Thursday, April 28, 2005

In the Numbers

A little over a week after the State Department announced it'd no longer report numbers in its annual terrorism assessment, we find out why.

Stats from the federal government show the number and severity of terrorist attacks climbed dramatically last year. The worldwide death toll tripled over the previous year. But Washington's spinning the math to make the numbers look smaller.

The new numbers come from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Here's the trend they reported:

  • 2003 -- 175 incidents, 625 deaths
  • 2004 -- 651 incidents, 1,907 deaths
But the NCTC's head honcho -- John Brennan -- says you can't really compare the numbers accurately -- because Washington didn't accurately count the numbers in 2003. So they missed a bunch of attacks and deaths that should have been reported then. That would make it look like there was a big jump from 2003-2004.

His agency has added intelligence experts and analysts to better classify what counts as a terror attack, since so many suicide car bombings must have been wrongly classified as road rage in 2003.

Meanwhile, the State Department -- true to its word -- put out its terror report clensed of any statistics on the number of attacks and deaths.

If you want to see where the attacks happen, you might also want to look at the "Terrorism Knowledge Base" online. It's sponsored by the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. (WashPost)

1 comment:

Unadulterated Underdog said...

It's a conspiracy of hypocrisy. When something good happens, Bush claims credit. When something bad happens, he distances himself and denies wrongdoing or fallacy. I think it's an attempt to build an almost faith-based belief among his supporters that he is infallable, a cult of personality if you will. The excuse with the terror statistics is that the Feds will no longer publish the mdirectly but will let Congress haev the information to do with as they please. Considering how loyal to Bush the GOP leadership is, it is doubtful they will allow full didsclosure of these facts to continue. I doubt it very much.