There is no evidence defense officials intentionally misled the Sept. 11 commission when they gave mistaken accounts about actions at the time of the terror attacks, the Pentagon’s watchdog agency said.
Poor investigating and record keeping contributed to the inaccuracies, according to a summary from the inspector general’s office of the Pentagon.
The Defense Department inspector general has not yet publicly released the full report on the military’s testimony to the commission, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Brian Maka said Saturday.
The question of whether military commanders intentionally were misleading will be addressed in the full report, he said.
But Maka said “there is nothing that indicates the information provided to the commission was knowingly false.”
Inconsistencies in government timeline
The summary of the report says improvements have been made, but called for more steps to improve the defense department capabilities of investigating a “a future significant air event.”
Sept. 11 panel members have said that timelines on the tapes did not match accounts given in testimony by government officials and asked that the Pentagon testimony be investigated.
FAA and defense officials have corrected some information originally given to the panel, such as the exact times the FAA notified the military of the hijackings and the military’s assertion that it was tracking one of the planes and intended to intercept it when, in fact, the plane had already crashed.
Meanwhile, newly disclosed tapes made by the military that day confirm that there was widespread confusion on the morning of the attacks as military fighter jets were scrambled and aviation and defense officials tried to identify the hijacked planes and figure out how to counter them.
The summary report initially was released Friday to The New York Times in response to a Freedom of Information request. The Associated Press received the unclassified report summary Saturday.
The report was dated May 27, 2005.