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Top general cleared after accusations in a Rolling Stone article

By Larry Shaughnessy, CNN Pentagon Producer
Lt. Gen. William Caldwell had been accused of ordering an Army officer to conduct psychological operations to try to influence congressional members.
Lt. Gen. William Caldwell had been accused of ordering an Army officer to conduct psychological operations to try to influence congressional members.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Magazine said Caldwell ordered psy ops on members of Congress
  • Inspector General found no such evidence
  • Rolling Stone said it stands by its reporting
RELATED TOPICS

Washington (CNN) -- For the second time in a year, a top U.S. general has been cleared of allegations raised in a Rolling Stone article after an investigation by the Defense Department Inspector General.

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell had been accused in the magazine of ordering an Army officer to conduct psychological operations to try to influence congressional members. Caldwell is in charge of all training in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense did not release the actual IG report. However, Defense spokeswoman Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins said the Inspector General found no evidence to support the article's claims. Robbins said Caldwell did not have a psychological operations unit in his command to do such work.

Caldwell did, however, ask people on his staff to collect publicly available information about senators and congressmen who were coming to Afghanistan so he would be better informed during any meetings he might have with them. All the information they gathered came from Internet searches.

The Rolling Stone article about Caldwell was written by Michael Hastings, the same reporter whose cover story about Gen. Stanley McChrystal cost the then-head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan his job.

An IG probe also cleared McChrystal of the wrongdoing alleged in Rolling Stone.

A Rolling Stone spokesman told CNN it stands by its reporting in both stories. Eric Bates questioned the idea of having the Defense Inspector General investigate two top Army generals.

"Letting the Pentagon investigate itself is not a good way to do the investigation," Bates said.

 
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