Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bushfib- no. 2

In his press conference of August 9, 2006, President Bush made several debatable assertions but, to his credit, only one statement which was clearly beyond distortion or obfuscation. By law, the President is required to submit to Congress two reports to include "an assessment of how the Sovereign Government of Iraq is performing in its efforts to achieve a series of specific benchmarks."

According to colunnist Dan Froomkin, writing in White House Watch for, Mr. Bush asserted "in the July 15 report that I submitted to Congress, there were indications that they had met about half the benchmarks and some of the political benchmarks they were falling short." However, "progress" had been found in only eight of eighteen benchmarks (o.k., almost half) but the "Initial Benchmark Assessment Report" did not address whether the benchmarks had been met, only whether "progress" had been made. To illustrate: in the case of one of the benchmarks in which progress had been made, the report maintained "progress toward achieving this benchmark has been satisfactory, and we will continue to monitor and engage with the committees to produce a satisfactory effect over the next 60 days." Hence, there were not even "indications" of benchmarks having been met; otherwise, the report would not have differentiated between "progress" and the "effect," which could be measured only over the following 60 days.

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