I do this sometimes when I can't find my carkeys; mostly because the dogs don't mind. But it would be a very poor excuse for these goings-on.
Remember the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq that was leaked to the New York Times last fall? Well, it was an old one and a new one is the one the dog ate. Or perhaps not the dog, but the excuses are no more believable:
The situation came to a head last week, during a closed-door session of the Senate Armed Services Committee. This committee expected to be briefed on the long-awaited NIE by an official from the National Intelligence Council (NIC), which coordinates NIEs by gathering input from all of the nation's various intelligence agencies. But the NIC official turned up empty-handed and told the committee that the intelligence community hadn't been able to complete the NIE because it had been dealing with the many demands placed upon it by the Bush Administration to help prepare the new military strategy on Iraq. He then said that not all of the relevant agencies had contributed to the NIE, which has made it impossible to put together a finished product.