Posts Tagged With: Pentagon

Former CIA director under Obama: ‘Someone needs to lose their job’ if reports about ISIS intelligence are true…


Trouble is brewing at US Central Command (Centcom), the Pentagon’s agency covering security interests in nations throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.

According to a report from The Daily Beast, more than 50 intelligence analysts at Centcom have formally complained that reports on the Islamic State and the Nusra Front — Al Qaeda’s Syria branch — have been repeatedly altered by senior intelligence officials to fit with the Obama administration’s insistence that the US is winning the war against the two militant groups.

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morrell explained on “CBS This Morning” how serious these allegations are.

“One of the central tenants, one of the key aspects of the policymaking process in the United States is that analysts get to say what they think without any interference, without anybody changing it, so this is a very, very serious charge. I think it needs to be fully investigated,” Morrell said.

“If there is truth that somebody has been meddling with their analysis, I think somebody needs to lose their job over it, and there needs to be full transparency into this because it is so important that analysts be able to say what they really think.”

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President Barack Obama is greeted by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff US Army General Martin Dempsey.

A written complaint was sent in July by two Centcom senior analysts to the Department of Defense Inspector General, an independent agency that provides oversight to the Department of Defense.

The complaint was supported by 50 other analysts, according to The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast published similar allegations last month, citing sources familiar with the terrorism assessments who said senior military and intelligence officials pushed analysts to portray ISIS “as weaker than the analysts believe it actually is” and “paint an overly rosy picture about how well the US-led effort to defeat the group is going.”

Now it appears that the problem is more widespread than just a few frustrated analysts.

Eleven individuals knowledgeable about the details of the complaint told The Daily Beast that it says crucial parts of intelligence reports were taken out, analysts were subject to an environment in which they did not feel able to give a candid assessment of the situation in Iraq and Syria, and sometimes reports seen as being too negative were sent back to analysts.

The analysts are now in a full “revolt,” according to The Daily Beast. The work environment at Centcom is reportedly so bad that it has been described as “Stalinist.” One source alleges that when they brought concerns to Centcom leadership, they were urged to retire, and some agreed to leave.

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ISIS 2014 to 2015

(Institute for the Study of War)
Questions remain about why Centcom officials have gone to such lengths to alter reports on the Islamic State — assuming The Daily Beast’s report is accurate — when the picture painted by the media, independent analysts, and even some administration officials is convoluted at best and pessimistic at worst.

Some analysts seem to think that Centcom leaders are trying to further their career advancement by telling the administration what it wants to hear, according to The Daily Beast’s sources.

Centcom’s spokesman, US Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder, released this statement on the allegations: “While we cannot comment on the specific investigation cited in the article, we can speak to the process. The Intelligence Community routinely provides a wide range of subjective assessments related to the current security environment.

“These products and the analysis that they present are absolutely vital to our efforts, particularly given the incredibly complex nature of the multi-front fights that are ongoing now in Iraq and Syria.”

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“Senior civilian and military leadership consider these assessments during planning and decision-making, along with information gained from various other sources, to include the insights provided by commanders on the ground and other key advisors, intelligence collection assets, and previous experience.”

In late July, the Associated Press reported that assessments by the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and others found that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is no weaker than it was when US bombing began in 2014.

“We’ve seen no meaningful degradation in their numbers,” a defense official told the AP.

Meanwhile, John Allen, the retired Marine general coordinating the campaign against ISIS, said bluntly, “ISIS is losing,” while speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in late July. At the same forum, FBI director James Comey sent a mixed message by calling ISIS “the threat that we’re worrying about in the homeland most of all.”

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry contend that the US isn’t losing the war against ISIS and that the militant group will be defeated with time.

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Mosul Iraq ISIS

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People who fled from the violence in Mosul walk inside the Khazer refugee camp on the outskirts of the Kurdish city of Arbil, July 17, 2014.

Michael Knights, an Iraq analyst, wrote in Foreign Policy in August that the war against ISIS in Iraq had been “slowing down.”

“The best that can be reasonably expected in 2015 is the stabilization of the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah,” Knights wrote. “No one even talks about liberating Iraq’s second-most populous city, Mosul, anymore.”

Mosul is a major stronghold for ISIS in Iraq that used to be a top priority for US plans to defeat the militants.

“At this rate, the United States will still be in Iraq when US President Barack Obama leaves office — an outcome no one, especially the president, wants,” Knights wrote.

Brookings Institution fellow Charles Lister recently wrote a similarly negative assessment of the war on ISIS. Lister said progress could “best be described as a series of loosely linked tactical gains, rather than a significant strategic advance.”

“The stated coalition objective is to ‘degrade and destroy’ IS as a militant organization, but it remains a potent armed force capable of capturing valuable territory and inflicting considerable material damage on its adversaries,” Lister wrote.

