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We like to say that we are members of the reality based community. But to say that, we have to legitimately live in the reality based community.

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 the best debunking comes from dear dKos community member Pat K, co-founder of

For two solid years now, Michael White and I have followed the deaths in Iraq literally on a daily basis. We haunt the CENTCOM, MNF-Iraq and DOD websites ... as well as all of the major news feeds. In fact, the two of us have grown adept at finding death notices in the news media prior to the military issuing them. For about the past year and a half, Michael and I have been joined in the research by Evan D., an historian in the Washington D.C. area, and by Lynn L., another researcher whose husband is in the 4th ID. So that makes 4 of us searching the news media and the military sites, each and every day mind you, for deaths.

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.

So please, just stop it. You do yourself and the anti-war effort no good by running with unsupported conspiracy theories that contradict the very hard reality-based work cataloging the effects of the war by our very own side.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:44 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  bet it appears (none)
    again tomorrow, as soon as this scrolls of the FP.  Things are going crazy here.
    •  Well, don't recommend it (none)
      and don't post comments in diaries that push such nonsense.  Nothing discourages a fool more than opening up their diary and seeing just one or two comments, both of them negative.
      •  the problem with this is (none)
        that when you click on one to make sure it is being ignored  you'll see that people are starting a serious discussion about it. That happened today twice on this topic.
      •  Self-correcting system (none)
        I will say though that the system seems to do a good job of self-correcting.  I saw a post about this bogus conspiracy a few weeks ago, and was intrigued by that possibility.  But then I saw another post that clearly debunked it within a few minutes of the original.  

        The rule of thumb is that if it is too good to be true, it probably is.  Or in this case, if it's too evil to be true...  A similar example was something I heard on Randy Rhodes the other day.  She was talking about how the contract for the Gitmo prisons was signed in 2000, before 9/11.  Of course what was actually signed was a contract for the provision of a building to be named later, and that building ended up being a prison.  But if you don't catch that part, it ends up sounding like 9/11 was planned for.  Though if it was 2000 it would have been Clinton planning for it.

        •  but sometimes self-correction fails (none)
          ... and sometimes a total bullshit diary hits the Recommended list.

          I was thinking we need an "anti-recommend" button, but that could be problematic, since it could be used to stifle dissent. My ideal mechanism would be a way for a trusted user to raise a factual objection to a diary; this would be intended only for cases where the diary has its facts wrong, not that it expresses an opinion the objector doesn't like. Then subsequent readers would be alerted, when they view the diary, and anyone who previously recommended the diary would be alerted that someone objected to the diary's facts. Those users would be given a choice:

          • Withdraw their recommendation.
          • Reconfirm it ("I have read the objection, and I still want to recommend the diary")

          Same with new attempts to recommend the diary ("Here's the objection, do you still want to recommend?").

          If almost no one withdraws, and almost everyone reconfirms, that could be flagged as possible abuse (bogus objection) and the objector's karma would be penalized (possibly preventing them from raising objections to diaries).

          •  Good thought (none)
            Rather than an anti-recommend pushing down a story, maybe just have the scores posted at the top of the story.  So, if you pull up a diary entry and it has a lot of objections, it'll be quite clear when you read it that there are some objections.  Through the normal commentary you should be able to figure out those objections should you want to know.
    •  Most soldier families don't have the internet (1.00)
      Most of the dead soldiers' families are not reading Don't be so full of yourselves to think the aunts, uncles and parents of dead soldiers are flocking to to see if their dead loved-one is listed there. Since most families of soldiers are from lower middle class and poor homes, we can assume that most of them don't have the internet to verify the truth. And even the internet doesn't have the full truth. I don't know if the official count is 9,000 dead, but after the WMD lies, I would not be surprised if the actual count is closer to 3,000 or 4,000 dead soldiers. I guarantee the Pentagon is low-balling the TRUE number of dead soldiers.
      •  back this up: (4.00)
        I guarantee the Pentagon is low-balling the TRUE number of dead soldiers.

        Bet you can't.

        •  The number is greater (none)
          that 1700. the government does not include those who have died by accident or suicide. The government has 'buried' those figures.

          We must also factor in for the future those who will die stateside by suicide or die premature deaths due to injuries or trauma that were a result of battle.

          •  that's realistic (none)
            and thanks for that. But that's not what the poster I was replying to was saying. I know that a casualty count can't possibly measure the full impact of the war, but that's a long way from saying the Pentagon is hiding large numbers of KIAs.
        •  Unreported Casualties (none)
          The Military does not report Combat Deaths unless they occurred in Theater. Once you are evacuated you are a different sort of statistic.

          DOD Instruction 7730.22, ("Reports of U.S. Casualties in Combat Areas," January 20, 1967, and March 20, 1973) provided that the Vietnam casualties to be reported were all those occurring within the designated combat areas and those deaths occurring anywhere as the result or aftermath of an initial casualty occurring in a combat area. The current related document, Military Personnel Casualty Matters, Policies, and Procedures" DoD Instruction 1300.18, December 18, 2000, is simply silent on this critical matter.

          It only took me about 30 minutes of googling to find the following statistics:
          OIF monthly statistics
          March 19, 2003 - June 5, 2005:
          2,532 Killed/ Died of Wounds
          25,722  Wounded in action
          Using the ( incredibly low) 10% fatality rate that would give another 2,572 probable fatalities for a total of 5104 right there.

          22,00 have been reported Medevac'd -
          Considering the reports of increased severity of wounds, brain injuries, infections it would be reasonable to assume that some of them DIED!

          This doesn't even count accidents, diseases such as malaria, hepatitis, or suicides.

          I just spoke with an Army Medic who recently returned for Iraq, and told him I had heard there had been 22, 000 Medevacs, and 7000 deaths at Landstahl. He said that sounded about right. BTW He will be going back there in a few weeks.  So He is no left wing nut.

      •  See... (4.00)
        You can't do that. You CANNOT "guarantee" it.

        You can SUSPECT it. That's a legitimate statement, though still, lacking any evidence, rather specious. I SUSPECT the election was rigged. THere's plenty of evidence to make my suspicions worth investigating. Low-balling the number of dead, otoh... Where is the evidence?

        But suspicion about the death toll, lacking anything other than the Administration's propensity to lie about everything else, simply doesn't warrant a diary on the topic. Comments galore -- go for it. But until you have something concrete, diarying a suspicion is no better than the Fox News trick of phrasing it as a question: "Has the Administration been low-balling the American death toll and hiding bodies in caves?"

        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

        by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:23:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a number for you: 4651 (none)
        How did I get that?  It is a projection based on the figures up til 6/05.  1,723 dead, over 28 months = 61 dead per month (rounding down to a whole number).

        If we take Cheney's word for it, troops will be in Iraq through mid 2009 (amazing how he knows that date).  Projecting 61 dead/month to that date gives me a total of 4651.

        Of course, things could get worse, or better, and my 61/month uses a 6/05 figure that is still growing.  And we have yet to have a major battle, which I suspect is coming, a la Tet that may give us a truly horrendous month.

        But in the end, why argue about numbers that aren't proven?  I think it deflates the true arguments about the war.

        •  Mid 2009. (none)
          Interesting. So Cheney is predicting that, regardless of which party wins the election, the next president will get American troops out of Iraq as fast as he decently can.

          In other words, he knows even a Republican president is going to have to distance himself from Bush and Cheney's Disastrous Iraq Adventure.

          But he doesn't care. By that time he'll have had his eight years' profit opportunity, and he'll retire to a bunch of directorships. Probably one of those will be with Haliburton; they owe him, bigtime.

          Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

          by Canadian Reader on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:14:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The entire Bush cabinet will be off (none)
            profiteering, cashing out for their years of dedicated "service" with no apologies.

            The mid 2009 date struck me as odd and I've begun to wonder if Cheney positioned it as a marker for a new Republican president (Bush/McCain, or vice versa) to use to their advantage: i.e., "Mission Really Accomplished" and now I'm bringing the troops home, etc... or an alternate view - "Our Work Is Done" and it's Time for Us to Go...

      •  Isn't 1700 bad enough? (none)
        when they published the pictures of the caskets being loaded in the C-5 that just broke my heart.  It was bad when there were 100.  I read those names, where they were from, and so many had small children.  It would take days to do that now.
      •  what utter BS (none)
        dude, eveyone has the freakin internet by now.  poor people aren't stupid, and used computers that are internet ready are dirt cheap these days...
        •  Now who's making unsubstantiated claims? (none)
          According to A Nation Online, as of the end of 2003 only 54.6% of Americans had access to the internet (via broadband or dialup).  Furthermore the rural areas from which the Armed Forces draw disproportionately to make up their ranks are particularly underserved when it comes to Internet access.

          Poor people aren't stupid, they just can't afford a monthly internet access fee (even something as cheap as $10-15 per week).  Trust me--I've been there more than once myself and I live above the official poverty line.  When you're bouncing every other check to pay your basic utilities, it's amazing how quickly internet access seems like an unnecessary frill.

          Of course this doesn't necessarily mean that there are more KIA's than the reported number, simply that's "debunking" that they would have heard it from grieving family members if they didn't include their relatives must be taken with a grain of salt, given the fact that there are over a hundred million Americans who don't go online.  

          •  18 months (none)
            Yo dawg, 18 months is 3/4 a lifetime in the tech world. The number is pushing 70% now. Considering that more than 30% of the population is over 65 or under 10, that's getting close to total saturation for civic purposes.

            Also, many surveys ask about home use (because this is what industry types want to know about for commercial decisions). Many people who don't have a home computer online get access through work, library, school, community center, etc.

            Finally, $10-15 a week? It's more like $10 a month. Not to mention the free/ultra low-cost wireless is coming to many major urban cores in the next three or four years. The internet is not an elite media.

            I'm traveling the US this summer with a couple friends. We'll let you know what we find:, baby.

            by Outlandish Josh on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:59:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not just (none)
        Many news orgainzations have the same list.  If they don't read, they would see another list.
  •  Frankly, there is a lot (4.00)
    of really self-destructive conspiracy mongering going on.

    Starting with the "Bush Cabal Planned 9-11" garbage and so on and so forth.

    Those blatantly stupid conspiracies take away time and energy and space from REAL conspiracies - things like the Downing Street Memos, the Cheney Energy Meetings, the Enron machinations, and so on.

