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Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Counting the American dead in Iraq

In the comments a few posts ago, a common misconception came up - that the U.S. tries to undercount deaths in Iraq by not counting people who die in the United States after being returned with a wound. It's simply not true, as an incident currently being reported in the local news indicates. Here's the raw data straight from the U.S. military. And here's death number 96 for this month: Spc. Mark R. C. Caguioa of Stockton, California. Died May 24 at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., of wounds suffered on May 4 in Baghdad, Iraq, when the vehicle he was in struck an IED.

As I wrote in the comments the other day, there certainly are Americans who die as a result of the invasion of Iraq who are not counted in the "official" totals. People who commit suicide (or "suicide by cop") after leaving the service. People who kill their spouses after returning from a tour. People who die years later from exposure to depleted uranium or other hazardous substances. Contractors. CIA agents. I'm sure I'm forgetting some.

But people who are wounded in Iraq and then die within some directly-attributable time frame thereafter in a hospital in the U.S. or Germany? Those are counted.

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