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View Diary: Iraq War Dead (240 comments)

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  •  They specifically were not counting (none)
    soldiers killed in "accidents" not in the line of duty. I'm sure they still are not. A congresscritter -- maybe a year ago? -- made a big row about this, as one or more soldiers in his district were killed, say, in non-combat operation in Iraq, and weren't on the list.

    They may have started counting non-combat related injuries after that, but certainly were not originally.

    Why do you think they wanted so desperately to hire "outsiders" to fill so many jobs? Those people don't have to be counted as KIA either. Contractors from the US, yes, we have figures for. Not "contractors" from Thailand, India, etc. -- people desperate for work, and having taken jobs doing laundry, etc.

    Reframing the news and people's views of our world: HeroicStories.com, free subscriptions.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Wed May 18, 2005 at 03:24:47 PM PDT

    •  I've been looking (none)
      for an accounting of US contractor deaths. Could you point me in that direction? I've had no luck.

      We're beyond Orwellian - it's all Rovian now. And that dear friend, is much worse.

      by wabegg on Wed May 18, 2005 at 08:07:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  funny that (none)
          everyone quotes iCasualties as the authoritative source. I love 'em, but they say it themselves...

          "One of the most popular lists on the Internet is at CNN:
          It is an attractive site, with pictures of most of the soldiers who have died in the Iraq War. And a total number of deaths is given. But, that total number includes both British and American deaths. No attempt is made to provide a breakdown. Worse, the listing is done alphabetically. That's fine if you are interested in one particular soldier, but makes it extremely difficult to follow recent deaths or determine what the current death rate is really like. And consider this. The site gives no backup for its data. How do you know that all deaths have been included? Only a thorough cross-check against DOD and British Ministry of Defense news releases will prove that they have indeed caught most of the deaths. Missing are two British casualties that appear on the British MOD website. However, has anyone counted the number of entries on the CNN list? We have ... and we've consistently come up short of what they say their total number is. So where does their total number come from? We certainly can't say.

          Another popular site is the listing at the Army Times, here:
          Once again, it is a nicely presented site. Best of all, the deaths are listed by date which makes it easy to follow the latest deaths. But this site covers only U.S. deaths and not British ones. And they do not give a total number to date. Worse, a thorough cross-check of the data list against DOD news releases reveals the list to be short four U.S. soldiers who died in a helicopter crash on the first day of the invasion of Iraq . Moreover, they are very slow to update their list with the latest deaths.

          Since May, we have scrutinized several other lists as well, and have turned up similar problems with all of them.

          That is why this web site was developed ... to provide information that has been scrupulously culled from government sources and cross-checked against other existing lists to ensure the most accurate and complete accounting of deaths that we can possibly assemble."

          We're beyond Orwellian - it's all Rovian now. And that dear friend, is much worse.

          by wabegg on Wed May 18, 2005 at 08:50:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sounds like you've had some luck (none)
            I thought you said you had no luck.

            I'm certain that our government doesn't keep a good accounting, nor require it of the contracting companies.  If Halliburton pays some locals to guard an oil well, and they get killed, our administration isn't ever going to want to hear about it.

            And what was that bluster by Rumsfeld about how Iraqi police and guardsmen are coalition forces -- they don't really count either.

            I know the government reports don't count the full costs.  With our abridged freedom of the press, especially in the war zone that is Iraq, things like iCasualties are the best we can do for accounting the costs.

            We're living in interesting times, but not interesting in a good way.

            •  Nope, still no luck (none)
              I guess what I've been thinking about today are the many experienced ex-military currently working and dying for 'private security firms'. There is no accounting of these Americans, beyond random iCasualty reports scavenged from the media. Not that their lives are more valuable than the countless Iraqis or contractors from Jordan or Australia or Chile - but if Americans aren't recording their deaths, who the hell will? Their families have quite enough grief to deal with, without having to deal with the 'mercenary' labelling of their loved one. It just kills me that we have absolutely no clue how many have died.

              We're beyond Orwellian - it's all Rovian now. And that dear friend, is much worse.

              by wabegg on Wed May 18, 2005 at 09:34:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  contractors deaths (none)
        If you go to this linked text website and click on the contractors tab you will find a list of 236 currently confirmed dead contractors with fairly extensive information as to who they were working for, where they died, how they died and a link to a report giving some details. About 80 or so of the list are Americans and there is a large mix of nationalities included. The principal unrecorded casualties are the Turks, the Jordanians and the Iranians - this is largely because the compilers of the site are confined to English-language sources. So deaths reported in Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish or Farsi media will not be picked up.

        The count is acknowledged to be an undercount.

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