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  #1  
Old 06-09-2004, 11:33 PM
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Terrorism at a 20-year high?

But you guys told me that W had the War on Terror under control. What gives? (link)

Text:

State Dept. Concedes Errors in Terror Data

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 10, 2004; Page A17


Two months ago, the Bush administration released its annual report card on counterterrorism and gave itself an A. The number of terrorist attacks around the globe, according to the State Department report called "Patterns of Global Terrorism," was at the lowest ebb in the past 34 years.

Ambassador at Large for Counterterrorism J. Cofer Black, citing the existence of only 190 acts of terrorism in 2003, called it "good news" attributable in part to unprecedented U.S. collaboration with foreign partners. He predicted the trend would continue in 2004. Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage cited the data as "clear ?evidence that we are prevailing in the fight."

Not long afterward, however, the report was pilloried by academics, a lawmaker and others. They said its math defied the reality of a steady growth in the number and significance of terrorist attacks in 2003, as well as the worst type of attacks spreading from just a few countries to at least 10.

The Congressional Research Service cited the complaints in a June 1 report urging a review of the report's "structure and content." Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), senior Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, said in a May 17 letter to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell that "it is deplorable that the . . . report would claim that terrorism attacks are decreasing when in fact significant terrorist activity is at a 20-year high."

Yesterday, after reviewing the matter more carefully, the department formally conceded it made a few mistakes.

"At our request, the Terrorist Threat and Integration Center is reviewing and revising the statistics for 2003," spokesman Adam Ereli said. "We anticipate that a correction to the 'Patterns of Global Terrorism' will be publicly issued as soon as possible."

Officials declined to detail the errors to be corrected by the center. It was created last year from elements of the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Defense Department, with the goal of becoming the authoritative administration voice on terrorism.

But one senior official, speaking on the condition that he not be cited by name, said the corrections could fill eight pages, including a revised chronology of events, "a list of some things that should have been put in or left out," and various explanatory notes. Word of the State Department's decision was first reported yesterday by the Los Angeles Times.

Larry C. Johnson, a former CIA analyst and former deputy director of State's counterterrorism office, is among those who have urged a wide-ranging correction. He said that even using the report's own data, as presented in its statistical tables, the total number of terrorist incidents in 2003 rose, not fell, compared with 2002.

The number of deaths in the tables was 390, not 307 as department officials asserted in public comments; the number of wounded was 1,895, not 1,593, Johnson said. He said the number of significant incidents -- involving victims who were killed, injured or kidnapped -- rose from 60 percent of incidents in 2002 to 89 percent in 2003.

He also noted, as did Waxman and scholars at Princeton and Stanford universities, that the report omitted acts of terrorism after Nov. 11, 2003. The department attributed this to a cutoff date for printing the report in time for its release on April 29. At a result, a Nov. 15 suicide bombing in Istanbul that killed 61 people and injured more than 300 was omitted.

Johnson said the report also omitted from the list of significant acts of terrorism, for unknown reasons, the 13 terrorist attacks in Russia attributed to Chechens in 2003, which he said caused the deaths of 244 people. Although most significant attacks occurred in just two countries in 2002 -- Israel and India -- they occurred in 10 in 2003, Johnson said: Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Morocco, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Turkey.

"When you read the report, TTIC did not add [the data] properly. Even a third-grader could have found this," Johnson said. "The body counts in 2002 and 2003 were at the highest levels in history."
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2004, 08:27 AM
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The Bush Administration post erroneous and misleading information? That benefits them? Why who would have thought it possible?
OK, all you Bush lovers out there, how about explaining this one. Are they stupid or just plain evil?
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2004, 09:09 AM
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Hoping for more information on this story, I checked Fox News and the New York Daily News but didn't see anything. Both of those sites have brought us so much on W's version of the war on terror, I thought for sure they would have a fair and balanced look at this important issue.
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  #4  
Old 06-10-2004, 09:37 AM
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Their practice of Soviet-style disinformation has been well noted in these pages. This is just another case in point. Their twisting of scientific information for politcal purposes is also an outrage.
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  #5  
Old 06-10-2004, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Botnst
Satanically evil, of course.

