Friday, March 07, 2008

Officials Lean Toward Keeping Next Iraq Assessment Secret

By Walter Pincus and Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 7, 2008; Page A07

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.)...

...In his letter to Warner, McConnell said that separate estimates are also being prepared on the "terrorist threat to the homeland" -- focusing on al-Qaeda and Pakistan -- and on "the tactical and longer-term security and political outlook for Afghanistan." Both are scheduled for publication by early fall...[Open in new window]
I figure they must want to keep it secret 'cause things are going so well.


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