Oh my: Warnings about politicized ISIS intel went all the way to ODNI

posted at 8:41 am on February 16, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Until now, the focus of the probe into politically skewed intel analyses pertaining to ISIS has been on CENTCOM, the subject of a Defense Department Inspector General investigation. The probe has already revealed that analysts got rebuked for submitting pessimistic reports, e-mailed to “cut it out,” in order to support the Obama administration’s rosy projections about the fight against the terrorist quasi-state. Now, however, the Daily Beast’s Shane Harris and Nancy Youssef report that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence heard from analysts complaining about political pressure on their work and did nothing about it:

The complaints, lodged by analysts at U.S. Central Command in 2015, are separate from allegations that analysts made to the Defense Department inspector general, who is now investigating “whether there was any falsification, distortion, delay, suppression, or improper modification of intelligence information” by the senior officials that run CENTCOM’s intelligence group.

This second set of accusations, which have not been previously reported, were made to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). They show that the officials charged with overseeing all U.S. intelligence activities were aware, through their own channels, of potential problems with the integrity of information on ISIS, some of which made its way to President Obama.

The analysts have said that they believe their reports were altered for political reasons, namely to adhere to Obama administration officials’ public statements that the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS is making progress and has put a dent in the group’s financing and operations.

That may lead to yet another uncomfortable confrontation between Congress and DNI James Clapper, whose reputation for honesty has long since vanished on Capitol Hill. Clapper had been asked directly about this issue in September at a Senate hearing, and claimed to have no awareness on the issue:

“It is an almost sacred writ… in the intelligence profession never to politicize intelligence. I don’t engage in it. I never have and I don’t condone it when it’s identified,” Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

But Clapper sought to downplay what he called “media hyperbole” about the substance of the analysts’ complaints. “I think it’s best that we all await the outcome of the DOD I.G. investigation to determine whether and to what extent there was any politicization of intelligence at CENTCOM,” Clapper said.

In fact, Clapper knew enough about the probe into politicized intel before this testimony to choose not to investigate it himself, Harris and Youssef report. That could be a supportable decision; the DoD was already investigating the issue, and an ODNI probe could either be redundant or create a conflict with the other investigation that might look like interference. (For that same reason, Congressional committees have steered clear of probing Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server issues until the FBI completes its investigation.)

But this isn’t the first time that Clapper has misled the Senate, and it’s beginning to look like a pattern. He insisted to Ron Wyden that the NSA wasn’t looking at domestic communications just a few months before Edward Snowden absconded with NSA data and exposed those programs (and many other things as well). Clapper later claimed to have “forgotten” about those programs when asked. Now it seems that while he decried the “media hyperbole” around the assumption of politicized intelligence, he knew damned well that it had been skewed, and refused to tell Congress about it.

Did he “forget” again at another convenient moment? If Clapper is this forgetful, why is he still serving as DNI?


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Comments

Hi Ed!

cynccook on February 16, 2016 at 8:44 AM

Test!

Blake on February 16, 2016 at 8:44 AM

Heh.

ElectricPhase on February 16, 2016 at 8:45 AM

It’s cruel the way they’re toying with us.

cynccook on February 16, 2016 at 8:45 AM

The politicization came from on high: Dear Liar himself.

rbj on February 16, 2016 at 8:45 AM

At this point, a half-dozen Special Prosecutors should have their hands full investigating the quantum malfeasance of this administration.

hillbillyjim on February 16, 2016 at 8:46 AM

It’s cruel the way they’re toying with us.

cynccook on February 16, 2016 at 8:45 AM

HotAir or the 0bama regime?

CurtZHP on February 16, 2016 at 8:47 AM

LOLWUT? What happened to Facebook comments?

Jeff Weimer on February 16, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Ed. In all seriousness, thanks for your Sunday Post. It was an enjoyable way to start the day. :-)

Indiana Jim on February 16, 2016 at 8:48 AM

All is for the best
Believe in what we’re told
Blind men in the market
Buying what we’re sold

Believe in what we’re told
Until our final breath
While our loving Watchmaker
Loves us all to death

Everlasting_Knowitall on February 16, 2016 at 8:49 AM

It’s cruel the way they’re toying with us.

cynccook on February 16, 2016 at 8:45 AM

HotAir or the 0bama regime?

CurtZHP on February 16, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Yes.

hillbillyjim on February 16, 2016 at 8:49 AM

If Clapper is this forgetful, why is he still serving as DNI?

I thought it was pretty obvious by now that this administration is corrupt and rotten to the core. What agency hasn’t been caught up in scandal and sleaze since Obama took the helm?

HotAirian on February 16, 2016 at 8:50 AM

Unfriended

Spiders from Mars on February 16, 2016 at 8:51 AM

Does Hotair still plan to proceed with self-immolation?

