Wednesday, August 29, 2007

GAO Report cites little progress in Iraq

Yet another headline in the Washington Post screams what we already know: there's little progress to be shown for the thousands of dead Americans and hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the Iraq War. The Post snagged an early copy of the report. Here's a snippet:
The strikingly negative GAO draft, which will be delivered to Congress in final form on Tuesday, comes as the White House prepares to deliver its own new benchmark report in the second week of September, along with congressional testimony from Iraq commander Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker. They are expected to describe significant security improvements and offer at least some promise for political reconciliation in Iraq.

The draft provides a stark assessment of the tactical effects of the current U.S.-led counteroffensive to secure Baghdad. "While the Baghdad security plan was intended to reduce sectarian violence, U.S. agencies differ on whether such violence has been reduced," it states. While there have been fewer attacks against U.S. forces, it notes, the number of attacks against Iraqi civilians remains unchanged. It also finds that "the capabilities of Iraqi security forces have not improved."

The other interesting tidbit in the report is found here, in addressing how the Post came into possession of a report not yet released to Congress:

The person who provided the draft report to The Post said it was being conveyed from a government official who feared that its pessimistic conclusions would be watered down in the final version -- as some officials have said happened with security judgments in this month's National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. Congress requested the GAO report, along with an assessment of the Iraqi security forces by an independent commission headed by retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, to provide a basis for comparison with the administration's scorecard.

Interesting, huh? Government officials are now leaking reports because they fear the White House or the Pentagon will change them so much that they will no longer accurately reflect the truth. It's pathetic that I'm not surprised one tiny little bit. That's how far gone my trust in the Administration is. It's also all the more reason why Congress needs to stand up and put an end to this charade and stop the War.

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