Pentagon: U.S. Military Officials Did Not Manipulate Intelligence Reports Showing Progress Against ISIS


The Pentagon’s inspector general has released findings of a probe into accusations that U.S. Central Command leaders manipulated intelligence reports on ISIS. Allegedly, this would have allowed them to paint a victorious stance in the fight against terror, but these military officials have now been exonerated in an extensive classified report that was presented to Congress.

However, CBS News notes that Congress’ receipt of this report probably won’t satisfy some intelligence analysts, who demanded the probe after suspecting that Obama administration officials exaggerated matters involving the Islamic State. This also followed a House GOP task force’s report that claimed “persistent problems” revealed discrepancies between military officials’ claims and actual progress in fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Yet according to unnamed U.S. officials who received a briefing, the report did not find any “intentional efforts” to tweak intelligence claims:

While the report provided no evidence that ISIS intelligence assessments were altered, it did find that analysts’ concerns were real and that if they didn’t believe their work was being respected that sentiment could have affected the overall intelligence report, a second U.S. official said.

That official, who is familiar with the contents of the classified report, said the inspector general found no wrongdoing and no conspiracy or intent to color the intelligence, but concluded more broadly that there should be improvements in personnel management and leadership to address concerns by analysts about the treatment of their work.

Naturally, these officials spoke anonymously because the classified status of the report demands as much. Clearly, not much has been revealed in the above excerpts, but the report apparently hints that the intelligence analysts who called for the probe may not have felt their own work was appreciated. So, the conclusion appears to be that the analysts were unnecessarily negative about the intelligence that was reported. However, an unclassified version of the findings is expected to surface soon for public perusal, and perhaps that version will shed more light.

The question remains … will these findings affect Donald Trump’s executive order demanding a plan within 30 days on how to defeat ISIS? Considering how the first military raid he ordered went completely wrong, there’s a good chance that the White House may not take the Pentagon’s report seriously.

(Via CBS News & Wall Street Journal)