Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman boldly made the following statement yesterday;
"The situation seems far more stable than when I was here two or three years ago," he said in an interview in the fortified Green Zone. "The security seems better, people are more relaxed. There is an optimism, at least among the people I talked to."
Bodman was in Iraq meeting with the Iraqi oil and electricity ministers.
This statement is in stark contrast to the recent statements made by Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-MN), who recently returned from a visit to Iraq.
"We learned it's not safe to go anywhere outside of the Green Zone any part of the day," he said.
Gutknecht was critical of some of the "spin" from Bush administration officials in the Pentagon and the State Department. He specifically pointed to past statements that a few hundred insurgents were causing the violence in the Iraq. Military officials say they've captured 10,000 even as the insurgency continues unabated.
"That"s a far cry from what we were told originally," he said. ... "All of the information we receive sometimes from the Pentagon and the State Department isn't always true."
"What I think we need to do more is withdraw more Americans," he said.
It's up to Iraqis to fix Iraq, and they need to do it soon, according to Gutknecht.
Let's be clear, I don't expect things to be perfect over there and I do realize things take time. However, I do expect our leaders to be honest about what is actually going on. I hear people rag the press all the time about how they're not reporting the good news. While that may be true to a point, our government isn't helping matters by giving us and Congress misinformation.