They marched into the town square yesterday and drenched themselves in gasoline.

Are they still holding the match?

When do they plan to light the flame?

Daryl on February 16, 2016 at 8:51 AM

NSA post? Is Ed preparing us for FB investigations and NSA monitoring?

vnvet on February 16, 2016 at 8:52 AM

Ed would NEVER post this headline if a bunch of FB fruitcake, dumb sh!t , xbox playing liberals were about to join…..

Indiana Jim on February 16, 2016 at 8:52 AM

If Clapper is this forgetful, why is he still serving as DNI?

The question that answers itself

boone on February 16, 2016 at 8:53 AM

I thought it was pretty obvious by now that this administration is corrupt and rotten to the core. What agency hasn’t been caught up in scandal and sleaze since Obama took the helm?

I checked Journolist and I can tell you that this administration is remarkably ‘scandal free’
~D(bag) Brooks

Everlasting_Knowitall on February 16, 2016 at 8:53 AM

I’m here for the new commenting system…?

tlynch001 on February 16, 2016 at 8:53 AM

Barry ain’t on our side….

albill on February 16, 2016 at 8:54 AM

…huh?

JugEarsButtHurt on February 16, 2016 at 8:54 AM

Did he “forget” again at another convenient moment? If Clapper is this forgetful, why is he still serving as DNI?

Some drink to remember. Some drink to forget.

Steve Eggleston on February 16, 2016 at 8:54 AM

Still here who knew.
Thanks Jazz. When a business goes under in the end you can tell who cares. You did good.

CW20 on February 16, 2016 at 8:55 AM

Would Facebook approve this story?

Guest1.1 on February 16, 2016 at 8:55 AM

Even New Coke lasted longer than Hot Air Facebook comments.

Mark1971 on February 16, 2016 at 8:56 AM

I’m experiencing life after death.

backwoods conservative on February 16, 2016 at 8:56 AM

Did he “forget” again at another convenient moment? If Clapper is this forgetful, why is he still serving as DNI?

I forgot. What was that new commenting system all about? Did you forget?

Walter L. Newton on February 16, 2016 at 8:56 AM

Don’t forget, it’s not a crime until charged./Killary.

OldEnglish on February 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM

I’m still alive?

I’m still alive!

RINO in Name Only on February 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Jeff Weimer on February 16, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Zuckerberg prolly realized our interests include things like faith, family, hard work, guns and stuff like that; the individuals and entities that Zuckerberg partners with had no interest in purchasing our information, as they have nothing to sell us.

Koyodiak on February 16, 2016 at 9:01 AM

I’m seeing a noticeable lack of Zuckerberg ’round here.

KingGold on February 16, 2016 at 9:02 AM

Portal: Still Alive

Everlasting_Knowitall on February 16, 2016 at 9:03 AM

“We are still here.” — Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus.

Joseph OHenry on February 16, 2016 at 9:03 AM

At this point, what difference does it make?

AverageJoe on February 16, 2016 at 9:07 AM

I am still hanging out, thought HA was going dark to FB?

And no Obama you can’t choose the next Supreme Court Justice!

Hillary and you and your bunch should be going to jail!

woodhull on February 16, 2016 at 9:07 AM

Walter. What happened to “no comment”?? :-D

Indiana Jim on February 16, 2016 at 9:09 AM

So, we all came to revel in the pain.

Tard on February 16, 2016 at 9:09 AM

Even New Coke lasted longer than Hot Air Facebook comments.

Mark1971 on February 16, 2016 at 8:56 AM

It’s shiite like this that keeps me coming back.
Thanks! :)

leftamark on February 16, 2016 at 9:12 AM

Wow, this Facebook comments system looks an awful lot like the old system.

Bitter Clinger on February 16, 2016 at 9:14 AM

Test.

Patriot51 on February 16, 2016 at 9:14 AM

Just echoing what some one else said however it needs repeating; ditch the plan to allow Facebook commenting and adopt Disqus instead .

EnglishRogue on February 16, 2016 at 9:15 AM

Share

dengony on February 16, 2016 at 9:16 AM

I’m experiencing life after death.

backwoods conservative on February 16, 2016 at 8:56 AM

purgatory [pur-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
noun, plural purgatories.
1. (in the belief of Roman Catholics and others) a condition or place in which the souls of those dying penitent are purified from venial sins, or undergo the temporal punishment that, after the guilt of mortal sin has been remitted, still remains to be endured by the sinner.
2. (initial capital letter, italics). Italian Purgatorio
[poor-gah-taw-ryaw] (Show IPA). the second part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, in which the repentant sinners are depicted.
Compare inferno (def 3), paradise (def 7).
3. any condition or place of temporary punishment, suffering, expiation, or the like.

