If Americans don’t get the truth about ISIS, we’ll never defeat it
By Post Editorial Board
Is America winning the war against ISIS? It’s hard to know — because intelligence reports haven’t exactly been honest.
In a troubling new report this week, House members concluded what many long suspected: Reports at the US Central Command, which oversees military efforts in the Middle East, were deliberately doctored to present a false and rosy picture of US efforts against ISIS.
It’s the first official confirmation of whistleblower complaints that intelligence analysts’ assessments were routinely manipulated by top brass. Indeed, the report found 40 percent of the analysts “experienced an attempt to distort or suppress intelligence analysis” during a one-year period.
All this fits with President Obama’s attempts to paint ISIS as merely a “JV team” and claim the group had been “contained.”
The disclosures come in a damning GOP report from the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, which concluded the problems reached the highest levels of Central Command.
In a separate statement, Democrats agreed the CentCom reports “insufficiently accommodated dissenting views” but blamed managerial woes rather than political pressure. And though the GOP report found evidence of pressure, it couldn’t determine its source.
Was it from the White House, perhaps? There was no evidence of that, but one task force member, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), suggests a military culture in which top brass felt they would be “rewarded” for embracing the official political narrative.
That narrative “was all in one direction,” he notes — downplaying ISIS as a threat, when the exact opposite was true.
Americans haven’t gotten the full truth about ISIS and terrorism for a long time. That’s got to change, if those threats are ever going to be wiped out.