    The reality is that the whacked out conspiracies are fundamentally lazy, and are looking for "the magic bullet" to explain away everything everywhere all at once.

    There is no such thing.

    Those whacked out conspiracies degrade the discourse, discredit the work done on serious issues, distract from the tasks at hand, and accomplish nothing.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:47:12 PM PDT

    •  And also.. (none)
      Please let's add to the "if you believe this is news you are too fucking dumb to breathe" list, that idiotic e-mail flying around about HR24, The Repeal of the 22 Amendment.

      It's not news, they put it on every year, and people need to just effing ignore it.


    •  Conspiracies (none)
      I generally ask people that relay this stuff to me if they want a REAL conspiracy theory:

      "What you just told me is straight out Roves chop shop in the WH basement, and is part of a conspiracy to make you look like an idiot. Talk ONLY about things you have evidence for, and we can bring the conspiracy down."

      •  PNAC (none)
        there is evidence.


        There is evidence.


        There is evidence.

        PDB "Osama determined to strike inside US"

        There is evidence.

        Putting the pieces of evidence together in terms of real events, real people, and real motivations requires thought, further evidence, and understanding of the nature of the characters and situations involved.

        Many conspiracies are simply lazy, magical thinking.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:32:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely! (none)
          I'm down with all those things. What I'm talking about is 9/11 conspiracy theories. I'd be willing to make a deal with these folks. If they would stay silent (mostly) until we get this moron impeached for what we CAN prove, they can have whats left of him. The problem is, their agenda hampers ours.
    •  hear hear (4.00)
      Just yesterday I had one of these idiots hijack my diary to I was "doing a disservice to the DKOS community" by saying that Bin Laden was behind 9/11.  I stupidly began to engage the guy giving links to several progressive sources reporting on the videos where Bin Laden accepted responsibility , but then backed off after realizing it was like talking to a brick wall.

      I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!

      by MarkinNC on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:01:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The New Pearl Harbor Is Not Garbage... (none)
      it is well researched and devastating.  If it's not true then let's investigate and see if it's true.
      •  Sure (none)
        Research all you want. Hell, I have the PNAC document on my desktop with the Pearl Harbor quote you mentioned. The problem is, I will GUARANTEE you much of this stuff is coming directly from Rove with the intent of trying to make us look as stupid as his boss. We are hanging on by a thread here. Lets prioritize just a little. Let's move on the mountain of information that is ALREADY investigated, (ch)impeach, and then we can investigate. In the meantime, feel free to keep investigating. Just don't make that work the face of the Demoratic Party. What exactly is wrong with driving ahead with the proof we ALREADY have that he lied us into war?
        •  Many conspiracies are true; not magical thinking. (3.33)
          It's very difficult to talk evidence about things that are kept secret. I do believe in criminal conspiracies to commit crimes and cover them up. Official Secrets have grown exponentially since the arrival of the current administration.

          The following is an excerpt of a column I wrote nearly 3 1/2 years ago now. I have included a link to the full column below so you can link to the 'evidence.'

          "And really, if the clones of corporate media were to be honest they would have to admit that American history is on the side of the, to use Norman Mailer's word, Conspiratorialists.

          Assassination of Lincoln: Conspiracy
          Creation of the Federal Reserve: Conspiracy
          Sinking of the Maine: Conspiracy
          Sneak Attack on Pearl Harbor: Conspiracy
          Operation Paperclip: Conspiracy
          Roswell Cover-up: Conspiracy
          CIA/Mafia Alliance: Conspiracy
          Overthrow of Mossadeq in Iran: Conspiracy
          Overthrow of Arbenz in Guatemala: Conspiracy
          Overthrow of Iraqi Royal Family: Conspiracy
          Attempted Assassinations of Fidel Castro: Conspiracy
          Assassination of Diem: Conspiracy
          Assassination of Trujillo: Conspiracy
          Assassination of Lumumba: Conspiracy
          Assassination of JFK: Conspiracy
          Assassination of Oswald: Conspiracy
          Assassination of MLK: Conspiracy
          Assassination of RFK: Conspiracy
          Gulf of Tonkin Incident: Conspiracy
          Operation Phoenix in Vietnam: Conspiracy
          CIA's too-numerous-to-mention Worldwide Coup d' etats: Conspiracy
          Watergate: Conspiracy
          The overthrow of Allende: Conspiracy
          MKULTRA: Conspiracy
          COINTELPRO: Conspiracy
          CIA Drug Running: Conspiracy
          October Surprise: Conspiracy
          Arming of Saddam Hussein: Conspiracy
          Iran-Contra: Conspiracy
          Persian Gulf War: Conspiracy
          The Hunting of Bill Clinton: Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
          Oklahoma City Bombing: Conspiracy
          TWA 800: Conspiracy
          November Election 2000: Conspiracy
          California Energy Crisis: Conspiracy
          Destabilization of Argentina: Conspiracy
          Destabilization of Venezuela: Conspiracy

          And these are just the ones off the top of my head. The Federation of American Scientists have documented 200 American attacks on foreign nations since 1945."

          Yes, there are crazy, paranoid conspiracy nuts out there. On the other hand, American policy and action have led to immoral and illegal acts of criminal conspiracy that cannot be denied.

          Is the KIA number from Iraq understated? I don't know: do the numbers include Special Forces, Troops assigned to Intelligence operations (CIA/DIA etc.) and mercenary 'private' contractors?

          Did al Qaeda plan and execute 9/11? I don't know. No actual investigation has ever been done about that question.

          The Pentagon may be telling the truth. But, Bush & Co. has a history of lie telling.



          •  so general (none)
            you need to come up with a more specific definition of 'conspiracy' for this list to mean anything at all.  the way you seem to be defining it, anything political involving more than one person is a conspiracy.  conspiracy of what?  the Oklahoma bomging was a "conspiracy" of the US govt? OK're really alleging covered-up gov't involvement with McVeigh?  Based on who's word, McVeigh's?  MKULTRA was a conspiracy in what way?  It was a bunch of drug-induced silliness.  Grow some skepticism.  Some of the events you list involve arguable situations, but most of them do not fit the definition of a 'conspiracy', unless you consider anything done in secret or with classification to be a conspiracy.  which would be an incorrect definition.
      •  What's the Pearl Habor reference? (none)
        I saw nothing about this in the parent.
        •  In the PNAC document. . . (none)
          . . . which is from pre-9/11, the warmongers mention the need for a "Pearl Harbor"-type event to rally support for their desired military adventures.

          Some people take that line of thinking to be proof of a conspiracy to create a new "Pearl Harbor", i.e. the 9/11 attacks.

          So, they think that folks like Cheney and Condi Rice sat in a back-room figuring out how to recruit Osama bin Laden and his band of jihadis to attack America. . . which does seem just the tiniest bit unlikely, to me at least.

          A more reasonable, yet still harsh allegation, is that they knew that the jihadis were cooking something up, and perhaps thinking that it would be something along the lines of the U.S.S. Cole bombing, they let it happen, by purposefully failing to put all the possible resources into foiling the plot.

          To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice. Magna Carta 1215

          by Robespierrette on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:13:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree re: 911 (none)
      I agree that this casualty story is foolish. It would only take one greiving parent to observe their kid ain't on the list... and the whole game would be over.

      And THEY couldn't care how many casualties there are anyhow.

      911 however.... sorry. Anybody who beleives the "official" version needs their head seen to. It's not as if there are only one or two glaring inconsistencies. Almost EVERY aspect of the "story" has holes big enough to fly a 737 through... and some of the bits of info that might confirm or unconfirm some elements of the "story" are classified. Why?

      So. leave your attempts to establish equivalence between this minor element and 911.

      There is no comparison.

      When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane. - Herman Hesse

      by jpwillis on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:13:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  arrgh! (none)
        It's a long way from "glaring inconsistencies" to "Bush did it," wouldn't you say?
        •  did I say "Bush did it?" (none)
          I don't think he is smart enough.

          It's not so much the existence of 'A" "Glaring Inconsistency" (typical British UNDERSTATEMENT is you missed that....), or even 'some' "glaring inconsistencies', but rather the the complete infestation of "GLARING INCONSISTENCIES" in almost every element of the timeline/events as they are known.

          And Yes, Speranza.... it's gonna be a long haul. and the first step will be u-turning to face the light.

          When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane. - Herman Hesse

          by jpwillis on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:32:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  and they hurt the REAL left (none)
      same with the 911 conspiracy crowd. In the end, they just undermine the credibility of REAL leftists

      If you don't want it printed, don't let it happen.

      by EZ writer on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:10:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bush wouldn't have had to known (none)
      There would be no reason for Cheney or the rest of the neo-cons to tell them.  The reson they can get away with it is because people say "they wouldn't do that".
      They would do that, before Kennedy was killed there was a plan to have terrorist attacks in the US, blow up bombs in malls in Miami and Washindton DC, then blame it on Cuba, to justify an attack on Cuba.  The Plan was aproved by the joint chiefs of staff, and it would have been carried out if Kennedy hadn't rejected it.  That isn't a conspiracy theory, thats is true, look it up.

      If Bush was president and someone came to him with plans for a terrorist attack on the US in order to justify a war, I think he would be all for it.

      •  i dont think so (none)
        I dont think Bush would be all for, just because, he wouldn't have to be.

        I mean, the chances are, Bush could have sold his Iraq or Afghan wars anyways.  Plus, on top of that, I don't think Bush is actually spiteful or maleviolent, just simple.
  •  I agree completely. (none)
    We don't even have to make up stuff to support our anti-war ideas, so why use debunked conspiracy theories? I've read this claim a lot lately, and the refutation.

    "The billboards shade the flags they wave. . ." -Bright Eyes

    by indiemcemopants on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:47:12 PM PDT

    •  I don't trust reporters or the Pentagon on KIAs (1.25)
      Don't be so quick to assume you have the correct number of KIAs. Searching the internet for news stories and relying on a "husband" soldier in Iraq for KIA numbers is lame. Reporters rarely leave their hotels in Iraq and most soldiers don't have the full numbers of KIAs. It's really lame that you think "news stories" is a decent way to find out how many soldiers have died. It would be easy for the Pentagon to conceal the true number of dead soldiers.
      •  you know what else is lame? (4.00)
        telling someone else that what they believe is "lame," and then making absolutely no sense in the rest of your comment.

