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Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Big brother is watching

Yesterday I mentioned "CentCom" in conjunction with the definition and reporting of "casualties." Today I got this pleasant email as a result:

I caught your post regarding CENTCOM and casualty reports. We do post them on our webpage, http://www.centcom.mil. I don’t know if you’ve seen the site, but it features news, photos, audio and video from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Please give it a look; Hopefully it will prove to be a helpful resource. If you could add a link to our site (I’m trying to spread the word about it), it’d be appreciated. If you want to be signed up for the weekly electronic newsletter and monthly Coalition Bulletin, just ask.

SPC C. Flowers
CENTCOM Public Affairs
Well, I'll pass on the "adding a link" part, but of course I did take SPC Flowers' advice and go check out the site. On the front page there's a link to "Casualty Reports," which I followed. Here's what I found:
4/23/2006: Roadside Bomb Kills 3 Mnd-b Soldiers
4/22/2006: Four Coalition Soldiers Killed By Roadside Bomb In Kandahar Province
4/22/2006: Ied Blast Kills Four Mnd-b Soldiers
4/22/2006: Mnd-b Soldier Killed In Roadside Bomb Attack
4/21/2006: Marine Killed In Al Anbar Province
4/19/2006: Roadside Bomb Kills Mnd-b Soldier
4/16/2006: Three Marines Killed In Al Anbar Province
4/16/2006: Marine Killed In Al Anbar Province
4/15/2006: Marine Killed In Motor Vehicle Accident
4/14/2006: Two Marines Killed, 22 Wounded In Al Anbar Province
4/13/2006: Multi-national Division-baghdad Soldier Killed
4/13/2006: Marine Dies Due To Enemy Action Near Baghdad
4/12/2006: Soldier Dies From Wounds In Al Anbar Province
4/12/2006: Two Mnd-b Soldiers Killed By Roadside Bombs
4/12/2006: Ied Kills Mnd-b Servicemember
4/12/2006: Task Force Band Of Brothers Soldier Dies
4/11/2006: Task Force Band Of Brothers Soldiers Killed
4/11/2006: Three Mnd-b Soldiers Killed By Roadside Bomb
4/10/2006: Soldier Dies From Wounds In Al Anbar Province
4/10/2006: Two Soldiers Killed In Al Anbar Province
So SPC Flowers has graciously confirmed my claim: CentCom uses the word "casualty" erroneously when they actually mean "fatality." The latter, of course, sounds a bit "harsh." It includes the word "fatal," which is a dead giveaway (pardon the pun), whereas "casualty" just sounds so, well, casual. Not at all serious.

And, if you're looking for actual totals of casualties (or even just fatalities) on the CentCom site, you'll have to do a better job than I. I couldn't find them anywhere.

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