Feds lied about anti-terror stats


Federal prosecutors counted immigration violations, marriage fraud and drug trafficking among anti-terror cases in the four years after 9/11 even though no evidence linked them to terror activity, a Justice Department audit said Tuesday.

Overall, nearly all of the terrorism-related statistics on investigations, referrals and cases examined by department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine were either diminished or inflated. Only two of 26 sets of department data reported between 2001 and 2005 were accurate, the audit found.

Responding, a Justice spokesman pointed to figures showing that prosecutors in the department’s headquarters for the most part either accurately or underreported their data — underscoring what he called efforts to avoid pumping up federal terror statistics.

The numbers, used to monitor the department’s progress in battling terrorists, are reported to Congress and the public and help, in part, shape the department’s budget.

“For these and other reasons, it is essential that the department report accurate terrorism-related statistics,” the audit concluded.

Fine’s office took care to say the flawed data appear to be the result of “decentralized and haphazard” methods of collection or disagreement over how the numbers are reported, and do not appear to be intentional.

Still, the errors led Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., to question whether the department had exaggerated the number of terror cases.

“If the Department of Justice can’t even get their own books in order, how are we supposed to have any confidence they are doing the job they should be?” said Schumer, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the department. “Whether this is just an accounting error or an attempt to pad terror prosecution statistics for some other reason, the Department of Justice of all places should be classifying cases for what they are, not what they want us to think them to be.”

Auditors looked at 26 categories of statistics — including numbers of suspects charged and convicted in terror cases, and terror-related threats against cities and other U.S. targets — compiled by the FBI, Justice’s Criminal Division, and the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys.

It found that data from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys were the most severely flawed. Auditors said the office, which compiles statistics from the 94 federal prosecutors’ districts nationwide, both under- and over-counted the number of terror-related cases during a four-year period.

The office has since agreed to change the way it counts and classifies anti-terrorism cases, said department spokesman Dean Boyd.

Boyd denied suggestions that the department pumped up its numbers. He said Criminal Division prosecutors at Justice headquarters and the FBI have overhauled their respective case reporting systems since 2004 for a more accurate picture of terror-related workloads. Both agencies, he said, were strained to accurately report terrorism data in the flood of cases immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“The notion that the Justice Department intentionally inflated its statistics is false and flatly contradicted by the OIG report itself,” Boyd said.

In all but one area, Criminal Division prosecutors either accurately stated or underreported their data — the ones the department usually uses in public statements about its counterterror efforts, Boyd noted. He said the Justice Department has already completed most of the fixes recommended in the audit.

Much of the problem stemmed from how that office defines anti-terrorism cases.

A November 2001 federal crackdown on security breaches at airports, for example, yielded arrests on immigration and false document charges, but no evidence of terrorist activity. Nonetheless, the attorneys’ office lumped them in with other anti-terror cases since they were investigated by federal Joint Terrorism Task Forces or with other counterterror measures.

Other examples, according to the audit, included:

  • Charges against a marriage-broker for being paid to arrange six fraudulent marriages between Tunisians and U.S. citizens.
  • Prosecution of a Mexican citizen who falsely identified himself as another person in a passport application.
  • Charges against a suspect for dealing firearms without a license. The prosecutor handling the case told auditors it should not have been labeled as anti-terrorism.

“We do not agree that law enforcement efforts such as these should be counted as anti-terrorism,” the audit concluded.


On the Net:

The audit

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press


  1. Kent Shaw


    There is little more to be said in regard to any of these CHB articles that we all haven’t said a dozen times. We are all preaching to the choir. I believe this will be my last posted message. It is time for direct action. That is the only thing that will get the attention of the rulers, ahead of or behind the scenes. Stop writing and take direct action. Its almost too late. Make them sit up and take notice.


    Douglas Kent Shaw

  2. Of course they lied! Did anyone with half a functioning brain think not? Once one understands that the “war on terror” is phony, the truth jumps out. Americans are being “terrorized” by a bunch of hoaxes to create the pretext for grabbing oil and other resources abroad and instituting fascist rule at home. And don’t forget the “national defense” and “homeland security” gravy train for connected corporations, who rake in billions with their death machines while the peons go without food and medical care.

  3. pastor agnostic

    Before I went solo, I had worked as counsel for many large corpserations. To my surprise, there were several, a handfull really, that really did good work. Great products, no attacks on underlings by insecure management, great benefits AND they paid my bills without complaint. It was easier to work for and with them, especially when their employees were dedicated to a mutual goal.

    as I said, a handfull. THE VAST MAJORITY of my corporate clients seemed to have the creativity and ingenuity of GM’s current design department.

