Sunday, December 11, 2005

Beyond Shame: Under-Reporting Iraq Casualties

Incalculable pain
By Mark Benjamin

THE UNKNOWN CANDIDATE: How low will Bushco go? So low that almost nothing surprises anymore. While they speak of supporting the troops and honoring the military, their actions do everything but. You really can't get much lower than refusing to honor the sacrifices of those fighting in their illegal war by misrepresenting those very sacrifices. This goes far beyond shameful--to a whole new, lower than low, Bushco standard.

Mark Benjamin reports:

"A group of seven House Democrats wrote President Bush this week, accusing the Pentagon of underreporting casualties in Iraq.

It's a shocking charge. The letter writers argue that Pentagon casualty reports show only a sliver of the injuries, mostly physical ones from bombs or bullets. But war doesn't work like that, the Democrats declare, adding that the reports skip a horrible panoply of accidents, illness, disease and mental trauma.

'We are concerned that that the figures that were released to the public by your administration do not accurately represent the true toll that this war has taken on the American people,' the group wrote Bush on Dec. 7. The Dems are right....

In their letter, the seven Democrats assert that the entire picture of casualties coming out of the Department of Defense is distorted. But the letter concludes that one thing is clear: 'What we can be certain of is that at least tens of thousands of young men and women have been physically or psychologically damaged for life.'"

SEE ALSO: Congress' Letter to Bush: Stop Undercounting U.S. Casualties - DemocracyRising.US

RELATED ARTICLE: Truth for the Troops
By Richard Cohen
The Washington Post

"I don't need any cheap reminders about supporting the troops. On the contrary, it's the other way around. It is the reminders who need reminding that they owe the troops the highest level of respect. That means, among other things, explaining clearly and honestly why they are being sent into harm's way. If that cannot be done -- if you cannot tell soldiers why they might die -- then you cannot send them. At the very least, you must stick to the strictest truth."

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