Sunday, April 02, 2006

Deaths Not Counted

Note: This is a follow-up to this post.

Contrary to neocon propaganda suggesting that the death count is being exaggerrated, there is evidence that a lot of deaths aren't being counted.

Jim Henley discusses a report that execution-style deaths in Iraq are not being ocunted.

Granted, we do not know yet if this is true, but it is hardly implausible. This is quite consistent with the way that city governments tend to report violence, as I discussed here, and which was also noted during the controversy over the number of rapes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as noted here.

In any case, I think that this provides a method by which at least some of the disparities in reports could be explained, and opens the door to the possibilit of other unreported deaths.

While I don't like Mr. Henley's choice of language, the message he infers from this statement in Ellen Knickmeyer's article on the alleged suppression of body counts:

On Sunday, as a Washington Post reporter briefly visited the morgue office, five bodies were brought in from a town just outside Baghdad. All were neatly dressed men, all had their hands bound, and all had been shot in the back of the head. Morgue officials took the bodies to one of the refrigerated trailers. No mention of the five appeared in news reports.

is probably pretty accurate.

Donald Johnson's inference is also right-on, suggesting that Ellen Knickmeyer herself is less concerned about this particular incident and more concerned with pointing our how incomplete our civilian body counts may be, and how little information we have with which to directly figure out the real numbers.

That is all.

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