The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, December 11, 2003
 

Iraqi civilian death count halted - not many interested...


A squint at Google News [1] suggests there is a single story, from Niko Price of AP datelined December 10 1417 EST (link via Daily Kos).

The New York Times WaPo and LA Times are absent from the list.

The opening graf:
Iraqi Health Ministry officials ordered a halt to a count of civilian casualties from the war and told workers not to release figures already compiled, the head of the ministry's statistics department told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

There is even an admission of Stanley Baldwin-sized appalling frankness from
Dr. Nagham Mohsen, the head of the ministry's statistics department, said
who
said the order came from the ministry's director of planning, Dr. Nazar Shabandar, who told her it was on behalf of Abbas. She said the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, which oversees the ministry, didn't like the idea of the count either.

"We have stopped the collection of this information because our minister didn't agree with it," she said, adding: "The CPA doesn't want this to be done."

Abbas's people deny the woman's story, of course.

But the fact that Centcom, officiously or deviously, declines to count civilian casualties scarcely helps their credibility in so doing.

Where's the outrage? This is not merely bureaucratic self-protection: there's something of the Rummy-style poke in the eye about it. Given the way USG has been treating the hacks - as exemplified in the Bush Thanksgiving trip pool un-party - I'm surprised that we haven't seen this further evidence of the flakiness of USG Iraq operation being put to journalistic use.

  1. For the eminently searchable 'Health Minister' Khodeir Abbas.


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