Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lancet Report Utter Crap, Just Ask The Media

As of right now, searching for "Lancet" on Google News gets you mostly stories about how Bush lied, but plans to stay in Iraq despite the new report (The Lancet report) that there have been 654,965 deaths there.

The Daily Telegraph, however, is reporting:

THE Iraqi government today described as "exaggerated" an independent US study which estimated that 655,000 Iraqis had died since the 2003 US invasion.

US President George W. Bush had similarly called the report "not credible".
The study estimated that one Iraqi in 40 had died as a result of the conflict by comparing the death rates from the period before the war to the period from March 2003 to June 2006.

"This figure, which in reality has no basis, is exaggerated," said Iraqi government spokesman Ali Debbagh.

"It is a figure which flies in the face of the most obvious truths ," he said, calling on research institutions to adopt precise and transparent criteria especially when the research concerns victim tolls.

Mr Bush said at a White House media conference that he and his top military advisers believe " the methodology is pretty well discredited" in the study.

The US president in the past has estimated the number of Iraqi deaths to be closer to 30,000 , and reaffirmed that number today.

"I stand by the figure," he said. "Six hundred thousand or whatever they guessed at ... it's not credible."

But headlines aren't about the report being discredited. They've at least altered headlines from "655,000: The toll of war in Iraq" to "Toll as high as 600,000, disputed Iraq study says." "Disputed?" How about "ridiculously outlandish and discredited" report?

Apparently the "report" randomly surveyed Iraqis and asked about deaths to extrapolated a death rate in the country. They included "thousands of people [who] died from worsening health and environmental conditions directly related to the conflict that began in 2003," and compared it with their post invasion death rate of 5.5.

But Hot Air asks the question:

According to the CIA Factbook by way of the Mudville Gazette, the average world death rate per 1,000 people is 8.67. The pre-invasion figure for Iraq used by Lancet was 5.5. Is that plausible? Does it count officially reported deaths or do Saddam-era "disappearances" count too? There are countries with lower death rates than 5.5 so it's not absurd on its face.

This report sounds like utter crap. But the Left have done their job; they got the story out there and have no plans to report on it's absurd logic. The damage is done, and very close to the election. Are there any limits to which the Left will go for power? Probably not...

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