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The GAO-Petraeus-Crocker-Bush Report

When he instigated the “surge,” President George W. Bush promised to write a report in September on how well the “surge” is going. Then, somehow, the report was assigned to General Petraeus, and after awhile, Ambassador Crocker was asked to report too. And now we hear from the General Accountability Office (GAO). What’s going on?

Yesterday, I wrote about the Bush Administration plan to ask for $50 billion after our bigshots in Iraq report. Today I learn that this request was a surprise to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Nobody seems to know what is going on. Maybe Bush is keeping it a secret from his own subordinates!

Could it be that contrary to Bush's happy talk, the "surge" is not working? The Washington Post says so:

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.

Later in the article it quotes the GAO Report:

"Overall," the report concludes, "key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion in reconstruction funds," as promised. While it makes no policy recommendations, the draft suggests that future administration assessments "would be more useful" if they backed up their judgments with more details and "provided data on broader measures of violence from all relevant U.S. agencies."

How did the GAO get in here? I have no idea. This is evidently a leak. The article gives us the reason for the leak:

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.

In other words, some patriotic official in our federal government has decided to preempt the president in reporting about Iraq so that the president could not bamboozle the American public one more time. This is the best news I have heard with reference to this administration in a very long time. Perhaps this is the beginning of the collapse of the government secrecy wall. I hope so.

Forget about the GAO-Petraeus-Crocker-Bush Report. All you need is the leaked GAO Report.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 30, 2007 4:53 PM
Comment #231096


Forget about the GAO-Petraeus-Crocker-Bush Report. All you need is the leaked GAO Report.

Right. Dismiss all reports that disagree with what you want to hear. How Bush-like.

The Bush report might (probably) will be optimistic. How do you know that whoever leaked this does not also have an anti-war agenda?

Posted by: Silima at August 30, 2007 5:34 PM
Comment #231099

Paul, thanks for bringing this news and that WaPo article to our attention.

“The Bush report might (probably) will be optimistic.”

Heh. That’s hilarious.

“How do you know that whoever leaked this does not also have an anti-war agenda?”

Duh. It came from the Government ACCOUNTABILITY Office. Anyone interested in accounting and accountability is generally against the Bush Administration, and in the endless continuation of their Iraq War debacle at this point.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 30, 2007 5:47 PM
Comment #231100

Personally, I’d like to hear all the reports. The viewpoint of the military (Petraeus), the economic viewpoint (GAO) and the political veiwpoint (Crocker).

Having only one point of view doesn’t give you a complete picture of the situation. I’d like to read all of the reports before passing judgement.

Posted by: Jim T. at August 30, 2007 5:48 PM
Comment #231102

Paul, in addition, the Joint Chiefs of Staff led by Gen. Peter Pace are reported to be cautioning the White House that if troops are not drawn down in Iraq well below 100,000 by April, America’s defensive and offensive abilities will be seriously compromised.

What is happening is an internal war in Executive Branch where realists are imposing reality upon the White House, a White House which chooses to substitute fantasies of future outcomes, for reality in the present. It is indicative of a crisis in the White House and a clear rift occurring between it and the military and independent advisors and analysts.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 30, 2007 6:13 PM
Comment #231110


I couldn’t disagree more with you. I’m really tired of giving equal due to both sides of an argument, the scientific side and the nutball side. Like with Global warming, or evolution, or this war, Republicans have been asking that equal due be given to small numbers of people with opposing views who are generally considered wacko by everyone else in their field. This is hardly a balanced view, it’s a gross distortion of the true feelings of experts in that field. That’s the evaluation you should be listening to, not some Bush hump.

Posted by: Max at August 30, 2007 7:09 PM
Comment #231112

The leaker in this case should be given a medal.This is comparable to the realease of the Pentagon Papers.

JT & Silma,sometimes truth hurts but it will set you free. Its a safe bet that the other parts of the final report will be spun,portions left out and probably include lies.

