Sunday, December 11, 2005

"We don't do Webster's".: 'Casualty Counts Are Off'

In fairness, casualty reporting ususally distinguishes battle or combat casualties from other casualties (natural causes, accidents, suicides, etc.). The "non-hostile" U.S. deaths totalled more than 10,000 in Vietnam, compared to nearly 50,000 killed in action.

t r u t h o u t - Conyers, 7 Reps: 'Casualty Counts Are Off': "Yet those service members are not included in the Pentagon's casualty reports. That's odd. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a casualty as 'a military person lost through death, wounds, injury, sickness, internment or capture or through being missing in action.'
'We don't do Webster's,' Jim Turner, a Pentagon spokesman told me in 2004 as I was reporting on counting casualties. In a written statement, the Department of Defense told me that the casualty reports describe casualties to fit the 'understanding of the average newspaper reader.' "

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