The Brazilian And the Policemen

August 19, 2005

The investigation into the shooting of the innocent Brazilian is producing cries for retribution on the London police. However, on the basis of information improperly published by the body investigating the affair and my Bayesian study, I believe the police did the right thing. And London remains much safer than Brazil.

The key data points for the police seem to have been:
1. The man lived in a block of 8 apartments, 1 or 2 of which had been occupied by bombers.
2. He closely resembled a terrorist suspect.
3. If he triggered the weapon, many innocent people would die.

In my view these points take him well over the 10% certainty level needed in this situation. And restraint and shooting without challenge were good tactics, since a bomber would trigger his weapon if challenged.

I hope that the compromised investigation does not prevent future suspect suicide bombers being shot by police.

Finally, it won’t be much consolation to the poor guy’s family, but the average Brazilian is much safer in London:

According to the United Nations, Brazil boasts the highest rate of homicides caused by firearms for any country not at war—more than 70 percent. Brazil’s murder rate has more than doubled since the mid-1980s, and in 2000 reached 28 homicides per 100,000.

And in Rio:

…things are improving. In 1994, out of every 100,000 inhabitants of Rio, 78 met a violent death.
Last year that figure had fallen to 50.

By comparison:

London’s murder rate per person: 2.4 per 100,000

New York’s murder rate per person: 6.9 per 100,000


Dishonest European MSM (2)

August 19, 2005

Here’s an example of a lefty American murdering the facts to smear the Administration in a Brit newspaper.

It’s from the Financial Times, a business publication with New York Times politics which is widely read by European business people. Yesterday it published a comment piece on the Plame Kerfuffle by Marvin Kalb, a “senior fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government”.

What Watergate could teach the White House

Somebody is lying. So wrote Terry Neal, a Washington Post reporter, on July 25 2005. He was writing about one of the strangest stories to engulf the White House since the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001. It is the story of an official investigation into who leaked the name of a CIA operative to the media. According to a 1982 law, that kind of leak would be illegal. Two prominent names have emerged in the investigation of the leak – Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s deputy chief of staff, and Lewis Libby, vice-president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff.

…According to recent opinion polls, including an August 7 poll in Newsweek magazine, the American people are increasingly of the view that Mr Rove, whom Mr Bush described as the “architect” of his 2004 re-election, may be guilty of unethical or illegal behavior in connection with the leak.

The writer misrepresents every fact of the affair, presenting Plame as an undercover spy (she wasn’t and her position in the CIA was common knowledge), her husband as a brave seeker after truth (rather than a nutty Clintonite who hates Bush), Rove as a disingenuous leaker (rather than a straight shooter), The Washington Post as the whistle blower on Rove (rather than the paper that “outed” Plame). Etc, etc.

DU readers probably know all this – for those that don’t, here’s a good summary.

Mrs. Plame is the former CIA agent who suggested that her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson, an opponent of Mr. Bush’s Iraq policy, be dispatched to Africa in February 2002 to investigate whether Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase “yellowcake” uranium from Niger.

What is known thus far suggests that:1) Mr. Wilson has misrepresented his wife’s role in getting him the assignment and his own findings of his investigation in Niger; 2) In July 2003, when columnist Robert Novak first mentioned in passing that Mrs. Plame worked for the CIA, she was not functioning as a covert agent and her work for the CIA was common knowledge; and 3) That if there were– against the public record — a covert status to be exposed, it was possibly Mr. Wilson, with a speculative assist from David Corn, who writes for the Nation magazine.

But if you get your information from the Financial Times, you wouldn’t know this. I recommend that Brits who need good financial coverage subscribe to the Wall Street Journal Europe – it does not retail lies.

Dishonest European MSM (1)

August 19, 2005

In the past week I got to read what Europeans are fed by their print MSM. Results are depressing – most of it drips dishonest anti-US sentiment. And, unfortunately, its working.

Here’s an example from the London Daily Mail. It’s populist, right of center, opposes Blair and so opposes Iraqi Freedom. Here’s an article from their Thursday August 19 print edition.

Spate of Baghdad bombings leaves 44 dead
By David Williams Chief Reporter

At least 44 people were killed in three co-ordinated explosions in Iraq as bombers sought to exploit the crisis that has left the country without a constitution.

It emerged that July was the bloodiest month in Baghdad’s modern history, with 1,100 bodies passing through the city’s mortuary. Before the invasion the figure for July was 200.

There are two dishonest messages here.

Lie 1: Terrorism Is Part Of The Constitutional Process

It’s absurd to claim these murders were connected with the delay in agreeing the Iraqi constitution – Sunni and al Queda terrorists have been slaughtering innocents for over a year. And even if they were suddenly enraged about the absence of – say – a Sunni-goat-molestation clause in the constitution, how can the Chief Reporter of the London Daily Mail possibly know this?

So this story portrays mass-murderers as responding to a political process. Whereas the terrorists have made quite clear that they want to revert to a Sunni-run Fear State. Which you can bet won’t have a constitution.

Lie 2: More Iraqis Are Being Killed Under The Coalition Than Under Saddam

The reporter uses the trick of ignoring Saddam’s mass graves, the inhabitants of which were bulldozed into the sand without passing through the Baghdad mortuary – here’s a link to blog coverage.

At least 290 grave sites containing the remains of some 300,000 people have been found since the American invasion two years ago, Iraqi officials say.

Not all mass graves have been found, and many that have remain unopened. So let’s guess that he killed a million people between the Gulf War in 1991 and 2003 – about 80,000 a year. Say that 20% were in the populous Baghdad area, which gives about 1,300 a month. Which would mean that the July 2005 figure of 1,100 was lower than the average under Hussein.

You can make lower assumptions on the total killed, and the percentage of those killed who were from Baghdad. But however you run the numbers, Iraq under Hussein was not safer than now. For the good reason that his murderous henchmen now have to face the coalition military and an ever-growing Iraqi army.

Still the Chief Reporter of this right-of-center has dripped his poison and the majority of Europeans I spoke to believed that Iraqi Freedom has made life worse for Iraqis.

We’re Back!

August 19, 2005

Apologies for our 1 week silence – a series of unexpected domestic issues temporarily overwhelmed our defenses.