At least, that's according to Rep. Jane Harman (CA), the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee. 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.
The report has not been shared with Congress, although sources say a draft version may have circulated earlier this summer. It is a separate report from the one revealed by major news outlets Sunday, which is said to conclude that the war in Iraq has made the U.S. less secure from terrorist threats…
Democratic sources on the Hill confirmed that the report has been a topic of discussion, particularly because of concerns that its release was being "intentionally slowed" by the administration…
LSB: "intentionally slowed by the administration…” – until after the election, you think? SOP, babe, it’s just SOP. But you and the other Dems have got to keep pushing for this to be released, until the drum beats are so loud the WH has to declassify and release it. Otherwise the major media outlets will continue to run the WH press releases with little-to-no fact checking.
UPDATE: Harman has sent a letter to intelligence director John Negroponte demanding that he complete the second NIE on Iraq quickly, and release a declassified version before the elections in November. An excerpt:
NIEs have been produced in as little as several weeks, as in the case of the 2002 report on Iraqi WMD. While I understand the desire to be thorough, events in Iraq make it urgent that the Intelligence Community produce this NIE immediately. If your intention is to delay this report until after the November elections, I do not think that is appropriate given that U.S. troops are at risk at this moment. …White House advisor Fran Townsend said yesterday, “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.”
I urge you to expedite completion of the NIE and to release it in both classified and publicly releasable unclassified forms.