An investigation of several allegations against Gen. Tommy R. Franks has cleared him except for a charge that he allowed his wife to attend classified briefings, defense officials said yesterday.
A probe by the Defense Department inspector general did not substantiate allegations that Franks gave his wife, Cathy, a military bodyguard she was not entitled to; allowed military personnel to run errands for her; and may not have properly reimbursed the government for her travel when she accompanied him on official trips.
On the remaining issue, the probe found Mrs. Franks was present when the general was given highly classified information in his military aircraft, one official said on condition of anonymity. He said her security clearance was not high enough.
The inspector general's report must go to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
Observers have said the probe was not expected to be a setback for Franks because of his stature as head of the U.S. Central Command, which would prosecute any war against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
While the investigation was still only three-fourths finished, Rumsfeld said last month that Franks had his "complete confidence and the complete confidence" of President Bush.
"There isn't a chance in the world that it will have any possible interference with his role as the combatant commander in the Central Command," Rumsfeld told a Pentagon news conference. "Tom Franks is doing a superb job for this country, and we are lucky to have him there. He is a man of great talent and skill."