There's a second damning Iraq report floating around the intelligence community.
At least, that's according to Rep. Jane Harman (CA), the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee. At an event this morning, Harman disclosed the existence of a classified intelligence community report that gives a grim assessment of the situation in Iraq, and called for it to be shared with the American public -- before the November elections.
The report has not been shared with Congress, although sources say a draft version may have circulated earlier this summer. It is a separate report from the one revealed by major news outlets Sunday, which is said to conclude that the war in Iraq has made the U.S. less secure from terrorist threats.
"This morning at the National Press Club, Jane Harman did say that there is an [National Intelligence Estimate] on Iraq," her spokesman, Ari Goldberg, confirmed. Golberg said he had not read the report, but believes it may be grim. Sources at the event say the document is not officially an NIE, although it was prepared by the National Intelligence Council, an community-wide intelligence body whose primary function is to prepare NIEs.
Dr. Lawrence Korb, a former senior Defense Department official now with the liberal-progressive Center for American Progress, hasn't seen the report but has discussed it with those who have. "It's a very bleak picture of what's going on in Iraq," he said.
Harman called for the White House to share a classified version of the report with Congress -- and to release a declassified version of the document to the American public, prior to the November elections.
Democratic sources on the Hill confirmed that the report has been a topic of discussion, particularly because of concerns that its release was being "intentionally slowed" by the administration. Attendees at the National Press Club event where Harman spoke -- a rollout for a new Democratic defense/intelligence policy group called the National Security Network -- characterized Harman saying the reported was "languishing" under wraps.
In late July, Democratic lawmakers requested the intelligence community to write a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, noting that such a report had not been done in over two years. The Democratic sources say this NIE was prepared separate from that effort. The NIE Harman is asking for "sounds a hell of a lot more complete" than the report being worked on at Congress' request, said one.