by D. Cupples | A new, classified National Intelligence Estimate claims that significant progress has been made in Iraq's security since August -- according to a officials who spoke anonymously to the press.
Not surprisingly, the new NIE says pretty much says what the last NIE said -- the one released just before General David Petraeus testified to Congress that the surge was working and that we made progress in Iraq. The Associated Press reports:
"In most ways the new National Intelligence Estimate hews closely to the one delivered nine months ago. That document spoke of security gains since the increase in troop levels began in January 2007, the continued high rate of violence and uneven progress on the part of Iraqi security forces....
"The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the report is classified. They noted that many of the conclusions of the report are already reflected in public statements and press reports.
Since the August report, Sunni tribes have solidified their resistance to al-Qaida-associated insurgents in Anbar and Diyala provinces, which has weakened the movement.
"The National Intelligence Estimate is part of a series of periodic reports that offer the best consensus judgment of top analysts at all 16 U.S. spy agencies on major foreign policy, security and global economic issues.
"Congress received the new report this week in advance of congressional hearings April 8-9 at which war commander Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker are scheduled to testify....
"The report does not take into account the recent battle in Basra, the unruly Shiite port city in the south, according to another congressional official." (AP)
Somehow, it seems important that the NIE doesn't take into account the recent upheaval in Basra, which seems to be vidence against the notion of better security. It's like taking a snapshot of a person at age 25 and using it to represent the person at age 45, much to the chagrin of My Space visitors nationwide.
Another thing is troubling: why do so many government officials speak to the press anonymously about classified documents? Isn't that an offense approaching treason?
Or are such "leaks" allowed -- even planned -- by various officials who are trying to sell their political agendas to a very skeptical public?
Memeorandum has commentary.
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