SITREP - August 28th, 2016


Date: Aug. 28, 2016

This week I wanted to shed light on a very concerning report coming out of a recent congressional investigation. Earlier this month, a joint House panel consisting of members from the Armed Services, Intelligence and Appropriations committees concluded that US Central Command (CENTCOM) has been manipulating reports as it relates to our fight against ISIS. Since 2014, CENTCOM leaders have routinely painted a falsely-positive portrait of our fight against this terrorist group. The investigation further suggested that top officials engaged in a practice of editing intel from subordinates that may have contradicted the ongoing narrative of success.

In short, either the Commander in Chief has developed a culture of sycophants or CENTCOM leaders are smudging the truth for their own reasons. Whatever the reason, we know we have a failure in fulsome reporting from those in the highest ranks of our military. This fits in to a long establish pattern of the Obama administration prioritizing political appearances over military realities.

If the situation against ISIS is not going well, we need to know that. If our men and women in the military are going to have trouble accomplishing their mission, we need to know that. If the unvarnished assessments would suggest a different course of action, we absolutely need to know that. We can make anything look good in an official assessment. But by putting forward a glass-half-full picture when the glass is really leaking, we're putting our own folks in harm's way under dangerously false pretenses. No member of Congress, regardless of party, should find this situation acceptable. I predict this won't be the last you hear of this.

Moving on to a more local matter, this Tuesday, August 30 is Florida's primary election. No matter your party or where you may stand, it's important to be part of the process. And even though I'm retiring this year, you can bet that Wendy and I will still be out there casting our ballots for that next generation of community leaders. If you have any questions or need more information on candidates and voting locations, please visit the Supervisor of Elections website for your county of residence.

Finally, with a tropical storm potentially bearing down on us, please remember that we are entering the height of the hurricane season and may even see some heavy rains early this week. Be aware, be prepared and have a plan in place in case this, or any future storm, turns into something of dire consequence.

With summer coming to a close and football season around the corner, it's easy to miss an important news story here and there – especially from Washington. But that's why this SITREP exists, to bring you topics and tidbits, like the conversation on CENTCOM, that I feel have been underreported and underappreciated. If there is anything you feel is not getting proper attention, or you just want to tell me what's on your mind, please feel free, as always, to reach out anytime at