On Monday’s Morning Joe, the show’s panel discussed the state of internal documents regarding the growing threat of the Islamic State. In the wake of reports that particular documents may have been altered discussing the rise of ISIS in recent years, co-host Joe Scarborough discussed the relationship between the Obama administration’s narrative and intelligence documents.
Mika Brzezinski cited a New York Times article, saying “Over the summer analysts went to the Inspector General claiming to have evidence that their superiors doctored the reports to show greater progress from U.S. airstrikes. But what we don’t know is if those reports swayed the Obama administration in it’s approach to ISIS—”
Scarborough interrupted saying, “By the way I think we have that backwards, Richard,” to frequent Morning Joe guest Richard Haass. Scarborough continued, “It’s not that the reports have swayed the Obama administration; it’s the Obama administration’s preconceived notions and their narrative about ISIS being a ‘JV team’ that actually swayed the intelligence support.”
Haass, the President of the Council on Foreign Relations since 2003, offered, “We don’t know if people were pressured — first of all we don’t even know exactly what the actual reports were — but assuming there was some doctoring or cooking of the books, was it because people were pressured? Or was it people in the military basically telling people what they wanted to hear?”
Scarborough was most shocked to learn that the same whistle blower who exposed similar accusations surrounding the Iraqi invasion — CENTCOM Senior Analyst Gregory Hooker — was also most recently involved with the ongoing ISIS intelligence details. To this point, Scarborough cornered New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, who coauthored the aforementioned piece by Brzezinski.
Schmidt went on to say in the segment, “Things were made to look rosier,” referring to key details that did not wind up in final intelligence reports. He continued that analysts after the fact had voiced concerns, saying “They were made to show that what CENTCOM was doing — the military bombings in Iraq and Syria — had been more successful, and they said those things never showed up.”
Scarborough clarified, “You’re saying analysts tried to warn higher-ups of problems in Iraq and Syria and those concerns were deleted from the reports?”.
“They’re saying they were ‘made rosier’,” Schmidt noted.
The conversation came after President Barack Obama has continued to face scrutiny for his alleged inaction towards combating the Islamic State after the French terror attacks. Scarborough noted, “The cooking of the books came after the Commander in Chief was saying [ISIS wasn’t] powerful.” Haas somberly noted at one point in the conversation, “This is serious, though.”
Watch the above video from MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
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