In his testi¬mony to the House Armed Services Committee in early September, Walker repeatedly stressed that the Government Accountability Office’s assessment of the Iraqi govern¬ment’s progress was “the only inde¬pendent and professional judgment available.”
The independence and professionalism of the GAO is undisputed. And whether or not you agree with an auditor assessing a war by num¬bers (AFJ does not), the GAO prop¬erly performed the duty Congress asked of it, measuring the Iraqi government’s performance against a set of U.S.-defined benchmarks.
But Walker over¬stepped the mark when he attempted to taint yet-to-be-presented Iraq reports from Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker by saying their reports would not be independent. And to imply that neither the com¬mander of U.S. forces in Iraq nor the highest-ranking U.S. civilian representa¬tive in Baghdad (with extensive knowl¬edge of the region) would provide pro¬fessional judgments was outrageous.