When George W. Bush addressed the American Legion in Reno, Nev., this week, he talked at length about all of the progress he's seeing in Iraq. He used variations of the word "encouraging" and "hopeful" five times each. "Despite the slow progress in the Iraqi parliament," the president said, "Iraq as a whole is moving forward."
As the Washington Post reports this morning, a soon-to-be-released report from the Government Accountability Office says Iraq has met just three of the 18 political and military benchmarks Congress has established.
The Post calls the draft report "strikingly negative," but it may not stay that way for long. "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," the Post says. One good reason for such concern: As we noted the other day, a senior intelligence officer has said that Gen. David Petraeus succeeded in sugarcoating the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq before its key judgments were released last week.