Only CBS Covers Latest on ISIS Intel Being Altered by Obama Admin.

Two weeks after offering a mere 21-second news brief on allegations that the Pentagon altered intelligence data on ISIS “to provide a more optimistic account of progress” against the terror group, Thursday’s CBS This Morning was the only network morning show to report on 50 intelligence officials confirming that their analyses were changed.

Talking to former CIA deputy director Mike Morell on This Morning, fill-in co-host and Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson wondered: “I want to get your thoughts this morning about a story in The Daily Beast about 50 intelligence officials who have said that in some cases say their reports have been altered by senior officials in some cases to make it look like the fight against ISIS and Al Qaeda is going better than it might be. What's your reaction to that?”

Morell, who served during the Obama administration, denounced any effort to alter intelligence reports:

...one of the key aspects of the policy-making process in the United States, is that analysts get to say what they think without any interference, without anybody changing it. So this is a very, very serious charge. I think it needs to be fully investigated, and if there is truth that somebody has been meddling with their analysis, I think somebody needs to lose their job over it. And there needs to be full transparency into this because this is so important that analysts actually get to say what they really think.

Fellow substitute co-host Jeff Glor followed up: “Mike, quickly, is the fight against ISIS going worse than the public thinks it is?”

Morell provided a grim assessment:

So I think there's three battlefields. One is the battlefield in Iraq and Syria and I'd say we're at stalemate there. The second battlefield is the militant groups around the world who are now claiming they’re part of ISIS, we're losing that battle. And then the third battle is the ideological battle for the hearts and minds of young people in the United States, in western Europe, Australia, Canada, I think we're losing that fight too.

Back on August 26, fill-in co-host Margaret Brennan informed viewers:

The New York Times reports on an investigation into whether military analysis on ISIS was distorted. The Pentagon`s inspector general is investigating allegations that officials skewed intelligence assessments about the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in Iraq. The report says changes were made to provide a more optimistic account of progress.

That same morning, ABC’s Good Morning America gave a mere 18 seconds to the possible Obama administration scandal as news anchor Amy Robach noted:

And there is word that military officials at the Pentagon are being investigated for allegedly overstating the progress being made in the fight against ISIS. The New York Times reports the Pentagon Inspector General is looking into allegations that military officials altered intelligence assessments to sound more optimistic.

NBC’s Today skipped the story.

The following evening, on August 27, Fox News’s Special Report devoted a full report to the controversy, with anchor Bret Baier declaring: “Is someone cooking the books to make the war on ISIS appear to be going better than it really is? That's the charge tonight.”

The network evening newscasts completely ignored the story that night and have continued to do so. NBC has not mentioned it once on either its morning or evening news programs.

Here is a portion of Morell’s September 10 appearance on CBS This Morning:

(...)

JOHN DICKERSON: Mike, I want to get your thoughts this morning about a story in The Daily Beast about 50 intelligence officials who have said that in some cases say their reports have been altered by senior officials in some cases to make it look like the fight against ISIS and Al Qaeda is going better than it might be. What's your reaction to that?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Terror Intel Changed?; Fmr. CIA Insider on Claims of Altered Reports]

MIKE MORELL: So these are analysts at the U.S. Central Command, CENTCOM, which is actually conducting our operations in Iraq and Syria. One of the central tenets – one of the key aspects of the policy-making process in the United States, is that analysts get to say what they think without any interference, without anybody changing it. So this is a very, very serious charge. I think it needs to be fully investigated, and if there is truth that somebody has been meddling with their analysis, I think somebody needs to lose their job over it. And there needs to be full transparency into this because this is so important that analysts actually get to say what they really think.

JEFF GLOR: Mike, quickly, is the fight against ISIS going worse than the public thinks it is?

MORELL: So I think there's three battlefields. One is the battlefield in Iraq and Syria and I'd say we're at stalemate there. The second battlefield is the militant groups around the world who are now claiming they’re part of ISIS, we're losing that battle. And then the third battle is the ideological battle for the hearts and minds of young people in the United States, in western Europe, Australia, Canada, I think we're losing that fight too. So three different fights.

(...)

NB Daily Foreign Policy War on Terrorism CBS CBS This Morning Video Mike Morell John Dickerson Jeff Glor

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