Fudging the intelligence information led to endless rage from the political left, screaming that President Bush lied about the intelligence information on Iraq’s WMD prior to the US invasion in 2003. This anger fueled what some call Bush derangement syndrome, as lefties foam at the mouth, spewing about, “Bush lied, people died!”.
McClatchy DC ran a story on August 13, 2015, “Warnings of jihadists among Syria’s rebels came early, were ignored”, delving into how the Obama administration ignored intelligence about the radicals in Syria, while Secretary of State Kerry tried to promote the Syrian moderates narrative. At the time Secretary Kerry was spouting this “Syrian moderate” line, open source information was available for anyone with a bent toward researching, to raise doubts about the Obama administration narrative. I wrote a blog post, “Oh, those pesky” facts”. in the Fall of 2013 pointing to a UK Telegraph article citing IHS Jane’s, a highly regarded defense publication, stating that nearly half of the rebels in Syria were hardline Islamists/jihadis. The mainstream press and punditry class, by and large, went along with the Syrian moderates narrative
Today the NY Times, “Inquiry Weighs Whether Data on ISIS Was Distorted”, reports on an IG investigation into whether military officers have distorted intelligence on ISIS to promote a political narrative that’s more positive and optimistic about President Obama’s ISIS strategy in Iraq. The report states:
“The prospect of skewed intelligence raises new questions about the direction of the government’s war with the Islamic State, and could help explain why pronouncements about the progress of the campaign have varied widely.
Legitimate differences of opinion are common and encouraged among national security officials, so the inspector general’s investigation is an unusual move and suggests that the allegations go beyond typical intelligence disputes. Government rules state that intelligence assessments “must not be distorted” by agency agendas or policy views. Analysts are required to cite the sources that back up their conclusions and to acknowledge differing viewpoints.
Under federal law, intelligence officials can bring claims of wrongdoing to the intelligence community’s inspector general, a position created in 2011. If officials find the claims credible, they are required to advise the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. That occurred in the past several weeks, the officials said, and the Pentagon’s inspector general decided to open an investigation into the matter.”