Guest blogged by Bill W.
In this latest White House " Benchmark Assessment Report" (pdf) released yesterday, Bushco now claims the Iraqi government has "satisfactorily" met 9 of the 18 specific benchmarks the White House itself set back in May, up from the 8 benchmarks Bush claimed they had achieved in July, which not surprisingly is a far cry from the sobering GAO report just last week which found that only 3 of the White House's benchmarks for progress in Iraq had yet been met.
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CNN's Ed Henry explains how the White House's crack team of number crunchers came to their much rosier assessment:
"The White House is getting awfully creative in how it's grading the Iraqi Government's success or failure." (....)
"The White House gave a positive rating on any benchmark where "present trend data demonstrates a positive trajectory, which is tracking toward satisfactory accomplishment" In other words: Thumbs-up for a benchmark that might be met eventually."
So, even if we accept the White House's flawed formulary
The White House had already set the bar fairly low for the Iraqi Government as the entire purpose for their creating these 18 benchmarks in the first place was so they could trumpet their great success in tandem with Gen Potemkin's report right before the upcoming '08 Defense budget showdown in Congress. Now, having failed their own 'No Iraqi Government Left Behind Act,' they want another F.U. so they can take a make-up test whereby they're already foreshadowing that by then the Iraqi Government might possibly meet but half of the White House's standard. sigh
"Now, in July when the preliminary report on White House benchmarks came out and had bad grades for the Iraqi Government, the White House said wait until September, and now September's here. The report card is not good again, The White House is saying, 'Wait until March,' when there will be yet another report card. Where have we heard that, Suzanne?"
"We've heard it again and again."
You know, "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee ..."