Dem Rep Speier: ISIS Was ‘Underestimated,’ Believes Intel ‘Doctored’ To Make Fight Look More Successful

Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) declared, “we underestimated ISIL” and that she believes “doctoring” of intelligence that “created an impression that we are doing better there than we actually are” has taken place on Monday’s broadcast of “MSNBC Live.”

Speier said, “There’s no question that we underestimated ISIL. it is a very complex environment in which they are operating. The greatest success has been by the Kurds. And the one thing we should have learned, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, if the people that live there are not engaged in the battle, if the countries surrounding the areas in which the battles are taking place are not engaged, then us coming in and ‘defeating’ them is not going to be a successful strategy. So, a coalition of forces not just from Europe, but the surrounding middle east countries have to be part of the solution here. Just putting more men and women at risk on the ground in Syria and Iraq is not going to give us victory. Arming and securing more weaponry for the Kurds, and others who want to engage in the fight, is very critical.”

She added, “Well, I think we underestimated them two years ago. More recently the intelligence community, I think, has provided much more accurate assessments. but CENTCOM, which is the area that is responsible for the Middle East, has, for whatever reasons, we don’t know yet why, has dumbed down the intelligence, has sweetened it, has made it seem like we are being more successful there than we are, and i’m very concerned about the whistleblower. I’ve sent a letter to General Austin making sure that this whistleblower is not retaliated against. I’ve also joined in a bipartisan letter asking for climate surveys, because I want to know how widespread it is, that the analysts don’t feel that their information is being properly vetted up the chain, and when the president isn’t getting, in his daily briefings, unvarnished information, then we’ve got a serious problem.”

Speier also stated that while she doesn’t know the motivation behind sweetening the intelligence, “I’m deeply troubled by what I believe, is doctoring that has taken place and has created an impression that we are doing better there than we actually are.”

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