According to a top news correspondent, intelligence analysts assigned to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) were pressured to downplay their assessments of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria especially the threat they pose to the U.S., it’s interests and allies.
The analysts were even told in email to “cut it out,” which led to the Defense Department’s Inspector General expanding his probe of allegations that intelligence reports were “dressed up” to give a positive spin to U.S. counterterrorism operations.
According to Chief Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge, Fox News was informed by an anonymous but reliable source, who is an associate of the CENTCOM analysts, that they were instructed to avoid negative reports when they received two emails saying the analysts needed to “cut it out” and “toe the line.”
In an earlier report published by the Conservative Base, it was reported that some of the intelligence community’s top analysts informed the Pentagon watchdog that their reports have been systematically edited to backup President Barack Obama‘s — and his national security team’s — assertions that the war on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is more successful than it actually is, according to news reports from outlets such as The Hill.
The revelation is unique in that so many intelligence analysts have complained to the Pentagon’s “top cop,” Inspector General Jon Rymer, about the politicizing of the intelligence gathering and analysis function.
In fact, in July 2015, a couple of the intelligence analysts filed a complaint with Rymer’s office, after months of internal complaints were allegedly ignored. It got so bad, according to Conservative Base source Pete Vanderhill, a former police intelligence division operative, that some of those career intelligence operatives who complained were bullied and forced to take early retirement, or the younger analysts just quit.
After the mini-purge of intelligence officers, other analysts said they supported their colleagues’ formal report and can back up their claims of being unwilling parts of the political shenanigans to make Obama, Kerry and others look good, including the Democrats’ heir apparent to the White House, Hillary Clinton.
The most important — perhaps most damaging — complaint is that “senior [administration] officials are editing the intelligence analysts’ reports to bring them into line with the Obama administration’s claims” that the Obama-led war on ISIS is successful. Also, the analysts were pressured, they say, to make Iran look less involved in terrorist support and that the Iranians have less interaction with terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist groups.
The suspected goal was to make Iran appear less dangerous to Americans while Obama and Kerry pursued a nuclear deal with the radical Islamist government.
Besides the internal investigation by Rymer’s office, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R., Texas), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said his committee is investigating. “No doubt that these allegations are troubling and the committee is looking into them,” Thornberry said. “Accurate intelligence and unbiased analysis can often be a life or death matter and must remain free from political pressure.”