The New York Times has apparently decided that since success on the military end of things is now fairly evident, that it is time to begin chipping away at the poilitcal side. To this end, they have once again utilized their favorite tool, the anonymous source, to try to destroy Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The Times story, posted on the front page of their web site, is entitled Report Cites Grave Concerns on Iraq's Government. Once a reader gets past the scare-mongering headline, the report continues to cast doubt on the Iraqi government in every way it can, stating,
The administration is planning to make public today parts of a sober new report by American intelligence agencies expressing deep doubts that the government of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, can overcome sectarian differences. Government officials who have seen the report say it gives a bleak outlook on the chances Mr. Maliki can meet milestones intended to promote unity in Iraq.
Naturally, the Times used an anonymous official to reinforce their position. "“The report says that there’s been little political progress to date, and it’s very gloomy on the chances for political progress in the future,” said one Congressional official with knowledge of its contents."
It is no surprise that the Times uses "an anonymous Congressional offiical". During the course of their campaign for defeat in Iraq and the destruction of President Bush's Adminstration, the Times has rarely dared to actually quote from true named experts, and many of the anonymous experts they have used in the past, such as Michael Scheuer, have been easily discredited once their real names and positions became known. Whereas, by using an "anonymous" expert, the actual espertise fo thier chosen commentator is difficult to discern.
It appears that the Times has decided that since military success is virtually impossible to deny, that it is time to attack the civilian authorities, despite the fact that they too have made great strides since the beginning of the campaign. al-Maliki has managed to reach out to Sunnis and hang on to his own Shi'ite support as well, in the process marginalizing the Moqti al-Sadr forces as well. In the Times's view, any American defeat that hurts the Administration is apparently better than a victory that actually strengthens America.
Hat tip to Matt Drudge.