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As the price for its relatively fat budget, the Pentagon may finally have to submit to congressional oversight. The generals and admirals have long resisted such a move on grounds that national security and the defense secretary's status as third in line for command authority (behind the President and vice-president) should exempt them from such prying.

The House last year approved a bill expanding the inspector-general program to cover defense. Congress expired before the Senate could act, but the legislation will be taken up again after spring recess.

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Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger hopes to pacify the lawmakers by appointing a special assistant for audit investigation. But that may not put off lawmakers who want their own "general" keeping an eye on t he Pentagon.m

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