Petraeus' math: Fuzzy and not even written down

The head of the GAO says he can't get "comfortable" with the military's claim of a 75 percent drop in sectarian violence.

Published September 7, 2007 3:50PM (EDT)

U.S. Comptroller General David Walker was asked today about the military's claim that sectarian violence in Iraq is down 75 percent as a result of the "surge." His reply: "We were briefed on the methodology. We're not comfortable with the methodology."

Will the rest of us have an opportunity to get "comfortable" with the methodology by examining it in some sort of methodical way? Fat chance. From the Washington Times via Think Progress comes word that Gen. David Petraeus' report -- where the 75 percent claim will be made -- won't be much of a report at all.

"A senior military officer said there will be no written presentation to the president on security and stability in Iraq," the Times reports. The necessary implication: If the president isn't getting a written report from Petraeus, neither is Congress and neither are the rest of us.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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