Revolt at MacDill Air Force Base?

 

UPDATE: Military analyst Shane Harris will appear on Dan Maduri’s radio show at 4:45 pm ET on 820AM.
You can learn about Shane’s background at his website: www.shaneharris.com

The Daily Beast published a story on Thursday detailing how 50 intelligence operatives at Central Command (CENTCOM) — based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa — claim their honest assessments of the war against ISIS is being spun into “happy talk”.

According to the official Centcom website:
“U.S.Central Command (CENTCOM) is one of nine unified commands in the United States military. Six of these commands, including CENTCOM, have an area of responsibility (AOR), which is a specific geographic region of the world where the combatant commanders may plan and conduct operations as defined under the Unified Command Plan.”

Centcom map

CENTCOM covers the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq. Obviously it’s been a busy area of operations over the past 20 years with two Gulf Wars and Afghanistan serving as combat theaters. The command is led by General Lloyd Austin, U.S. Army.

According to the story, the complaints from analysts spurred a Pentagon-level inspector general review of the data.

 

Two senior analysts at CENTCOM signed a written complaint sent to the Defense Department inspector general in July alleging that the reports, some of which were briefed to President Obama, portrayed the terror groups as weaker than the analysts believe they are. The reports were changed by CENTCOM higher-ups to adhere to the administration’s public line that the U.S. is winning the battle against ISIS and al Nusra, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria, the analysts claim. — Daily Beast

 

The sheer number of analysts lodging concerns — described as 50 — ranks as “revolt” status among intelligence insiders. They fear their data is being manipulated to fit an Obama administration narrative.

If the data is indeed being manipulated, it’s another potential oddity that makes the entire battle effort to stop ISIS appear irregular. Some of the questions that have arisen are:

  • Why is the United States flying only limited sorties?
    Why are ISIS training camps not being targeted?
    How many times were supplies intended for Kurdish fighters accidentally dropped in ISIS territory?
    Is any of the ISIS situation related to the Benghazi cover up and just what was the late ambassador J. Christopher Stevens doing in Libya with U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith the night the embassy was attacked?

“The complaints allege that in some cases key elements of intelligence reports were removed, resulting in a document that didn’t accurately capture the analysts’ conclusions, sources familiar with the protest said. But the complaint also goes beyond alleged altering of reports and accuses some senior leaders at CENTCOM of creating an unprofessional work environment. One person who knows the contents of the written complaint sent to the inspector general said it used the word “Stalinist” to describe the tone set by officials overseeing CENTCOM’s analysis. — Daily Beast.

Some analysts claim negative reports were either returned or not sent up the chain of the command. Eventually, analysts took an “Emperor’s New Clothes” view of their reports, thinking negative reports and not fitting a narrative might harm their career advancement.

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Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.