UDPATE: One more note about the GAO report. Of course military officials in Iraq disagree with the report's conclusion:
The GAO concluded that all forms of violence remain high in Iraq -- causing senior military officials to complain that the report did not consider statistics for August, when, they said, trends in sectarian violence and the performance of the Iraqi security forces improved.
"They use the end of July as the data and evidentiary cutoff and therefore are not taking into account any gains in any of the benchmarks that may have become more clear throughout August," one official said.
[Comptroller David] Walker said the GAO consulted with the military until Thursday. "We asked for, but did not receive, the information through the end of August," he said. "But we obtained their views for where the situation was . . . as of August 30th."
So these "officials" complain about the report not reflecting improvements in August, but won't hand over the date for August that would permit the GAO to revise the report to show as much. Why is that? I don't think I need to spell it out for you.