Another document has been released that shows Iraq is failing to meet a majority, if not indeed all, of the US-set benchmarks.
The latest is a GAO report that was leaked to the Washington Post, that states; “Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress, according to a draft of a Government Accountability Office report. The document questions whether some aspects of a more positive assessment by the White House last month adequately reflected the range of views the GAO found within the administration. […] 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 Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker. They are expected to describe significant security improvements and offer at least some promise for political reconciliation in Iraq.”
Keep in mind that this GAO report comes a few days after the new NIE was released that reported the very same thing… that Iraq is not meeting their benchmarks… and went even further and questioned some of the leaders in Iraq.
It also comes a few weeks before
Is it any wonder then that the public doesn't trust the White House to report honestly on the progress? In fact, the Bush(whacked) Administration is already in top spin mode regarding the “strikingly harsh” GAO report on Iraq.
The precise reason the GAO report was leaked to the Washington Post was because the source feared that the administration would try to “water down” its conclusions… well, and this really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, the Pentagon is indeed watering-down the report, with Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell saying that after reviewing a draft of the GAO report, Pentagon officials made what he called, “factual corrections” and then offered some “suggestions” on some of the actual grades that the GAO had assigned.
Said Mr. Morrell;
“We have provided the GAO with information which we believe will lead them to conclude that a few of the benchmark grades should be upgraded from ‘not met’ to ‘met,’”