WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is in the final stages of an investigation of Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin (search), a senior intelligence chief who made church speeches casting the fight against terrorism in religious terms, an official said Wednesday.
Larry Di Rita, spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, said the Pentagon's inspector general has been considering Boykin's written response to the investigation's preliminary findings, which were provided to him confidentially.
Di Rita did not disclose the preliminary findings or say when he expected the final results.
Islamic and religious freedom groups, as well as some members of Congress, criticized Boykin when news reports surfaced last October of remarks he made in several speeches at evangelical Christian churches (search). Boykin said the enemy in the terrorism fight was Satan and that God had put President Bush in the White House. He also called one Muslim Somali warlord an idol-worshipper.
Boykin later issued a written statement apologizing to those who were offended and saying he did not mean to insult Islam (search). The three-star general is deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence.
Boykin's name has re-surfaced in the controversy over U.S. detention and interrogation of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay (search).
Boykin's boss, Stephen Cambone, told Congress on May 11 that he had urged Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, then the commander of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, to travel to Iraq last August and make recommendations on how to better interrogate prisoners.
Cambone said he was involved in Pentagon discussions on how to press detainees for information without violating the Geneva Conventions (search). Miller later testified that he never discussed the matter with Cambone or Boykin.
Di Rita said Wednesday that Boykin played no role in overseeing or approving interrogation procedures (search) for prisoners held in Iraq.