An investigation found that allegations that U.S. Central Command senior intelligence officials falsified intelligence in the campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria could not be substantiated, the acting Defense Department inspector general told a House subcommittee yesterday.
Glenn Fine told members of the House Armed Services Committee panel on oversight and investigations that a team of 30 DoD IG employees investigated allegations that intelligence was falsified, distorted, delayed or suppressed.
“These were very serious and troubling allegations and we devoted significant resources to investigating them,” he said, adding that more than 150 interviews were conducted of 120 witnesses inside and outside of Centcom.
“We examined in detail the specific intelligence products that were raised by the complainants and witnesses,” Fine said. “We also reviewed a massive amount of draft and final intelligence products and emails produced by Centcom and interviewed intelligence officials in DoD and the intelligence community for their assessments of Centcom’s intelligence products.” An analytical review was also done, he noted.
The full findings and conclusion, issued Jan. 31, is a 542-page classified report of the IG’s investigation, Fine said, adding that another unclassified report was published for public release.
“In short, our investigation did not substantiate the most serious allegation that intelligence was falsified,” he said.
Other weaknesses and flaws — such as ineffective communication and guidance, lack of adequate feedback, and uncertainty about various policies — led to a series of 29 recommendations, the acting inspector general said.
The team did not find any evidence of systematic or intentional distortion of intelligence by Centcom senior leaders, or that they suppressed or delayed intelligence products, Fine noted.