The scale of the threat to American national security and interests posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is dependent upon the administration official making the assessment. To hear it from Barack Obama or his Cabinet officials, ISIS is losing ground in the Middle East, and intelligence efforts are thwarting the group’s efforts to execute attacks abroad. American military and intelligence officials, however, warn that ISIS is expanding its efforts to export terrorism to the West to combat the impression that the group is on its heels. The motivation to assuage the public’s concerns about ISIS is entirely and obviously political. It is that motivation which makes the scandal involving the falsification of intelligence related to the rise of ISIS all the more disturbing.