July 27, 2007

A bit of a follow-up on a old story...

From Michelle Malkin...

One of the most useful roles of the blogosphere is its service as an open-source intelligence-gathering medium. You can draw on the expertise of people around the world at the touch of a button. We saw this with typography experts during the Rathergate scandal; Photoshop experts during the Reutersgate debacle; and military experts during the Jesse Macbeth unmasking.

Now, it’s the statisticians and math geeks’ turn. Remember that massively-publicized 2004 Lancet Iraq death toll study? It was cited in nearly 100 scholarly journals and reported by news outlets around the world. “100,000 Civilian Deaths Estimated in Iraq” blared the Washington Post in a typical headline.

There were attempts made by lay journalists to debunk the 2004 study (as well as the 2006 follow-up study that purported to back up the first). But none of those dissections comes close to a damning new statistical analysis of the 2004 study authored by David Kane, Institute Fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. I read of Kane’s new paper at this science blog and e-mailed him for permission to reprint his analysis in its entirety here so that a wider blog readership could have a look. He has given me his permission and adds that he welcomes comments and feedback....

....An interesting side note: as Kane observes in his paper, the Lancet authors “refuse to provide anyone with the underlying data (or even a precise description of the actual methodology).” The researchers did release some high-level summary data in highly aggregated form (see here), but they released neither the detailed interviewee-level data nor the programming code that would be necessary to replicate their results.....

I've written about this BS before.

...It's the same with that widely disseminated figure of 100,000 killed in the American occupation of Iraq. Statisticians have thoroughly debunked the number, though liars are still pushing it. But common sense tells us it's bogus. 100,000 bodies are hard to hide. There would be big piles of them lying around for significant periods of time. You can be sure Kevin Sites would have snapped pictures, and the MSM would have given them all possible publicity.

And 100,000 dead means at least a quarter of a million wounded! In a place the size of California. Where are they? I doubt if Iraq has even 10,000 hospital beds. There would be wounded people scattered everywhere...

I'm sure the fake-pacifists will still be pushing the fake numbers long after I'm dead and gone.

Posted by John Weidner at July 27, 2007 5:26 AM
Weblog by John Weidner