WASHINGTON - Congressional Democrats, back from a quick trip to Iraq, said U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus assured them the White House wouldn't write his upcoming report.
Petraeus, the overall military commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker are scheduled next month to give Congress a definitive report on progress in the war.
A number of news reports cited sources who said the report would actually be written by the Bush administration. A CNN poll earlier this month said 53 percent of the public suspect the report will try to make the situation look better than it is and 43 percent said they didn't trust the report.
But the three Democrats returning from Iraq said Petraeus assured them that he and Crocker would be writing the report themselves.
Rep. Kendrick Meek of Florida said they asked Petraeus whether "there been any involvement from the administration taking a hand in his report and he assured us that that was not the case, that he and the ambassador were writing the report."
Petraeus said he has "briefed the president and he has briefed (Defense) Secretary (Robert) Gate, but as far as he's concerned, that he is writing … his recommendations (in) that report and testimony."
Rep. Michael Acuri of New York said the Iraqi government wasn't taking advantage of the breather provided by the surge in U.S. troops. "The surge was intended to create stability for political reconciliation in Iraq," he said, "and that simply hasn't happened."
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