May 15, 2003
Scrambling Lists

The Command Post reports that yet another person on the Centcom Iraqi 55 Most Wanted List has been captured, but doesn't give a name, number, or card ID. I checked the official Centcom list to see if the information was there, and found two annoying developments:

  1. Two who had been reported captured days ago now say "Taken into custody May 15th". How can that be? Were they in Kurdish or other hands, and only listed as taken into custody when they actually arrived at a U.S.-controlled prison? I already knew their names the day before yesterday. I've been graphing the pace of captures to see whether it is increasing or decreasing, so dates are important.
  2. Worse, Centcom has completely reordered the list of 55. Number 18 is now number 9, number 10 is number 12, number 21 is number 31, and so on. I haven't made the complete cross-reference list -- that's my next task -- but it appears that the new List of 55 matches the Deck of 52 cards much better. I suppose that's the reason for the change. Before, the Queen of Spades was number 18 (way too low), while the Seven of Hearts was number 20 (way too high). Now I have to go back and edit my list of captured Iraqis, giving both the old and new numbers as well as the card IDs. Redoing the graphs will take hours. Not only is this irritating, it will allow malicious lefties to claim that the list was reordered to make it look better. It's certainly true that moving the various Ba'ath Party regional chairmen / BP militia commanders from the middle of the list to the bottom will slightly improve the looks of the graphs I made. They were number 22-36 on the old list, but three of them didn't even make the cut (sorry about the pun) for the deck of cards, while the rest were all Twos, Threes, Fours, and one Five (the Baghdad regional commander). Only three of the sixteen have been captured, so moving them down to numbers 40-42 and 44-55 on the list does make it look a bit better overall. On the other hand, the deck of cards was what caught the public's imagination, so making the list match the deck is more appropriate than the other way around -- not to mention that the cards have already been printed and distributed.

Oh well, back to work on the new list. I've got plenty more to post on other subjects, too. (There's nothing like financial support to make me feel like working harder. Thanks again!)

Posted by Dr. Weevil at May 15, 2003 02:04 PM