        If there are a bunch of concealed KIAs out there, where are their families?

        •  You assume the families are reading the media (1.40)
          I know people who don't read a newspaper or the internet. Most Americans are pretty lame about being informed. Hence: Quagmire. I think poor people in particular don't read newspapers or the internet. Nor can they afford the internet. So, they are not attempting to determine if their loved-one who died in Iraq has been mentioned in news stories. Many of the dead soldiers come from poor families. I can see a Pentagon official refusing to report the deaths of soldiers from poor families (since these families are more likely to ignore newspapers and the internet). The internet is basically a place for elitists. I'm an internet elitists, too. But remember most people don't spend much time on the internet. Internet denizens are a unique bunch. That includes the KOS community. We are the minority of Americans. Everybody should still be SUSPICIOUS of everything coming out of the Pentagon. I'm a bit dismayed that everybody is so trustworthy of the Pentagon's KIA numbers.
          •  fair enough, I'm dismayed (none)
            at the knee-jerk suspicion that passes for critical thinking here.

            It is possible to be skeptical about both sides - one can reject conspiracy theories without taking Pentagon press releases as gospel.

            You did read the lengthy excerpt from Pat K's diary, right? Any substantive criticism of that debunking, or just a bunch of "what-ifs?"

            •  I think it's knee-jerk to accept Pentagon numbers (1.60)
              After the WMD lie and the bogus Saddam-Qaeda link, I think the "conspiracy theorists" should be given greater respect by the anti-Bush crowd. People should not dismiss their claims so quickly, imho. I agree that 9,000 soldiers probably did NOT die in Iraq (yet), but I also believe that the number of dead soldiers is most likely much higher than 1,700.  We can all agree that 1,700 is far smaller than 3,500 in the minds of Americans and the Pentagon knows this. It would be easy for the Pentagon to conceal 1,000 or 2,000 deaths, imho. Hell, they concealed the WMD lie for years, too.
              •  faulty logic (4.00)
                "they've lied to us before so they must be lying to us now" is just bad logic, especially without any other evidence. And really, aren't we giving this administration too much credit here? You really think they could hide 7000 deaths from the American people? This is a group of people who have toured for 2 months on a proposal with the end result that there's less support for it than when the tour started. These guys don't have the capability to do something like this.
                •  I agree. 9000 is about 4 times more than is (none)
                  currently reported.  That's a lot of dead bodies to hide.

                  Furthermore, the Pentagon did none of the lying on WMD or al-Qaeda.  That was the adminsitration's manipulation of CIA facts.

                  •  Manipulation! (none)
                    The administration's manipulation reaches deeply into the Pentagon. i don't believe the 9000 number but when the arriving coffins are kept out of the public eye, I grow suspicious. The top secret arrival of our dead isn't a military decision. It's pure White House.
                •  Faulty logic?? (none)
                  So tell me, do you go on trusting/believing  someone who repeatedly has lied to you.

                  If you do, let me know, I have a very nice "freedom-loving" used car to sell you.

              •  Listen to AnnArborBlue (4.00)
                If you have EVIDENCE, and I mean hard, virtually indisputable evidence, please bring it forward. If not please find another hobby. The sad part is that all this bunkum is pumped directly out of the WH to make us look like fools. It allows these thugs to call us "tin foil hat conspiracy theorists" and discount everything we say regarding real coverups.

                Want evidence? A "former Bush Administration official" this past week came out and said the Twin Towers could have only come down in a "controlled demolition". The only two media outlets that carried the story were the Washington Moonie Times, and the Times affiliated UPI. Why exactly would only two right wing news services carry this story? Be smarter than the real conspiracy. Ignore this crap, and help us impeach this bastard for his REAL crimes, rather than hinder us by making us look foolish by associaion.

                •  this is idiot stuff (none)
                  People with no technical background have seen pictures of controlled demolitions, and they see the building falling straight down. They then assume that only controlled demolitions produce that effect. Wrong. It's a matter of conservation of momentum.

                  The building has no sideways momentum. The initial plane strike could have provided some, but the collapse did not happen immediately, so when the collapse started the buildings were still. When the structural support collapsed, we have gravity pulling straight down, so that's exactly what the buildings did.

              •  Based on what? (4.00)
                If you don't believe the news or the Pentagon or any other Bush Administration source for the numbers, where is your source? If you don't have one, you might as well pull any old number out of your ass. If you don't have evidence, you have absolutely no idea what the true number is, so it's pointless to argue any point except "investigate further".

                "What in the wide, wide world of sports is a-goin' on here?" -- Slim Pickens in "Blazing Saddles"
                "I have more than 2 problems." - the Coach Z

                by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:15:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not that I think they could hide over 7000 deaths (4.00)
                  but I did catch this on Iraq Coalition Casualties site Saturday.

                  Nine coalition troops killed in Iraq:-
                  BAGHDAD | June 18, 2005 7:11:26 PM IST

                  Nine troops from the U.S.-led multinational forces were killed Saturday in a mortar attack in the troubled city of Fallujah west of the capital.

                  Coalition officials said in a statement that six soldiers also were injured in the attack in Fallujah, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Baghdad, but did not identify the nationalities of the casualties.

                  The source was originally UPI and I Googled the headline Saturday and found it in The Washington Times. Now when you Google the headline and get the link to the UPI story, it leads to the story of a journalist being shot. This is fact.

                  Did UPI just get bad info from the Pentagon and published it before getting the facts? Probably, but now it's out there serving as some kind of proof one way or the other.

                  Here, and here.

                  BTW these stories are the exact copy of what was originally in the Moonie Times article I originally saw (that's now missing) on Saturday.

                  Proof of a cover-up? You decide

              •  bad comparison (4.00)
                The problem with your assertion is that most people never get within spitting distance of a WMD. Dead bodies, however, belong to families, spouses, parents, children, friend, colleagues, communities and fellow-soldiers - every single death has a ripple effect amongst quite literally thousands of people. It only takes one person to notice, just once, for the lies to be blown.

                You cannot compare a real dead body, which has a physical impact in the world, to an abstract lie, based on forms of words about something that has no objective referent in the physical world or the everyday experience of people.

                Retaining skepticism is one thing. In doing so you should come to an understanding that you cannot keep people's deaths secret from those who "own" the bodies.

                •   The implied/explicit threat (none)
                  of withholding death benefit money could be a powerful enforcer of Omerta in families of the Iraq war dead.

                  Have you seen any US govmt underwritten US military contractors personnel required life insurance policies?

                  Do you know for a fact that they do not contain  clauses that penalize or disqualify the death benefit pay-outs in the event the beneficiary(s) should  publically discuss so-termed 'military classified information or  details without without vetting and written DoD approval', concerning the death of the insured?

                  I don't know either way, but it is not hard to come up with viable alternate reasons why family members of unofficial US employed Iraq War dead may not be screaming about their loss.

                  Confidentiality clauses are lawyers' stock and trade, and DoD like the corporate world is infested with them in most things they do.


              •  It would be possible for NASA (none)
                to fake the moon landings. But absent any shred of proof that they did, I'll have to go on credulously accepting their official propaganda.
            •  I'm dismayed (none)
              I'm dismayed at the knee-jerk acceptance of everything the Pentagoons tell us about casualties. That passes as critical thinking around here.  It's funny how the "reality-based" community places their faith in one little internet site read by less than .1 percent of the population, a site that compiles their list from numbers given by the DoD.  

              As for 9/11, only a complete and utter 'tard or ostrich would fail to see that the official story does not hold water.  

              Am I allowed to shamelessly plug my little blog?

              by ChuckLin on Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 06:29:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Is that tin hat tight enough for you? (none)
            Because I think it could stand to be a little tighter.

            Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

            by Goldfish on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:49:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (4.00)
            "I know people who don't read a newspaper or the internet."

            I'm sure you do.  Lot's of them.  I'm sure you also know lots of people who don't read books not written by Hal Lindsay and his ilk.

            "Most Americans are pretty lame about being informed."

            Well, at last there's a statement for which you provide (inadvertent) backup.

            "The internet is basically a place for elitists. I'm an internet elitists [sic], too."

            That's the most unintentionally funny comment I've read on this site in the almost 3 years I've been posting here.

            With regards to "poor people don't use the Internet," I think a door-to-door visit to any randomly selected trailer park would disabuse you of that notion.  That, and your claim that they don't read newspapers are as ill-informed a comment as "poor people don't watch cable TV."  Presumably, poor people also don't go to libraries.

            Your own ignorance and prejudices aside, I think it's remarkably insulting to claim that the poor are too lazy and ignorant to stir themselves to discover something about their relatives who've been killed in war, which is what you're doing.  The experience of the Vietnam War, in which the families of the slain and missing have demanded a strict accounting and detailing of the deaths of their loved ones, is just one example that refutes you.

            Normally, I'd send this sort of post into Hidden Comment territory, but I think it should stay here to show just how ridiculous you and people like you are in making these ludicrous claims about thousands of Iraq war fatalities being covered up.

            "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

            by JJB on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:56:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmm (none)
              With regards to "poor people don't use the Internet," I think a door-to-door visit to any randomly selected trailer park would disabuse you of that notion.

              Over a hundred million Americans have no internet access whatsoever.  Sorry, that's just true.  You don't need to go door to door in a trailer park to find out what 15 seconds of Googling could also tell you.

              If you're going to "debunk", please get your basic facts straight.

              •  And A Little Math Will Tell You (none)
                That, assuming your numbers are correct (interesting that you provide no link) almost 200 million Americans do have Internet access.

                Did I say Internet use was ubiquitous?  No.  I simply pointed out that making a blanket statement like "the poor don't use the Internet or read newspapers and therefore can't possibly know how many soldiers have been killed in Iraq" is on its face absurd.  I work in a city (Washington DC) where there are a great many poor people, and those without their own computers have access to libraries at which they can log on and surf the Web to their heart's content.

                If you're going to debunk something someone's said, first read what they've written, then make sure you understand the point they're trying to make.

                "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

                by JJB on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:56:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Uhh.. (4.00)
            You know if I had a kid or loved one or something over in Iraq, even if I didn't read the newspaper often, I suspect I would start real quick.  These are folks that care a lot about their boys and girls over there - I would suspect that the vast majority of families are definitely reading the papers and checking the Internet to hear news of their loved ones.
            •  Has it occurred to anyone (none)
              ...that there are some people in the military with few if any "loved ones" to raise a stink when they die and aren't reported/recorded in the official tally?  

