Why Was ISIS Intelligence Cooked?

More than fifty analysts are claiming that ISIS intelligence was deliberately rewritten in order to make US failure look successful.

I mentioned this last month but the story has grown. The Daily Beast has an exclusive, headlined: “50 Spies Say ISIS Intel was Cooked.”

The term “spies” is a bit melodramatic. These are intelligence analysts who are all turning into whistleblowers.

More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast has learned.

The complaints spurred the Pentagon’s inspector general to open an investigation into the alleged manipulation of intelligence. The fact that so many people complained suggests there are deep-rooted, systemic problems in how the U.S. military command charged with the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State assesses intelligence.

“The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command,” one defense official said.

Two senior analysts at CENTCOM signed a written complaint sent to the Defense Department inspector general in July alleging that the reports, some of which were briefed to President Obama, portrayed the terror groups as weaker than the analysts believe they are. The reports were changed by CENTCOM higher-ups to adhere to the administration’s public line that the U.S. is winning the battle against ISIS and al Nusra, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria, the analysts claim.

That complaint was supported by 50 other analysts, some of whom have complained about politicizing of intelligence reports for months. That’s according to 11 individuals who are knowledgeable about the details of the report and who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity.

The article is fascinating, and it makes clear that not only are reports being altered, but those who are writing the reports are being pressured to write propaganda rather than the truth as they see it. It reminds me the way that the Bush Administration pressured intelligence agents to come up with reasons to invade Iraq. In this case, however, it seems the objective is to keep us from seeing a threat, rather than inventing one.

One thing that makes this report of an alleged “revolt” of intelligence analysts all the more plausible, was the way that ISIS seemed to come out of nowhere and suddenly own large parts of Syria and Iraq. There is no way that Obama did not know it was likely to happen but none of it was ever reported by the media. By the time we knew about ISIS it had conquered.

Pretending to not know that ISIS was about to rise seems suspiciously similar to pretending they are now weak.

But what is the purpose of the lying. Is it just that the government doesn’t want to admit failure?

What if it isn’t failing? What if there is no desire to defeat ISIS. Maybe we have plans for them. After all, the White House and the Pentagon didn’t simply “ignore” ISIS. They fed and grew the terrorist force. Our policies created ISIS, both recent policies as well as policies and actions going back into the eighties.

So why assume that the government actually wants to see ISIS defeated?