“IS is clearly a determined enemy,” he added, “and poses a potent threat that the current coalition strategy is failing to effectively ‘degrade and defeat.'”

Categories: CIA, Obama | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Islamists neuter Pentagon war-fighting plans……


Military analysis of radicalism now called ‘totally objectionable’
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Lawyers who are defending a military officer blasted by his commanders for teaching about the dangers of radical Islam are accusing the Pentagon of selling out to the politically correct religious perspective.

“In order to appease Muslims and the White House, Gen. Dempsey and the Department of Defense rushed to punish Lt. Col. Matt Dooley,” said Richard Thompson, chief counsel for the Thomas More Law Center.

“In the process, they violated not only our nation’s core principles of free speech and academic freedom guaranteed by our Constitution, but also, a number of the military’s own regulations dealing with academic freedom and non-attribution policies of the National Defense University…

“The violated the right to due process of law and even bypassed the university’s provost, who under NDU’s own rules has primary responsibility for adjudication of this matter.”

The dispute is over a purge of U.S. government teaching and training materials that Muslim organizations demanded, and the impact of that action on an individual instructor.

Dooley previously had been deployed in Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq, serving as a tank platoon leader, tank company executive officer, operations officer, plans officer, small group instructor and instructor at the Joint Combined Warfare School.

He accumulated the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and a dozen others during that time.

But he was relieved of his teaching assignment at the Joint Forces Staff College because he happened to be teaching a longstanding course called “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.”

The course, its materials and subject matter all had been presented before, but because of a demand from a long list of special interest groups accommodating the Muslim perspective, he was relieved of those duties.

Additionally, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then publicly blasted him for the topic of the course he was assigned to teach.

The course and teacher became a bull’s-eye when the Muslim groups demanded that whatever they viewed as offensive to Islam be “purged” from the coursework and that anyone teaching that material be “effectively disciplined.”

“The final bastion of America’s defense against Islamic jihad and Shariah, the Pentagon, fell to the enemy,” said Claire M. Lopez, a former CIA agent and strategic policy and intelligence expert.

She said it came “with the issuance of a letter from Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reissuing his earlier order that all Department of Defense course content be scrubbed to ensure no lingering remnant of disrespect to Islam.”

Dooley administratively was removed from his teaching assignment and an Officer Evaluation Report, marking him as outstanding, was withdrawn.

The law center said Dooley was grappling in class with the most dangerous aspects of radical Islamist ideology and encouraged students to debate the issues openly, using “prior-approved course content, established guest speakers, and doctrinal teaching methodologies…”

But the letter from organizations, including some with known links to terror groups, demanded that all government training materials be purged, a mandatory retraining program be instituted and punishment be instituted for “bigoted trainers” who would use “biased training materials.”

Groups included the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Islamic Circle of North American, Islamic Relief USA and dozens of others.

Among the information cited as damaging was the FBI report that explained individuals who convert to Islam and suddenly begin wearing Muslim attire, growing beards and travel to Muslim countries could become radicalized.

Text materials that were accused of being biased included Robert Spencer’s “The Truth About Mohammed: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion,” and during a Pentagon press conference with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Martin characterized Dooley’s teaching as “totally objectionable” and “against our values.”

“The result is certain,” the center said in a statement. “Officers and instructors see what has happened to Lt. Col. Dooley, and will refrain from telling the truth about Islam or confronting the difficult strategic challenges facing our nation for fear of jeopardizing their professional careers. The Pentagon has still apparently not learned from the politically correct policies that led to the Ft. Hood massacre.”

The legal team said enforcement of a political correct perspective is dangerous.

“Those people who subscribe and enforce the current environment of political correctness are the ones most often surprised by incidents like the terrorism at Ft. Hood and the uncivilized behavior currently roiling North Africa and the Middle East,” the law team said.

“Rather than thinking and acting bravely, PC’ers strike at our cherished First Amendment in a vain hope of buying friendship with a force we still do not understand that neither respects us nor appreciates civility.”

But the damage went further, “In an astonishing and unprecedented Pentagon news conference on May 10, 2012, carried nationally on C-SPAN, Gen. Dempsey, with Secretary of Defense Panetta sitting at his side, personally attacked Lt. Col. Dooley, a subordinate Army officer who honorably served our nation, and was subsequently prohibited from publicly defending himself. ”

The center said Dooley’s family was targeted by threats because of the situation.

The law firm said the case illustrates the result of “prejudicial statements” from military commanders.

“Betrayed by his military chain of command, all of whom refused to stand behind their own academic freedom and non-attribution regulations, Lt. Col. Dooley stands alone in his association with what had been previously acceptable methods of educational inquiry,” the law firm said.

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