- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 4, 2003

A Pentagon investigation of Gen. Tommy Franks has cleared him of all but one charge brought by a subordinate at U.S. Central Command, according to sources familiar with the inquiry.
The charges revolved around Gen. Franks' wife, Cathy, and whether the government was reimbursed for air travel and whether military personnel did personal errands for her.
The sources said investigators failed to substantiate those complaints. and that all parties were cleared.
The Defense Department Office of Inspector General has been finalizing its report, which goes to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for disposition.
The sources said the only area where Gen. Franks may face a problem is a technical question of whether his wife was present during the presentation of one piece of intelligence. They said the presentation occurred while she was in Gen. Franks' compartment on his military aircraft.
Mrs. Franks holds a security clearance, but not at a level high enough for her to have been present during that briefing.
Still, Pentagon officials do not consider the problem serious since she does holds a security clearance. Officials also note that Gen. Franks, as head of Central Command, is extremely busy, overseeing operations in Afghanistan while planning for a strike on Iraq. They say nothing in the inspector general's report questions Gen. Franks' leadership abilities.
Mr. Rumsfeld already has given the four-star general his full support.
He told The Washington Post, which first disclosed the investigation last month: "Investigations such as this are not unusual and properly are required whenever the Office of the Inspector General is made aware of an allegation. Without commenting on the merits of the investigation, which is not yet before me, I want to emphasize that General Franks has my full trust, respect and confidence."
Jim Wilkinson, a Central Command spokesman, cited regulations and said they prevented him from discussing any ongoing investigation by the Inspector General's Office.
It is not unusual for senior officers to find themselves under investigation by the Pentagon's or their service's inspector general's office. The military operates under a liberal complaint policy. Personnel can file grievances anonymously on hot lines.

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