A top U.S. general in Central Command amended intelligence reports to present U.S. in a better light. (AP Photo, File)
WASHINGTON EXAMINER By ANNA GIARITELLI • 8/9/16 9:30 PM
An investigation by a congressional task force found officials in the Obama administration played down the threats from the Islamic State and al Qaeda, multiple sources told the Daily Beast late Tuesday.
A top U.S. general in the military’s Central Command amended intelligence reports to present America’s fight against terrorist groups in a more positive light than lower-level analysts said was the case.
The House Republicans investigating the matter are members of the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. A 10-page report detailing their findings over the past five months is expected to be released by the end of next week.
Earlier this year, 50 analysts filed a formal complaint claiming their reports on the terrorist groups had been altered by senior officials to make the U.S. look stronger in its fight to defeat terrorism than it actually was.
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The Daily Beast did not confirm whether the White House was behind any instructions to doctor the reports that would eventually make their way to the public and could possibly affect elections later this year. President Obama, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and current CENTCOM Commander Army Gen. Joseph Votel subsequently instructed all future reports to be “unvarnished intelligence.”
The Defense Department inspector general’s office is also investigating the matter. But the Pentagon’s separate probe may result with less information than Congress’ because CENTCOM Intelligence Directorate Maj. Gen. Steven Grove and Civilian Deputy Gregory Ryckman deleted emails and files before turning the rest over to the inspector general’s office.
Grove is no longer serving in that role as part of standard deployment rotation. He has been rotated to the Pentagon as the director of the Army Quadrennial Defense Review Office.