Does the Pentagon’s Watchdog Play Straight With the Public?

It’s disheartening to consider this prospect, but two recent articles seem to raise the possibility that the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General has a shifting policy on what they tell the public.

Standard one:

A forthcoming report from the Pentagon’s inspector general will address the question of whether military commanders intentionally misled the [9-11] commission, said the spokesman, Lt. Col. Brian Maka.

But “there is nothing that indicates the information provided to the commission was knowingly false,” Maka said. (Washington Post, “Officials Didn’t Lie to Sept. 11 Panel, Pentagon Says,” 8/6/06)

Standard two:

[A]lthough several other Defense Department public affairs personnel and a congressional press aide have said in the past that an investigation into. . . [Duke] Cunningham-linked contracts was being conducted, the inspector general’s spokesman said Thursday that “as a matter of policy, we do not confirm or deny the existence of on-going investigations.”

“If one exists, it would be improper to comment,” said Army Lt. Col. Brian Maka. “Obviously, if one does not exist, there would be nothing to say.” (San Deigo Union-Tribune, “Still No Pentagon Action on Cunningham-Linked Contracts,” 8/4/06)

I guess I know who I’m calling Monday morning.

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