The New York Times > Washington > The Reconstruction: U.S. Intelligence Shows Pessimism on Iraq’s Future: “There’s a significant amount of pessimism,’ said one government official who has read the document, which runs about 50 pages. The officials declined to discuss the key judgments – concise, carefully written statements of intelligence analysts’ conclusions – included in the document.

The intelligence estimate, the first on Iraq since October 2002, was prepared by the National Intelligence Council and was approved by the National Foreign Intelligence Board under John E. McLaughlin, the acting director of central intelligence. Such estimates can be requested by the White House or Congress, but this one was initiated by the intelligence council under George J. Tenet, who stepped down as director of central intelligence on July 9, the government officials said.

As described by the officials, the pessimistic tone of the new estimate stands in contrast to recent statements by Bush administration officials, including comments on Wednesday by Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, who asserted that progress was being made.”

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