ISIS in Syria and Iraq: US Intelligence manipulated Reports
WASHINGTON (APP) - US military leaders painted an overly optimistic picture of American efforts to fight the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, a damning government report released Thursday found.
The interim report stems from a congressional task force investigating whistle blower allegations that intel bosses cherry-picked information that soft-pedaled the risk of IS while overstating US efforts to train local forces to fight the militants.
"From the middle of 2014 to the middle of 2015, the United States Central Command's (CENTCOM's) most senior intelligence leaders manipulated the command's intelligence products to downplay the threat from ISIS in Iraq," Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo said in a statement, using an IS acronym.
"The result: consumers of those intelligence products were provided a consistently 'rosy' view of US operational success against ISIS," he added, noting this "may well" have put US troops at risk.
Task force investigators surveyed dozens of CENTCOM analysts, with many viewing the leadership environment at the time as toxic.
"Forty percent of analysts respond(ed) that they had experienced an attempt to distort or suppress intelligence in the past year," the report states.
Additionally, CENTCOM disseminated press releases and gave public statements that were "significantly more positive" than reality, investigators found.