Inspector general: Bush-era Pentagon officials cleared of wrongdoing
A three-year government investigation has found no wrongdoing by Bush-era Pentagon officials when they gave war briefings to retired military analysts who served as TV and radio commentators.
The probe by the Pentagon inspector general was a response to a 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning article in the New York Times that implied the former military officers, some of whom worked for or were defense contractors, received financial favors in return for their commentary and that they were tools in a propaganda campaign.
Sources familiar with the IG’s final report said it will say officials broke no rules or laws when they provided information briefings, some from then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The IG also found no evidence that any analyst or his defense contractor employer received any favorable treatment or procurement contracts due to his work as an on-air commentator, according to the sources.
‘The report basically says the Pentagon activities were in compliance with DOD [Department of Defense] directives and instructions,’ a government official familiar with the findings told The Washington Times. In terms of financial favors, ‘they didn’t find any evidence of that,’ the source said.
Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld (left) and former President George W. Bush pause for a moment of silence after laying a wreath at the Pentagon on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
The IG report is due to be released in the coming weeks. It is the second IG probe into the same allegations raised by the New York Times, and then by congressional Democrats. The first probe released in January 2009 came to essentially the same conclusions. It said briefings were ‘conducted in accordance with DOD policies and regulations.’
Read it all at link above.