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August 27, 2015

Update: Pentagon IG Has Launched Investigation Into Charges That Intel Analysts Were Pressured to Make Obama's Phony War on ISIS Appear More Winning Than It Actually Is

Pardon me, I'm a couple of days behind this story -- not only was that Daily Beat article from yesterday, but the allegations were enough to spur the announcement of an IG probe yesterday, too.

Sorry, I missed this story. (Well, I had it open in my thousand tabs and then lost it.)

The New York Times reports:

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating allegations that military officials have skewed intelligence assessments about the United States-led campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State to provide a more optimistic account of progress, according to several officials familiar with the inquiry.

The investigation began after at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told the authorities that he had evidence that officials at United States Central Command -- the military headquarters overseeing the American bombing campaign and other efforts against the Islamic State -- were improperly reworking the conclusions of intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama, the government officials said.

Fuller details of the claims were not available, including when the assessments were said to have been altered and who at Central Command, or Centcom, the analyst said was responsible. The officials, speaking only on the condition of anonymity about classified matters, said that the recently opened investigation focused on whether military officials had changed the conclusions of draft intelligence assessments during a review process and then passed them on.

...

Legitimate differences of opinion are common and encouraged among national security officials, so the inspector general's investigation is an unusual move and suggests that the allegations go beyond typical intelligence disputes. Government rules state that intelligence assessments "must not be distorted" by agency agendas or policy views. Analysts are required to cite the sources that back up their conclusions and to acknowledge differing viewpoints.

...

Some senior American officials in recent weeks have provided largely positive public assessments about the progress of the military campaign against the Islamic State....

But recent intelligence assessments, including some by Defense Intelligence Agency, paint a sober picture about how little the Islamic State has been weakened over the past year....

The New York Times suggests (without saying so) that all of this, to the extent there may be a "this" there at all, is due to the military brass having an vested interest in portraying themselves as more effective than they are -- lying to poor abused Obama, that is, to make themselves look good.

I have rather different suspicions myself. I suspect that Obama's people are in fact the ones putting pressure on the brass, who in turn put pressure on the analysts, to report back to him that which he hath decreed must be the reality we believe in, so he can disseminate his faked up version of reality to Congress and the American public generally.

But I guess we'll just have to see.

Scandal-free administration, boys. Scandal-free.


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posted by Ace at 01:28 PM

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