National Security

Report: Centcom Employee Removed After Speaking Up About Misleading ISIS Intel

ISIS militants / AP

An employee at U.S. Central Command was removed from her post for cursing after she allegedly spoke up about the distortion of intelligence reports on ISIS.

The Daily Beastciting allegations made during a public hearing last week, reported that Carolyn Stewart, an Army veteran, was removed from her position at Centcom’s targeting office for allegedly cursing twice on the job. Stewart, who helped identify ISIS targets, is appealing her removal to the U.S. Merit System Protection Board.

Stewart is a subordinate of the highest-ranking civilian at Centcom’s Joint Intelligence office, Gregory Ryckman, one of the senior intelligence officials who have been accused of covering up an effort to doctor ISIS intelligence reports to offer a more favorable outlook of the campaign against the terror group.

The Daily Beast reported:

Stewart’s alleged cursing came at a turning point in the war in Syria and against ISIS. In August 2013, the Obama administration was considering launching strikes in Syria for crossing the self-proclaimed "red line" and deploying chemical weapons. That same month, Stewart supposedly used foul language when a subordinate wrote an incomplete report.

A year later, just after [ISIS] took control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, Centcom alleged that Stewart cursed at a subordinate for filing an overtime form incorrectly. Ryckman forwarded the complaint to the Defense Intelligence Agency two months after Stewart had filed a complaint against Ryckman. In between, Ryckman ordered an Army investigation known as a 15-6 into workplace behavior in the targeting office. Stewart’s lawyer alleged that Ryckman altered the 15-6 to take out comments from some of the 100-plus employees who are part of targeting that were complimentary of Stewart.

The DIA chief of staff first suspended Stewart for exhibiting "unbecoming" behavior and then reassigned her to a DIA office focusing on cyber warfare after concluding that she had lost confidence in her superiors.

Stewart’s case is separate from the allegations made by dozens of intelligence analysts about senior intelligence officials manipulating reports on ISIS, a matter that is currently under investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general.