Why do the facts repeatedly refuse to support the President?
[C]urrent and former officials charged that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's office ordered "Patterns of Global Terrorism" eliminated several weeks ago because the 2004 statistics raised disturbing questions about the Bush's administration's frequent claims of progress in the war against terrorism.
"Instead of dealing with the facts and dealing with them in an intelligent fashion, they try to hide their facts from the American public," charged Larry C. Johnson, a former CIA analyst and State Department terrorism expert who first disclosed the decision to eliminate the report in The Counterterrorism Blog, an online journal. ***
According to Johnson and U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the issue, statistics that the National Counterterrorism Center provided to the State Department reported 625 "significant" terrorist attacks in 2004.
That compared with 175 such incidents in 2003, the highest number in two decades.
The statistics didn't include attacks on American troops in Iraq, which President Bush has recently as Tuesday called "a central front in the war on terror." ***
The State Department published "Patterns of Global Terrorism" under a law that requires it to submit to the House of Representatives and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a country-by-country terrorism assessment by April 30 each year.
A declassified version of the report has been made public since 1986 in the form of a glossy booklet, even though there was no legal requirement to produce one.
The senior State Department official said a report on global terrorism would be sent this year to lawmakers and made available to the public in place of "Patterns of Global Terrorism," but that it wouldn't contain statistical data.
Monday, April 18, 2005
NEW HIGH SCORE!
Knight Ridder reports that the State Department has decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks last year than in any year since 1985 -- the first year the report covered.
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