Friday, April 06, 2007

How many US service members have died in Iraq?

Does Kirk Semple work for the AP? Reading "6 Americans and 4 Britons Are Killed in Attacks in Iraq" in today's New York Times, you should note this:

In the four years since the American-led invasion in March 2003, at least 140 British soldiers have been killed in Iraq, Iraq Coalition Casualty Count said.

If you read "And the war drags on" last night, you know that the AP ran a similar line in all their stories filed yesterday. When it was 4 US service members announced dead, the story included the 140 figure, when it was five, when it was six, when it was eight . . . But never did the AP tell you the count for US fatalities since the start of the illegal war.

Semple goes to ICCC to cite the 140 figure but somehow forgets to tell readers what the US count is. Now when the New York Times toyed around with rebranding their International Herald Tribune with the Times' name, they quickly learned how little the paper impresses Europe. So the Times should be fully aware that their primary audience is domestic. That requires listing the US total. Fairness and basic rules of journalism also dictate listing the US total. When your article says 4 British troops dead, 6 US troops dead and you give a total for one, you really are obligated give a total for the other. Since Semple's using ICCC for the British total, he could use it for the American total as well.

3266 is the US total at ICCC and it was the total last night. Last night, the total of US announced dead on Thursday was 8, not 6. Martha notes Joshua Partlow's "Eight U.S., Four British Soldiers Die in Scattered Attacks in Iraq" (Washington Post):

The U.S. military deaths, from roadside bombs and small-arms fire, were scattered in and around Baghdad. One U.S. soldier was shot to death Tuesday while patrolling in eastern Baghdad, parts of which are strongholds for Shiite militiamen. Another soldier was killed and a third was wounded that day in small-arms fire while on foot patrol in the southern outskirts of Baghdad.
Four soldiers were killed and four others were wounded Wednesday in two roadside bomb attacks, one in Baghdad and one on the northern outskirts of the city, the military said. Another soldier died from gunfire while on a reconnaissance patrol in eastern Baghdad.
An eighth soldier was killed and two were injured when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle in Diyala province, north of Baghdad.
The rate at which U.S. service members are dying in Iraq has remained fairly constant in recent months, even with heightened security measures imposed by the Baghdad security plan and an influx of thousands of troops to the capital. At least 80 U.S. troops were killed in each of the first three months of this year, while 18 Americans were killed in the first four days of April, according to Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, an independent Web site.

Martha finds the last paragraph above "very interesting" and references "And the war drags on" not from yesterday but from the Thursday of the week prior. She's referring to the nonsense claimed by the Council of Foreign Relations about a decreasing in the number of US service members killed. It was nonsense when they made it.

Martha also notes R. Jeffrey Smith's "Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted" (Washington Post):

Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides "all confirmed" that Hussein's regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.
The declassified version of the report, by acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, also contains new details about the intelligence community's prewar consensus that the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda figures had only limited contacts, and about its judgments that reports of deeper links were based on dubious or unconfirmed information. The report had been released in summary form in February.

The report's release came on the same day that Vice President Cheney, appearing on Rush Limbaugh's radio program, repeated his allegation that al-Qaeda was operating inside Iraq "before we ever launched" the war, under the direction of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist killed last June.
"This is al-Qaeda operating in Iraq," Cheney told Limbaugh's listeners about Zarqawi, who he said had "led the charge for Iraq." Cheney cited the alleged history to illustrate his argument that withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq would "play right into the hands of al-Qaeda."
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), who requested the report's declassification, said in a written statement that the complete text demonstrates more fully why the inspector general concluded that a key Pentagon office -- run by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith -- had inappropriately written intelligence assessments before the March 2003 invasion alleging connections between al-Qaeda and Iraq that the U.S. intelligence consensus disputed.

The article notes that the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency had confirmed the non-link in 2002. The lies used to sell the illegal war were known to be untrue by 2002. Cheney's still repeating them. Martha wonders if the New York Times cover this today? Yes, they run a Bloomberg News article on it online. In print nothing. That should be sufficient because the New York Times was not part of selling the illegal war and they have nothing to clarify or feel any guilt over.

What? Oh, yeah, Judith Miller, Michael Gordon . . . Yeah, they probably owe it to every reader to run this story and then some. But they're too busy pushing LIE-ALL's stenography from the US Embassy in London. Rebecca mentioned that Robert Knight, on yesterday's Flashpoints, or The KPFA Evening News (archive) yesterday covered the fact that Murdoch's Sky News reported that the British soldiers who were captured were on an intelligence gathering mission.
The basis for that report was an interview with one of the captured soldiers done before the soldiers were captured. Somehow Lie-All's got a lot, lot more to write about in today's paper.

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