ElectricPhase on February 16, 2016 at 9:16 AM

DNI serves “at the pleasure of the President” but denies being “political”.

That’s rather like saying “But officer, I had no idea I was on the wrong side of the road”.

The only excuses are “liar”, “stupid”, and/or “drunk”.

I’m still trying to decide if they’re covering for The One to save his pseudo-Utopian agenda, or doing it to protect his narcissistic ego from the realization of what a massive f**kup he actually is.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 16, 2016 at 9:17 AM

I’m seeing a noticeable lack of Zuckerberg ’round here.

KingGold on February 16, 2016 at 9:02 AM

Maybe he got banned, for inciting a riot.

backwoods conservative on February 16, 2016 at 9:17 AM

I’m experiencing life after death.

backwoods conservative on February 16, 2016 at 8:56 AM

purgatory [pur-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
noun, plural purgatories.
1. (in the belief of Roman Catholics and others) a condition or place in which the souls of those dying penitent are purified from venial sins, or undergo the temporal punishment that, after the guilt of mortal sin has been remitted, still remains to be endured by the sinner.
2. (initial capital letter, italics). Italian Purgatorio
[poor-gah-taw-ryaw] (Show IPA). the second part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, in which the repentant sinners are depicted.
Compare inferno (def 3), paradise (def 7).
3. any condition or place of temporary punishment, suffering, expiation, or the like.

ElectricPhase on February 16, 2016 at 9:16 AM

I knew there had to be a catch.

backwoods conservative on February 16, 2016 at 9:19 AM

#1. The O Admin is extremely “scandal free.” Everyone knows this.

#2. Whut Happen? Heaven didn’t want us and FB kick us out?

billintex on February 16, 2016 at 9:19 AM

This new system sucks! /

Patriot Vet on February 16, 2016 at 9:19 AM

Obama didn’t want to see it period. If it was bad Intel he would just dismiss or ignore it so they gave the boss what he wanted to hear.

Johnnyreb on February 16, 2016 at 9:19 AM

I”m a bit disappointed, Ed. I followed you here from CQ.

The readers and commenters here have been loyal supporters of both you and Hot Air more generally. The stone cold silence in the face of the tsunami of sentiment expressed by those commenters in the wake of yesterday’s announcement has been shocking.

Posting an edict and then acting like the response to it never occurred seems pretty disrespectful to me. I think our loyalty over many years deserves better.

Arnold Yabenson on February 16, 2016 at 9:20 AM

My last hurrah?

conservative pilgrim on February 16, 2016 at 9:21 AM

This new system sucks! /

Patriot Vet on February 16, 2016 at 9:19 AM

Seriously! I can’t “like” or “friend” anyone, and if I want Mark Zuckerberg to know what I’m thinking, I have to forward this to him separately! Who’s got time for that? Just let Mark Zuckerberg have direct control, already, and if you could feed all this to my employers, too, that would be great!

Kensington on February 16, 2016 at 9:23 AM

When the next President (Trump) gets in, there will be years of investigations over Zero’s corruption, if he bought a house in some little Moslem country, like its been reported, he better make a bee line for it !

angrymike on February 16, 2016 at 9:23 AM

Wait – this still works??!?! Now what do I do? I sold this on-line identity to a terrorist so I could free my inner 13 year old girl and post selfies here.

erewenguy on February 16, 2016 at 9:24 AM

Maybe somebody at Bookface got wind that Ed was encouraging everyone to violate Bookface TOS by making fake accounts and brought the hammer down.

Or, more likely, they just haven’t gotten around to flipping the switch yet.

Kensington on February 16, 2016 at 9:26 AM

Ed just emailed me to say they are definitely making the change to FB comments some time today. I presume once they get it set up….

cynccook on February 16, 2016 at 9:27 AM

Ed just emailed me to say they are definitely making the change to FB comments some time today. I presume once they get it set up….

cynccook on February 16, 2016 at 9:27 AM

That’s what I figured. They’ll have to learn the hard way.

I’ll cast my vote in favor of going to Disqus. I’m not touching Farcebook.

backwoods conservative on February 16, 2016 at 9:33 AM

I use Disqus to comment on a couple of other sites and it works fine. Hint. Hint.

Roger Wren on February 16, 2016 at 9:34 AM

It’s looking more and more like there is a counter Intel operation being perpetrated against the American people. And it is being run out the White House. With Clapper being near the top of this operation. I can also say the other principles, besides the president, are Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice and Valeri Jarrett.

jake49 on February 16, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Ed just emailed me to say they are definitely making the change to FB comments some time today. I presume once they get it set up….

cynccook on February 16, 2016 at 9:27 AM

If that happens today, I rather suspect tomorrow I’ll be gone and the HA link on my bookmarks will be, too.

