Monday, November 22, 2004


Correction on correction of flawed terror report

Remember that 2003 Patterns of Global Terrorism report? The one that initially claimed that terror levels had dropped to the lowest level in three decades. The one that, initially, Bush supporters used to "prove" that Bush was winning the war on terror. The one that, upon closer inspection, "actually showed a sharp increase, to a 21-year high." The one that "also omitted any significant terrorist attacks occurring after an early November cutoff date, including bombings in Turkey that killed at least 62 people, and left out some terrorist activity in Chechnya, Iraq and other locations." (I mean, I guess Chechnya and Iraq are easy places to overlook when you are dealing with terrorism right?) Well it turns out that even after these errors were addressed in a revised edition that came out, there are still huge problems with the report.
Five months after embarrassed State Department officials acknowledged widespread mistakes in the government's influential annual report on global terrorism, internal investigators have found new and unrelated errors — as well as broader underlying problems that they say essentially have destroyed the credibility of the statistics the report is based on.

In a 28-page report, the State Department's Office of Inspector General blamed the problems on sloppy data collection, inexperienced employees, personnel shortages and lax oversight. Investigators also concluded that the procedures used by the State Department, CIA and other agencies to define terrorism and terrorist attacks were so inconsistent that they couldn't be relied upon.
But - breathe a sigh of relief here folks - we have the State Department's assurance that the initial report's sunny conclusions were in no way politically motivated. Now if you believe that, then the only thing we have left to worry about, then, is "sloppy data collection, inexperienced employees, personnel shortages and lax oversight." It's just simple rampant incompetence folks, keep it moving, nothing to see here.

You promise not to tell anyone? I'm actually a pretty big fan of the blog here. I'll swing by and check in as I surf. That's why I was a bit suprised to see you'd commented in my blog.
Thank you so much! I appreciate the support and will have to stop by yours more often.
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