Inside the Fudge Factory


Using the Freedom of Information Act, the Des Moines Register got hold of some Justice Department memos instructing law enforcement officials to expand and bend the terms for statistics-gathering, in order to maximize the number of cases labeled as "terrorism-related." From the paper's findings:

In a series of memos sent to the nation's prosecutors between September 2001 and April 2003, records show that the Justice Department:

  • Required that any investigation involving a suspected terrorist link, even if unsubstantiated and unprosecuted, be counted as terrorism-related.
  • Expanded the number of terrorism-related crime categories from two to six. Now, when federal authorities looking for terrorists make an arrest for other reasons, the case is logged by prosecutors as "anti-terrorism."
  • Exempted terrorism cases from a policy that generally counts leads only when prosecutors spend an hour investigating them. Unlike leads on conventional crimes, those on alleged terrorist activities are now immediately logged by prosecutors even if they are disregarded.

Whole thing here; link via The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.