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U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in the Crosshairs of Growing Investigation of ‘Cooked’ Intelligence

Sept. 11, 2015 (EIRNS)—“Barack Obama’s intelligence chief [James Clapper] is said to be in frequent and unusual contact with a military intelligence officer at the center of a growing scandal over rosy portrayals of the war against the Islamic State,” reported the Guardian today in an explosive article that likens the charges made by two intelligence officials in the Central Command (CENTCOM) intelligence section to the manipulation of intelligence about Iraq run by Dick Cheney and his operatives during the George W. Bush administration.

For the last several weeks, reports have been leaked, first to the New York Times, that the Pentagon Inspector General had opened an investigation into complaints by CENTCOM intelligence officers that their assessments were being changed in order to present a more positive picture of the state of the war against ISIS. On Sept. 9, the Daily Beast reported that more than 50 intelligence analysts, from both CENTCOM and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), have “registered complaints” about how their reports were altered, manipulated, or skewed to give the appearance that the war against ISIS was being won. The article also said that intelligence analysts were being told to resign—effectively being forced out—for deviating from the White House party line that the war against ISIS is a success. In July, John Allen, the retired general appointed by Obama as the anti-ISIS figurehead, told the Aspen Security Forum that “ISIS is losing ... strategically [and] operationally.”

U.S. intelligence sources have confirmed to EIR that the Pentagon investigation is a serious inquiry, going deep into the assessments that eventually became public through administration statements, and into whether the original assessments had been altered. A well-informed Washington source noted that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey’s statement in Berlin about the “stalemate” in the war against ISIS reflects the serious concerns about altered intelligence and the need for “honest intelligence.”

Clapper has been in the crosshairs before. In 2013, there were calls for Clapper, a retired Air Force Lieutenant General who once headed the DIA to be ousted—and even prosecuted—for lying to the U.S. Senate about the NSA’s domestic spying program. But Obama backed him up completely. In January 2014, the White House sent out a statement, following criticism from Congress, that “Obama has ‘full faith in Director Clapper’s leadership of the intelligence community.’ ”