Ten Most Troubling Finds Inside House Probe of Pentagon’s
‘Distorted’ Intel on Islamic State
by AAron Klein
August 13, 2016
TEL AVIV – A damning investigation by House Republicans released on Wednesday has found that the intelligence arm of the U.S. Military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) routinely produced intelligence that “distorted, suppressed, or substantially altered” the results of the campaign against the Islamic State.
Breitbart Jerusalem reviewed the House report and herein presents the ten most troubling finds, in no particular order.
1 – Top CENTCOM leaders modified intelligence assessments to present an “unduly positive” assessment of combating the Islamic State and training the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
2 – Intelligence analysts declined to be interviewed, possibly out of fear of reprisals from CENTCOM leadership, while the interviews that did take place were under the watchful eyes of DOD officials.
3 – CENTCOM intel agents operated within a ‘toxic’ leadership environment.
4 – General Austin’s claim to Congress that IS was in a “defensive crouch” did not reflect the data possessed at the time by CENTCOM senior leaders.
5 – CENTCOM established an intelligence “fusion center” for IS-related intel, but kept out analysts whose views conflicted with senior intelligence leaders.
6 – Restrictions were implemented for analysts whose views dissented from the mainstream inside CENTCOM.
7 – Analysis was minimized in favor of details from coalition forces while intelligence was skewed to be ‘optimistic.’
8 – Shocking survey results showed analysts believed data was “distorted, suppressed, or substantially altered” by their supervisors.
9 – Even after whistleblower complaints and the “alarming” internal survey last year, the Pentagon took no steps to correct its allegedly distorted intelligence process.
10 – Mirroring the Benghazi House Committee’s complaints against the State Department, the Joint Task Force here writes it “did not receive access to all the materials it requested” and details a process of denying information and records.
Aaron’s comments and analysis can be read HERE. He is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts a popular weekend talk radio program.
As early as the first days of September 2015, internet was flooded with different sites reporting that there were intel problems. The two below seem to be the earliest, most reliable sites.
1–BizpacReview: “Bombshell report: Obama’s intel agencies ‘cooked’ terror reports for White House spin” September 10, 2015, by Tom Tillison.
“Senior American intelligence agencies are deliberately skewing reports to make them line up with the Obama administration’s political spin, a blockbuster report charged Wednesday.
In what is being called a “revolt,” the intelligence gatherers working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their bosses closer to the White House are inappropriately altering reports to fit the White House narrative, according to The Daily Beast.
More than 50 intelligence analysts have complained that their assessments on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the Nusra Front in Syria were changed to make the militant group appear weaker than the analysts believe they really are.
“The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command,” one defense official said.”
2–TheDailyBeast: “Exclusive: 50 Spies Say ISIS Intelligence Was Cooked”
September 9, 2015 by Shane Harris
It’s being called a ‘revolt’ by intelligence pros who are paid to give their honest assessment of the ISIS war—but are instead seeing their reports turned into happy talk.
More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast has learned.
The complaints spurred the Pentagon’s inspector general to open an investigation into the alleged manipulation of intelligence. The fact that so many people complained suggests there are deep-rooted, systemic problems in how the U.S. military command charged with the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State assesses intelligence.
“The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command,” one defense official said.
“The Initial Findings of the U.S. House of Representatives Joint Task Force on U.S. Central Command Intelligence Analysis” was released for Unclassified publication on August 10, 2016.
In its Conclusion are four points which are harsh criticisms of the agency’s management. I have a feeling every executive branch agency that was required to be investigated under Obama would also receive scathing indictments.
Facts are facts. Obama chose and put in place toadies who would pander to him. There have been rumors leaked that he has had rages and harsh actions when people did not approach him with something that fit his own idea of a situation. Obviously, intelligence managers found that to be the case when briefing him (assuming he could be found and ready to listen).
In this case, they deliberately lied by rewriting the information in a way not consistent with honest intel reporting; thereby putting out information publicly and during secure briefings which was wrong. The public at-large and our military was misinformed and placed in potentially precarious positions and possibly in harm’s way.
Also note that the Inspector General’s report has NOT been completed. But those reporting in this House report felt they had enough to begin the process to present to the public.
1–The Joint Task Force finds that the changes made at the CENTCOM Intelligence Directorate starting in mid-2014 resulted in the production and dissemination of intelligence products that were inconsistent with the judgments of many senior, career analysts at CENTCOM.
2– The leadership environment within CENTCOM and its Intelligence Directorate deteriorated significantly following the departure of General James Mattis and his senior intelligence leaders.
3– Starting in mid-2014, CENTCOM Intelligence Directorate leadership instituted various organizational and process changes that negatively affected the quality and timeliness of intelligence production.
4– Senior leaders and policy makers rely on intelligence to make informed judgments, and unbiased intelligence is crucial to their ability to make good decisions.
I feel sure a lot more will come out in the Inspector General’s Final Report, unless Obama or Democrats try to consign the findings to the dustbin. After all Democrats would not want to taint the current election, at least that has been their strategy every single election cycle to-date it seems.