              Might it also be possible that the aggrieved are too saddened to make such a personal crusade out of their loved one's death?    

              Again, it doesn't help to debunk assumptions with additional assumptions.          

              •  Get Off It (none)
                "Has it occurred to anyone that there are some people in the military with few if any 'loved ones' to raise a stink when they die and aren't reported/recorded in the official tally?"

                And just how many such people (all orphans with no siblings, relations, or spouses) do you suppose there are?

                Jesus H. Christmas, do you actually think before you post?

                "Might it also be possible that the aggrieved are too saddened to make such a personal crusade out of their loved one's death?"

                Yeah, the relatives of the Vietnam MIAs hardly raised a peep about their loved ones, so deep was their grief.  There are also the cases of relatives of people who died carrying out assignments for the CIA who've spent decades harrassing Agency personnel and Congressional representatives to get some kind of acknowledgement of the sacrifices made by their loved ones.

                To turn your pompously strident syntax back on you, might it be possible that these people become so aggrieved and saddened that they make a personal crusade out of finding just how it was their loved ones died, and move heaven and earth until they get an answer that satisfies them?   That seems to be the case far more often than not.  

                "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

                by JJB on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:04:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Speaking Of Grief And Loss (none)
                You might want to check out this article, linked to in the first post on the main page, before speculating on whether the relatives of the Iraq war dead are paralyzed into inaction by their grief:

                "The article (on the Downing Street Memo) has helped me understand my anger towards the President and his underhanded, dishonest and dangerous policies in Iraq.

                "I urge every American to demand that President Bush be made to answer these allegations regarding what has become known as the Downing Street Memo.. . .  I am very proud of Joey and the ultimate price he paid for our country, but if President Bush had not lied and been so determined to invade Iraq, Joey would be here with his loved ones, planning his wedding and looking forward to what a young man with such promise could have contributed to the world.

                "My question to President Bush is - how do you look yourself in the mirror every morning with a clear conscience knowing that 1,700 young Americans are dead based on a lie?"

                "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

                by JJB on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:48:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Ooh I know that answer! (4.00)
          Elvis has them on his spaceship, and they resurrected JFK to be their leader.

          * note sarcasm *

          "The billboards shade the flags they wave. . ." -Bright Eyes

          by indiemcemopants on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:31:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Do you believe (none)
        the Flight 77 theory too? All the people on the plane were just made up right? Also, all the people who died AT the Pentagon, right? Including my ex-boss's cousin?

        "The billboards shade the flags they wave. . ." -Bright Eyes

        by indiemcemopants on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:27:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is a fundamental problem that (4.00)
    the blogosphere will always face, unfortunately.

    An anonymous, faceless, sourceless medium in which there is no editorial control or oversight, and which can potentially could reach millions of viewers is a perfect target for conspiracy wankers.

    It will ever remain thus.

    Perhaps a "Stories that are NOT true" page?

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:49:37 PM PDT

    •  Not a bad idea (none)
      Maybe something that can be added to the dkosopedia, for easy reference?
      •  Not a bad idea. (4.00)
        We need a "Wheat from Chaff" section of either the site or the Kosopedia.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:56:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I should probably do it myself (none)
        but if someone is going to be adding something to the dkosopedia on this, could you please put in Pat K's statement?  That is the most effective argument I know in favor the icasualities number and I couldn't find it yesterday using either dkos search or google.

        I cried when they shot Medgar Evers -- Phil Ochs

        by litho on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:47:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  a full scale solution (none)
      Actually I was one of the people who recently here commented on the 9000 story.  I posted (having seen it a few days previously), then did some research, and came back and debunked the post myself.  So I'll assume its not me that got yelped at ;)

      Anyway this got me to thinking that what the world needs now is an independent web site rating/research site.  Something that you could click from a toolbar to get people's submitted commentary/research about a site.  In this case, some people had mentioned that the site had some odd neo-nazi connections.  I find a lot of sites that leave me really curious about who is behind them, and where those trails lead.

      I think this is inevitable and necessary now that possible news sources are fracturing so quickly.  We benefit from transparency, they are hindered by it.  

      Anybody interested in this idea, can contact me for technical solutions.  This requires a lot more than putting up a wiki page.

  •  Not to mention (4.00)
    that it really is hard to figure out why it matters whether 1,000 or 2,000 or 9,000 American soldiers have died.  Either they died for a cause worth dying for, or they didn't.  Or maybe there is a gray area in between.  But it certainly doesn't advance a moral position to point at numbers.

    European Tribune: a new SCOOP site featuring Jerome a Paris, Sirocco, Soj, and more.

    by BooMan23 on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:49:53 PM PDT

  •  9000 dead (4.00)
    and Rove engineered the 9/11 hit.

    As if what they've ACTUALLY done isn't bad enough.

    It's embarrassing. For chrissakes, do some fucking research with legitimate sources, people. There are plenty of ACTUAL nefarious goings-on -- expose THEM.


    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

    by Maryscott OConnor on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:50:01 PM PDT

  •  Abu Ghraib V Hanoi Hilton: which is worse? (4.00)
    McCain should be forced to answer.
    And specify the metric by which he makes his evaluation. Qualitatively, and quantitatively.

    How many captives were tortured to death at the Hanoi Hilton versus at Abu Ghraib?

    And is McCain proud of America's ranking in the world as a Super Torture Power?

    •  I invoke Godwin's law here. (none)
      This is a pointless comparison.  Would it matter if Hanio was worse?  US actions in Abu Ghraib are unforgivable regardless of whether they are better or worse than previous historical events in other countries.  
      •  First of all (none)
        It's Goodwin's law.

        Second of all Goodwin's Law only applies to Nazis, and does not in away work in the context you're using it in.

        Third of all, you seem to be grossly missing the point of the person you're repling to.

        Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

        by Goldfish on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:41:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  From what I've heard HH was worse (none)
      So let the Neocons shout:  Gitmo, not as bad as the Hanoi Hilton!

      I think McCain could pretty successfully deflect that question, although I like your thinking.

  •  Our very own "Hillary killed Vince (4.00)
    Foster and hid the body in apt. she owned.  And Bill killed every Arkansan that knew too much or crossed his path while he was selling drugs out the Mena Airport."

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine

    by Cathy on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:54:48 PM PDT

  •  The Grand Conspiracy Theory (none)
    Okay.. so are people finally willing to concede that "Bush stole the 2004 election" is a factless conspiracy theory, however it may fit the MO of the Bushies?

    There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

    by Sandals on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:59:44 PM PDT

    •  I almost forgive that one (none)
      because it really is horrible to realize that the majority of voters in this country are so goddam wrong.
      •  Yeah.. (none)
        I think that fed the theory more than anything. People just don't want to believe that after all the perfidy and lies and incompetence of the first term, this could have happened.  

        But it's still factless.

        There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

        by Sandals on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:09:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's Worth Looking Into (none)
          I was almost sickened by how quickly the stolen election claims were brushed off by some. It had happened just four year ago. Fact of the matter is Vanity Fair did an excellent piece on countless problems with the past elections errors.

          The best thing to do with this theory is to channel the efforts into creating a transparent form of voting.

          •  It's the numbers (none)
            In 2000 I was offended not only because the Florida thing was such an obvious mess but because Gore actually had more votes than Bush.

            What the Ohio theories argued was that Kerry had really won the electoral vote and thus he should be president. It's just not that strong an argument to me. Even if you could prove Ohio was robbed, and that has been debunked here several times, it still doesn't change that Bush has a couple of million votes more than Kerry. That makes him the President the Americans chose, Ohio or not.

            •  nailed it (none)
              I think you nailed it..

              Florida 2000 was offensive to me, because, it seemed fairly clear to me that the electoral system was entirely messed up, and that it was as far as anyone could reasonably say, a tie.  Gore or Bush - the margin of error is too high and the turnout too large and the vote difference too small for any person or court or expert to be able to say legitimately whether one or the other got the most votes in Florida.

              The legal wrangling and all that was interesting but irrelevant.  Bush won on a technicality that may or probably was facilitated by fraud on various levels and scales.   That's offensive as an American regardless of politics: I can't stand people who twist or bend or hassle the system to win on a technicality.

              I think most of the 2004 dissenters have such a hard time because Bush got, what, 3 or 4 million more votes than last time around?  It's such a shock to the system.  People who had previously not voted or voted for Gore voted for Bush in 2004. It's just... shocking to the core.  
              •  It's the exit polls (none)
                The exit polls showed Kerry won.  Thats why people believed the election was fixed.  The one thing the Bushies learned from 2000 is that if you are going to fix an election you have to do it by more than 500 votes, and they had 4 years to make sure they got it right.
                •  i'd like to believe it (none)
                  I'd like to believe it, but exit polls aren't enough for me.. I'd really have to see some type of smoking gun, like for example DSM type document, or a recording, or something like that lays out the conspiracy. I am of smallscale frauds - it's always been there in our elections.. but as for a massive conspiracy.. well, extraordinary claims require some type of extraordinary evidence.
    •  I disagree (none)
      Even though I routinely go off on the Fraudster crowed for being lazy (and annoying) tin-hatters, I think the evidence of fraud is substantial enough that it can't be dismissed with the rest. That said, most of the arguments I've heard that the election was stolen have been, at best, circumstantial, and at worst, tin-hattery at it's best.

      My best guess on the subject -there was fruad, but Bush would have won with out it.

      Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

      by Goldfish on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:54:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  definately fraud (none)
        I think one thing that is important to remember is that there was fraud in the 2004 election.  The question, to me at least, is what is the scale.   I am convinced 100% that on a precinct by precinct basis individuals or small groups of conspirators illegally manipulated the vote through all kinds of means.  I am also convinced that creating long lines for voters was a tactic used to suppress votes in some areas.

        The question becomes proving this and tying it to a larger conspiracy.  That, I think probably is not how things happened.

  •  The 1700 is bad enough (none)
    but does anyone have any idea of how many other Americans have been killed in Iraq, civilian contractors and security people.

    To me the soldiers that we have lost plus all the ones that aren't being counted - Iraqi and American civilians is staggering. This is one of the most senseless wastes of human life in my lifetime.

