Fort What? NPR's Diane Rehm Demonstrates More Fort Hood Amnesia

April 17th, 2013 10:25 PM

Fort Hood amnesia seems to be a recurring malady this week. First came the Washington Post. Then on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show on Wednesday, Rehm falsely described the Boston bombing (with three fatalities) as worse than Fort Hood (13 fatalities). “This has been described as the second most lethal event since 9/11. But we are told that there've been a great many incidents prevented. What do you know about that? "

At least her guest Gary LaFree of the University of Maryland, in reviewing the statistics in his Global Terrorism Database, eventually pointed out that two terrorist attacks since 1971 had a higher death toll:

LaFREE: Well, our database, going back to 1970, tracks about 2,400 total attacks against the United States during this period of time. And, of course, 9/11 is, far and away, the most -- in fact, the most lethal in the world, the most lethal terrorist attack in our whole database. If you go -- you get a little bit different results if you go with total casualties where people are both killed and wounded versus total fatalities. If you look just at fatalities, the second most lethal attack against the United States was the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Then after that, there was a bombing at LaGuardia Airport [in New York] in 1974 which had 11 dead. More recently, the Fort Hood attack, 13 dead. And then if you look at casualties, you get a somewhat different set of numbers. For example, the Atlanta Olympic bombing in 1996 had 111 casualties but only one death, the Amtrak rail sabotage in Arizona in 1995, 75 casualties, but again, only one dead. So this will rank as one of the more violent in terms of total casualties.