In the last few weeks, there have been several reports that senior intelligence officials were skewing the intelligence on how (un)successful the military campaign against ISIS has been. “Officials at United States Central Command – the military headquarters overseeing the American bombing campaign and other efforts against the Islamic State – were improperly reworking the conclusions of intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama, the government officials said,” the New York Times was the first to report.

Patrick Eddington – himself a former CIA whistleblower – put that allegation into historical context, reminding how intelligence agencies have focused on good news going back to the Vietnam War and repeating in the lead-up to the Iraq War.

While the history lesson is worthwhile by itself, Eddington makes another important point. He notes that Department of Defense’s Inspector General, which is investigating the claims, can’t be trusted to carry out such an investigation. “The allegations reported by the Times and the Daily Beast are too serious a matter to be left to the DOD IG, particularly given the DOD IG’s recent track record in dealing with high-profile whistleblower complaints.” Eddington focuses on the treatment that Thomas Drake and other NSA whistleblowers experienced when they alerted DOD’s IG to an ineffective boondoggle designed to make SAIC rich, and argues the Intelligence Community and Source Protection Office should conduct the investigation, particularly since other intelligence agencies may also be politicizing intelligence about Syria.

But there’s an even more important example why DOD’s IG should not be investigating this allegation: as became clear during the investigation into leaks about the Osama bin Laden raid to the makers of Zero Dark Thirty, DOD’s IG may not issue reports on senior DOD officials and will not on people who work in other agencies (as Leon Panetta did when he disclosed classified information). “Due to ‘a longstanding Department policy,’ … referrals of alleged misconduct by senior officials would have to be removed before [the Zero Dark Thirty report] could be published,” Senator Chuck Grassley learned when investigating whistleblower complaints of that investigation.

That’s a problem given that reports blame “senior officials” for the politicization of this intelligence.

DOD’s policy of suppressing information on top officials may only pertain to leaks and not all misconduct. Indeed, DOD’s IG has referred a number of generals for misconduct in recent years.

Yet given how closely this issue – spinning happy stories about our operations in Syria – relates to the prior example – spinning the most positive stories about the Osama bin Laden killing – there’s good reason to worry that DOD IG won’t implicate any senior officials even if they are politicizing the intelligence on Syria.

Investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler writes the “Right to Know” column for ExposeFacts. She is best known for providing in-depth analysis of legal documents related to “war on terrorism” programs and civil liberties. Wheeler blogs at emptywheel.net and publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy. Wheeler won the 2009 Hillman Award for blog.

Reprinted from Expose Facts.

ISIS has released a new video over the weekend which discusses the self-proclaimed “caliphate’s” long-standing plans to release their own currency, including both gold and silver coins.

The video is a combination of the usual military bellicosity of ISIS videos, a call to global Islamism, and perhaps most unusually, a fairly straightforward call for hard money and an attack on the US Federal Reserve System.

While most of the talk in the past of this “gold dinar” stemmed from religious interpretations of this as the only permissible currency under Islam, ISIS seems to also be piggybacking on the usual talking points of the flaws of a fiat money system and the credit-driven global banking system.

The gold dinar, in this sense, is being presented as a uniquely sound currency, making the Islamic State the lone state in the world with a primary currency that is backed by precious metals, by virtue of being minted out of them.

This could be a shrewd tactic for ISIS, as particularly in oil-dependent Middle Eastern countries the local currencies have been fluctuating pretty wildly of late. The prospect of a more stable currency might make ISIS money more accepted abroad, even in nations overtly hostile to ISIS themselves, than it otherwise would be.

There has been talk of ISIS coming up with these gold dinars virtually since they seized Mosul, as the capture of the city netted them a massive banking complex and a large amount of gold from which to mint currency. There is, however, still no firm date for when this money is actually going to happen, despite the mock-ups being out for so long.

The Defense Department’s new Law of War manual, which provides guidance to military commanders in time of war, advises that journalists they consider “unprivileged belligerents” can be either removed from military facilities or even detained indefinitely without charge. The problem is we are in an endless, undeclared war and the provision is sufficiently vague to potentially include any effective critic of US military action. Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report looks at this disturbing new development:

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

A flurry of reports are coming out hyping former US soldier Ryan O’Leary, who participated in the US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and, hearing about the ISIS war, just unilaterally went over there to help the Kurds fight ISIS.

Instead, O’Leary got a little confused, and has decided that Iran is the real problem, even though they are, you know, on the same side in the war as the Kurds. Now, he says he’s training the Kurds to fight against Iran.

O’Leary insists there is “no difference” between Iran and ISIS, and that he is patrolling the Iran-Iraq border on the lookout for “Iranian aggression” at all times.

Except, again, Iran isn’t fighting against the Kurds, and indeed this time last year Iran became one of the first countries to directly arm the Kurds for fighting against ISIS.

O’Leary’s argument is that because he believes the nuclear deal with Iran is so super bad, and because he’s not clear on the difference between Iran and ISIS, he figures Iran will just up and invade Iraqi Kurdistan as soon as the US Congress fails to block the deal. Not that it makes any strategic sense for Iran, but everyone in the US, even the ones unclear on which one is ISIS, know Iran’s the bad guys, right?

Recently 340 US rabbis — from the full spectrum of US Judaism — signed a letter to Congress urging approval of the Iran deal. As AIPAC spends millions lobbying against the deal, perhaps the US Jewish community is not as unified as the neocons would like us to believe. Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report discusses support for the deal:

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Adding to his severe criticism of the Associated Press document purported to be from the IAEA’s side deal with Iran, former IAEA official Tariq Rauf appeared on the Scott Horton Show this afternoon to offer further details on the many, many problems with the document, which he believed to be a forgery.

Among the new topics discussed is the question of why AP reporter George Jahn, when presented with a secret document he wasn’t allowed to take with him, hand-transcribed the text instead of taking an actual photograph with his phone. Rauf compares the document to the “Niger Letter” ahead of the US invasion of Iraq, and goes into detail on why the allegations surrounding the Parchin site in Iran probably aren’t credible in the first place.

The AP alleged on Wednesday that the Iran deal would allow Iran to “inspect itself,” though the initial article was later heavily edited, and ended up almost entirely reaction from US hawks. After the IAEA confirmed this story was untrue, they released the transcript on Thursday, apparently in an effort to vindicate themselves. The revelation that the transcript itself is a forgery just adds to the scandal surrounding the AP’s haphazard reporting on the Iran deal.