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More Massaging

Almost immediately after a GAO report that showed Iraq's leaders were flunking the benchmark test for surge success was leaked to the press, the White House set about to downplay its findings. According to the Bushies, the congressional report shouldn't be given too much credit because it wasn't grading on a curve. See in Bushworld, grades only matter when you're doing well.

Well we may now have another instance of them playing fast and loose with numbers. From The National Security Network (via Kevin Drum):
There were significant revisions to the way the Pentagon's reports measure sectarian violence between its March 2007 report and its June 2007 report. The original data for the five months before the surge began (September 2006 through January 2007) indicated approximately 5,500 sectarian killings. In the revised data in the June 2007 report, those numbers had been adjusted to roughly 7,400 killings — a 25% increase. These discrepancies have the impact of making the sectarian violence appear significantly worse during the fall and winter of 2006 before the President's "surge" began.

Which would in turn given the impression that lower instances of sectarian killings during the surge would mean it's working. Of course when you factor in seasonal statistics, you find that violence tends to decrease during the hottest of the summer months. It was almost as if the Bushies knew this when they started the surge...

All this data Shiatsu was apparently the last straw for the Pentagon since they are now affectively throwing up their hands and saying to Bush "It's your mess, you deal with it". It's not really surprising since the commanders weren't too keen on the surge to begin with but it is still not exactly good for troop morale knowing your commanders are practically washing their hands of the situation. Even more depressing is they are leaving the decisions up to cadre who don't have soldiers, or the country's, best interests in mind.

See also Cernig.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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