U.s. Allows Venezuelan Officials To Fly Over United States

authorities made an extraordinary effort to work with relevant authorities to grant overflight approval in a matter of hours,” Harf said. The incident is the latest diplomatic tussle between United States and Maduro, who has repeatedly clashed with Washington since winning office in April following the death of his mentor, the socialist leader Hugo Chavez. At times, he has accused the United States of plotting to assassinate him. At others, the former bus driver and union negotiator has appeared to want warmer relations, after years of mistrust during Chavez’s rule. In indignant comments late on Thursday, Maduro also accused Washington of not wanting to issue a visa for General Wilmer Barrientos, his minister in the office of the presidency, to attend the U.N. General Assembly next week in New York. Barrientos was a close ally of Chavez and supported a failed military coup by him in 1992. Maduro appointed the general to the high-profile ministerial position in July. “You’re not the owners of the United Nations,” Maduro said, adding that the United States was obliged to give every member of the delegation a visa, “if we decide to go to New York.” Later on Friday, Venezuela’s charge d’affaires in Washington, Calixto Ortega, told local television network Telesur that the Venezuelan president will attend the U.N. General Assembly after his China trip. In response to Maduro’s flight troubles, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales suggested on Thursday the leaders of the leftist Latin America and Caribbean bloc ALBA should boycott the U.N. General Assembly meetings.

United States Caught Exaggerating Terrorism Numbers

Convictions for bank robbery, drug dealing and animal fighting were among the cases being counted as terrorism. These inaccuracies are important in part because DOJ management and Congress need accurate terrorism-related statistics to make informed operational and budgetary decisions, said Michael E. Horowitz, the inspector general of the EOUSA. Indeed, these numbers are important, which is all the more reason it shouldnt take an audit to learn the right statistics. Mistakes happen, but inflating the rate of terrorist convictions by more than a quarter seems pretty fishy. Math isnt that hard. It doesnt take a conspiracy theorist to wonder whether the exaggeration is intentional to help fuel the fear of terrorism . The government has used this fear to push some unpopular agendas; making terrorism real might require convincing people that there are more potential terrorists around than is actually the case. That, or perhaps the focus is on embellishing Americas success in the war on terror. While spending countless billions in taxpayer dollars, establishing an elaborate international spy program and foregoing a slew of other civil liberties in the name of national security, American citizens want to know that these sacrifices are necessary and worthwhile. What better way to justify these costs than to exaggerate the number of terrorist convictions the United States is securing? Certainly, it wouldnt be the first time government agencies were caught playing fast and loose with terrorist data. When information on the NSAs surveillance program first leaked, authorities insisted that the information collected disrupted over 50 terrorist plots. Subsequently, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee acknowledged that that justification was patently untrue . For what its worth, this years review isnt the first time terrorist conviction statistics have been audited.