Former CIA Director Michael Morrell stated on Thursday that, if the allegations are true that leadership within Central Command (CENTCOM) is forcing intelligence analysts to alter their reports regarding the fight against ISIS, “Someone needs to lost their job.”
Morrell, who served as acting director of the agency during 2012-13, said on the CBS Morning Show: “One of the central tenants, one of the key aspects of the policymaking process in the United States is that analysts get to say what they think without any interference, without anybody changing it, so this is a very, very serious charge. I think it needs to be fully investigated.”
He added: “If there is truth that somebody has been meddling with their analysis, I think somebody needs to lose their job over it, and there needs to be full transparency into this because it is so important that analysts be able to say what they really think.”
As reported by Western Journalism, two senior analysts working for CENTCOM filed a complaint in July with the Defense Department’s Inspector General charging that their intelligence assessments regarding ISIS and the Nusra Front in Syria are being significantly altered on a regular basis. Over 50 analysts have stepped forward to confirm the complaint. The purpose of the changes to analysts’ reports appears to be to make the air war and other U.S. led military operations look more successful at degrading ISIS than they are.
The Obama administration has resisted introducing significantly more U.S. soldiers into the region to combat ISIS, instead seeking to rely on air strikes and local fighters to bring the fight against the terrorist organization.
ISIS controls two provincial capitals of Iraq–Ramadi in Anbar and Mosul in Nineveh province in Northern Iraq. It also holds the city of Falluja, 35 miles west of Baghdad.
Brookings Institution fellow Charles Lister recently wrote concerning the war against ISIS that progress can “best be described as a series of loosely linked tactical gains, rather than a significant strategic advance.”
“The stated coalition objective is to ‘degrade and destroy’ IS as a militant organization, but it remains a potent armed force capable of capturing valuable territory and inflicting considerable material damage on its adversaries,” Lister wrote.
Fox News reports: “The House and Senate Intelligence Committees have been advised of the complaint that prompted the inspector general’s investigation, which is required if Pentagon officials find the claims credible.”
h/t: Business Insider