Spiking a Rumor

I frequently run into this rumor that the Pentagon is trying to keep down the US casualty count by not including deaths which happen outside Iraq (e.g. wounded who die on the evac plane). And, alas, I don't have much any faith in the integrity of the Rumsfeldian spinmeisters. So it's nice to have an authoritative debunking from a neutral source: 9,000 dead and the Reality-Based Community:

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.

[…] 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.

Settles that.

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