B
Agreed.
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  #6  
Old 06-10-2004, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by LK1
Are they stupid or just plain evil?
Both.
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2004, 01:20 AM
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I was hoping that one of you Bush guys out there would defend him on this one. What's the deal?
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2004, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by narwhal
Difference between issue voters and hobbiest dissadents: Next president, no matter what persuasion will draw fire from dissadents. Issue voters will just try to change the system, and not blame the sky falling on a Republican or a Democrat.
My concern is the consistent misreporting of FACT under Bush. If this were an isolated incident, or the mistake was one of a small percentage off I would assume it was an honest mistake. How do you go from the LOWEST rate of terrorism to the HIGHEST? If the buck doesn't stop at Bush who does it stop at?
I am not a hobbiest dissident, I am an ISSUE voter, and the issue is fundamental honesty and trust in my government.
The system that needs to be changed is BUSH. The incompetency and vindictiveness that runs through this admiinistration is criminal.
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2004, 01:18 PM
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Tune into todays news. As a result of this report the State Department is now withdrawing and repudiating its original assertions on terrorism going down. The press has finally gotten wise to the disinformation tactics of this administration and everything they assert from now on is going to be given the fine tooth comb.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,122403,00.html
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2004, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by narwhal
damn that just sounds like plain old paranoia.
Its not paranoia, its a political dynamic caused by Bush. This stuff from the Bush admin is continual. They crossed the line from spin into propaganda, and a lot of voters are beginning to see it as something that is hurting our country. They need to start either getting their facts straight, or start explaining to us why they can't. The Bushies got a free pass from the press after 911, and they have gotten used to getting away with so much outrageous **** they are having a hard time stopping it. Now that they are back under the microscope, they are looking really bad. I think they miscalculated how long they would be able to get away with this ****. I respect the way a lot of you so passionately support this guy, but things have reached an Emperor-has-no-clothes point. To the average person at large that doesn't have a dog in this race yet, this adminstration's credibility is shot full of holes, and they did it to themselves. If they don't start doing something about it, they are going to pay dearly for it in the election. Zogby, who is a pollster I respect as a non-partisan, says Bushes numbers, while comparative to Kerry, are extremely soft, while Kerry's represent a strong base of people of all political persausions who are just fed up with these guys. This spells potential landslide for the Dems. Kerry doesn't have to do anything but wait for more of this stuff to be exposed, simply because each time more is, more people switch to the fed-up-with-Bush voter base. Zogby says it has become the dynamic of this election, like the Clinton soccer moms , or the Reagan Democrats of 1980 - it is a real political phenomenem just as those were and very,very bad news for Bush.

If I was Bush, I'd start by getting the felon out of my government who exposed the identity of the CIA agent. He has lost total claim to his "character does matter" charade because of this. In a political operation like the White House, whoever did this must be known to him. Tolerating or excusing a felon amongst his staff says volumes to me about this guy. Acting like he doesn't know who he is just seems to reinforce the loose-with-the-truth image. When Kerry asks him pretty much the question I have just asked, in the debates, Bush is going to be looking pretty damned bad.

Last edited by KirkVining; 06-11-2004 at 03:38 PM.
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  #11  
Old 06-11-2004, 03:27 PM
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Good word, paranoia.

But even a broken clock can be right twice a day. Unless its digital and then it just blinks 00:00. Well maybe that's the time in the twilight zone.

B
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2004, 06:32 PM
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More Soviet-style disinformation from Team Bush

Cooking the books on terror
The State Department finally admits that its report on terrorist activity since 2001 -- which showed improvement under Bush -- was marred by bad data funneled to it by other White House agencies. Sound familiar?

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Joe Conason



June 11, 2004 | Did the Bush administration manipulate statistics to exaggerate the president's success in the war on terrorism? For George W. Bush, the public perception that he can protect the nation from terrorists is among his last remaining strengths in recent polls that show him losing the confidence of most voters -- and the White House is naturally determined to preserve that advantage. Now administration officials are admitting that an official government report, which featured data showing a remarkable decline in terror since 2001, is marred by bad numbers and inaccurate conclusions.

Nobody has confessed to massaging the numbers for political gain, and nobody ever will. But under pressure from congressional and academic critics, administration officials announced Thursday that substantial errors marred the accuracy of the State Department's report on terrorist incidents and perpetrators -- and that its hyped conclusions must be substantially revised.


Under a mandate from Congress, the State Department issues an annual report titled "Patterns of Global Terrorism" that is widely regarded as authoritative by diplomats and experts. Although the report's interpretations have always been subject to argument over the past two decades, particularly in its designation of "state sponsors of terrorism," the underlying facts cited in its pages have rarely been disputed.


