WASHINGTON -- Reports of Central Command manipulating Iraq and Syria war intelligence have been grossly distorted and are damaging to the Pentagon's analysis efforts, a Marine general in charge of a key Defense Department intelligence-gathering operation told House lawmakers on Wednesday. Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the allegations have been overblown in a way that "disturbs me more than I can state" and said he was thankful for an opportunity to vent during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. Central Command, which is in charge of the Middle East and the war against the Islamic State, is under investigation by the DoD inspector general as well as the Armed Services Committee and two other House committees for widespread claims among its analysts that the war intelligence has been manipulated. A survey, which was disclosed by lawmakers last week, found 40 percent of analysts felt some manipulation of information was occurring. "The 40 percent -- and I saw this number distorted to 400 [people] -- is absolutely gross distorting of the challenges that they face down at CENTCOM," Stewart said. "It undermines the great workforce that we have down there at CENTCOM, who every single day are giving their best judgment to that commander about how activities and actions are going on in the CENTCOM [area of responsibility]." He said the DoD has a "robust" process of analyzing data that includes citing, validating and vetting sources and that opinion, even of a three-star general, accounts only slightly for the conclusions. "My staff has been trying to keep me from … commenting on this and I desperately want to comment on it because I think the assertion that somehow 40 percent of that workforce either represents the totality of our analytic enterprise or truly represents that their judgments are not being accounted for disturbs me more than I can state," Stewart said. He also criticized what he said was the release of CENTCOM personnel names who were associated with the alleged manipulation of intelligence amid the ongoing IG probe. "It is remarkable that folks have named names in an investigation prior to that investigation being completed, and if these individuals are exonerated no one will retract the really distorted reporting that they've had in this situation," Stewart said. But the general got some pushback during his testimony Wednesday from Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee who is directing one prong of the House investigation of CENTCOM. "General, it is true however, and I've read that [analyst survey] report myself cover to cover, that reflecting in the survey data there is more question at CENTCOM than the other combatant commands about whether the analysts believe that the work they do is altered in some way," Thornberry said. The House committees on intelligence and appropriations are also looking into the matter, which first surfaced last fall with allegations from an analyst. In December, the survey found 40 percent of the 120 CENTCOM personnel who responded said somebody had attempted to distort or suppress their analysis within the past year despite persuasive evidence. "There is a reason to have an investigation … it is a matter of interest for this committee if, in fact, intelligence is being shaped in some way to please superiors whether they be military or political superiors," Thornberry said.
General Slams Claims that CENTCOM Manipulated Iraq, Syria Intelligence
You May Also Like
The rockets targeted the site of Halliburton in the Burjesia area in the oil-rich Basra province, the statement said.
The Taliban warned of more violence if the U.S. and the Afghan government continue alleged violations of the deal.
Get the Military Insider Newsletter
Get the latest on pay updates, benefit changes and award-winning military content. Right in your inbox.
Just one last step.
To verify your free subscription, please check your inbox for:
Thank you for subscribing!
You may also view our other newsletters, or visit your account to manage email preferences.
Most Popular Military News
The war game involved 50 experts who spent two days coordinating response, containment and messaging efforts.
The locomotive crashed through a series of barriers before coming to rest more than 250 yards from the USNS Mercy.
The captain of a coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier who pleaded for help has been relieved of command.
The Defense Department has ordered commanders at all of its installations to stop announcing publicly new coronavirus cases.
The move is the latest development in the dispute over how much Seoul should pay for the U.S. troop presence.
Latest Military Videos
Hospitalman Corpsman 3rd Class Alexandria Agudelo checks in from aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH...
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jennifer Niemann and Private First Class Ashley Ensminger, both assigned to the East Africa Response...
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Troy E. Black...
The 159 crewmembers onboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10) completed the escort of three refuel and...
No matter the threat, Marines face it down with ingenuity and determination. The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing uses a...
A man who allegedly faked his own death lived in an RV park using the name of a friend.
New York City is one of the U.S. regions hit hardest by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants the Defense Department to allow the hospital ship to treat COVID patients.
Edward "Whitey" Feightner, who as a boy walked off a farm in Elida during World War II and became a man in the South Pacific...
The Navy's top civilian leader addressed the crew of a carrier days after firing their beloved commanding officer.
Air Force News
The main gate at the base was closed for about four hours after the individual showed up.
The service will operate under a "reset" to determine which ops are necessary and which it can forgo until a later date.
The U.S. Air Force has identified 23 organizations and units that will transition to the U.S. Space Force.
Marine Corps News
The coalition handed over some $3.5 million in materials, including tents, blast walls and gym and dining facility equipment.
Coast Guard News
According to the Facebook post, crews locate the buoy by dragging a grapple across the lakebed until the line tightens.
The former Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier made a video of himself saying goodbye to loved ones Dec. 18.
The measure limits exposure by reducing the need to see a barber or hairdresser.