Centcom -- the intelligence and security arm of an imperial America that overseas the largely Islamic section of the world (North Africa to Afghanistan) -- has been covering up ISIS' successes.
An ongoing internal investigation shows "supervisors revised conclusions to mask some of the American military’s failures in training Iraqi troops and beating back the Islamic State. The analysts say supervisors were particularly eager to paint a more optimistic picture of America’s role in the conflict than was warranted." They simply chucked reports showing ISIS' real strength.
This past summer, a group of Centcom analysts took concerns about their superiors to the inspector general, saying they had evidence that senior officials had changed intelligence assessments to overstate the progress of American airstrikes against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
The analysts said problems in Iraq were rooted in deep political and religious divides that could not easily be solved with a military campaign, current and former officials have said. Yet Centcom’s official posture remained generally upbeat. ...NYT
So now an investigation is opening up the possibility (probability?) that Centcom has done the same for Afghanistan, misleading Congress and the White House. Of course, the White House's possible role in Centcom's sunny reports has been under investigation for some weeks.
Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has been eager to expand his panel’s inquiry into the Centcom assessments. Mr. Nunes is planning to send a letter to the inspector general on Monday asking if emails and documents relevant to the investigation have indeed been deleted. He is also asking for copies of any deleted materials that investigators might be able to retrieve from Centcom servers. ...NYT
Another "gotcha" committee chair is at work here -- this time with an accusation that leads back directly to the guy who stirred up the wars leading to ISIS: George W. Bush.
That investigation was prompted by complaints this past summer from Centcom’s longtime Iraq experts, led by Gregory Hooker, the senior Iraq analyst. In some ways, the team’s criticisms mirror those of a decade ago, when Mr. Hooker wrote a research paper saying the Bush administration, over many analysts’ objections, advocated a small force in Iraq and spent little time planning for what would follow the invasion. ...NYT
And this reminder:
It’s happening again. A White House fumbling with the violent mess of Iraq finds itself surrounded by mounting accusations that it’s played dirty games with intelligence. A Pentagon facing charges that its analysts have skewed assessments on Iraq to tell top policymakers what they want to hear, rather than what is really happening in that troubled country.
If this sounds terribly familiar, it should. Only a dozen years after the George W. Bush White House was buffeted by allegations that it had “cherry-picked” intelligence to justify its 2003 invasion of Iraq, Barack Obama is facing similar accusations. ...Observer