On April 29, the department released the report's 2003 edition with considerable fanfare. Presenting its optimistic findings at a special press conference were Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Ambassador at Large J. Cofer Black, the former CIA official who serves as the department's coordinator for counterterrorism. While acknowledging that terror continues to take a terrible toll, Armitage emphasized that the United States is fighting back with a worldwide coalition of allies. "Indeed," he said, "you will find in these pages clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight."

The "evidence" he cited was certainly impressive, and came complete with colorful bar graphs and charts. According to the report's summary, the number of terror attacks dropped last year to its lowest level since 1969 and had fallen by nearly half since the dark days of 2001. The report suggested that the American-led coalition has struck back very effectively against al-Qaida and its radical Islamist network.

Perhaps Armitage, Cofer and the bureaucrats who issued the report believed that it was sound. But as it came under closer scrutiny, the findings quickly fell apart.

The moment of truth came on May 17. A sharp Washington Post opinion piece by Princeton economist Alan Krueger and Stanford political scientist David Laitin sliced "Patterns 2003" to shreds. Their review showed that the "number of significant terrorist acts increased from 124 in 2001 to 169 in 2003," or 36 percent, and that "the number of terrorist events has risen each year since 2001, and in 2003 reached its highest level in more than 20 years." The professors accused the government of concocting a misleading picture by combining the statistics for all "terrorist" acts, whether or not they were "significant." The number of "nonsignificant" terrorist incidents dropped -- but as the professors noted drily, that fact is itself "nonsignificant" and was used to create a phony statistic. By the State Department's own standards, its conclusions were false.

The same day, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell complaining about the terror report. As Waxman pointed out, the analysts who compiled the data on "significant terrorist events" had closed their books for 2003 on a curious date. Instead of including every incident up till Dec. 31, they had included none that occurred after Nov. 11. That decision, which supposedly reflected printing deadlines, rather conveniently excluded several deadly incidents -- notably the multiple deadly bombings in Istanbul that killed dozens and wounded hundreds on Nov. 15 and 20.

To the State Department's credit, its response to Waxman's criticism was swift and candid by administration standards. The statement issued by spokesman Richard Boucher credited the Los Angeles Democrat and noted that the department itself "did not check and verify the data sufficiently." While the department's revisions aren't ready yet, Boucher also noted that "our preliminary results indicate that the figures for the number of attacks and casualties will be up sharply from what was published."

Still, a careful reader of Boucher's advisory might notice that the State Department sought to spread the blame for this unprecedented, deeply embarrassing fiasco. Without excessive subtlety, the State spokesman pointed toward other agencies: "The data in the report was compiled by the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, which was established in January 2003 and includes elements from the CIA, FBI and Departments of Homeland Security and Defense." The new TTIC and the Department of Homeland Security, of course, are Bush creations that have been staffed and organized by the White House.

Less publicized are the conclusions reached by the Congressional Research Service, whose analysts were asked last winter to determine the total number of al-Qaida attacks during the 30 months preceding 9/11 and the number since then. The answer was that only four attacks were attributed to al-Qaida before 9/11, and only one during the immediately preceding 30 months. During the 30 months that followed 9/11, the best estimate is that al-Qaida perpetrated 10 attacks.

It remains to be seen whether the State Department holds a press conference to announce the bad news when the revised edition of "Patterns of Global Terror 2003" is ready for publication. Or whether the news media, suddenly intoxicated by coverage of the Reagan burial, will find the time to report the unflattering facts.
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Old 06-11-2004, 08:40 PM
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Bot and Narwhal,
Is that the best you can do to refute the FACTS? Call me paranoid? You claim to be an ISSUE voter yet the continual distortion and lying in the Administration is fact.
How many times do you liberals(Nar and Bot) let your kid get away with being caught in a LIE.
Instead of calling me names (VD is that you?) why don't you refute my argument with FACTS. Or could it be that there is something in the water down South that causes DELUSION?
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2004, 10:24 PM
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Correct the mistake, no problem. Threaten to fire the whistleblower that informs his boss that the figures for the Medicare package are wrong, CRIMINAL! Expose a CIA operative whose husband has the gall to tell the TRUTH, CRIMINAL! Go to war over WMD, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one, but I have yet to hear the words WE WERE MISTAKEN from our arrogants leaders mouth. No child left behind, No nation building, the great uniter, leave gay marriage to the states. Jesus, Clinton got impeached for lying about a BJ. What's a CIA operatives life worth?
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  #15  
Old 06-11-2004, 10:45 PM
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So, I guess this means that Dubyah cannot count on your support in November?

Bot
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