U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier is expressing outrage over claims that senior military officials skewed intelligence reports to give the impression that the Islamic State is weaker than analysts concluded. The allegations have renewed concerns about the nation's intelligence community more than a decade after manipulated data was used in the lead-up to the Iraq War.
"It appears that the truth may have been, in fact, somehow modified," the Peninsula congresswoman said in an interview Thursday. "This is a serious breach, and we have got to demand accountability in the intelligence community."
Speier, a Democrat, is calling on the Pentagon to release to the House Intelligence Committee the original reports written by 50 or so analysts who allege their conclusions were misrepresented, as well as the allegedly amended documents.
"I want to see the memos," Speier said. "They can redact the individuals' names, but I want to see what the various analysts said, and then how that was transformed into what CENTCOM actually conveyed to both Congress and the White House."
Speier's comments come a day after Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, confirmed to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon's inspector general is investigating allegations about the "processing of intelligence information by CENTCOM's intelligence directorate." He did not comment further.