- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 8, 2003

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has closed a Pentagon investigation into Gen. Tommy Franks, after the man who would command an invasion of Iraq agreed to "redouble his efforts to safeguard" classified information.
The probe found that Gen. Franks, who heads U.S. Central Command, inadvertently allowed his wife, Cathy, to be present when classified material was discussed. Officials consider the matter a technical violation for a general focused on preparing for a possible invasion of Iraq, while overseeing operations in Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Gary Keck, a Pentagon spokesman, said Mr. Rumsfeld and the four-star general recently discussed the Pentagon inspector general's report, which was delivered to the defense chief. "The secretary considers the matter concluded," Col. Keck said.
The Washington Times reported earlier this week that the IG's probe had cleared Gen. Franks of charges that his wife failed to reimburse the government for travel and had personnel run personal errands for her. Sources familiar with the probe said Central Command presented documentation to disprove those charges.
The IG's probe did substantiate a charge that the general's wife was present when classified information was discussed. The Times reported that the incident occurred on Gen. Franks' military aircraft. Mrs. Franks holds a security clearance, but not at a level that would have entitled her to that particular data. The charge was brought by a subordinate at Central Command in Tampa, Fla., the sources said.
Col. Keck said yesterday that "the [Department of Defense] IG found that Gen. Franks inadvertently allowed classified information at a level for which Mrs. Franks was not cleared to be discussed in her presence."
He said the deputy assistant secretary of defense for security and information operations conducted a review and concluded that "the inadvertent disclosure of information did not result in harm to the nation's security."
"The secretary of defense did review the IG report with Gen. Franks, who agreed to redouble his efforts to safeguard such information," Col. Keck said.
Mr. Rumsfeld issued a statement yesterday, saying: "As I indicated, Gen. Franks is an outstanding leader and soldier. I continue to have full confidence in him and I regard this matter concluded."
It is not uncommon for senior military officers to be investigated. The military has procedures for any person to file complaints with inspectors general of the Defense Department and the four services.

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