An Air National Guard brigadier general in uniform and holding an identification card was barred from entering the Pentagon yesterday until an escort was provided.
"I just wonder about the bureaucratic mind," said an angry Brig. Gen. David B. Hoff, commander of the 128th Tactical Fighter Wing at Truax Field in Madison, Wis. He has been on full-time duty with the Air National Guard for 11 years and said he has never had trouble getting into the Pentagon before.
"They have all these proclamations about the total force," he said, "but when it comes to talking about how we're actually going to go to war, you can't get in the building to talk about it."
Hoff said he was told to wear a badge saying "visitor" and was informed that his escort would go with him everywhere, even into private meetings. "I told him to go get lost," the general said. "He knew me, so he did."
Pentagon officials have said tighter entrance procedures have been ordered in part to reduce lobbying by defense contractors. Hoff said his escort told him that he was subject to the new procedures because some members of the Guard and Reserves also work for defense contractors.