Bush Administration Makes Another Mistake
By Keith Vance
On April 29 the Bush administration released Patterns of
Global Terrorism Report claiming that terrorism fell in 2003
to its lowest since 1969. However, last week the State Department
released a statement saying that the data in the report was
incorrect. The correct data shows that terrorism attacks rose
by 36 percent in 2003, the highest level in 20 years.
When the report was released in April, Deputy Secretary
of State Richard Armitage hailed the report as evidence that
the Bush administration's actions have resulted in fewer terrorist
attacks saying that "you will find in these pages clear evidence
that we are prevailing in the fight [against terrorism]."
Armitage went on to say that "unprecedented collaboration
between the United States and foreign partners to defeat terrorism."
Last Thursday's press release by the State Department acknowledged
that "the data in the report is incomplete and in some cases
If the incorrect data was evidence that the actions of the
Bush administration are winning the "war on terror," does
that mean that the correct data shows that we are actually
losing the "war on terror" and that the actions of the Bush
administration are resulting in more terrorist attacks around
The Bush administration response to such an inquiry is that
the "war on terror" is an ongoing struggle and that they never
claimed the "war on terror" was over. Basically, they don't
want to admit that they have once again misled the American
public and that in fact their actions have seemingly done
more to further the cause of terrorists than hinder them.
The correct data on terrorist attacks shows that there has
been an increase every year since 2001. It seems impossible
to draw a conclusion that the Bush administration actions
over the past three years has made it more difficult for terrorists
to launch attacks. The data is clear, terrorist attacks have
not been reduced but have increased.
The irony is that when the Bush administration took office
they were supposed to be the administration that had their
act together - the CEO's were in charge. No more days of the
Clinton pizza boxes in the Oval Office and the White House
resembling a fraternity; the Bush team were professionals
who were thorough and on top of things.
In the last three years they have been wrong more than they
have right. They were wrong in their strategy against Al Qaeda
prior to September 11, they missed the warning signs and almost
3,000 Americans paid with their lives. They were wrong about
Saddam Hussein's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
They were wrong about the connection between Saddam Hussein
and Osama bin Laden.
They were wrong about the ease of invading Iraq, installing
a democratic government, and democracy spreading throughout
the Middle East like the plague. They were wrong when they
said "Mission Accomplished" and told the country the war in
Iraq was over - just ask the hundreds upon hundreds of soldiers
who have died since May 2003 and the countless (because we
don't count them) Iraqis that have been killed.
Come to think of it, I can't think of anything they were