    Improved conditions make better men, and better men improve conditions. Simon N. Patton

    by mm201 on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 11:59:52 PM PDT

  •  I agree (none)
    When political news is slow I notice these theories, that in the past usually fell off the diary page, somehow end up on top in the recommended column.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who's been noticing recently a lot of highly unsubstantiated diaries that seem to grow legs.

    The "9,000 GIs dead" claim is definitely jus one claim I've been unconvinced about (based on diarists evidence - or lack thereof).

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds - Albert Einstein.

    by GregNYC on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:01:20 AM PDT

  •  Wait a minute kos!! (4.00)
    The tone of your post seems to show that you're having second thoughts about destroying Bush's government. I am already planning festivities for the impeachment sentence that the Republican House and Senate are just about to pass. Don't you start going soft on us, ok!!
  •  Plsase make the same point about WTC... (4.00)
    Bush didn't do it. And we our voices, as a site, as cheapened by those that insist on the conspiracy theories on this and other things.
    •  Bush didn't do it. (none)
      But he did look the other way. That much has been established.

      What we can't prove is whether he consciously looked the other way to let a terrorist attack happen, or whether it was just criminal negligence.

      If he had advance knowledge and let it happen for political reasons, it is still unlikely he knew in advance how big an attack it would be. Even bin Laden didn't quite expect the Towers to come down.

      And if it was negligence, it was based on the thinking that concern about terrorism was just a red herring Clinton had been waving to try to get out of the Monica media blitz. So any reports that came his way were the old Clinton hangers-on trying to save face, that was all. He didn't have to pay any attention to their exaggerated reports...

      The only way to tell the extent of his prior awareness would be to read his mind.

      But he did look the other way.

      Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

      by Canadian Reader on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:51:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had read the diary on May 18th (none)
    and the debunking on May 19th and I haven't seen it mentioned since. Conspiracy theories don't bug me unless they get recommended and if another diary showed up I guess I just missed it. Or maybe it's being mentioned on another blog?

    The casualty count is amazingly sad but the wounded count is just as horrible. Those who die can not fully be mourned by the public because they're just tacked on to the tally on the bottom of the news channel. The wounded don't even get that sort of respect - they're mentioned but it's hard to really understand how many from 8 here or 14 there. But that number alone is horrifying. 12,855 wounded. And then the government begins to take away their benefits. I am ashamed.

    I think it's time for more front page stories on the wounded and their eroding benefits.

  •  Does this mean I (4.00)
    have to stop pushing my "Wes Clark gave Reagan a blowjob" rumor? I thought I was getting traction with it.
  •  Since this comes up in diaries (none)
    Maybe we could revisit the idea of being able to rate diaries, disappear them...

    I know it's not a good idea to have people working on diaries and have people arbitrarily decide the diary is boring or stupid or whatever, but there should be a way to community police these stories that come up in diaries.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine

    by Cathy on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:18:41 AM PDT

  •  Sounds more like the overall casualty numbers (none)
    That 9,000 number sounds much closer to what I've heard about the overall casualty count, which includes wounded as well as killed.  Is it possible that some people are simply confused about the numbers?
  •  Ever consider "bullshit rumor" diaries (none)
    may be part of a disinformation campaign with the ultimate goal of causing dKos et al to lose respect with the general public?

    If they weren't on to me I'd be worried. To not be part of their dossier is to not leave a record, to not be part of the passion of our time- LewLubka

    by NorthDakotaDemocrat on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:21:10 AM PDT

  •  It's hard to believe (4.00)
    that seemingly reasonable, intelligent people will buy into these ridiculous conspiracy theories that any amount of critical thinking will show to be false.

    It was embarassing when the "9,000 dead GIs" diary was at the top of the recommended diary list for most of a day a few weeks ago, despite a number of people pointing out that we might have heard something from the families of these supposed casualties.

    There is plenty of scandal to go around without looking like fools promulgating baseless rumors.

    People need to think through accusations like this before posting them, lest we all look like idiots.

    "Make no mistake about it: We are At War now - with somebody - and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives"-- HST, 9/12/01

    by mraker on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:27:18 AM PDT

    •  The worst part of (none)
      that one was the idiots calling the debunkers "cool aide" drinkers for saying it was wrong. Some people make Mel Gibson look rational in his conspiracy movie.

      Of course it turned out he was right about everything so it kind of cuts my point a bit.

  •  Machiavelli (4.00)
    Machiavelli  - maybe we should lie - just not about this

    Why are we in Iraq?

    Because 69% of the country answered that Iraq was behind the terror attacks of 9-11, in a summer 2003, Washington Post Survey.

    And the lied and lied and lied to trick the country to believe that.

    You see various liars from various right wing quarters lie about everything - it's part of their neo-con doctrine (propaganda):  The Russians looted the Al Qaa Qa weapons depot;  Iraq shipped their WMDs to Syria, across the desert in trucks (Bolton wanted to testify to that, but was stopped, immediately after "mission accomplished");  and just last week, various neo-con liars are ginning up inflammatory lies about Iran being behind 9-11.

    And they get away with it because the corporate media doesn't do shit:  Lou Dobbs had the Neo-propagandist on about Iran, and treated him seriously.  CNN and Russert had Curt Weldon spew his crap about Iran planning terror attacks on the US, and they treated him with respect.

    And we don't even have to go into all the lies spewed against Kerry and Gore and Clinton.

    Just this week, you saw a whole bunch of lies spewed against Durbin - they just made shit up.

    They lie around the clock on their radio stations, on their cable shows, on their TV appearances, on their blogs, and in their columns and papers.  They couldn't survive without lies, because their agenda is so unpopular when exposed.  So they cloak it with lies to sneek it through:  "clean skies" - "healthy forests" - "range and readiness act" -   "patriot act"

    Now I don't believe in lying on this subject - the deaths of US Servicemen.  There are subjects that shouldn't be lied about -  and the deceased  is certainly one of them.  They shouldn't be used.  The Bush neo-cult has already done that.

    But for who long do we stand around while they just lie and lie and lie, and with impunity.  It's also much harder to prove a negative, and to debunk myths and lies.  The neo-cons know this.  Most of them are former Trotskyites and Leninists, and they have a first hand   relationship in using propaganda to influence and control a public.

    What made things worst is how sick and atrophied the general media/press has become.

    Now some will say, don't lower yourself to their level. But that would be wrong conclusion.  Our side wouldn't be lying so we could rape the earth and the middle class.

    At the very least you have to ask yourself: how bad do things have to get, before you give up on counter-measures and begin to considering that lies are successful and they need to be employed if you're going to win in the current environment.

    I've already heard that the reason why we haven't seen them play the "terror alert" card to raise their plummeting poll numbers, is because they're saving that for the summer/fall of 2006...that's right they're saving their lies/propaganda for the mid-terms.

    •  Leninist similarities to neocon tactics (4.00)
      The neo-cons know this.  Most of them are former Trotskyites and Leninists, and they have a first hand   relationship in using propaganda to influence and control a public.

      I was just thinking about this when I was reading about the Russian Revolution. It was just an encyclopedia article, so please forgive my inevitable mistakes.

      There was a schism in the Communist party after they got the upper hand. Lenin's splinter believed that Party membership should be reserved for the ruling elite. But they took the title "Bolshevik" which means "majority" and called those who wanted universal party membership "Menshevik" or "minority." It seemed both a good parallel to the false Republican populism and similar to Rove's technique of draping yourself in your opponent's strengths and attacking him for your weaknesses.

    •  Good Points Al (none)
      We may need to keep all options open, but let's make sure they're effective options.

      Ever read any Voltaire... he ripped some ass in his time?

      If they weren't on to me I'd be worried. To not be part of their dossier is to not leave a record, to not be part of the passion of our time- LewLubka

      by NorthDakotaDemocrat on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:45:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fanatics (none)
      They(the neocons_ lie because they're fanatics who believe that whatever they do is worth it, no matter what the cost, becaue they're a historical vanguard and everything is justified to attain their goals.

      I think kossacks(so much as their beliefs can be generalized, which I'll admit isn't much) are right on the war and on any number of things, moreso then our opponents.  But I don't know this to be so absolutely.  I believe in it generally, but I am not a true believer.  If we were to begin consciously undermining democracy with lies, big lies, we become at best ideologues and at worst a menace, as the neocons have.  

      Bush and the repubs have done quite a bit of damage, but their slash-and-burn tactics seem to be catching up to them(a little late, but I'll take it).  2006 is still pretty far away, but I don't see a safe harbor for them.  Frankly, I think a terror alert or any kind of military escalation is as likely or more to hurt them then it is to help.  If they can manage to come out of this shitstorm with a win, then I might think the situation is hopeless without selling our souls, but not until then.  I'm naive like that.

  •  Lots on the dead, But not on the Wounded? (none)
    Kudos to doing such a great job on your site.

    But after going there I'm left with this question.

    What about the wounded?

    How many of them have been forced to leave the military because their wounds are too serious and too permanent to permit active service anymore?

    Just a quick browse through the wounded section reveals a ghastly list of pain and suffering. lost limbs, paralyzed spines, shredded bodies, damaged lungs.

    Deaths may be only 1720...but I suspect the number of soldiers lost for all intents and purposes for future deployments is MUCH higher when you factor the injured into it.

  •  9,000 dead and the Reality-Based Community... (4.00)
    I've also been blogging the war in Iraq for two long years.  I don't keep a running count of casualties because that was never the purpose of "Today in Iraq."  In stability operations, you don't measure success by attrition reports.  Besides, Pat K and Mike White do a much better job - and a much needed service - counting the human costs.  Thanks, Pat and Mike.

    I publish links to local stories reporting casualties because I want to honor those men and women who sacrifice so much.  I trained and served with many of them, and they are my friends and comrades.

    In the Casualty Reports portion of my blog, I've already posted the names of two friends (one KIA, one WIA) and the KIA name of the only son of one of the finest NCOs with whom I ever served. I remember bouncing that boy on my knee when his daddy and I were junior NCOs and our wives gossiped together. (NCOs love gossip, too.) I remember how proud his daddy was when his son was selected for West Point while we were later stationed together at Fort Bragg.

    I was a US Army Warrant Officer, CW4, when I retired in 1998.  An Army Warrant Officer is a jack of all military trades and an absolute master of one.  Personnel was not my specialty, but I know quite a bit about formal casualty reporting from the unit level up through command channels and back to Personnel Command at Alexandria, VA.  I've been a Casualty Assistance Officer - the single worst duty you can ever pull.

