More than 50 analysts tracking the inner workings of the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaida in Syria are reportedly charging their reports were doctored by higher-ups to put a better political spin on the findings.
According to The Daily Beast
, the analysts working out of the U.S. military's Central Command have filed formal complaints about changes to their reports – some of which were used to brief President Barack Obama.
"The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command," one defense official tells the Daily Beast.
Two senior analysts at Central Command sent a written complaint to the Defense Department's inspector general in July alleging reports were being altered to portray ISIS and al Nusra, al-Qaida's branch in Syria, as weaker than analysts believe, The Daily Beast reports.
That complaint was supported by 50 other analysts, the website reports.
The Pentagon watchdog has begun an investigation, the website reports.
The allegations come in the wake of a New York Times report of similar claims of manipulated intelligence reports
that gave a brighter picture of the offensive against the the terrorists.
The Daily Beast reports the complaints by so many analysts, however, are seen as a "revolt" by the intelligence professionals against senior-level leaders at Central Command, known as CENTCOM, including the director of intelligence and his deputy.
At least one complaint called the tone set by senior leaders at Central Command as "Stalinst," The Daily Beast reports.
Air Force Col. Patrick Rydera, the spokesman for Central Command, said he couldn't address the specifics of the investigation.
The Congressional Research Service reported last month the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS was sometimes a disorganized effort working at cross-purposes, while Lt. Gen. Robert Neller testified before the Senate Armed Service Committee the nation's year-long fight against ISIS was "in a stalemate"
in Iraq and Syria.
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