberso f the
A”nnedF orcesf i’omS elf-InflictedC auses.”
The OIG DoD review included an examination of the Naval Investigative Service (NIS), now
the Naval Criminal InvestigativeS ervice( NCIS), investigation;t wo U.S, Navy Judge
AdvocateG eneraiM anual (JAGMAN) investigationst;h e InspectolG eneralo f the Marine
Coqrs (IGMC) report of investigation conceming misconduct and/or crininal activity
involving Colonel Sabow, the IGMC oversight revierv of the NIS death investigation;
Laboratoryr eports; andd eaths cenea nd autopsyp hotogra phs.
At the request of the Maline Corps Air Station, El Toro, the Orange County Sheriff-
Coroner’sO ffice (OCSCO)- an independenst tatee ntity outsidet he DoD – reportedt o the
scerret,r ansportedC olonelS aborv’sb ody,a ndc onducteda n autopsy.T he autopsyre vealed
thatC ol Sabow’sd eath” …was detellined to be fiom rnassivec erebracl ontusionsa nd
lacerationsd ue to a shotsunw ound to the head. The mannero f deathw as detenninedto be
Two U.S. NavyJudge AdvocateG eneralM anual (JAGMAN) investigationsw ere conducted.
“ru:lt-r.:ii::tiiif3::ffi:l:il””Ji$”.ffiTt:?fi’1,’ffii?othel official records.
o The secondJ AGMAN investigation,c onducteda t the requesto f ColonelS abow’s
brother,D r. JohnD . Sabow,c onsistedo f jnterviewso f NIS speciaal gentsa sw ell asa
review of forensicsl aboratorve xamirar tions .
o HQ USMC conrparedth e two JAGMAN investigationsa nd the MS investigation.
Accordingt he OIG DoD report,” No valiation in the essentiaflu rdingso f fact in the
threei nvestigationsw as found andt he significantc onclusionsa ndf indingsw ere the
same. The investigationsa ll concludedt hat the shotgunw ound to the headt hat lcjlled
Col Saboww ass elf-inflicteda ndt herew asn o evidenceo f foul plan.. ..”
paid consultant o Dr, Sabowm otivatedt he IGMC review. The consultanta llegedt hat
Colonel Sabow was nrurdered.
DoD lG FOIA 48
‘ OIG DoD Report, June 5, 1996