CNN trumpets Iraq Body Count website’s numbers

Let’s take note of how CNN described this group:

Nearly 25,000 civilians have been killed since the start of the Iraq war, according to a group that tracks the civilian death toll from the conflict.

The Iraq Body Count — a London-based group comprising academics and human rights and anti-war activists — said on Tuesday that 24,865 civilians had died between March 20, 2003 and March 19, 2005.

The group said 42,500 injuries were recorded as well.

The report also said that “U.S.-led forces were sole killers of 37 percent of civilian victims” and that “anti-occupation forces were sole killers of 9 percent of civilian victims.” It added that “criminals killed 36 percent of all civilians.”

“Our data has been extracted from a comprehensive analysis of over 10,000 press and media reports published since March 2003. Our accounting is not complete: only an in-depth, on-the-ground census could come close to achieving that,” the group said.

They are referred to as “the group” – not an “anti-war group” (7/26/05: lined through to reflect my re-reading of the article, where they were referred to as the “anti-war group – I missed that the first time around. Point about them still not being called a “liberal group” still stands, however. –ST) or “liberal group” but just simply “the group.” If this were a Republican and/or conservative based group, you know very well that description would have been noted straightaway, no doubt in order to subtly discredit the conservative group’s findings right out of the gate.

A quick check of their website’s “about page” should tell you something. A sampling:

HAMIT DARDAGAN (Co-founder, principal researcher and site manager) is a freelance researcher currently working in London. He has made an in-depth study of the research methods of Professor Marc Herold, who pioneered a media-based methodology for estimating civilian deaths in the Afghan war of 2001-2. He has written for Counterpunch, and has undertaken research for a number of organisations, including Greenpeace. He has been chair of “Kalayaan” a human rights campaign for overseas domestic workers in the UK, which led to significant enhancement in their legal rights.

JOHN SLOBODA (Co-founder, associate researcher and archivist) trained as a research psychologist and is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Keele, UK. In 1999-2000 he worked with the Committee for Peace in the Balkans, and researched effects on the civilian population of the NATO bombing campaign. Since September 11th 2001 he has been responsible for the daily mailing list disseminating critical non-violent perspectives on “the war on terror”. He is a founder member of the Network of Activist Scholars of Politics and International Relations (Naspir), and a local delegate to the Stop the War Coalition. He is currently Web Resources Manager for Peace News, and in January 2004 was appointed Executive Director of Oxford Research Group.

KAY WILLIAMS (Senior researcher and archivist) is a recently retired librarian, who worked most recently as Head of Acquisitions in Keele University Library. She runs a mailing list for those in the Keele and Newcastle-under-Lyme area of Staffordshire who are interested in local and national anti-war activities.

I should take seriously what these anti-war folks have to say because ….?

In any event, thanks once again to CNN for showing us just how biased it can be without really even trying.

Wink to Stephen Spruiell at NRO’s Media Blog.