White House: New Iraq NIE Won’t Be Released Until After Elections

Yesterday, Jane Harman revealed the existence of a second National Intelligence Estimate, focusing exclusively on Iraq. TPM Muckraker reports:

At an event this morning, Harman disclosed the existence of a classified intelligence community report that gives a grim assessment of the situation in Iraq, and called for it to be shared with the American public — before the November elections.

…Dr. Lawrence Korb, a former senior Defense Department official now with the liberal-progressive Center for American Progress, hasn’t seen the report but has discussed it with those who have. “It’s a very bleak picture of what’s going on in Iraq,” he said.

In a conference call with reporters last night, White House Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend acknowledged the existence of the report, but said it wouldn’t be available until January 2007:

My understanding is the planned release date, given the work that must be done to have it be comprehensive and complete, is January of ’07. But I will tell you, that’s still quicker than most NIEs get done. The timing has got nothing to do with the election.

Very convenient.

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