Dems Seize on Ugly Iraq Report

GAO says 11 of 18 benchmarks unmet; majority prepares to push Bush
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2007 5:10 PM CDT
Government Accountability Office Comptroller General David Walker, right, prepares to shake hands with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007, prior to testifying...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Harry Reid and the majority Democrats burst out of the vacation gates today with a damning Iraq scorecard, beating the policy-change drum a day after President Bush cited improvement while visiting Iraq, and ahead of Gen. David Petraeus’ supposedly positive surge report. The GAO report concluded Iraq had failed to meet 11 of 18 benchmarks, the New York Times reports, with virtually no political progress.

John Kerry called the analysis “a failing grade,” as Democrats kicked off a week of Iraq hearings. Among the shortcomings the GAO identified were continued militia control of local security, political intervention in the military, and unbalanced law enforcement. Reid set out to put Bush on the defensive: “September is the month for policy change in Iraq.”