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New report on Iraq delivered to Capitol Hill

  • Story Highlights
  • The previous National Intelligence Estimate was completed last August
  • Key judgments of that review were made public
  • Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell wants to keep this report secret
  • McConnell: "At minimum I'm telling a foreign power what I know about him"
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From Pam Benson
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. intelligence community sent its latest assessment of the situation in Iraq to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, according to congressional sources, but the findings will likely stay secret.

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee last month.

The National Intelligence Estimate updates the previous assessment, which was completed last August.

Although the key judgments of the August review and one done in January 2007 were made public, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said he wants to return to the previous long-standing policy of keeping the entire report secret.

At a speech last month in Baltimore, Maryland, McConnell said releasing any part of an NIE makes his job tougher.

"At minimum I'm telling a foreign power what I know about him," he said, and once they know that, "they're going to try to hide things or do it a different way."

The latest report on Iraq is being distributed to policymakers a week before the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, are scheduled to testify before Congress about the outlook for progress in Iraq.

NIEs represent the entire intelligence community's best assessment of a national security issue. They examine current situations and judge the likely course of future events. See findings from recent intelligence reports »


In the August report, the intelligence community concluded there was "measurable but uneven improvements in Iraq's security situation," but indicated the Iraqi government would "become more precarious over the next 6 to 12 months."

The report also warned that insurgent and sectarian violence would "remain high" during that time frame. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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