    There's also an informal network in the Army.  Spouses talk, share information, and keep the entire network informed.

    You can't diddle the systems, formal or informal.  The story of 9,000 US dead is simply wrong.  


  •  Maybe I choose to not believe this administration (none)
    To quote you,

    "For two solid years now, Michael White and I have followed the deaths in Iraq literally on a daily basis. We haunt the CENTCOM, MNF-Iraq and DOD websites ... as well as all of the major news feeds"

    mmmmmmm, what is wrong with this picture?

    Maybe you should check Prudential Life Insurance who pays the policies of dead soldiers.
    You do not need to be a consirpacy theorist to believe that this administartion is LYING about the death numbers in and out of theatre.

    •  So the onus is on Pat (none)
      to find proof that only the soldiers reported killed were actually killed, and no more?

      Yet the standard of proof for attacking is something like "I just KNOW the Pentagon is lying."

      Not exactly a fair game you've invented, is it?

    •  Find me one parent (none)
      who hasn't found their child on the list of dead. One friend, one son or daughter, aunt or uncle, former teacher.

      Until you do that, lay this to rest.

  •  You are absolutely right. (none)
    Let's leave the lying to the other side.
  •  No good? (none)
    So please, just stop it. You do yourself and the anti-war effort no good by running with unsupported conspiracy theories that contradict the very hard reality-based work cataloging the effects of the war by our very own side.

    Unsupported conspiracy theories can and have had a huge effect on the national mood towards Iraq - they've mobilized public support for this war and sustained it for two plus years.  So, while wanting to deal in only facts is very noble, it is hardly convincing to suggest that 'You do yourself and the anti-war effort no good' when we know the opposite is true for the pro-war movement - objectively true, that is, in the reality-based community, even.

    And I'm not buying that the antiwar movement will be discredited by the mainstream press because of these 'unproven conspiracy theories' - it's already been discredited - note the WaPo's treatment of the Dems 'playing house'.  So, the whole 'discredit' line of reasoning is out the window.

    There will always be those who believe what they hear often enough - supported by reality or not.  A well-told lie can and often does - especially in America today - hold more sway than the truth.  I'm not suggesting that deliberate deception is the way to go - I'm just saying that it can be damn effective.  Bush's team and the Rethugs know this all too well.

    Check out Link TV's daily Middle East digest program, Mosaic.

    by shmooth on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:07:12 AM PDT

  •  Yes! Call people on this 9000 bullshit. (none)
    Kos is right on target.  We live and die by the facts-- not facts "fixed around policy". The whole thing we are fighting is people who lie, who refuse to accept scientific evidence if it contradicts their political patrons-- i.e. no global warming, homosexuality is a life style, there is no voter fraud etc.

    We do ourselves no favors by getting worked up over lies on our side.

    When I first saw this figure, I was excited for about 10 minutes because I felt maybe someone had uncovered a huge cover-up.  But then it simply stopped making sense.  once we have this judgement, lets accept it.

    "Ah, what an age it is when to speak of trees is almost a crime for it is a kind of silence about injustice" (Brecht)

    by tsackton on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:57:40 AM PDT

  •  thanks for stepping up once again (none)

    Another thing to consider:

    Learn to question motives & presentation of information.

    Even a cursory review of the available (on the web in general and dKos in particular) info on (antisemitic conspiracymongers) would have raised several red flags (not to mention finding the previously debunked diaries on this).

    It is my hunch that a large part of especially the openly antisemitic stuff (as opposed to Ray McGovern's legitimate comments on POLITICAL connections between US rightwingers and Israels loony religious right) is pushed here and in comments threads on other lefty sites by plants wishing to discredit the sites in question.

    Then of course you have the terminally stupid "leftists" who either push this shit themselves or comment approvingly.

    Same goes for the topics like the paranormal, crystal-healing and other stupid shit by the in-touch-with-their-inner-childish-self set.

  •  Mr. Kos- a question-! (1.50)
    So you don't like the 9,000 figure. Fine.

    Just answer this, please:

    What is it about BushCo. that gives you confidence that the figures issued by them would be the CORRECT number of GIs killed in Bush's War on Iraq?

    Just asking...

    •  You're not thinking (none)
      It has nothing to do with trusting the administration.

      It has everythign to do with the fact that deaths in Iraq are not a secret.  Families know, stories run in the local newspaper.  Many major papers have published lists of war dead from their state.

      And yet, no one has been able to find even ONE EXAMPLE of a dead soldier who has been omitted from the casualty lists at simply because they died outside of Iraq.

      When this rumor was first posted here, I did a spot-checking exercise where I searched newspapers for their lists of war dead.  I found a number of deaths that occurred outside of Iraq.  In each and every such case, the soldier's name was properly listed at

      Is it possible that a name or two is missing from the official list?  Sure.  Is it possible that hundreds or thousands are missing, or that names are being excluded in a systematic way?  Absolutely not.  The proof is that no one has been able to identify even ONE example.

      •  Since you are so well informed (none)
        do you happen to know if any contractor personel have been killed, by any chance? And do you have any opinion about the more-than-a-hundred-thousand dead Iraqi civilians?

        I will just have to do my own research to satisfy myself, b/c it doesn't make sense to me that they wouldn't lie about it, if possible, based on past performance.

    •  It's friends in the military (none)
      who give me confidence about the figures issued, who know who died, and who have told me on many occasions if what actually happened and what the news story issued was jived.
    •  You people who (none)
      troll-rated me for asking this question are simply retarded.

      What are you attack-poodles with your mean li'l "ones"? Ooo, I'm scared...

  •  The numbers I want to see put together and spread (none)
    around are suicide rates and violent crimes commited by soldiers who were there and very likely suffering PTSD. How about a chart of how many of these people that don't come home in a flag draped coffin but are left suffering any kind of mental illness, amputation, or other permanent ailment or injury because of this war?
    Where are the statistics on soldiers that are now facing homelessness, or financial  devestation due to the war? How about the numbers of children left behind because their soldier parents were killed?

    That is the kind of information that needs to be collected and shown to the public as a whole to make an impact. The body count alone has been covered by the MSM quite thoroughly, without making enough of a difference. Perhaps if the public were forced to deal with the rest of the casualties of this war of lies they might finally decide to do something about it.

  •  The published numbers are bad enough (none)
    I don't think your feelings for or against the war should be affected by the difference between the published numbers and the larger "conspiracy" number. The published numbers are bad enoungh.
  •  but are the wounded figures accurate? and Iraqis (none)
    I do not disagree with the comments from icasualties on deaths. But I think there is serious fudging of the figures on wounded. And the Iraqi death tolls are whatever numbers they make up: 180,000 insurgents dead; 63,000 terrrorists dead; 17 civilians dead.
  •  How about subcontractors? (none)
    In the light of the fact that nowadays military operations are partly outsourced to the private sector (qv at The light of reason), I'm getting quite curious. Are there any published numbers of the dead Halliburton (et al) staff? The only case I know of is that several employees of Blackwater from North Carolina have crashed in a chopper with a Bulgarian pilot. The chopper was shot down. These guys were bodyguards - but no charge of theirs was aboard. At least not in the news.

    How many of these civilian soldiers are out there, and what's their casualty count? At least they are paid much better than the regular soldiers. And my bet is their numbers would be much harder to find.

    If there is freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows - "1984"

    by DrFairday on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:15:25 AM PDT

  •  We have to own up to the fact that the (none)
    Pentagon, White House and other agencies of the Executive Branch do not tell the truth. In fact, they lie all the time, as others have pointed out.

    Their casualty lists may be correct -- mostly -- but we don't know that, and we can't, in large measure BECAUSE of the demonstrated lies and deceptions that we've been immersed in all these horrible years.

    Even those who have worked so very hard to clarify the casualty issue must be aware that the reputation for lies emanating from the White House and from the Pentagon is so great -- and so appalling -- that nothing they say can be taken on faith. They lie. It is what they do.

    Consequently, people are going to doubt, and some people are going to come up with alternatives to the official line. That's just the way things are in this sort of situation -- and you can find parallels in all sorts of totalitarian societies, now and in the past. Because the word of the government cannot be trusted, even on something as fundamental as war casualties, alternatives will arise almost spontaneously.

    It's fine to argue against these alternatives, but you can't shut them down under the circumstances. So long as the government is as reliable a liar as this one is, people will naturally try to counter the lies with whatever they can. Sometimes they are wrong.


    •  You're so right ... (none)
      I'd really like someone to post any figures released by the administration that are correct.  Unemployment, budget, ... hell anything.

      So it's not surprising that the KIA numbers may not be correct.  Naturally it's not a fact until proven and can't be considered as such.

      So let's just say it wouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's bloated from the lies and distortions to find they're farting out another one.

    •  The fact that we might not KNOW the exact (none)
      details and are aware that this administration lies is not evidence to support this or any other conspiracy theory.  It certainly doesn't aid our credibility to go around throwing charges against the wall with no evidence.  This is the same kind of specious reasoning that we accuse "freepers", "freeptards", etc. of committing.

      We are better than them.  

      "Shared risks, shared burdens, shared benefits" Wesley Clark

      by jmaier on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:26:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Throwing what charges against what wall? (none)

        What's happening in our society parallels what has happened in totalitarian societies throughout history, most obviously in 20th Century Fascist and Communist societies.

        First principle: we cannot trust the government to tell the truth. They lie. Period. End of discussion about that.

        Second principle: we cannot trust the big media to ferret out the truth behind the lies the governement tells all the time because the big media are complicit in spreading those lies. Period. End of discussion about that.

        Third principle: because the government lies, and the big media are complicit in spreading those lies, we cannot know whether much of anything we hear or see or are responsive to is true in any way. Because we can't know with even a minimal certainty that what we're told about anything that is filtered through the government in DC and recycled in our big media is true -- but we can assume from experience that it is a lie -- we should not accept anything we're told uncritically. (We should always be skeptical anyway, but that's another issue).  

        Fourth principle: speculation is going to be rampant under the circumstances. As it is in any totalitarian society immersed in lies and deceptions. There is no way to stop it, nor should we really be too concerned about it. Because we are being pummelled with lies constantly, a little speculation can be healthy and helpful in understanding what's going on.

