WikiLeaks Lances Lancet's 2006 Pre-Midterm Elections Iraq Civilian Casualties Claim

Not that it justifies the horrible consequences of leaking classifed information, thereby endangering our troops, our allies, our friends, and their families (of course it doesn't), but the WikiLeaked documents being carried at outlets like the New York Times are revealing some truths that are proving quite inconvenient for Iraq war opponents.

Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that a post at one of Wired.com's blogs ("WikiLeaks Show WMD Hunt Continued in Iraq – With Surprising Results") rnoted that "for years afterward, WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins, and uncover weapons of mass destruction." Add that to the already large pile of evidence that totally debunks the leftist folklore that "there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

Now Andrew Bolt at Melbourne, Australia's Herald-Sun (HT Instapundit) tells us that another leftist myth about the war's impact on Iraq's general populace is getting retired to the ash heap of false history (links are in original):

I’m not sure it’s what WikiLeaks intended, but its latest leaks reveal that the infamous Lancet paper which claimed the US-led liberation of Iraq cost the lives of 655,000 Iraqis in fact exaggerated the death toll by at least 600 per cent ...

As might be expected, that the documents completely debunk Lancet is not the message head WikiLeaker Julian Assange wants to deliver, as reported in Australia's Daily Telegraph:

Leaks show Iraq a bloodbath, says Assange

 

NEWLY released Wikileak documents on Iraq give a blow-by-blow account of the "bloodbath" in the country over six years, the whisteblower's founder Julian Assange said.

 

Speaking to CNN after the documents' publication, he said they presented a much more straightforward picture than material on the conflict in Afghanistan previously published by Wikileaks.

 

"These documents reveal six years of the Iraq war at a ground level detail - the troops on the ground, their reports, what they were seeing, what they were saying and what they were doing," he told the broadcaster.

 

The Iraq documents cover the deaths of some 104,000 people over six years - compared the deaths of 20,000 people in Afghanistan detailed in previously released papers.

 

"We're talking about a five times greater kill rate in Iraq, really a comparative bloodbath compared to Afghanistan," he told CNN.

 

The Iraq documents gave "not just the aggregate, not just that, you know, 'in Fallujah a lot of people died,' but rather the deaths of each person, with precise geographic coordinates and the operation under which they died", he said.

Gosh, isn't it nice that the enemy will be able to identify Iraqis who died and whose side they were fighting on by name, so they can go after their families, either to kill them or recruit them, depending on the circumstances? What a guy this Mr. Assange is.

Media outlets have given the horridly designed and utterly flawed Lancet work undue credence for years, even though in January 2008, Neil Munro and Carl M. Cannon at the National Journal utterly discredited their work.

Blogger Tigerhawk notes the interesting timing of the report's original release (links were in original):

Three weeks before the decisive 2006 Congressional elections in the United States, the British medical journal Lancet published and -- here's the key part -- promoted via press release a study that purported to show massively more "excess deaths" in Iraq than had been reported by any other organization of any political persuasion. Now, not only has the study been repeatedly discredited, but it appears to have been a propaganda project from the get-go ...

It would also appear that Lancet's ridiculous estimate was too "good" to check for the congenitally antiwar press to check just before the 2006 mid-term elections.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.