Task Force Releases Initial Findings of Investigation of Upbeat Analysis of ISIS Threat
Washington, D.C.– An investigation by the congressional task force of House Republicans has discovered reports produced by the US Military’s Central command which gave inaccurate reports of what was happening on the ground to combat the ISIS Threat in Syria and Iraq.
“After months of investigation, this much is very clear: from the middle of 2014 to the middle of 2015, the United States Central Command’s most senior intelligence leaders manipulated the command’s intelligence products to downplay the threat from ISIS in Iraq,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas.
The task force says CENTCOM leaders provided a more positive analysis of US anti-terrorism efforts than other branches of US Intelligence in 2014 and 2015. The investigation also revealed that analysts within CENTCOM were upset with their superiors distorting their reports on the ISIS threat in the region. The Joint Task force was created in response to a whistleblower allegation.
The task force includes the Chairmen of the House Armed Services Committee, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Subcommittee on Defense of the House Appropriations Committee. It is led by Reps. Ken Calvert (R-CA), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH).
“Despite nearly nine months of review, we still do not fully understand the reasons and motivations behind this practice and how often the excluded analyses were proven ultimately to be correct,” Rep. Wenstrup said. “We cannot win the war against ISIS with incomplete intelligence.”
When asked to testify about the allegations of overly upbeat reports, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper downplayed the potential issues at Centcom, referring to them as “media hyperbole” and attributing the complaints to disgruntled analysts.
The report makes no conclusions as to why Centcom leaders distorted reports or if the reasons had political motivations. The investigation remains ongoing and is occurring alongside a separate investigation by the Department of Defense Inspector General.