Release the report
April 8, 2004
One department of state government is sandbagging a legislative committee by refusing to release the full, unredacted report into allegations of corruption at the Mississippi Air National Guard's 186th Air Refueling Wing. The report should be released so that a state Senate committee assessing Gov. Haley Barbour's nomination of Maj. Gen. Harold Cross as Adjutant General can have all of the information it needs to properly do its work.
The Barbour administration has refused a request by the legislative PEER Committee which conducts background checks on a governor's nominees as part of the confirmation process for a copy of the U.S. Air Force Inspector General's report on the 186th. Reportedly, the full report has already been given to selected people and if that is true whatever shroud of secrecy that surrounded it has already been pierced Some critics of how some officers of the 186th conducted business have suggested that the report contains vital information that should be considered as part of Cross' confirmation process.
As they move to assess Cross' qualifications and performance, activities that occurred under his command are legitimate topics for members of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee to consider. Withholding potentially valuable materials related to a nomination for such an important position as Adjutant General is not conducive to a thorough evaluation.
We strongly encourage the Barbour administration to re-evaluate its position and immediately release the report.