blamed the errors (in the original report issued on April 29) on a series of bureaucratic mistakes that involved a new agency, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, which was formed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to improve coordination of terrorist data.
The report released in April showed no major terrorist attacks last year after Nov. 11, omitting such incidents as a series of four bombings in Istanbul, Turkey, that killed 61 people and wounded 855.
Black (Cofer Black, State Dept. counterterrorism coordinator) and John Brennan, the director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, said that error and others were due to faulty data that the center supplied to the CIA and the State Department, which didn't catch the mistakes.
Brennan cited an "exceptionally antiquated" database, which he said didn't properly compile data, as well as turnover in the unit's personnel and contractors. The database isn't used to monitor the current terrorist threat, he noted.
"There was insufficient review and quality control throughout this entire ... process," he said. "Anyone who might assert that the numbers were intentionally skewed is mistaken."
The report required under subsection (a) of this section shall cover the events of the calendar year preceding the year in which the report is submitted. (emphasis mine)One of the report's failings is it stops counting attacks after Nov. 11, 2003, omitting, for example, the synogogue bombings in Turkey on Nov. 15. This is a clear violation of the Code. But all Russert could ask was whether the report was politicized, not why those responsible shouldn't be indicted for breaking the law.
Villifying individuals in the press corps may be cathartic, but let's not lose sight of the systemic problem: The SCLM is chronically unable deliver news, information or analysis that America needs to function properly. Among the ways to fix the problem is through better education of young and future journalists; patronage and promotion of truly critical media (such as the blogosphere and "alternative" pubs); and organized responses to the lazy, uninformed and biased barrage of what passes for reportage.
My small contributions: 1) I now refer to posts by Atrios, Kos, and others as legit sources in my letters to editors, and 2) I have begun a series of meetings/conversations with journalism professors at our local university J-schools to share concerns and listen to and provide feedback on their curricula.