Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Propagandize This. Hard to Brag About Failures.

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:49 PM Permalink

We have all heard repeated ad nauseam the allegations that America hasn't been attacked since 9-11-01 because of the stellar job all our government agencies have been doing in between compiling secret dossiers on every American, monitoring our phones and computers, and performing surreptitious surveillance on grandmothers, church patrons, peace groups and the newly discovered abuses in the use of National Security letters.

So just how good are we doing at prosecuting terrorism cases seeing as how we have been sacrificing all our freedoms to facilitate those goals? A quick look at the report of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC is quite revealing:
Since 9/11/01 the government has classified a very large number of individuals as either a "terrorists" or "anti-terrorists." The bulk of them, some 6,472 individuals, were referred during the two years following the 9/11 attack. Now five years since the attack, final outcomes have been determined on three out of four of these cases.…federal prosecutors decided that nearly two out of three (64%) of them were not worth prosecuting.…for 9% more of the completions, a prosecution was filed but the cases were subsequently dismissed or the individuals found not guilty. Looked at from another perspective, slightly more than one out of four of the total (27%) were convicted. Considered together, this means that five years after 9/11, looking at the 6,472 individuals in the overall count who were initially referred under the terrorist or anti-terrorist programs, only about one in five have been convicted.…Despite the low success rate in obtaining convictions, the large absolute number of referrals coming from the agencies (nearly 6,500 of them) has resulted in a sizable number of convictions (1,329). For this group it is instructive to consider the penalties that were imposed:

Only 14 (one percent) received a substantial sentence -- 20 years or more.
Only 67 (5 percent) received sentences of five or more years.
Of the 1,329 who were sentenced, 704 received no prison time and an additional 327 received sentences ranging from one day to less than a year.…Thus, the median or typical prison sentence for them all was zero because the majority received no time at all in prison.
To be fair, there is a lot of information contained in this report and I have chosen just that section that deals with terrorist convictions since the WTC attack.

Isn't this the ultimate existential battle to combat terrorism, the most dire threat since WWII? In fact, it is supposed to be a greater threat than we faced in WWII. It seems that we aren't doing so good at fighting such a deadly threat to our very existence that bush is ready to keep the country at war forever.

Now isn't that special? Don't you feel s-o-o-o-o-o much safer now?

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