New Iraq NIE Likely to Remain Secret

Officials keen to keep report classified after Iran estimate flap
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2008 1:46 PM CST
The top U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus, left, talks to local community leaders during a youth soccer tournament in central Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, March 1, 2008.Although a new National Intelligence...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Intelligence officials may keep the results of a new assessment on Iraq confidential when it's completed next month, the Washington Post reports. The new National Intelligence Estimate will be given to Congress, but intelligence officials are gunshy about making it public because of the brouhaha that erupted when they released an NIE about Iran's nuclear program last fall.

Intelligence director Mike McConnell said Congress will have the assessment of Iraq's political and military status ahead of testimony in April by Gen. David Petraeus. It is general policy not to declassify such documents, but intelligence leaders made an exception on Iran, citing the "importance of the information to open discussions about our national security." That report said Iran had halted its drive to make nuclear weapons.