"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics"
So said Mark Twain, attributing it to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
It is cheap, basic and widely available around the world. Millions of people wear one. The manufacturer's market share might be as much as 33%. Yet analysts stationed at Guantánamo Bay have declared the black Casio F-91W digital watch "the sign of al-Qaida."
Briefing documents used to train staff in assessing the threat level of new detainees advise that possession of the F-91W (available online for just a few dollars) suggests the wearer has been trained in bomb making by al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
The report states: "The Casio was known to be given to the students at al-Qaida bomb-making training courses in Afghanistan at which the studentsreceived instruction in the preparation of timing devices using the watch.
And here is where the statistics come in.
"Approximately one-third of the JTF-GTMO detainees that were captured with these models of watches have known connections to explosives, either having attended explosives training, having association with a facility where IEDs were made or where explosives training was given, or having association with a person identified as an explosives expert."
The silver version, the A-159W, is also highly suspect.