Yesterday I was whining about how the Veterans Administration initially misrepresnted the scope of the stolen data of 26.5M veterans. I was wondering just now whether that bureau is so incompetent as to not understand their own databases, or whether they did know exactly what went missing, and their public statement was a fabrication intended to minimize their PR damage. Well, I'm no closer to resolving that question. But it turns out there's still more they didn't reveal: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/06/03/va.theft.ap/index.html Nicholson's use of the subjunctive, "...were potentially included...", suggests the "clueless and incompetent" explanation. But the initial 3-week delay in reporting the loss, without notifying veterans, suggests an unethical emphasis on PR, which may be evidence towards the "he lied" version. So which is it?