Parts of a security assessment prepared six months ago was leaked to the press but only the most damaging parts were leaked. If you look at the entire report you see how slanted the excerpts were edited. For example here is how MSNBC repeated one paragraph:
The war in Iraq has become a "cause célèbre" for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. that probably will get worse before it gets better
The paragraph actually says:
The war in Iraq has become a "cause célèbre" for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.Seems a bit different in tone doesn't it? I don't think that I am imagining things if I see this as making the case for "staying the course".
The President makes his case here. He has a lot of good points including pointing out that the report was released in March based on the situation in February. It is so old that it makes repeated references to Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi who was killed June, 7.
So why was it leaked in late September? For political gain, of course.