Friday, March 07, 2008

You Know Things in Iraq are Going Well, When...

That post title could really be part 10,236 of an ongoing series. But I've digressed before I've even started. Now back to this episode of everyone's favorite neverending war.

Today, we learn that Bush administration officials are so sanguine about the prospects in Iraq going forward, so convinced that The Surge will succeed (or has already succeeded), that they're going to release the key findings of the updated NIE on Iraq ahead of Petraeus' April testimony to Congress.

Well, that's what you would expect them to do, right? I mean, why sit on all that good news - news bound to mute public opposition to permanent occupation and buoy the candidacy of Mr. Hundred Years to Infinity himself.

Here's the thing though: the Bush administration is actually leaning toward keeping the key findings of the NIE a secret. Via Cernig, the WaPo reports:

A new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq is scheduled to be completed this month, according to U.S. intelligence officials. But leaders of the intelligence community have not decided whether to make its key judgments public, a step that caused an uproar when key judgments in an NIE about Iran were released in November.

The classified estimate on Iraq is intended as an update of last summer's assessment, which predicted modest security improvements but an increasingly precarious political situation there, the U.S. officials said.

It is meant to be delivered to Congress before testimony in early April by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, according to a letter sent last week by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell to Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.).

...Intelligence officials said that the National Intelligence Board -- made up of the heads of the 16 intelligence agencies plus McConnell -- will decide whether to release the Iraq judgments once the estimate is completed. But they made clear that they lean toward a return to the traditional practice of keeping such documents secret.

In internal guidance he issued in October, McConnell said that his policy was that they "should not be declassified."

The key findings are that good, huh? Guess we'll just have to take their word for it. I mean, they wouldn't lie would they? Not about the situation in Iraq at least.

Looks like the Cheney wing, having seen its Iran-war designs crippled by the recent release of Iran-related NIE key findings, is saying fool me once...

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