Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Boy, I Really Overshot With That 400...

The Christopher Walken census sketch strikes again!
Apparently his character is working for the Justice Department now...

Flanked by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Bush said that "federal terrorism investigations have resulted in charges against more than 400 suspects, and more than half of those charged have been convicted."

Those statistics have been used repeatedly by Bush and other administration officials, including Gonzales and his predecessor, John D. Ashcroft, to characterize the government's efforts against terrorism.

But the numbers are misleading at best.

An analysis of the Justice Department's own list of terrorism prosecutions by The Washington Post shows that 39 people -- not 200, as officials have implied -- were convicted of crimes related to terrorism or national security.

Most of the others were convicted of relatively minor crimes such as making false statements and violating immigration law -- and had nothing to do with terrorism, the analysis shows. For the entire list, the median sentence was just 11 months.

So once again, our famously plain-talking president resorts to carefully parsed sentences that are not technically outright lies. Yes, it's true that 400 people have been charged, and 200 convicted, as a result of federal terrorism investigations - it's just that almost none of them actually have anything to do with, y'know, terrorism.

But I still feel ever so much safer, yesirree. At least for the next 11 months.


watertiger said...

I suspect that Stagnant D. Overage and Bandwagon R. Tarring are going by false names and may, in fact, be terrorists.

Eli said...

And you are receiving e-mails from them why?

Grand Chertoff Tarkin shall hear of this!

watertiger said...

I have been sending them emails under the guise of "Sycamore X. Phlebotomist."

oldwhitelady said...

Don't try to push your politics on me, buddy! Ha ha - that sketch is wonderful!