I will not post or register anywhere that demands my private information, and leaves me open to spamming/harassment/etc. by distributing same. I just don’t do that. It’s my one Internet rule.

My real name is both embarrassing and distinctive. So much so that I’m the only person in CONUS who has it. So it wouldn’t be hard for people with less-than-honorable intentions to find me.

So my real name doesn’t get used online. Ever. Period. Dot.

If FB demands I use it rather than my screen name, I’m gone. That is non-negotiable.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 16, 2016 at 9:39 AM

My real name is both embarrassing and distinctive.

eon on February 16, 2016 at 9:39 AM

So, you’re Reince Priebus?

Sorry, had to.

ElectricPhase on February 16, 2016 at 9:42 AM

Aren’t comments disabled?

paulsur on February 16, 2016 at 9:47 AM

If you go alphabet by alphabet and look at the top people in each one, you’ll notice there seems to be one common element. They are all incompetent. Usually a business can survive one ignorant person at the top but the rot could go deeper and I don’t feel too secure knowing he’s watching my back or that Yellen is in control of the money and Jewell is killing coal.

Kissmygrits on February 16, 2016 at 9:47 AM

Did he “forget” again at another convenient moment? If Clapper is this forgetful, why is he still serving as DNI?

Hahaha. These useless cretins serve at the ‘pleasure’ of the enemy in the whte hse. I am sure the ‘forgetfulness’ is much appreciated by the little emperor and his rasputin.

maryo on February 16, 2016 at 9:49 AM

My real name is both embarrassing and distinctive.

eon on February 16, 2016 at 9:39 AM

So, you’re Reince Priebus?

Sorry, had to.

ElectricPhase on February 16, 2016 at 9:42 AM

No.

His name is Bond.

James Bond

[Sorry, also had to do that. Who knows the moment when something like this will never again be possible in this formerly great place to be?]

RL on February 16, 2016 at 9:49 AM

So, you’re Reince Priebus?

Sorry, had to.

ElectricPhase on February 16, 2016 at 9:42 AM

Worse.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 16, 2016 at 9:50 AM

Portal: Still Alive

Everlasting_Knowitall on February 16, 2016 at 9:03 AM

The cake is a lie!

Garym on February 16, 2016 at 9:57 AM

The cake is a lie!

Garym on February 16, 2016 at 9:57 AM

I figured it out! Allah is GLaDOS!!!!!

ElectricPhase on February 16, 2016 at 9:59 AM

This comment box is no longer operable, right?

Coltrane on February 16, 2016 at 10:16 AM

I”m a bit disappointed, Ed. I followed you here from CQ.

The readers and commenters here have been loyal supporters of both you and Hot Air more generally. The stone cold silence in the face of the tsunami of sentiment expressed by those commenters in the wake of yesterday’s announcement has been shocking.

Posting an edict and then acting like the response to it never occurred seems pretty disrespectful to me. I think our loyalty over many years deserves better.

Arnold Yabenson on February 16, 2016 at 9:20 AM

Ditto.

The way Ed handled this deserves a Harvard case study in cluelessness.

aquaviva on February 16, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Why is he still serving?
Because he’s a useful tool for ValJar!

Another Drew on February 16, 2016 at 10:24 AM

On the surface it seems incredible that Ed refuses to even say goodbye or talk to anyone commenting.
But I think that he is just a homely , insecure doofus with above average but not stellar writing ability who wants desperately to be liked by ” the cool kids.” He thinks Facebook will provide him with he affirmation and broader appeal he thinks he was denied here.

Wonder what the Facebook crowd will think of Ed’s Vaticanista missives.

Edith Stifle on February 16, 2016 at 10:48 AM

The way Ed handled this deserves a Harvard case study in cluelessness.

aquaviva on February 16, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Indeed.

https://twitter.com/EdMorrissey/status/699227536102850561

Read tweets both above and below that one.

Ed banned ConstantineXI from HotAir.com due to his Twitter reply, interpreting that as a “threat”.

Clueless.

If/when Facebook comments go live here, I won’t ever comment again.

They know it will nuke the current commenter community here, and they don’t seem to care.

HotGas.net it is for me.

ITguy on February 16, 2016 at 11:05 AM

So it is still here. Huh.

Tom Servo on February 16, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Am I dreaming?

Did I die in my sleep and this is… purgatory?

dpduq on February 16, 2016 at 11:38 AM

We all know this Administration is willing to lie when things go wrong. It’s disgusting, and it makes the situation worse for the sake of the President’s image.

grumpyank on February 16, 2016 at 5:01 PM