The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, December 09, 2005

Rummy on the NewsHour: Some dead troops are better than others

Rumsfeld's interview on with Jim Lehrer was pretty astounding, and shows just how desperate the administration is to convince the public to ignore the man behind the curtain and just accept that everything is grand in Iraq.

First, Rumsfeld stated that every member of the military is flabbergasted that the American public isn't hearing about how wonderful things are on the ground. I find that tough to swallow, but what really gets me is this statement:

JIM LEHRER: Put the press aside for a moment. Some people would say to you, Mr. Secretary, the problem or the reason public opinion has sunk so low is the expectations that the American people had for this war have not been met. Quite the contrary, they didn't expect 2,100 Americans to die. They didn't expect 16,000 to be wounded and they sure didn't expect 1,900 of the 2,100 to die after major combat was ended. So is that part of the problem as well?


JIM LEHRER: You don't think --

DONALD RUMSFELD: It could be, it could be. I mean, I was very careful. I never predicted any number of deaths or the cost or the length because I've looked at a lot of wars, and anyone who tries to do that is going to find themselves wrong, flat wrong.

I will give you an interesting statistic. The number of people who have been killed in action in Iraq is 1,664. It's a lot. The number of people who have died over there are another 446.

The number of people who have been wounded are 16,000. Of those, 8,500 went back in to their posts, back to duty within 48 or 72 hours.

Now that's just a little refinement on what you said.

But it's not nothing -- it is a nontrivial difference between how you characterized it. You said what you said about --.

Yep. There's "killed in action," and then there are those other dead people. They don't really count, and it's misleading to figure them into the casualty reports. 'Cuz they just, you know, happened to die.