Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital

To the cult of conservatism the truth remains elusive. Perhaps they are mentally incapable of differentiating reality from make-believe, who knows – Taranto repeated stale falsehood that there’s “no evidence” Plame was a “covert agent”

On the July 6 edition of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, while discussing President Bush’s commutation of former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s 30-month prison sentence, Wall Street Journal Opinionjournal.com editor James Taranto falsely claimed that “[t]here’s still no evidence that [former CIA operative] Valerie Plame [Wilson] was a covert agent.” In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, in a May 25 sentencing memorandum, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald wrote that “[a]t the time of the leaks, Ms. Wilson in fact qualified as a ‘covert agent’ within the meaning of the IIPA” (Intelligence Identities Protection Act). To support this claim, Fitzgerald included an “unclassified summary” of Plame’s employment at the CIA — which had been given to Libby’s defense team in June 2006 — stating that the CIA “declassified and now publicly acknowledges the previously classified fact that Ms. Wilson was a CIA employee from 1 January 2002 forward and the previously classified fact that she was a covert CIA employee during this period.” The “unclassified summary” established that she had headed a counterproliferation operation focused on Iraq and had traveled overseas in an undercover capacity in the five years prior to the disclosure of her identity.

The glaringly obvious observation that Scooter’s defense team didn’t try to make the case that the trial couldn’t proceed because M’s Plame was not covert doesn’t seem to matter to the Conservative Cultists like Taranto. Even given the historically rough and tumble world of politics the modern Right’s sense of what constitutes values doesn’t seem to include the basics of what values consist of; attributes like character and honor are thrown over board without the slightest regret. What seems to be most important to the Taranto’s and The WSJ’s editorial page in general is to create some plausible fissure in the truth to assure the rest of the cult that they are Right. Thus in Right World there is no absolutes, every truth is negotiable and ultimately disposable.

The Right does always seem to have time to fit in some sleazy sexual adventures, GOP Senator and Values Merchant Vitter on DC Madam List

Louisiana Senator and family values merchant David Vitter is apparently the latest Republican stalwart to run afoul of his own libido. The AP reported Monday night that Vitter’s name turned up on the client list of the DC Madam. And as Salon reported back in 2004, this episode is not Vitter’s first prostitution imbroglio.

Iraq is like? Choose one WW II, The Korean War, The American Revolutionary War, Vietnam, and Algeria. I’ve probably missed a couple. Like sand through an hour glass so is the quest to find the perfect analogy for MesO’Potamia – Troubles

Gen Petraeus was keen to emphasise that the ongoing unrest in Iraq is not something he expects to be resolved overnight.

“Northern Ireland, I think, taught you that very well. My counterparts in your [British] forces really understand this kind of operation… It took a long time, decades,” he said.

First Draft points to this link from Crooks and Liars,

“The Troubles” started one hell of a lot longer ago than the ’60s. Try about 400 years of strife. Plus, what ended the N. Ireland strife was the point at which the British stopped letting their knee jerk with every violent act of some fringe group and began to focus on diplomacy, insisting that violence was not going to stop the peace.

Let’s say that the General’s “decades” is what we’re looking at. Today the Congressional Research Service reported that we’re spending $10 billion a month on Iraq alone, while 3,596 have died in Iraq since the March 2003. The right-wing Gateway Pundit uses a statistical lie to to minimize the costs in lives so far and that I posted about previously, Monday, July 09, 2007, Jihadists Celebrate Awesome Win in Iraq

(Note: the US lost more soldiers during the first 4 years of the Clinton Administration than the US has lost in the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq combined over the last 5 and 1/2 years.)

Does that blogger not know how to read a chart. Slightly more military deaths under President Clinton from all causes from heart attacks to diabetes to traffic accidents, Figures don’t lie, liars figure

George W. Bush . . . . . 5187 (2001-2004)
Bill Clinton . . . . . . . . . 4302 (1993-1996)
George H.W. Bush . . . . 6223 (1989-1992)
Ronald Reagan . . . . . . 9163 (1981-1984)

G. Pundit like Glenn Reynolds, Murdoc, and Redstate have a history of ignoring the data that matters, deaths from hostile action

from 1980 to 1984 there were 19, from 1985 to 1991 there were 199, from 1992 to 2000 there was 1, from 2001 until 2004 ( the last year on the chart that Murdoc links to) there were 1102 military fatalities due to hostile action, more then the previous 20 years combined. Military deaths due to terrorist attacks, according to this chart had a one year peak of 263 under Reagan in 1983. The next highest year for terrorist caused military fatalities was 55 in 2001 under Bush.

Bill Clinton, 1 military death from hostile action. One, according to the statistics that the Right themselves have provided and even those let Dubya off the hook for the period 2004 until today. Figures don’t lie, but the liars continue ignore the inconvenient truth and spin the numbers. I wish I could say it was funny how the Right defines the truth and what winning or losing is, but its not funny. Their insistence on treating death like an inconvenience or in some cases like a martyrdom that they share in by blog proxy in some great quest to show how brave they are from the safety of their desks borders on the sociopathic. It is always “we” that needs to keep the strife in Iraq going, when the most that “we” has done is shake their pom poms during Bush’s tortured speeches.

“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -Aaron Levenstein