Well, I guess that’ll make it harder to prosecute General Petraeus for lying to Congress.

In the latest twist to the ongoing saga over the Petraeus White House report, a senior military official tells the Washington Times today that there will actually be no report at all:

A senior military officer said there will be nowritten presentation to the president on security and stability inIraq. “There is no report. It is an assessment provided by them bytestimony,” the officer said.

The only hard copy will be Gen. Petraeus’ opening statement toCongress, scheduled for Monday, along with any charts he will use inexplaining the results of the troop surge in Baghdad over the pastseveral months.


While Petraeus’ statement to Congress will be made available,the public will not know what information he is providing to PresidentBush. The lack of transparency over Petraeus’ “report” will onlyintensify the high level of skepticism surrounding his statistics.

UPDATE: In a recent hearing, Sen. Norm Coleman(R-MN) said he recently met with Gen. Petraeus and was shown “thedata.” Coleman said the data is “very clear about a reduction inviolence. General Petraeus has those charts,” Coleman explained. Apparently, those charts will not be for public consumption.

You see, I’m sure if we had those charts, then 1) we’d be able to point out how deceptive they were while Petraeus was in front of Congress and 2) we’d be able to show that Petraeus ignored real data to put together those charts and fake 75% decreases in violence.

At some point Democratic Members of Congress need to start calling this charade what it is: a willful intent to lie to Congress. And leave almost no paperwork that might mean Petraeus would get caught.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.