Investigation finds Franks made mistake

But wife sitting in on talks didn't harm U.S. security

March 11, 2003|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon's inspector general found that Gen. Tommy Franks mistakenly allowed his wife to sit in on classified briefings but concluded no harm was done to national security and dismissed two other allegations, defense officials said yesterday.

The investigation by the Department of Defense inspector general's office found that the chief of the U.S. Central Command "inadvertently allowed classified information, at a level for which Mrs. Franks was not cleared, to be discussed in her presence," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Gary Keck said. The report concluded that the disclosure did not affect national security, Keck said.

Allegations that a female officer was assigned to run personal errands for Cathy Franks and a military bodyguard was assigned to protect her were declared "unsubstantiated."

In a meeting with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Franks agreed to "redouble his efforts to safeguard such information," Keck said.

Yesterday, Rumsfeld reiterated the support for Franks that he first voiced when the allegations were made public in early February. "As I indicated, General Franks is an outstanding leader and soldier," he said in a statement. "I continue to have full confidence in him, and I regard this matter as concluded."

Investigations of senior military officers are not unusual and vary widely in their import. Pentagon regulations require that even anonymous allegations be investigated, and such investigations regularly take many months, even when no disciplinary action results.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.