Data mining

One of the issues in the privacy debate is how easy it is to find public information that was once known only to insiders and how easy it is to combine data bits to create new information.

That same principle applies to a database developed by U.S. Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), ranking member on the House Committee on Government Reform.

Its contents? Specific, misleading statements (237 of them) made by President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in the months leading up to the American invasion of Iraq.

The methodology is straightforward and conservative (errs on the side of not including a statement). There is a report (PDF) as well as a database searchable by speaker, subject, keyword or date.

Two years ago today, VP Dick Cheney said: “We know they have biological and chemical weapons.”

Today we know, in hindsight, that this is a lie. That day, according to the report, Cheney knew it was misleading because it expressed certainty where none existed.

Reuters (16 Mar); American Footprint (16 Mar)

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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