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Powell Blames Terror Error on New System

The State Department acknowledged Thursday it was wrong in reporting terrorism declined worldwide last year, a finding that was used to boost one of President Bush’s top foreign policy claims — success in countering terror. Instead, both the number of incidents and the toll in victims increased sharply, the department said. Statements by senior administration officials claiming success were based “on the facts as we had them at the time; the facts that we had were wrong,” department spokesman Richard Boucher said. The report, issued in April, reported attacks had declined last year to the lowest level in 34 years and dropped 45 percent since 2001, Bush’s first year as president. Among the mistakes, Boucher said, was that only part of 2003 was taken into account. Full Story

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