TERROR AT 20-YEAR HIGH?….Remember that terrorism report issued by the State Department a few weeks ago? The one showing what a great job we were doing reducing terror? Not so fast:

On Tuesday, State Department officials said they underreported the number of terrorist attacks in the tally for 2003, and added that they expected to release an updated version soon.

Several U.S. officials and terrorism experts familiar with that revision effort said the new report will show that the number of significant terrorist incidents increased last year, perhaps to its highest level in 20 years.

….[A] senior official characterized the errors as clerical, and blamed them mostly on the fact responsibility for the report recently shifted from the CIA to the administration’s new Terrorist Threat Integration Center.

….For example, the State Department report listed 190 terrorist attacks in 2003, including 169 “significant” ones. But [Rep. Henry] Waxman said a review showed the report stopped counting terrorist incidents on Nov. 11, leaving out several major attacks, including bombings of two synagogues, a bank and the British Consulate in Turkey that killed 62 and injured more than 700.

Waxman said a State Department official blamed the Nov. 11 cutoff on a printing deadline.

The bombing in Turkey happened on November 20.

I may not be an expert on terrorism, but I’ve had an awful lot of printing done in my career and it’s hardly credible that the printing deadline for an April report could have been early enough to cut off data gathering six months earlier. Unless they’re using a printshop from hell, a report like this would have headed to the printer sometime in March.

It’s embarrassing, really. These guys can’t even be bothered to come up with good excuses anymore. It’s almost like they know that no one in the press will even bother to challenge them.

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