- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating allegations that military officials skewed intelligence assessments, giving a more optimistic outlook of progress in the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State militants. 

Citing several officials familiar with the investigation, The New York Times reported Wednesday that intelligence officials may have reworked the conclusions of intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama.

The investigation began after at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told authorities he had evidence that officials at the United States Central Command [CENTCOM] — the military headquarters overseeing the U.S.-led campaign against the terror group — were tampering with intelligence assessments.

It was not made clear when the assessments were altered or who at CENTCOM was responsible.

Officials told The Times the recently opened investigation focused on whether military officials changed the conclusions of draft intelligence assessments during a review process before passing them on to policy makers.

In recent months the Islamic State group has taken over several key cities in Iraq, including its second-biggest city, Mosul. The group also occupies large parts of neighboring Syria.

The U.S. and its allies have touted recent successes against the militants, including killing the group’s second in command in a targeted air strike, but the terror group still holds vast swathes of land in the region.

The latest report could explain why accounts about U.S. successes in the region have varied.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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