U.S. Central Command analysts have complained in a separate set of allegations to top intelligence official that their superiors manipulated reports to make the Obama administration’s campaign against Islamic State seem more successful than it really is.
This complaint to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is distinct from previous reports of over 50 analysts blowing the whistle to the Department of Defense inspector general regarding similar concerns, The Daily Beast reports.
Analysts from CENTCOM believe the report manipulation is purely for political reasons. The Obama administration has made confident proclamations of its success against ISIS, and high-level intelligence officials have seemingly felt pressure for their final reports to reflect those statements to avoid embarrassment. Government regulations prohibit the modification of intelligence reports to support political agendas. But given two separate sets of allegations, officials who receive CENTCOM reports are taking extra time to parse through the reports to see if they can separate genuine from massaged information.
The claims of manipulation arose out of a series of surveys conducted by the ODNI. Military analysts reported superiors skewed data on the success of the anti-ISIS coalition and also added that officials went out of their way to delete emails which showed manipulation.
Apparently, ODNI didn’t see fit to investigate the claims listed in the survey responses because the IG was already conducting an investigation into similar allegations. Whether the survey responses led to any change in practice is unclear.
To make up the slack, three House committees are lending staff to a task force effort to investigate these new ODNI allegations.
Sources told The Daily Beast the analysts are in open “revolt.”
Despite the best efforts of officials to skew information, the Obama administration continues to make such outlandish statements that not even manipulated reports will allow the White House to save face. A day before the Paris attacks, President Barack Obama said ISIS was contained. Right after the San Bernardino attacks, Obama convened a meeting with top FBI officials and pressured them not to classify the incident as an act of terror.
This report, by Jonah Bennett, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.