Murkowski Questions Differing National Guard Investigation Results

Two different Pentagon agencies investigated the Alaska National Guard for allegedly mishandling sexual assault complaints.

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They came to opposite conclusions, and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski wants to know why.

The Alaska Republican sent a letter today to the inspector general of the Defense Department asking for a review of the investigations of the Army Inspector General. The Army IG concluded the Alaska allegations couldn’t be substantiated. A letter summing up those findings, sent to Murkowski in May, said the Alaska Guard’s method of gauging morale and attitudes about leadership — called “climate sensing sessions” – did not reveal concerns about sexual assault and harassment reporting. The report itself was heavily redacted.

Then, in September, a report by another agency – the National Guard Bureau Office of Complex Investigations – was released. It reported significant distrust of leadership, favoritism, ethical misconduct and injustice.

Murkowski called it highly irregular that two professional investigations would come to such different conclusions. Calling for greater transparency, she asked for an unredacted version of the first report. She also asked the IG to ensure that the Guard whistle blowers don’t face retaliation.