Friday, August 12, 2016

GOP: Intelligence 'downplayed' ISIS situation

A congressional joint task force on Thursday said that intelligence approved by U.S. Central Command painted a rosier picture of progress against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) than the situation warranted.

The task force's initial report details "persistent problems" in 2014 and 2015 with Centcom's analysis of how the war against ISIS was going. The analysis did not match "facts on the ground" and was "consistently" more positive than analysis produced by other elements of the intelligence community.

The investigation was sparked by a whistleblower complaint backed by more than 50 intelligence analysts at Centcom that alleged their superiors were distorting their products.

The report said the frequency of interactions between Centcom officials and senior intelligence community leaders who brief President Obama "could have provided Centcom leaders with outsized influence on the material presented to the President outside of formal coordination channels."

The 17-page preliminary report said the Centcom Intelligence Directorate instituted organizational and process changes beginning in June 2014 that negatively affected the quality and timeliness of intelligence products.

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