Intelligence gathering must remain non-partisan

Last September, I wrote Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to express concern over reports of senior-level Defense Department staff altering intelligence documents, for political purposes, on terrorist activity in Syria.

Last week, a Congressional joint task force released an initial report showing U.S. Central Command consistently produced analysis providing “a more positive depiction of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts than was warranted by facts on the ground and were consistently more positive than analysis produced by other elements of the Intelligence Community.”

Thank you to the members of the joint task force for their valuable work in investigating and confirming the reports of damaging intelligence manipulation.

For years now, President Obama has failed to formulate a comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy. We now know senior Defense Department officials “cooked” intelligence to paint a rosier picture in the fight against ISIS. From referring to ISIS as a “JV team” to now altering intelligence, President Obama has clearly created an administration-wide culture of subterfuge and not acknowledged the threat of radical Islamic terrorism with the serious gravity it requires.

The intelligence-gathering process should remain non-partisan. Those who impede the impartiality of the process have threatened the safety of every man and woman in uniform and need to be held accountable.

U.S. Rep. Robert Pittinger

N.C. 9th District