Monday, November 7, 2016
The numbers say it is hard to believe that Comey came to an honest conclusion
By Kevin “Coach” Collins
Even if FBI Director James Comey had 100 agents reading collating and considering the 650,000 emails in the new investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified material, it is hard to see how this much material could have been properly digested and done justice in the ten days he had to work on the Weiner/Abedin systems.
And even if he did have these agents completely dedicated to this new investigation, the numbers say it was an impossibly Herculean task that does not pass the smell test.
Research shows, “The average college graduate stops 75 times to read each of his 100 words. Great compared to the 3rd grader, but slow and boring and inefficient.”
Assuming that each email is one hundred words (which might be a low number), that comes to 65 million words to read. FBI agents are college graduates and most are lawyers; but it is hard to imagine them speed reading through material as critical to the nation’s wellbeing as these 650,000 emails.
If we allow for turnover time, handling these emails, whether printed out in the worst case or on a computer screen in the best, the time we can reasonably assign to reviewing each email has to be two minutes for those considered frivolous and much more for those immediately deemed important. Anyone who has done this type of plodding, searching review, requiring sifting through mountains of words, knows this is the case.
Reason says that even some the shortest emails of fifty words or so might require an extended period of say three minutes to weigh their contents for relevance in a larger context.
Thereafter those deemed suspicious would require a “Stop the presses” conference which would eat up more time. When such an inevitable stoppage occurs, everyone at the table – another logistic impossibility – would necessarily have to stop and listen to the finding and consider whether what was just found is valuable to a pattern he or she is mentally building given the emails before him/her.
The average number of words on a page in a novel, which presumably has a coherent flow and is therefore easier to read and digest, is 300 words. This means the equivalent of 21,000 pages of flowing text which is not broken by changes in subject and mental construction to be weighed against possible federal law violation.
Using the most generous allowance for Comey and his FBI team to have reexamined the 650,000 emails involved in the new investigation and assuming they worked every minute of every hour they were at it, the crew worked for 14,400 minutes on this project and that is just for reading alone, without interruption for reconsideration, stretching, bathroom breaks, etc.
The records show the longest known book in the English language is L. Ron Hubbard’s The Invader’s Plan which is 1.2 million words. So the 65 million words of emails are the equivalent of 54 of Hubbard’s books. Does it seem logical to believe that Comey’s agents could have carefully read and analyzed all that material?
Properly investigating this pile of emails would require 100 agents putting in 3600 man hours with no stopping for consultation with other agents when a pattern was detected.
This does not include the coordination of original FBI notes with newly discovered findings.
It is simply not reasonable to believe the FBI did justice to a review of 650,000 emails which had to be collated for subject matter, considered in an overview and weighed for possible violations of federal law.
Woody Allen once said this about speed reading: “I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”
Woody Allen is a comedian; what Comey did is not at all funny.