        Speculation is just that, however. Speculation isn't "charges" and speculations aren't being thrown against a "wall" -- most of the time. Speculations are used to as a means toward truth in the midst of lies, and most specualtions are going to be discarded long before they constitute "charges." Some speculation will become "charges." But we have no power to do anything about it. So even "charges" slide right off that wall.  

        To my mind, there is nothing in the casualty "truth" at the Huffington Post that convinces me it shouldn't be treated with great skepticism. That's as it should be. Nevertheless, I'm not going to dismiss it out of hand because I'm skeptical of it. Instead, I'll file it away, and eventually, maybe, I'll consider it again in the light of other information -- if there is any.

        But the issue is the cacophany of lies we're subjected to relentlessly, not the likelihood that someone will speculate about alternatives to those lies in the midst of the barrage.


    •  Exactly, Felix. (none)
      Now what? Is it necessary to devote hours and hours to trying to figure out the actual unemployment rate, the actual amount of arsenic in the water, or the actual number of KIAs, wounded soliders, etc.?

      Put another way, where should our analytical skills and efforts be used to best move ahead our agenda? Read Baudrillard to get a feel for how easy it is to manipulate a group of people, esp. those who are dependent on the media for information. Or early Sufi writers who detailed the effects of conditioning on human development. Or even Skinner,  Pavlov and other more current psychological investigators who have amassed a large database documenting how easy it is to alter perception in Western societies today.

      There is no question that we are not getting the truth. What now?

      note: the clever person who commented that just because this administration has lied before doesn't automatically mean they are lying now is misusing their obvious logical skills. There is a level of thinking and processing information that is accessible to that person, and others, that would yield a much more useful way of looking at this.

  •  Thanks for squelching this (none)
    When I read the post I wondered what the poster had been smoking.  I thought it would die a natural death.  Looks like more active measures were required.
  •  The anti-war effort? (none)
    You do yourself and the anti-war effort no good

    What is the "antiwar effort" these days?  And more to the point, what good does it do?  To illuminate the mistakes that got us into war is fine as a matter of understanding the historical record.  But as a matter of politics, it's a loser. I'd like to see Democrats take a strong stand taken on what the plan should be, not go over yet more detail on how the war was started.  The American people have been hearing for the better part of two years that the Bushies weren't exactly truthful and yet they reelected him anyway.  Time to move on to greener pastures.

  •  How's this for a conspiracy with history to it? (none)
    The US Government has had a history of "infiltrating" left-wing groups to sow dissent.  They would appear as fanatical supporters but would use inflammatory rhetoric to radicalize or discredit the group. Perhaps they are doing it in the blogosphere and the trolling, insulting, magic-minded folk are phonies.  
    So, do I really believe this is true?  In reality, there are always enough fuzzy-mind (and sometimes rude) folk out there that it certainly doesn't have to be true to have such posts.  On the other hand, I find believing that it just might be true, that this person with this far-out theory, or that this person who seems hell-bound to insult and divide might be a fake - I find this oddly comforting.  It allows me to not be upset by divisiveness.  
    The bare-bones truth is bad enough without the need to flesh it out with exaggerations.
  •  Well take the diary down- (none)
    I originally said take it down when I posted the original diary.

    I told you that before. I put it up in haste many moons ago based on another site. I tried to delete it Just now.

    No way did I put that up there as a FACT. Nor have I seen anyone claim 9000 dead is a FACT. But we have seen irrefutable evidence that FACTS are not something that the this admin bothers with. They don't bother with the amateur tactic of debunking rumor. They're smear professionals. They debunk real FACTs then smear anyone that has irrefutable proof.

    That's why I put the diary up. I should have researched it more so instead of asking for help for it to be  be investigated, but I have a full time job. I don't make a living blogging.  So I asked for help. Instead, and much to my horror and deep anger, the diary is attacked as Rumor mongering.

    Finally,  I DO feel I'm on solid ground  if Bush is here for his entire term,  9000 won't be far off. I also know that truth regarding this war in almost any phase of its operations, has been almost completely absent despite what the DOD and the civilian leadership has told us.

    That's why I find posts on Military boards have more substance than anything that comes out of the White House and I'm more inclined to believe them.
    Shame on me. I screwed up.

    Finally as Dickhead Rumsfeld said "we don't know, what we don't know". Interesting then that DOD figures are accepted as gospel. I don't see how anyone can come to an accurate count depite the hard work put in by sites that try to with very limited resources and with the costs and time involved in getting the FIOA used.

    Oversize Rants Available Overnight at
    The Image Factory

    by Dburn on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:09:40 AM PDT

  •  This is why I'm here. (4.00)
    This is the difference between the pro- and anti-Bush factions, in a nutshell.

    When was the last time you saw an article on Free Republic saying, "This story that's been going around right-wing circles is BS and making us look bad, let's disavow it." You've never seen such an article, have you? The Free Republic crowd isn't interested in the truth or falsity of what they say, only in its effectiveness as propaganda.

    The difference between we and they is not that we are "liberal" and they are "conservative" -- check last week's NYT editorial by John Danforth for what a real conservative thinks of BushCo -- no, the difference is that we are interested in what's real and they think they can make it up as they go along.

    But in the end, reality matters. Bad policies will have bad results, no matter how much rich special interests and their media peons spin things to the contrary. And bad results cannot be concealed or spun forever. This is what is happening now: America is discovering that it does not like the consequences of BushCo policies, a trend against which the spin-meisters are powerless.

    We can, and will do better, as long as we continue to focus on the truth. Not what we would like to be true, not what is most consistent with our ideologies. Nothing more or less than the truth shall make us free.

  •  I heard that... (4.00)
    ...if you post a diary on this subject from outside of California, it doesn't even show up. That the true number of "missing casualties" diaries is close to 9000!


    I've been known to wear a tinfoil hat on occassion, but the "9000 killed" and "WTC dynamited" theories don't even pass the most basic sniff test. How you can get people to buy into them when not even a single ancient alien artifact is involved, I don't understand.

    "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

    by Mad Dog Rackham on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:44:00 AM PDT

    •  LOL! That's a big '4'! (none)

      Don't trust 'em no farther than you can throe 'em.?

      by RonK Seattle on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:10:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's true, and you're a wingnut (none)
      The rumours are true, and you're a wingnut. At least 9,000 soldiers have been killed, and their deaths covered up. And the reason none of the parents have complained is that they've all been hauled off to Gitmo (and some have been killed too, just to make sure they keep their mouths shut).  

      And John Bolton has been behind it all.


      In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

      by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:54:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sources, Sources (none)
    I see a lot of outcry for 'legitamate' sources. According to the right wing, even sources such as the Downing Street Memo are considered 'wacko sources' But wait, that's the British Government!  

    Yup, because poisoning the well won't stop, and its the Rethugs time-honored technique, next to outright lying.

    Sure, 9K casualties seems high to me as well. Do I put it passed the Pentagon to lowball numbers? Not for a second. But I doubt the 9K number. But then again, there's a lot of dispute over the Lancet numbers too.

    The Right Wing also state quite loudly that Christ is on their side. I still haven't seen the memo to back that up, and the Right Wing Spin Machine doesn't go after them with bitchy abandon. So lighten up lefties, remember who the real enemy is.

    So, I guess my thoughts, as usual, are twofold.

    1. The Rethugs will attack anyway, so I don't think stuff I consider fringe is that damaging.

    2. C'mon folks, vett your sources. Before you post a link, you should at least consider where the data is coming from and whether the data can be trusted.

    Just my .02
  •  Speculation until Factual and yet it is (3.50)
      questionable and relevant and the question does need to be asked until the facts satisfy.

       If it remains speculative on both sides, it is then speculation.  I have raised the question to at least 'raise the question' in my own public speaking out efforts.  It has met with keen interest and it would/does make a difference to public dialogue and opinion.

       My speculation as military family with 2 combat Iraq Veterans under orders for 2nd deployment to Iraq and 'Stop Loss';  my speculation as young wife to young Vietnam veteran husband;  my speculation having been raised a military brat ...   it's not a stretch to appreciate the deception of this Administration extends to controlling the spin on the #s of our troops killed in Iraq.

      Until I feel the ring of truth on either side, it remains in my mind 'questionable' and deserving of exploration.  I will continue to ponder, watch, read, listen, and raise the question to at least question the process.

      I don't want it to be true, I don't need to be right, nor do I need to be disavowed in considering it questionable.  

     -- no photos of returning coffins
     -- #s cited in some media articles of wounded flown to Landstuhl, Germany don't line up with other #s reported of wounded and killed.
     -- wounded so severely wounded as to be kept alive by artificial means while en route to Walter Reed. %s of those who live or die compared to the #'s flown out?
      -- wounded typically flown in at night; who witnesses, who is tracking?
      -- military families notified of their loved one's death continue to have difficulty finding out the circumstances.
      -- process of counting killed in action criteria as opposed to killed while in Iraq or Afghanistan but not counted as KIA (although they are counted under a different criteria)
      -- while Pentagon is now reporting on wounded who later die, I am not sure this has been the method for the entire 2 + years and is more a recent development (inquiry questions prompting a shift in reporting by Pentagon?)
      -- unclear but appears that non-citizen American sent troops killed are not counted as KIA.
      -- credible Reporters seem to continue to have difficulty learning first-hand the actual conditions for the troops.  Not some few have been killed for their efforts, excuse me, have died in the process of doing their jobs as Reporters.

      These are some of the concerns I feel as I follow the reporting on conditions for our troops.  I do not consider myself unintelligent, nor impoverished and thus lacking in access to intelligent speculation, reporting, media and blogosphere reports.  Quite the contrary as the war in Iraq and everything I can find that applies to it has been my singular life focus these past 2 + years.  

      Dismissiveness of conspiracy, tin-foil hat, etc. doesn't serve well to discover the facts.  Nor does dismissing the speculation out of hand as unworthy. Of course, folks are entitled to their opinions. I am one military family with an invested interest and I would want to know 'factually' one way or the other.  Meantime, I continue to look in when I see the reporting and discern for myself if it is useful to keep in mind as noteworthy.

       After 2 + years of closely following events re: Iraq as part of my un-paid and self-assigned job, I've developed an intuitive sense that tells me it's not yet time to dismiss out of hand the process of  the accounting and reporting of US troops killed.

