The New York Times reports in a July 12 article President Bush will declare progress in Iraq on some benchmarks:

The Bush administration will assert in the next few days that progress of the Iraq security plan has been satisfactory on nearly half of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress, according to several administration officials.

But it will qualify some verdicts by saying that even when the political performance of the Iraqi government has been unsatisfactory, it is too early to make final judgments, they said.

The administration’s decision to qualify many of the political benchmarks will enable it to present a more optimistic assessment than if it had provided the pass-fail judgment sought by Congress.

If anyone can figure out exactly how the President is able to declare progress, please let me know.  This article is making my head spin.