President Disputes New Iraqi Death Estimates – John Hopkins University Estimates 655,000 Innocent Iraqis Killed in Iraq War

President Disputes New Iraqi Death Estimates – John Hopkins University Estimates 655,000 Innocent Iraqis Killed in Iraq War

Rose Garden Talk

A new survey in Iraq conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad indicates that there have been 655,000 Iraqis killed in Iraq as of July. This figure contradicts the estimate made by the Whitehouse.

The Lancet medical journal in October 2004 concluded that at least 100,000 and as many as 280,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed in the first 18 months of the occupation. Last December the President estimated that 30,000 Iraqis have died in the war since U.S.-led forces invaded in March 2003. At the time, many considered this estimate on the conservative side.

In this new study, the researchers conducted a door-to-door survey of 1,849 households. They used these data to extrapolate the nationwide number of deaths. There was a huge margin of error, but they say that they are 95 percent certain that the real number lay somewhere between 392,979 and 942,636 deaths.

Not all of the deaths were directly related to the fighting. Approximately 55,000 were attributed to other war-related causes. Approximately 600,000 deaths could be attributed directly to the violence. Comment on this Article at our Forum

The Bush administration disputes these new findings. "I don't consider it a credible report," President Bush said today at a news conference in the Rose Garden. General W. Casey, the top American military commander in Iraq, said "That 650,000 number seems way, way beyond any number that I have seen. I've not seen a number higher than 50,000. And so I don't give it that much credibility at all."

The President was asked a question by CNN reporter Suzanne Malveaux concerning his 30,000 estimate. She asked the President if he would like to amend this number. The President answered “No, I don’t consider it a credible report. Neither do Gen. Casey and neither do Iraqi officials. I do know that a lot of innocent people have died and that troubles me. That grieves me… No question, it’s violent. This report is one, they put it out before it was-the methodology was pretty well discredited. I talk to people like Gen. Casey and of course the Iraqi government put out a statement talking about the report.”

He did not completely answer her follow-up question: Do “you stand by your figure of 30,000.” The president retorted “I stand by the figure a lot of innocent people have lost their life. 600,000 or whatever they guessed at is not credible. Thank you.” Comment on this Article at our Forum

By Tom Madison
Best Syndication Writer

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