OPENING REMARKS OF CHAIRWOMAN HARTZLER
WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, made the following remarks, as prepared for delivery, on the hearing titled “Department of Defense Inspector General Report 'Investigation on Allegations Relating to USCENTCOM Intelligence Products.” For hearing testimony and to watch the hearing live click here.
"I am delighted to convene the first Oversight and Investigations subcommittee hearing for the one-hundred and fifteenth Congress.
Before I turn to the topic of today’s hearing and introduce our witnesses, I want to welcome our new Ranking Member and the others who are joining the subcommittee for the first time.
In recent years, this subcommittee has been engaged in a wide variety of important national security topics. I am eager to work with all of you to ensure we continue to exercise our Constitutional responsibilities to help to oversee the Department of Defense.
I am happy to have Mr. Moulton as the subcommittee’s Ranking Member. I look forward to his important contributions to our work.
I am also pleased that we are joined by Mr. Gaetz, Mr. Banks, Ms. Cheney, Mr. O’Halleran, and Mr. Suozzi.
Welcome to the subcommittee.
Our returning members are Mr. Conaway and Mr. Scott. It is great to have you with us again. I know we will continue to benefit from your keen insights.
For today’s hearing we are also joined by [or will be joined by] one or more committee members who are not members of this subcommittee.
Today’s hearing topic is especially timely.
Three weeks ago, the Department of Defense Inspector General released a report about allegations that leadership within U.S. Central Command improperly manipulated intelligence products that led to an inaccurate understanding of the U.S. campaign against ISIS.
As a consequence, 30 professionals in the Inspector General’s office undertook an inquiry into this matter. They conducted 152 interviews at CENTCOM and reviewed thousands of pages of materials over the course of many months.
Although the report did not find systematic or intentional distortion of intelligence or evidence of misconduct, the IG did conclude that CENTCOM intelligence products 'could have, and should have been better.'
The report also found a very challenging command climate at CENTCOM and identified several process and procedural issues which the IG believed impeded the intelligence analysis process.
The Inspector General proffered 29 specific recommendations for improvements, and discussed the need to implement corrective action.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses and learning about the changes that have been made in response to the report, and the progress we can expect. I look forward to discussing these issues with the two panels today."