In the latest twist to the ongoing saga over the
Petraeus White House report, a senior military official tells the Washington Times today that there will actually be no report at all:
A senior military officer said there will be no written presentation to the president on security and stability in Iraq. “There is no report. It is an assessment provided by them by testimony,” the officer said.
The only hard copy will be Gen. Petraeus’ opening statement to Congress, scheduled for Monday, along with any charts he will use in explaining the results of the troop surge in Baghdad over the past several months.
To recap, first the public was incorrectly led to believe that Gen. David Petraeus would issue his own report about the situation on the ground in Iraq. Then the Los Angeles Times reported that the so-called “Petraeus report” would “actually be written by the White House.”
Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) then suggested the White House would probably “tweak” the “Petraeus report.” In an effort to put the controversy to rest, Gen. David Petraeus assured lawmakers that the White House was not going to be involved in the “writing” of the report:
Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), told reporters Thursday that Petraeus said he and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker had briefed the administration on the situation in Iraq, but added that “as far as [Petraeus] is concerned … he is writing his recommendations of that report and testimony.”
Now, apparently there will be no written report from Gen. Petraeus at all. While Petraeus’ statement to Congress will be made available, the public will not know what information he is providing to President Bush. The lack of transparency over Petraeus’ “report” will only intensify the high level of skepticism surrounding his statistics.
UPDATE: In a recent hearing, Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) said he recently met with Gen. Petraeus and was shown “the data.” Coleman said the data is “very clear about a reduction in violence. General Petraeus has those charts,” Coleman explained. Apparently, those charts will not be for public consumption.