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June 14, 2005
Surfing the Lunatic Fringe

The military announced the killing of four more U.S. soldiers on Sunday, pushing the American death toll past 1,700....

Do we trust this body count? I've heard repeatedly that the numbers the Pentagon releases don't include everyone who died as a result of the invasion of Iraq. I don't trust the MSM on this topic.

I've heard rumors of a body count around 7,000 or 9,000, but I haven't been able to document that number reliably.

Not that the attempt wasn't educational.

Researching the "9000" figure, I found myself at a "craigslist" archive that linked to a story on a site I wasn't familiar with.

I went back to Google and tried again. The next hit led me to a KOS diary site with a story about potentially 9,000 dead soldiers.

That diary linked to a story in a forum for substantiation, and that thread in the forum linked back to KOS for substantiation. (The forum discussion led to many strange and unsettling sites.)

Eventually, toggling between the forum and the diary, I found myself back at the first site, but when I went researching who was running it, I was completely appalled (and, I might add, much less inclined to believe the figure).

I wasn't really going anywhere with this. It's just that I avoid the wingnut aisles of the political spectrum most of the time, so I found this little journey interesting.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:04 PM


I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that group to publish its "watertight" case. If their claim is true, then we're suffering an almost 50% death rate of casualties - far higher than previous conflicts. Are they saying military medicine has declined in this conflict compared to the trend in all others that show improving mortality rates for wounded troops? If they're going to make up a figure, they might want to do some historical research to at least compute a plausible number - especially before making the "more reasonable" assertion. And if they have the manifests, why not publish them?

Also, there are way too many other open/informal sources (from soldier blogs to family groups) to conceal losses/desertions at that rate. You're talking about the equivalent of an entire Army division between deaths/desertion. If this were really true, you're talking about a scandal that would surely win the reporter(s) the Pulitzer and topple the administration (so the Democrats are going along with this coverup as well?).

The sad part is that people who feel the need to lie so blatantly (and sloppily) undercut others who can point to objective, documented measures/indicators and engage in serious, thoughtful debate over the ends, ways, means, and costs of this Administration's policies.

Posted by: Col Steve at June 14, 2005 03:19 PM

Col Steve - I never hold my breath waiting for the fringe elements to do something sensible. :)

Posted by: Anne at June 15, 2005 08:05 AM

I'll buy it. I've watched the military report casualties since WWII. They always exaggerate the other side's, falsely under-report our own--ALWAYS. As I write, at 8:38 PM, PDT, 6/20, there are over 105,000 Google hits already on this story. Diehards will keep on supporting this discredited president and this discredited administration, but I suspect we'll see the higher numbers validated, regardless of how many loyalists try to deny it. And our people will keep on dying...

Posted by: mitch at June 20, 2005 09:41 PM

Looks like the World Socialist carried a "hidden casualties" story last year, claiming that USofA casualties in Iraw were already at 2,000. Washington Conceals US Casualties in Iraq (2/04) (The World Socialist really isn't a source I know enough about to be comfortable using. I'm not even sure how I wound up there.)

People all over are debunking the story, though.

Posted by: Anne at June 22, 2005 07:52 AM