Centcom accused of deleting emails in investigation of misleading ISIL intel reports
The chairman of one of the House committees investigating manipulation of military intelligence on the Islamic State said Thursday that e-mails and other files needed for the investigation have been deleted.This is another example of the lack of transparency in the Obama administration similar to that shown in the IRS scandal and Hillary Clinton's email scandal. There is certainly reason to question the integrity of those responsible for the changing the intel to reflect the administration's political agenda.
Representative Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, made that allegation in his opening remarks at a hearing on worldwide threats. "It is vital that this committee protect and seriously consider the testimony of the many whistleblowers who provide information to us," Nunes said. "For example, we have been made aware that both files and e-mails have been deleted by personnel at CentCom, and we expect that the Department of Defense will provide these and all other relevant documents to the committee."
These charges are serious. Central Command has been under investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general since last year when scores of CentCom intelligence analysts complained to the watchdog that their findings were being selectively edited to paint a far rosier picture in 2014 and 2015 about the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State than the facts warranted.
The New York Times reported in November that military officials alleged that important e-mails and files that should have been turned over to the inspector general had instead been deleted. But that report also said the Pentagon's inspector general could not verify the files had been deleted. At the time, Nunes himself queried the inspector general about these deletions.
Now Nunes is saying publicly that whistleblowers tell him important files have been deleted. This opens a new line of inquiry for the House committees on intelligence and armed services investigating CentCom. Congress is not only investigating intelligence manipulation about the Islamic State, but also an effort from senior officials to cover that up.