Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) says U.S. military intelligence reports and analysis about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) were “doctored” to give the impression the group was weaker than analysts had actually concluded.
“I can tell you they were doctored,” Speier–who sits on both the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees–said in an interview with Bay Area public radio station KQED. This September, reports emerged that senior military officials were pressuring intelligence analysts who were working with the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to paint a rosier picture than the reality of what the dark fight against the Islamic State actually looked like.
The information was reportedly revealed after an unidentified whistleblower within the intelligence community came forward. Speier and several other members of Congress consider the findings to be a serious breach, and led Speier to point out a more widespread problem within the intelligence community.
“We’ll have to take steps to make sure that the information that is shared up the chain and to the president and to the committees of jurisdiction is, in fact, the unvarnished truth,” she reportedly said.
In a November appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America, President Barack Obama downplayed the threat of ISIS, telling host George Stephanopoulos that they are “contained” and that “I don’t think they’re gaining strength.” That same day, a coordinated series of ISIS-linked terrorist attacks struck Paris, killing 150 innocent civilians and wounding hundreds more.
A little over two weeks later, radical Islamists Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik carried out their terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, where they fired on dozens of people, leaving 14 dead and 21 injured during a holiday party. I
nvestigation into the matter revealed U.S. law enforcement and intelligence had missed critical communications Malik had with friends in Pakistan in which she apparently told them at least twice, in Urdu, that she had embraced radical Islam and jihad and hoped to join the fight one day.