Analysts Made Complaints to Intelligence Chief About Skewed ISIS Intel

Islamic State in Syria

ISIS in Syria / AP


U.S. military analysts reportedly made complaints to the office of the Director of National Intelligence last year that their superiors were skewing intelligence estimates on ISIS, which resulted in a more positive assessment of the U.S. campaign against the terror group.

The Daily Beast reported that the analysts made the complaints to James Clapper’s office in response to written surveys circulated to periodically assess the intelligence community. The complaints were independent of the allegations made by over 50 analysts about ISIS intelligence manipulation last July, which precipitated the Pentagon inspector general’s investigation into the matter.

The surveys, which were included in a report completed in December 2015, were reviewed by officials sometime last year. Sources told The Daily Beast that Clapper’s office elected not to investigate the claims because the Pentagon inspector general had already launched an investigation.

The office of the Director of National Intelligence oversees all intelligence community activities.

Whistleblowers have accused officials of altering the intelligence estimates so that it appeared in line with the Obama administration’s positive statements of progress regarding the campaign against ISIS.

Last September, Clapper testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee and offered no indication that his people received complaints about skewed ISIS intelligence when asked about the allegations.

“It is an almost sacred writ in the intelligence profession never to politicize intelligence. I don’t engage in it and I never have, and I don’t condone it when it’s identified,” Clapper said then.

“Having said that … in spite of all the media hyperbole, I think it’s best that we all await the outcome of the [inspector general] investigation to determine whether and to what extent there was any politicization of intelligence at Centcom.”

The inspector general’s investigation has not yet been concluded.

“The investigation will address whether there was any falsification, distortion, delay, suppression or improper modification of intelligence information,” a spokesperson for the Defense Department inspector general said in September confirming the probe, which is focusing on Centcom’s intelligence command.

Morgan Chalfant   Email Morgan | Full Bio | RSS
Morgan Chalfant is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Morgan worked as a staff writer at Red Alert Politics. She also served as the year-long Collegiate Network fellow on the editorial page at USA TODAY from 2013-14. Morgan graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a B.A. in English and Mathematics. Her Twitter handle is @mchalfant16.

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