Report Urged Action Against General for Speeches

By DOUGLAS JEHL

New York Times

March 4, 2005

WASHINGTON, March 3 - The Pentagon general who likened the war against Islamic militants to a battle against Satan violated several Pentagon rules in delivering a series of speeches at religious-oriented events, according to an inspector general's report made available on Thursday.

The report, issued last August but not previously released, recommended that the officer, Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin of the Army, be subjected to "appropriate corrective action." The Army said in October that it had taken action against General Boykin, but it declined to provide details or to say what rules he had violated.

General Boykin, the deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence, created a controversy in fall 2003 when tapes and transcripts of some of his appearances in uniform before evangelical Christian groups first came to public light. At the time, he apologized to "those who have been offended by my statements."

The report on Aug. 5, 2004, by the Pentagon's inspector general reviewed 23 appearances by General Boykin at religious-oriented events beginning in January 2002. It concluded that he had violated rules by failing to clear the content of his speeches with security and public affairs personnel.

In addition, General Boykin had "on several occasions" failed to make clear that the views he was expressing were his alone, and not necessarily those of the Pentagon, the report said.

In one instance, the report said, General Boykin failed to disclose that he had been reimbursed for his travel by a nongovernmental source. But the report said that he had "made good faith efforts" to consult with legal advisers about his speaking activities.

At the same time, however, the report said General Boykin's wearing of his uniform during his non-official appearances did not violate Army and Pentagon regulations.

The report was made available by the office of Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, who has demanded that General Boykin be reprimanded or reassigned.