Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.
So rather than have the general do his own evaluation of his own progress - which is suspect enough, I mean, what is he going to say, "fire me"? - Bush is now writing Petraeus' report to Bush.
LSB: John, I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that Bush isn't writing the report; rather this will be the gift Rove leaves on his desk on August 31st. Bush is on vacation now, remember? He won't have time to write a report on Iraq - he's got too much brush to clear.
LSB: Spin control. Just how bad is this report? Does this proposal remind anyone of the proposal the White House made for top aides to meet with Congressional committeess regarding Plamegate - private meetings in the White House, not under oath, no transcript, etc.? For now, at least, the "administration plans to follow the requirements of the legislation," which is to say "public congressional testimony." Unless Bush made some sort of signing statement that he was going to ignore this part of the legislation, there must be public congressional testimony - under oath, with a transcript, and television cameras capturing every word and gesture for the American (and international) public. We've been told too many times to be patient on the surge until the Petraeus report in September. Withholding Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker at this point should be impeachable. We need to hold the feet of our elected officials to the fire on this and demand public testimony.
Senior congressional aides said yesterday that the White House has proposed limiting the much-anticipated appearance on Capitol Hill next month of Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker to a private congressional briefing,
suggesting instead that the Bush administration's progress report on the Iraq war should be delivered to Congress by the secretaries of state and defense.
White House officials did not deny making the proposal in informal talks with Congress, but they said yesterday that they will not shield the commanding general in Iraq and the senior U.S. diplomat there from public congressional testimony required by the war-funding legislation President Bush signed in May. "The administration plans to follow the requirements of the legislation," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in response to questions yesterday.