Multiple investigations have been launched into allegations that senior officials at the U.S. Central Command altered intelligence estimates about the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State to indicate a more favorable impression of progress.
The news comes less than a month after the Pentagon’s inspector general began probing allegations of skewed intelligence assessments.
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In addition to the Pentagon inspector general’s investigation into allegations by dozens of intelligence analysts, other inspectors general inside the intelligence community and two oversight committees in Congress have begun their own probes, according to senior lawmakers and intelligence officials. The Congressional investigations will expand the scope of the existing inquiry by examining allegations of intelligence tampering that predate the war against the Islamic State, some dating back years.
The main whistleblower in the matter has already met with Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Armed Services Committee staffers and is scheduled to meet with senior senators next week. Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that he plans to schedule a meeting with the whistleblower soon.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said that he and other House committees as well as inspectors general in the intelligence community are investigating the allegations against Centcom,. He encouraged other whistleblowers to come forward with any relevant information.
Lawmakers are also calling for the inspector general of the entire intelligence community to investigate the allegations.
Earlier this month, the commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Lloyd Austin said that "appropriate action" would be taken if the investigation concludes that officials altered intelligence estimates.