Andrew McCarthy write in NRO about how The State department plays games with terrorism statistics. “Release “Em”
Terrorist attacks globally are up sharply. Perhaps by well over 300 percent. That’s bad. But it’s a fact. Given that international terrorism is the defining national-security issue of this era, shouldn’t we know the facts? In detail?
The State Department says no. Foggy Bottom is unable to avoid making an annual report on terrorism to Congress. It’s the law. But in a mind-boggling two-step, a top State official who briefed key committees at the Capitol on Monday contended that the underlying statistics for the report “” which, State grudgingly admits, relates a “dramatic uptick” in terrorist incidents worldwide “” are somehow not “relevant” to the report itself. Not surprisingly, Rep. Henry Waxman, the ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, has fired off a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, calling that contention “ludicrous.” When he’s right, he’s right.
This is self-inflicted damage with a history. In 2003, State issued a rosy report on global trends, braying that decreases in terror incidents provided, as then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage put it, “clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight” against international terrorism. This claim turned out to be undermined by the data, which actually showed that terror incidents had spiked”¦to record highs.
The fallout was disastrous. There was the embarrassing mea culpa from then-Secretary of State Colin Powell “” or, more accurately, an apology from Powell for what was insisted to be the culpa of others. And some Democrats understandably claimed the administration had politicized the report during the heat of an election campaign “” allegations that Powell and others denied, maintaining that “clerical errors,” among other process problems, were to blame…
Read it all.