Casualties of war

The page-one banner headline across three columns of the Minneapolis Star Tribune this morning is “Report: Iraqi deaths hit 110 a day.” The report referred to is the August 2006 Pengtaon report to Congress: “Measuring security and stability in Iraq” (PDF). The Star Tribune story states in its second paragraph that “deaths [are] increasing by 1,000 a month[.]”

Just one problem: As the New York Times story by Michael Gordon notes, the report refers to casualties, not deaths (see report pages 3, 32-34). Gordon states: “In discussing daily casualty rates, the report did not distinguish between the number of dead and wounded.” The Star Tribune story by Drew Brown draws on the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun and the New York Times — but not, it should be added, too carefully.

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