       With all due respect, I'm one who is most interested in any respectable sleuthing on this issue.  As to how it reflects on the reputation, be that of Daily Kos, partisan end-games, liberals, democrats or otherwise, I'm prepared to wind up looking foolish for even deigning to speculate.  It doesn't alter my personal credibility or standing; it says about me that I am willing to consider the question until the information presented satisfies the question.  


    Courage isn't the absence of fear, rather that there is something greater than the fear.

    by dyingwarriors on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:32:21 AM PDT

    •  question (none)
      Not some few have been killed for their efforts, excuse me, have died in the process of doing their jobs as Reporters.

      You had to me till right there.  "Killed" makes it seem like it is the active policy of the military to kill reporters.  Is that your claim?
      •  question to question (none)
           Ouch, that is not where I was going with that at all...  'active policy of the military to kill reporters'.  

            There has been the insinuation in other media reporting of what appears to be a fairly high percentage of reporters killed in this war.  That is it, an insinuation that just hangs in the air.  I most certainly am not one to move that to an interpretation to mean 'active policy of the military to kill reporters' with the implication our troops are taking deliberate aim at reporters.  

           I leave it just as I've read it; insinuations left to hang in the air and as to who would be taking aim, well that's left to speculation.    

        Courage isn't the absence of fear, rather that there is something greater than the fear.

        by dyingwarriors on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:45:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  just me (none)
          I leave it just as I've read it; insinuations left to hang in the air and as to who would be taking aim, well that's left to speculation.

          It's not worth speculating about.  Reporters in war zones get killed, often.   It doesn't mean they are targets.  This is a big weakness for the left in general.  
          •  Putting words where none were said... (none)
                 commenters pushing at the idea of 'targeted' comes from your own thoughts?  I indicated what is insinuation and speculation regarding % of reporters killed in this war and I did not say they were my insinuations or speculations, rather that it has been speculated and/or insinuated.  

               As to whether it is worth speculating about, should I choose to I will, however, it is not a stand alone topic for me, it folds into my speculations about the accounting of killed American troops.  What is the flaw in my logic?  Higher percentage of reporters killed at least gets an eyebrow raised, and reliance on reporters reports as to the conditions on the ground in Iraq for our troops comes together for me enough to question the absolute and certainness of how the numbers of killed are reported.

               As to weakness for the left, that I leave to those most concerned and more knowledgeable than I and I make no pretense to being politically astute.  I have one interest right now and one only, and that is to get our troops home.  Of necessity politics and partisan gaming become part of that outcome.  

               If, in fact, there is a flaw in the reported deaths of American troops, and that were to make itself known and was credible, that would and does influence public opinion to move to get the troops home more quickly.  That is my end-all outcome just now.   And frankly, I don't have time to wait until 2006 elections.  Our young are dying daily now and need to come home now. If troop deaths are being under-reported, it bears immediate scrutiny.

               Recognizing DailyKos is a political in nature forum, and I am a guest here, my perspective is a highly personally driven agenda; whatever it takes to get more people on the same page at the same time from all walks of life to end the war and get our troops home.  I do not wish to sacrifice my own two in their upcoming 2nd deployments nor any other future deployments in store for them; nor do I want it for other military families.  Enough sacrifices in life and limb have already been made with no end yet in sight.  

            Courage isn't the absence of fear, rather that there is something greater than the fear.

            by dyingwarriors on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:05:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your insuation (none)
              Your insuation was clear..

              Not some few have been killed for their efforts, excuse me, have died in the process of doing their jobs as Reporters.

              "Killed", ie, actively made dead by someone else.  You changing the sentence from killed to "have died" - making it go from active to passive voice - is a clear insuation.

              Your whole post is almost totally non-responsive.  I am asking you this: is it your point to say that reporters have been targetted by the military?

              This is a simple question.  Do you believe reporters are targets moreso than anyone else in Iraq, or not?

              As a side note, reasons why reporters may be dying more frequently than in previous wars are many fold, for example:

              1.  It could be that more are freelancers, who are not as well equipped or "plugged-in" as big-name organizations.

              2.  It could be that there are drastically more reports from more and more outlets present in Iraq.

              3.  It could be that reporters are going for more and more dramatic footage and reporting, putting themselves closer and closer to danger.

              That's just three possible alternative explanations that are much more likely than the military being blood-thirsty to murder in cold blood civilians and fellow Americans.
      •  I know.. (none)
        How can they say that, when the military cleared itself on the death of an Al Jazeera reporter?
    •  Exactly how many parents (none)
      have stepped up and said "Why isn't my son on the list?"

      If you find me one, let me know. Otherwise, lay it to rest.

      •  Bensch, not sure if you are being open or (none)
          something else in your comment. And adding correction to  'why isn't my son [daughter] on the list?

        Actually, it is precisely the logic of your comment that keeps me in my own questioning mode.  Logically, it would most certainly seem that by now a military parent/family somewhere would take note if there were discrepancy in the account reporting concerning their own loved ones' fate in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Logically.
        Yet, I'm also acutely aware of the immensity of the greiving and the variables in families reactions while grieving.  

          It does seem entirely likely that were there discrepancies in the reports, a military family would have come forth to call attention to such discrepancy.  And it is precisely that which keeps me from buying totally into this story as it keeps popping up.  However, if that were enough to put my mind to rest, then the questions in my mind would evaporate and they don't...they persist.

           I'm not unfamiliar with the culture of military life or the networking that goes on among military families.  I've also learned to trust the barometer of my gut feelings and my gut tells me there is something off kilter regarding the accounting.   And this is by DOD and Pentagon standards a time of war, thus their own standards, not something we, the public, or even military families, know much about in the way of absolutes.

        Courage isn't the absence of fear, rather that there is something greater than the fear.

        by dyingwarriors on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:42:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why aren't the grieving parents speaking up? (none)
          Why aren't the grieving parents speaking up, asking for their sons or daughters to be added to the list? It's quite simple.

          The military has abducted them, and is holding them at Gitmo. Or maybe they've been killed, too.

          In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

          by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:52:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's really simple. (none)
          It's not just the families - all the family friends would be looking at the lists too, and telling their friends about it. Hundreds of people who know each and every fallen soldier look at these lists - and not one has spoken out.

          Your gut feelings are wrong about GIs. Sure, they may be right about civilians, right about injuries - whatever - but every dead GI is named.

  •  Thank you Kos! (none)
    I have icasualties bookmarked (and have had for almost 2 years IIRC) and check it each morning.  If anyone (anyone, anywhere in the "Coalition") dies as a result of this shitty war, it get tallied and posted.  Because my Dad, my brother and my sister (killed in the First Iraq War) all served, we still have pretty strong connections to the Military.  If people weren't being counted there would be an uproar.  Ask Militarytracy ask BigOkie ask any of the many other posters from military families who visit/use Dkos on a daily basis!  Thank you Kos, we appreciate you working to put this idiotic rumor to rest.

    Oh George, not the livestock!

    by espresso on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:40:26 AM PDT

  •  Reality is coming back (none)
    This is good.

    Some of you think I'm a right winger, but I'm not. (or maybe you ignore me or don't even know I'm here)

    I want the truth and this is a great start.

    Lies and rumours only cause inflamation and damage credibility.

  •  Are the DKos thought police back again? (none)
    What will they call those suspicious unbelievers of Bush and DoD and their media tools? Deadsters?

    Back to the topic at hand: US military casualties depends on what DoD defines as US military casualties.

    Same subject from yesterday: The weasely part is the Pentagon's definition of US casualties

    Please also see  comment downthread in linked thread pointing to examples of the significant  gaps in thoroughness of that icasualties site.


  •  Please Kos, don't patronize (1.33)
    The Pentagon doesn't have to divulge the death of anyone if the making known of that death compromises troop position, and other factors, in their eyes.  And they don't.  So spare me your moralistic lectures about your fucking friends at icasualties who monitor DoD websites.  This is war.  The DoD's in war mode Kos.  Are you so naive and pusillanimous not to think tbrnews, an anti-semetic neo-nazi front, wouldn't know something about what's going on Germany with US troops fighting a war for people who they consider to be "jewish neocons?"  Look, the Times, and all the mainstream media, checks in with the Dod or CIA before they publish a story detrimental to them.  The government gets a say.  And the Dod lied in Vietnam, they always lie during war time.  They lied about Pat Tillman.

    This story, while shouldn't be taken as fact, should cause us all to converse and speculate.  I'm sorry, but there is actually no reason to trust the Dod in a time of war.  And the reason the families aren't saying anything, is because the Dod probably hasn't reported anything to them, or they lied and said "you son is wounded, committed suicide, or is missing in action."  The truth, is probably, somewhere in the middle.  Time to scrutinize.

  •  We attack Iran tomorrow, 6 AM (none)
    But the war on Iran starts tomorrow, right?

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:49:24 AM PDT

  •  needed: a "snopes" site for lefties (none)
    When I saw this a friend of mine and I had the same idea at the same time: how about a debunking site geared at lefties? Kind of like snopes on urban myths, only dealing with cherished BS regarding 9/11 etc. As a "guidepost for sanity" as my friend put it.
    I find myself becoming a well-meaning nuisance on a list of well intentioned people where (and they are no exception!) junk myths surface from time to time.
    Problem with such rumors is: deep down we want this kind of stuff to be true.
    So the debunking will be either tedious point by point, or a generic dismissal or a calling into question the credibility of its authors. Quite a chore, but a worthwhile undertaking.
    Actually, I'm talking with John Stauber of about a similar venture, namely to make something of which aims at exposing propaganda campaigns and nip them in the bud.
  •  Well, (none)
    I dunno Kos,
    Last summer I would have agreed with you that we should stick to reality and have the truth on our side.  But now I'm thinking we should just choose a lie and keep repeating it.
  •  Question, please (none)
    How come all the casualties listed at show the place of death as somewhere in Iraq?

    We know, don't we, that SOME injured soldiers are airlifted to Germany and die there. Why are their deaths not listed? Why is there no death listed that I can see that occurred in Germany-- since so many of you are convined that those soldiers are being accurately counted?

    Just asking...
    And I'm sure all you smarty-pants-Kossters will tell me!

  •  PS (none)
    1745 deaths divided by 834 days is just a hair over 2 deaths per day. Do the math. TWO US causualties per day does not sound like reality to me.

    But what do I know!

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