Tags: Michael Flynn | intelligence | reports | rosier | analysts | pressured | politicized

Ex-DIA Chief Flynn: Intel Reports on Terror Fight Politicized, Analysts Pressured

Image: Ex-DIA Chief Flynn: Intel Reports on Terror Fight Politicized, Analysts Pressured
Former DIA Director Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 09:43 PM

Terror analysts were pressured by senior military and intelligence officials to alter their assessments about the strength of the Islamic State group (ISIS)  —  and the effectiveness of the U.S.-led fight against the jihadists, the Daily Beast reports.

If analysts' reports were too pessimistic, or questioned whether the Iraq military could beat ISIS, they were either sent back  —  or never made it to the desks of senior policymakers, sources tell the Daily Beast.

In other cases, analysts wrote what they felt they were expected to write, the Daily Beast reports.

"The phrase I use is the politicization of the intelligence community," retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Daily Beast about the "spinning."

"That’s here. And it’s dangerous."

The Daily Beast reports two sources said some blame the commander for intelligence at United States Centeral Command (CENTCOM) for not shielding analysts at headquarters in Tampa, Fla., from the political pressures coming from Washington.

"You get this pressure. It’s a very subtle approach but it is effective," one source tells the Daily Beast.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General is reportedly investigating allegations that military officials have skewed intelligence assessments about the anti-ISIS campaign.

"I’m not surprised by this investigation," Flynn tells the Daily Beast, noting senior military and Obama administration officials have been too optimistic in their public assessments about how the war against ISIS is going.

He added that DIA analysis on extremist groups in the Middle East and North Africa has "typically been more hard hitting" and has not tried to paint a rosy picture.

"It’s not trying to sugar-coat and give you a lot of 'maybes' and 'probably,'" Flynn tells the Daily Beast. "It’s, 'Here’s what we believe.'"

The Daily Beast reports it's not the first time analysts have alleged terrorism reporting was bent to suit political purposes.

"Whether al Qaida was destroyed or no longer a factor — we were told to cease and desist that kind of analysis" following the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011, retired Army Colonel Derek Harvey, a former senior intelligence official at DIA, told The Daily Beast.

"Al Qaida core was declared all but dead by the Obama administration."

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Terror analysts were pressured by senior military and intelligence officials to alter their assessments about the strength of the Islamic State group (ISIS) - and the effectiveness of the U.S.-led fight against the jihadists, the Daily Beast reports. If analysts' reports...
Michael Flynn, intelligence, reports, rosier, analysts, pressured, politicized
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2015-43-26
Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 09:43 PM
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