One of the issues of the Vietnam War was the federal government didn’t give our soldiers what they needed to do their jobs and then follow-up by telling the public that the war was going better than it was actually was. Now in an example of presidential deja vu The Obama administration is blocking the truth about our tepid campaign to destroy ISIS.
According to a report in the Daily Beast as analysts report that the effort isn’t going well, top brass send back their reports asking them to “re-think” their conclusions. At other times analysts “knew the program” before submitting their reports and self-censored the details and conclusions.
“The phrase I use is the politicization of the intelligence community,” retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told The Daily Beast when describing what he sees as a concerted push in government over the past several months to find information that tells a preferred story about efforts to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups, including al Qaeda. “That’s here. And it’s dangerous,” Flynn said.
At U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, analysts have been frustrated for months that as their reports make their way up the chain, senior officers change them to adhere more closely to the administration’s line. Three U.S. officials and analysts spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal matters.
The analysts said it was unclear who was leading the pressure to adjust their assessments, which more than one referred to as “spinning.” Some called it a result of a climate of the culture their commanders create. How such reports travel from CENTCOM headquarters to the senior reaches of the government and the military, and who reads them along the way, varies. Some reports go directly to the White House. More often, they go through several internal organizations and checks to determine what information is most useful to top officials.
Understand this is coming a very liberal source, the Daily Beast, and they are reporting that the top brass are pressuring the lower analysts because the policymakers do not want to see anything which conflicts with their view that our anti-ISIS campaign is working.
The CENTCOM analysts say they’ve concluded that the campaign isn’t going well, but that the senior officials want all reports on ISIS to see “eye to eye” and to avoid analyses that reach widely different conclusions.
“I think it comes from the seniors that interact with the policy folks [meaning senior administration officials] and it filters its way down,” one of the analysts said.
In the past, the CENTCOM intelligence commander buffered the analysts from outside pressure but in the last two years that protection has been less reliable, the official said.
“You get this pressure. It’s a very subtle approach but it is effective,” he said.
On Tuesday the NY Times Reported the Pentagon’s inspector general’s office is already looking into the charges:
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.
I worked for Disney during the late 90s near the end of the Michael Eisner reign. During that time the company began to perform poorly because instead of telling top management what was really happening, low and middle management was sending reports up the line that told Eisner what he wanted to hear. The same thing is happening in our battle with ISIS–except in this case the reports do not put the sales fate of a cartoon mouse in danger, in this case we are putting our heroes who have volunteered to protect our country in danger.
It’s time for Obama to put a stop to the false reports, listen to the truth and give our heroes what they need to defeat ISIS, anything short of that is just another example of why this administration is a Mickey Mouse operation.