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Media Underplays U.S. Death Toll in Iraq

by C/O Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 2:30 PM

Any way you look at it, the news is bad enough. According to Thursday's press and television reports, 33 U.S. soldiers have now died in combat since President Bush declared an end to the major fighting in the war on May 2. This, of course, is a tragedy for the men killed and their families, and a problem for the White House.

JULY 17, 2003

Media Underplays U.S. Death Toll in Iraq

Soldiers Dead Since May Is 3 Times Official Count

By Greg Mitchell

NEW YORK -- News Analysis

Any way you look at it, the news is bad enough. According to Thursday's press and television reports, 33 U.S. soldiers have now died in combat since President Bush declared an end to the major fighting in the war on May 2. This, of course, is a tragedy for the men killed and their families, and a problem for the White House.

But actually the numbers are much worse -- and rarely reported by the media.

According to official military records, the number of U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq since May 2 is actually 85. This includes a staggering number of non-combat deaths. Even if killed in a non-hostile action, these soldiers are no less dead, their families no less aggrieved. And it's safe to say that nearly all of these people would still be alive if they were still back in the States.

Nevertheless, the media continues to report the much lower figure of 33 as if those are the only deaths that count.

A Web site called Iraq Coalition Casualty Count (http://lunaville.org/warcasualties/Summary.aspx) is tracking the deaths, by whatever cause, of U.S. military personnel in Iraq, based on official Pentagon and CENTCOM press releases and Army Times and CNN casualty trackers. Their current count is 85 since May 2.

Looking at the entire war, there was much fanfare Thursday over the fact that the latest U.S. combat death this week pushed the official total to 148 -- finally topping the 147 figure for Gulf War 1. However, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, the total number of all U.S. deaths, combat and otherwise, in Iraq is actually 224.

This Web site not only counts deaths, it describes each one in whatever detail (often sketchy) the military provides, along with the name and age and home town of each fatality.

An analysis of the 85 deaths by E&P reveals that nearly as many U.S. military personnel have died in vehicle accidents (17) as from gunshot wounds (19). Ten have died after grenade attacks and seven from accidental explosions, another seven in helicopter crashes. Six were killed by what is described as "non-hostile" gunshots, and three have drowned.

The vast majority of those killed -- at least 70% -- were age 18 to 30 but several soldiers in their 40s or 50s have also perished. Pentagon officials also disclosed that there have been about five deaths among troops assigned to the Iraq mission that commanders say might have been suicides. As inquiries continue, one official said the susupected suicides were not clustered in any single time period that might indicate a related cause.

The most recent non-combat death was Cory Ryan Geurin, age 18, a Marine lance corporal from Santee, Calif. "He was standing post on a palace roof in Babylon when he fell approximately 60 feet," the site said.

On July 13, Jaror C. Puello-Coronado, 36, an Army sergeant, died while "manning a traffic point when the operator of a dump truck lost control of the vehicle."

Another soldier, still officially listed as "Unknown," died on July 13 "from a non-hostile gunshot incident," according to the site.

Before that, on July 9, another Marine Lance Corporal, age 20, died in Kuwait "in a vehicle accident."

Many other deaths are only vaguely described as the "result of non-combat injuries." One recent death occurred in a mine-clearing accident. Others "drowned" or "died of natural causes," and still others lost their lives in a "vehicle accident."

---

E&P welcomes letters to the editor: letters@editorandpublisher.com.

Source: Editor & Publisher Online

http://www.mediainfo.com/editorandpublisher/headlines/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1935586

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Greg Mitchell (gmitchell@editorandpublisher.com) is editor of E&P.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 51 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
It is truly amazing... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 2:35 PM
In my previous life I was an Indian fighter at Little Big Horn readyman Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 3:54 PM
All Lives are precious... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 4:50 PM
Diogenes, can you tell us Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 6:21 PM
Can you give me a concise... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 6:35 PM
Who do you think I am, Andrew Wiles?? Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 6:42 PM
Who do you think I am? Google? Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 6:56 PM
Diogenes, you are being evasive again.. Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 7:11 PM
Getting kind of Testy aren't we. Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 7:19 PM
P.S. Try Praying. Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 7:25 PM
Now because you can't debate Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 7:26 PM
What false impression... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 7:42 PM
See you DID have an agenda!!! Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 7:48 PM
What are you talking about? Sy$teMF@iLuRe Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 8:01 PM
Sy$teMF@iLuRe you are blind also. Rational Normal Person. Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 8:06 PM
also notice how Sy$teMF@iLuRe Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 8:09 PM
Wake up Sy$teMF@iLuRe Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 8:16 PM
Sy$teMF@iLuRe, READ THE THREAD! Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 8:26 PM
Plausible Deniability matt Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 8:49 PM
Answers.... Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 8:52 PM
footnote matt Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 8:53 PM
Matt, the sad part is.... Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 8:59 PM
To irrational Abnormal Shill... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:02 PM
three examples of underplaying Sy$teMF@iLuRe Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:02 PM
One thing I will conceed though is... matt Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:05 PM
I just love that last line... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:07 PM
Diogenes. Insults again... Rational Normal Person. Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:07 PM
To Matt... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:11 PM
The only cutting here... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:12 PM
Sy$teMF@iLuRe, Great!!! Progress! Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:14 PM
Ah now it becomes... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:25 PM
Sy$teMF@iLuRe, hey I looked at your links Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:28 PM
Me personally, far more important than our dead is ... matt Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:29 PM
Diogenes, please expand Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:30 PM
You know Matt, If you had posted that Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:33 PM
And I quote... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:34 PM
Diogenes, and you are stupid. Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:37 PM
HEY we have a VETERAN in here! Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 9:40 PM
"C hawks" Scottie Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 10:06 PM
Scottie, or another one... Rational Normal Person Friday, Jul. 18, 2003 at 10:09 PM
Citizen Soldiers Diogenes Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 7:46 AM
Well Scottie Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 4:08 PM
Hindsight is 20/20 Peter Saturday, Jun. 24, 2006 at 8:25 PM
The Devil (George Warmonger Bush) on Mainstream Media in Iraq The Devil (George Warmonger Bush) Sunday, Jun. 25, 2006 at 3:08 AM

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