A senior defence official said the Pentagon's findings into Lieutenant General William Boykin's public speeches to church groups have been referred to acting Army Secretary Les Brownlea for "corrective action".

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the violations as "minor" infractions of bureaucratic rules, particularly when set against the media firestorm touched off by Boykin's speeches last year, in which he cast the "war on terror" as a Christian battle against Satan.

Boykin's speeches created a furore particularly since he was a top Pentagon intelligence official in charge of the hunt for Usama bin Ladin. Muslims groups condemned him as Islamophobic.

Derisive speeches

In a speech to a group in Oregon in June 2003, Boykin said radical Islamists hated the United States "because we are a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian… and the enemy is a guy named Satan".

In another speech describing a battle with a Somali warlord, he said, "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol".

The Pentagon probe faulted Boykin for not clearing his speeches ahead of time with public affairs officials, and for failing to make a disclaimer in the speeches that the views he expressed were his own and not necessarily those of the department.

It also found that on one occasion he failed to report on financial disclosure forms a payment he received from a group to cover travel expenses.