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Administration Statements, Documents on Intel Failure Riddled With Mistakes?

Feel the confidence.

9:45 AM, Jan 8, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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When trying to recover from an intelligence "screw-up that could have been disastrous," it is wise to use spell check.

ABC's Jake Tapper catches the administration in two uninspiring goof-ups this morning. The declassified intelligence report released to the public yesterday doesn't have much in it, as the declassification process removed even facts that had already been reported in the press, but here's what is in it:

Except of course the detail, on page three of the review, that Abdulmutallab's father visited the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria to warn the U.S. about his son's extremist behavior on November 18.

That's because that detail is wrong. That visit was on the 19th.

Then, in Dennis Blair's written statement about the president's comments comes another one:

"That Mr. Abdulmutallab boarded Northwest Flight 153 for Detroit was a failure of the counterterrorism system," the Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair (ret.), said in a statement last night.

Of course, it was Northwest Flight 253, not 153.

You've heard about Van Halen's legendary backstage rider, right? The one that stipulated that all the brown M&Ms be removed from bowls in the band's dressing rooms? It's been immortalized as the archetypal act of prima donna pique, but the reason for it was actually practical. The band's requirements for its elaborate stage show were complex and demanding, and failure to read them carefully and comply would endanger the performance, and possibly people's safety. Brown M&Ms in the bowls served as a small signal that there might be other, potentially catastrophic oversights.

I don't know what made me think of that.

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