NYPD Spokesman Pwned in ProPublica's Comments

An NYPD spokesman tries to contest ProPublica's reporting on the department inflating claims of its counterterrorism effectiveness and ends up with egg on his face.

| Wed Jul. 11, 2012 10:43 AM EDT
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

ProPublica's Justin Elliott published a piece Tuesday questioning the New York Police Department's claim to have foiled 14 serious terrorist plots since the 9/11 attacks—a claim that numerous media outlets have repeated without verifying. "The list includes two and perhaps three clear-cut terrorist plots, including a failed attempt to bomb Times Square by a Pakistani-American in 2010 that the NYPD did not stop," Elliott writes. He continues:

Of the 11 other cases, there are three in which government informants played a significant or dominant role (by, for example, providing money and fake bombs to future defendants); four cases whose credibility or seriousness has been questioned by law enforcement officials, including episodes in which skeptical federal officials declined to bring charges; and another four cases in which an idea for a plot was abandoned or not pursued beyond discussion.

The NYPD didn't particularly like Elliott pointing out that they had inflated their record. So a NYPD spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, decided to weigh in down in the comment section, to rather hilarious results:

 

Browne did not post any further comments. 

So the lesson here is, Google before you gripe. Also a good idea: Making sure you have your facts right before writing a glowing profile of the NYPD commissioner based on the bogus statistic that "14 full-blown terrorist attacks have been prevented or failed on Kelly's watch," and claiming that record is "hard to argue with."