Monday, September 11, 2006

U.S. Military Undercounted Deaths in Baghdad

I just want to know what moron thought a) this was a good idea and b) nobody would notice:

The U.S. military did not count people killed by bombs, mortars, rockets or other mass attacks — including suicide bombings — when it reported a dramatic drop in the number of murders around Baghdad last month, the U.S. command said Monday.

The decision to include only victims of drive-by shootings and those killed by torture and execution, usually at the hands of death squads, allowed U.S. officials to argue that a security crackdown that began in the capital on Aug. 7 had more than halved the city's murder rate.

But the types of slayings, including suicide bombings, that the U.S. excluded from the category of "murder" were not made explicit at the time. That led to considerable confusion after Iraqi Health Ministry figures showed that 1,536 people had died violently around Baghdad in August, nearly the same number as in July.

The figures raise serious questions about the success of the security operation launched by the U.S.-led coalition.

Actually, it answer the question as to whether it worked or not. It didn't. And if you're thinking the Bush administration is surprised to find the numbers don't match up, I have some lake-front property in Phoenix I'd like to sell you.

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