Posted by: BillS at August 30, 2007 7:53 PM
Comment #231155

BillS, I agree ! It is about time that someone with honesty and integrity speak about the deplorable state of affairs this administration keeps trying to shove down our throats !! We’ve got enough wimps and wusses …..this person does, in fact, deserve praise!!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at August 30, 2007 11:54 PM
Comment #231171

Bush will ask Congress for an additional $50 billion for Iraq. SecDef Gates first heard of this through a newspaper. It goes to show just how marginalized he has already become. The obvious conclusion: Bush is running the War in Iraq not through Gates, or Rice, but through the Office of the Vice President.

Posted by: phx8 at August 31, 2007 12:59 AM
Comment #231174

The person who leaked the report was right about his reason. The Pentagon ( Whitehouse ) is demanding that the final report be altered to highlight the progress that has been made.

When Bush was trying to get the surge approved in Congress. He claimed, once again that his new strategey would work this time and that in six months time we would see a big difference. Congress said we have heard it all before and if you want the money you are going to have to prove that you have a workable strategy by meeting certain benchmarks. Bush agreed to the arangement with Congress and got the funds for his surge.

Now it is payoff time and the benchmarks for the most part have not been met. Now Bush is going to claim that a lot of progress has been made, even though it has not, and that he should not have been required to meet these silly benchmarks that he agreed to anyway. The chorus will chime in with the corporate/neocon version of

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

Pull Out Of Iraq And It’s Over

Nine Dollars a Gallon For The Gas That You Use

Terrorists Will Be In Your Living Room

$200 Billion More For The Coming Fiscal Year

Or C O M M A

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

Posted by: jlw at August 31, 2007 1:24 AM
Comment #231193

Thanks, jlw, now I will have REM stuck in my head for the rest of the day. :^)

Those like Sillima can spin this all they want, but the telling point will be how different Dubya’s take on this will be from the GAO report. The more different, the more spin there will be. Personally, I want to see if he spins so much that he drills himself waist deep into the Rose Garden.


Posted by: leatherankh at August 31, 2007 9:29 AM
Comment #231200


…and that’s why we have so many nutballs out there only seeing one side of the picture. That’s why we have eco-terrorists and REAL terrorists. They only choose to look at one side of the picture. That’s why we have such divisive political partisanship in Congress. That’s why we have so many whack-jobs that belong to the Holy High Church Of Global Warming. Only one side is being looked at. Their credo is “My side or NOTHING…and anyone who believes different is a HERETIC!”

I will be fair to both sides. I will decide for myself who I choose to believe. I will NOT look at just one side of an issue without giving the other side a chance to present their case.

Those that ignore both sides…those that “knee jerk” issues…THAT’S one MAJOR reason why this country is in the mess it is today.

Posted by: Jim T. at August 31, 2007 10:55 AM
Comment #231224

Jim T.-
Both sides on Global Warming have been looked at. The trouble with the contrarian side, is that they won’t accept that their picture of the world is no longer scientifically supportable.

Climate Change under natural conditions is not slow and graceful. It flips almost like a switch. It also doesn’t need big inputs to create big changes. Contrarians reference the changes that brought about things like the Medieval Warm Period in Europe, and the Little Ice Age, without realizing that scientists measuring the changes in solar radiation and other forcings find the changes to be incredibly small there as well. They use events caused by climate’s sensitive, emergent nature to justify a very conservative, very old-fashioned view of climate change.

It’s frustrating. The contrarians take the side of the industry and of the conservatives that support them at the drop of a hat, but expect everybody else to reach impossible levels of certainty of an inherently uncertain natural phenomenon. They claim to be supporting sound science, but there’s nothing sound or scientific about their approach. That’s being knee-jerk.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 31, 2007 4:08 PM
Comment #231233

The White House and the Defence Dept. are disputing the GAO report but the State Dept. agrees with it.

Cheney’s reaction: I knew he was making a mistake when he nominated her for Secretary of State.

Posted by: jlw at August 31, 2007 4:50 PM
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