So to those who keep passing around that ridiculous "9,000 dead GIs" figure -- stop it!
I don't know how many times this bullshit rumor has to be shot down.
And after all this time, we all four of us concur. Yes, there are a few unreported deaths, which I'll explain in a minute. But not thousands. We'd have found them if there were.
Here's something that might interest you. If you go to our homepage, you'll notice a place up top that says "Fatality Details". Click on that. That'll take you to our fully searchable database.
When you get there, scroll down to the bottom of that page to where the Filters are. I'm finding that many people simply don't realize these handy, dandy little tools are there. Go over to the right to where it says "Country of Death" ... and select, say, "Germany" from the drop down list. Then hit the "Apply Filter" button over to the left.
Voila ... a list of 23 guys will appear ... all of whom died in Germany from wounds or illnesses incurred in Iraq ... all of whom have formal releases from the DOD and who are on the DOD's death list.
Now go back to the filters and hit "Remove Filter" so that you can start fresh. Go back to the "Country of Death" and select "USA", then hit "Apply Filter". There's 31 troops who died in the USA and whom the DOD has owned up to.
So there's no truth to the rumor that if you die outside of Iraq, the DOD automatically ignores you. Yes, occasionally it does ... especially if the death happens months after the soldier gets back from Iraq (Lynn's husband knows of 5 men that this applies to). And I am told that occasionally Special Forces deaths may be hush-hush. But as a rule, no. It's just a wild rumor.
And it's the same with this 7,000 business. If our list were missing thousands of names, can you imagine the e-mails we would get from enraged grannies, aunts, best friends, etc. for daring to leave their loved one OFF !!!!!??? I shudder to think of it. I get called to task for every little goof-up I make as it is. I recently mistakenly entered a soldier's service branch as "U.S. Army National Guard" because that's what a news article said. Oh my ... the chaplain for the man's unit had an e-mail in to me within the HOUR complaining that it was U.S. ARMY RESERVES, dammit! And then there are the parents who write to say that the DOD published the wrong hometown, and would I please put the correct one in my database. We have thousands upon thousands of eyes out there watching that list. We aren't missing thousands of names.
The last thing to consider is this: the Bush administration isn't GOOD ENOUGH to hide that many deaths. They haven't managed to hide Halliburton's over-runs. They haven't managed to hide the troop equipment shortages. And they haven't managed to hide their own ineptness in the whole occupation. Somehow the truth has a way of seeping out between the cracks.
And me and Michael and Lynn and Evan watch those cracks like hawks.