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So That’s Why the Death Toll Figure Was Low…

Posted on Sep 9, 2006

It appeared for a while that the death toll had dropped drastically in Iraq in August, but then word leaked out that the initial numbers were two-thirds too low. We didn’t know why. But it appears we do now: The Pentagon isn’t counting those killed in car bombs or mortar attacks—and it has no good excuse. (h/t: Huff Po)


BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. officials, seeking a way to measure the results of a program aimed at decreasing violence in Baghdad, aren’t counting scores of dead killed in car bombings and mortar attacks as victims of the country’s sectarian violence.

In a distinction previously undisclosed, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Johnson said Friday that the United States is including in its tabulations of sectarian violence only deaths of individuals killed in drive-by shootings or by torture and execution.

That has allowed U.S. officials to boast that the number of deaths from sectarian violence in Baghdad declined by more than 52 percent in August over July.

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By Hope Baker has Competence, September 10, 2006 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
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Hope Baker has Competence and will SEE the REAL TRUTH on the ground!  War over, gone to civil war, done!

IRAQ: FM Zebari Meets James Baker and Members of Iraq Study Group
/ Mr. Hoshyar Zebari, Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with the US Iraq Study Group in Baghdad on September 1st, 2006. The Group is headed by Mr. James Baker, the US ex-Secretary of State, and comprises elite of outstanding figures from both the Republican and Democratic Parties. The following are a list of the Group members:

• Lee Hamilton: Head and Senior Member of the US Congress’s External Relations Committee for 34 years. Now the Director of Woodrow Wilson Scientists Centre.
• Edwin Meese: US former Attorney General.
• William Perry: former Secretary of Defense.
• Robert Gates: former Director of Central Intelligence Agency.
• Leon Panetta: former US White House Chief of Staff.
• Charles Robb: former Governor of the State of Virginia and former Senator
. • Ambassador Edward Djerejian: former Assistant to Secretary of State for Near East Affairs.
• Christopher Kojm: former Deputy Director of the Eleventh of September Institution.

The Iraq Study Group conducts an outlook and independent assessment of the current and future situation on the ground in Iraq and its impact on the surrounding area and repercussions on the US interests.

The Group addressed with the Foreign Minister the strategic environment of Iraq and its surroundings, Iraq’s security and major challenges ahead of improvement of security in the country and the political developments within Iraq following the elections and formation of the new government.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Mohammed Hajj Hmoud, the Foreign Ministry Undesecretary for Multilateral Relations and Mr. Labeed Abbawi, the Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for Policy Planning.

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By Druthers, September 10, 2006 at 2:08 am Link to this comment
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Why would they count the bodies of the killed in Itraq any better than they count the poor, the homeless and those suffering from induced chemical or polluted diseases.  In the ME they are interested in oil, on the domestic front they are interested in money—that is the one thing they do know how to count and keep.

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By Aaitje, September 9, 2006 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment
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Jeezus H. Crikey!

Just recently we’ve learned pollsters are “Diebolding” poll numbers; our votes are being “Diebolded” in favor of Republican candidates, and now the Pentagon is “diebolding” the death toll in Iraq to make it all seem “less” tragic??

Is nothing truthful anymore???

When did America become a dictatorship the likes of the USSR???

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By kevin99999, September 9, 2006 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment
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We have the lowest class of criminals in the Bush administration. These people should be in jail rather than in the administration.

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By Ted Buila, September 9, 2006 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
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I can’t seem to winnow if indeed thethere were changes in the definition between (June) July and August. 

If we have a definition change that’s one thing/if it’s a source change that too is an issue. 

The story seems to suggest a change.  Was/is there?


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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 9, 2006 at 11:02 am Link to this comment
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This is reminiscent of Viet Nam where the body count was adjusted up or down to provide the statistics desired by President Johnson. Soldiers who had to count bodies, would include rats, dogs, and pythons if needed to round out the numbers. When the numbers were to be lower, woman, children and old men were excluded. I was there.

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By Spinoza, September 9, 2006 at 10:44 am Link to this comment
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There are a lot of stories in war situations that are mostly not true. It is often very hard to separate fact from fiction.  During the Balkan mess I decided most of the lies were coming from the NATO side as the liberals supporting NATO were on a holly crusade.  Besides I got talking to a Serb who I trusted and it was quite clear the what he was saying made more sense.

It has been my experience that right wingers and their liberal supporters are some of the most mendacious people around.

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By harald hardrada, September 9, 2006 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
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this is no big deal—americans don’t want to hear the truth, don’t want to know what’s going on—as long as other folks’ kids are serving in the military, why should americans care?

they’ll say they care but deep down they buy the american/israeli propaganda that muslims are evil, especially palestinians who had nothing to do with 9/11 & who deserve to live like dogs as the israelis act out their bloodlust

next the israelis want us to attack iran, a country that poses no threat to america

america’s no longer an independent country—the proof is that its lawmakers don’t feel free to vote against the interests of israel—all 100 senators backed israel’s bombing of lebanon to smithereens, while only 2% of the house voted for peace—so much for the so-called anti-war politicians

all that’s left is for america to lose even the pretense of being a republic

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