    (in case anyone missed the point, they assigned CPAs and MBAs instead of engineers to run their product planning departments, and pushed their engineers and creative types aside – starting with 12 yrs ago and accellerating to the present. The results speak for themselves)

  4. Carl Nemo

    Well stated Sandy…! “Where do we even start?” … America needs another Theodore Roosevelt type personality to come forward for the “08” elections, perferably someone that is quite wealthy to begin with, but has a visceral disgust for the corruption and the business as usual atmosphere in D.C.! America needs a genuine reformer, a trust buster, conservator, having a “we the people” mentality when it comes to creating a friendly business environment while protecting America’s resources and interests. No more one-sided trade agreements that allow nations to dump their cheap goods in America while stripping this nation of jobs. No more visas for so-called high-tech entrants. Our graduates need jobs. Why encourage millions of youngsters to go to college or tech schools while the very jobs they hope to occupy are being filled by foreign visa holders or the jobs are simply being moved offshore. Tariffs are in order if the nations we deal with refuse level playing field, market entry for our goods and services. We need a leader that is for the American people and not the shadowy oligarchs who have taken control of the three branches of our government. I don’t care what this prospective leader’s party affiliation might be as long as they start doing something to protect America’s interests first. Our national motto should be simply “America First” and if there’s anything left to help the rest then we shall do so, but our people, our nation should be of paramount importance to any leader we should elect. None of the candidates that are running are fresh faces on the American political scene except possibly for Obama. Many people didn’t care for Ross Perot’ but he predicted what has happened to this nation; i.e. the disappearance of jobs as “one giant sucking sound” if NAFTA was put into place. He offered to stay only one term to clean up the mess, but people seemed to be so afraid to make a change for possibly the better even on that occasion. Why they are so comfortable with the perpetual swing and sway from Repubs to Dems is beyond me?! It’s always the same old crap, with little to no change. The electorate seems to enjoy placing the best “duty liar” in office, then to suffer the consequences of their bad decision for another 4 to 8 years. They re-elected Bush, are there any questions!? Kerry wasn’t great, but at least it was change for the sake of change. Instead they wanted to suffer another 4 years under these mattoids. If we need to change leaders every four years, House reps every two, and Senators every six then we need to do so, until we get people in DC that demonstrate concern for this country through their actions. Roosevelt a Republican couldn’t get the Republican party nomination so they formed the Bullmoose party to accommodate his election run. He won. The rest is history. Many people don’t care for Donald Trump, but he’s one intelligent, highly educated, savvy businessman. He’s expressed his concern for what’s happening to this once great nation many times on national television. He can’t be bought-off and he’d get media support, or certainly could afford to buy it like Perot’. He’s able to motivate people and get things done and that’s what America needs, a can-do leader who has “we the people’s” interests at heart and in action. He wouldn’t be perfect, no one is, but I’m tired of these mediocre, duty losers that end up in the Whitehouse. America deserves far better than what we’ve suffered for many generations. I’ll provide a link concerning Teddy Roosevelt. I can’t say I’m totally aligned with his “speak softly and carry a big stick” policy because quite possibly he would have had us in Iraq too, but not predicated on “big oil’s” needs. It’s my understanding that he didn’t chill concerning national confrontation and warfare, until he lost a son in WWI.


    Donald Trump I hope you read this…!;)

  5. Oh Gosh, Ag. I had hoped a balanced government would help bring out the best in both parties. We need big business and a strong working force to give eveyone a chance in America. I guess we could spend years trying to figure out which side went bad first.

    We know without a doubt which side went corrupt as a full force and yet we saw no outrage from the other party. I kept thinking I was going insane when I would read Bush’s speechs (I can’t bear to watch them) and then I would watch Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann and then head over to Fox to hear their remarks. I began to doubt my sanity.

    Neither side came up a winner in my mind. For me it took 9/11 to prove to me that the Conservatives were not the party of straight talk or even honest interpretations of anything. Too many wanted a religious war and all levels of government was tainted and manipulated to point to a need for an American Empire to solve the mess in the Middle East.

    Thousands of my own party members who had worked so hard for a limited government agenda now demanded total federal control over, not just our enemies, but all Americans. Where the hell did this come from? I hit all the boards and discussion forums and was told we had no choice and that our lives were no longer our own. Everything came from 9/11 and too many plans were already in print before the fires were even out.

    The Conservatives did not want any investigation of 9/11 or why we learned within 30 minutes who was responsible. Blind faith held them together and seemed to destroy the Democrats from looking into how this horrendous attack was allowed to happen. I’ve read dozens of books on this subject and nothing fits. No time line can explain the success of the attacks and nobody in the Bush Administration will admit to ignoring the information given to them by all our Intelligence Agencies.

    The whole Federal Government is a game being played by the White House. How can we ever hope to clean it up? Changing parties would be a good start but it will take sodium pentathol bring the truth out of this horrible corruption we call a government.

    How can we force higher standards in all levels of government, higher standards in our congress to stop the bribery? We learned that we cannot legislate morality in the people or in the politicians. Where do we even start?