In July, a group of intelligence analysts at the U.S. military’s Central Command accused their bosses of distorting and selectively editing intelligence reports about the fight against ISIS in order to portray that campaign as more successful than it really was. As a result of those complaints, the Pentagon’s inspector general opened an investigation.
Now, the allegations of misconduct have extended to a possible cover-up, with some analysts accusing the senior intelligence officials at CENTCOM, Maj. Gen. Steven Grove and his civilian deputy, Gregory Ryckman, of deleting emails and files from computer systems before the inspector general could examine them, three individuals familiar with the investigation told The Daily Beast.
One U.S. official said the alleged activity could amount to obstruction and interference with the inspector general’s investigation, which began last summer. He noted that files relevant to the investigation began to disappear from CENTCOM computers after the Pentagon watchdog’s staff began their work.
Two sources said that investigators are piecing together a trail of emails and reports to find out what may have been deleted, as well as what officials outside CENTCOM knew about potential manipulation of intelligence.
The analysts themselves have taken steps to preserve material that could be used as evidence, these people said.