Two intelligence analysts at U.S. Central Command claim to have been forced out of their jobs for producing skeptical reports about U.S.-backed rebels in Syria, The Daily Beast reported Sunday. The report claimed that one of the two analysts alleging the reprisals is CENTCOM’s top analyst in charge of Syria. He and his colleague doubted the rebels’ abilities and commitment to U.S. interests in Syria. For expressing those doubts, the report claims, they have been sidelined from their positions and well not be working at CENTCOM. It was not immediately clear whether the two analysts had formally left their jobs. The latest accusations of interference with battlefield analysis at CENTCOM centers on the $500M program by the Obama administration to train and arm so-called “moderate” members of Syria’s rebel armies. Despite an initial goal to train roughly 5,400 fighters to take on ISIS in the program’s first year, CENTCOM Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin admitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee this past September that only “four or five” of the U.S.-trained fighters remained on the battlefield. That admission resulted in criticism from commitee members, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who called the program an “abject failure.” In September of last year, it was reported that more than 50 analysts at CENTCOM had backed a complaint to the Pentagon that their reports on ISIS and the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in Syria had been inappropriately altered by senior officials. The complaint alleged that the reports had been changed to make the terror groups appear weaker than they actually were. The complaint about the altered ISIS intelligence reports is being investigated by the Pentagon’s inspector general. In November, Fox News reported that CENTCOM analysts were pressured to ease off negative assessments about the threat from ISIS. On at least two occasions, emails were sent to the analysts saying they needed to “cut it out” and “toe the line.”
This story is of particular interest to yours truly, as I was a senior intel analyst for CENTCOM several years ago. Thankfully, I left right about the time Obama became President, and wasn’t subjected to this sorta thing. But, I AM aware of others who have experienced this sorta crap. IF this indeed happened, then hopefully the IG (inspector general) will uncover it and present its findings to Congress, and to the American public. The job of intelligence professionals is to get accurate information to decision makers, regardless of whether they like it or not. And, if that intelligence is altered to support some arbitrary preconceived agenda, then it’s not intelligence. It’s propaganda.
America’s top spy said Wednesday that U.S. intelligence officials have a “huge concern” about Islamic State’s ability to infiltrate waves of Syrian war refugees flowing into Europe and potentially the United States as pressure mounts on Western nations to take in a growing number of people fleeing the conflict in the heart of the Middle East. “As they descend on Europe, one of the obvious issues that we worry about, and in turn as we bring refugees into this country, is exactly what’s their background?” Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said. “We don’t obviously put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees.” “That is a huge concern of ours,” Mr. Clapper said during a rare and unusually informal public appearance at an annual U.S. intelligence community conference that kicked off Wednesday morning in Washington. While he added that U.S. authorities, who have so far allowed in fewer than 2,000 of Syria’s some 4 million refugees, have a “pretty aggressive” system for screening the backgrounds of those seeking entry into the United States, Mr. Clapper said he’s not so confident about the capabilities of some European nations. He made the remarks during a wide ranging question-and-answer session that former ambassador and U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte moderated at Wednesday’s conference sponsored by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and the Armed Forces Electronics Communication Association. Mr. Clapper said he stands behind the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran despite biting criticism from Republicans that it lacks safeguards for verifying that Iranian officials won’t cheat and develop nuclear weapons right under the noses of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — the U.N. nuclear watchdog tasked with implementing the accord. Mr. Clapper said he is “pretty confident” that U.S. intelligence officials will be able to verify “from our own sources” the accuracy of future IAEA assessment’s of whether or not Iran is complying with the terms of the nuclear accord. “We are fielding some independent capabilities that will enable us, I think, to have good insight into [Iran’s] nuclear industrial enterprise,” he said. Mr. Clapper said he could not publicly comment on what such independent capabilities entail. At the same time, he expressed confidence that the nuclear accord has put in place a protocol by which the IAEA will have “very intrusive, unprecedented access and ability to absolve and monitor what the Iranians are doing.” Overall, he added, he supports the nuclear deal reached this summer, because, “if given a choice between a state sponsor of terrorism with nuclear capability or a state sponsor of terrorism without, I’d probably pick the latter.”
I’m not a big fan of Lt Gen James Clapper, personally. His lying under oath during the whole NSA hearings before Congress, and the fact that he’s clearly an Obama lap dog with his support for the dreadful nuke deal with Iran when he knows better, makes him lose ALL credibility with yours truly. He has an integrity/character deficiency. That said.. The retired 3 star Air Force General (Lieutenant General) IS corect with his assessment about the refugees coming out of Syria, and the potential threats they could cause America and her national security interests. It may seem cruel or heartless.. But, it is in our national security interests to NOT allow them to come to America. America is NOT some big refugee center for the planet’s problems. While it is certainly heartbreaking to see what ISIS/ISIL is doing to the people (especially Christians) of Iraq and Syra (and elsewhere in the Middle East), it is NOT sufficient reason to bring those displaced by that conflict here to America. The far better solution is for us to actually defeat ISIS there in Iraq and Syria and help these people take their country back.