House GOP report finds intelligence manipulated on ISIS

House GOP report finds intelligence manipulated on ISIS
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A House Republican task force has concluded that key military intelligence was manipulated to paint an unrealistically optimistic picture of the United States’s fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The report, set to be released later on Thursday, found that final intelligence assessments out of the Pentagon’s Central Command differed from on-the-ground conclusions, according to Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), a member of the task force.

"The facts on the ground didn't match what the intelligence was saying out of the United States Central Command," Pompeo said on CBS's “This Morning.”

"There's enormous evidence about how this information from talented career professionals inside the analytic arm at CENTCOM did their job and accurately depicted what was going on on the ground,” he added. “But when it got to very senior levels, that information was changed.”

According to CBS, the task force did not find evidence that orders to manipulate intelligence were directed from the White House.

The findings appear to confirm reports about the politicization of military intelligence and could be explosive for the Obama administration.

President Obama rose to office in large part because of his staunch opposition to the war in Iraq, which was built upon faulty intelligence about Saddam Hussein acquiring weapons of mass destruction. For his administration to have fallen into the same trap would be deeply embarrassing and could undermine its claims about the international fight against ISIS and other extremists.

The Obama administration has frequently heralded the military gains against ISIS in its self-proclaimed caliphate, even as the extremist group has expanded its operations around the globe.

Last year, dozens of intelligence analysts reportedly complained that their assessments about the group were either repressed or manipulated to make the U.S.’s efforts appear more effective than they were. Those complaints were relayed to the Pentagon’s inspector general, which has opened an investigation into the matter.

House Republicans on the Armed Services, Intelligence and Appropriations committees opened an investigation of their own last December.