Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

April 19, 2005

Missing Numbers

Because the 2004 State Department report on terrorism showed terrorist attacks have fallen around the world since 2001, it was bandied about by the Administration as proof that George W. Bush was winning the "war on terror".

Except the number was completely wrong by a wide margin. There were actually 625 attacks in 2004, quite an increase from 175 in 2003 alone. The Department was forced to quietly correct the figure later, per Colin Powell's orders.

This year the State Department won't even publish the figures, which tells us the numbers are very bad, indeed. As terrorism expert Larry Johnson said, "They didn't want to have to explain to the press why they're 'winning' the war on terror, but the numbers are the highest ever in the 37 years since they've been reporting the data. If terrorist incidents had dropped 50 percent, do you think they'd be eliminating the report?"

Department spokesman Richard Boucher said "the United States [and] the world will get all the facts" instead from the National Counterterrorism Center [NCRC] which agreed to publish the report. Yet he couldn't say when or in what form.

Is it just me, or do you get the feeling we would never see those figures again?

The Bush Administration routinely distorts or hides facts from the public it supposedly serves. As David Sirota pointed out, from layoff numbers to state budget allocation reports, from gender discrimination figures to health information from government websites, deleting or discontinuing information it deems undesirable is standard operating procedure.

Under a democracy,there should be true transparency. The ruling party might think serving their political agenda trumps everything else but that doesn't mean we should accept it as business as usual. Abuse of power like this should be exposed every chance we get. They are accountable to us and we shouldn't let them forget it.

posted at 11:58 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
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-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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