Lancet study on Iraqi war deaths dead and buried

Rick Moran
If there was ever truth in the saying that "A lie will work its way around the world before the truth puts its shoes on," this is it.

In 2004 and 2006, the respected British medical journal, The Lancet, published studies by Glibert Burnham and Johns Hopkins University on "excess Iraqi war deaths" as a result of the US invasion and occupation. Both studies came out days prior to the American election in a blatant attempt by the Lancet to influence the vote. It turns out that the George Soros funded Open Society Institute supplied some of the funding for the studies - a fact not disclosed by either the scientists or the school which disregards protocols designed to eliminate any hint or appearance of bias.

Now we discover that after a long, careful study of the results, the highly respected American Association for Public Opinion Research has come out with a verdict on the 2006 study. And both Burnham and Johns Hopkins are being called out for the shoddiness of their research:

AAPOR, in a statement, said that in an eight-month investigation, Gilbert Burnham, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, "repeatedly refused to make public essential facts about his research on civilian deaths in Iraq."

Hours later, the school itself disclosed its own investigation of the Iraq casualties report "to determine if any violation of the school's rules or guidelines for the conduct of research occurred." It said the review "is nearing completion."

Both AAPOR and the school said they had focused on Burnham's study, published in the October 2006 issue of the British medical journal the Lancet, reporting an estimated 654,965 "excess deaths" in Iraq as a result of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. An earlier, 2004 report, in which Burnham also participated, estimated approximately 98,000 excess deaths to that point.

In its original news release on the 2006 study, the Lancet said, "The mortality survey used well-established and scientifically proven methods for measuring mortality and disease in populations." Today, Tony Kirby, the Lancet's press officer, said in an e-mail to ABC News: "The Lancet is making no comment."

Burnham did not reply to e-mail and telephone messages.

Several things are absolutely striking about this ABC report. The Lancet claim that the "survey used well-established and scientifically proven methods for measuring mortality and disease" is clearly a lie. That much was established by other debunkers of the study who pointed out the interview process alone was flawed. Now it appears that Burnham's reluctance in revealing his methodology probably means that he didn't use any acceptable method to reach his conclusions and therefore, the study should have been rejected outright by The Lancet.

The only possible explanation is that there was a political agenda at work by both Burnham and his co-workers as well as The Lancet. This isn't surprising. That much had been evident since scientists running statistical analyses using accepted methods couldn't even come close to the numbers being thrown around by Burnham. Even bloggers were able to point out that more than 700 people a day would have had to be dying for such to be true.

And yet, the left will throw those Lancet numbers in the face of anyone who tries to defend the war and occupation.

The real numbers are bad enough. Most estimates place the number of Iraqi dead since the invasion at more than 150,000. Estimates as low as 110,000 and as high as 180,000 have been given but in a country where there was so much chaos and confusion for several years after Saddam fell, it is all a guessing game.

The point isn't that fewer Iraqis died as a result of our military action in Iraq but that the war's opponents would stoop to such rank dishonesty in order to make their point. It sullies the name of science for these fakes to have tried to pass off fiction as fact. And both Johns Hopkins and the Lancet - who either should have known or actively participated in this fraud - should suffer huge blows to their credibility as a result of these findings.

And yet - the fact that this information has come to light so long after the left's narrative has been established about the "600,000 Iraqi dead" means that we can only correct the record for future historians. Whatever political value that can be gleaned from exposing this fraud has long since passed.

Hat Tip: Hot Air


If there was ever truth in the saying that "A lie will work its way around the world before the truth puts its shoes on," this is it.

In 2004 and 2006, the respected British medical journal, The Lancet, published studies by Glibert Burnham and Johns Hopkins University on "excess Iraqi war deaths" as a result of the US invasion and occupation. Both studies came out days prior to the American election in a blatant attempt by the Lancet to influence the vote. It turns out that the George Soros funded Open Society Institute supplied some of the funding for the studies - a fact not disclosed by either the scientists or the school which disregards protocols designed to eliminate any hint or appearance of bias.

Now we discover that after a long, careful study of the results, the highly respected American Association for Public Opinion Research has come out with a verdict on the 2006 study. And both Burnham and Johns Hopkins are being called out for the shoddiness of their research:

AAPOR, in a statement, said that in an eight-month investigation, Gilbert Burnham, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, "repeatedly refused to make public essential facts about his research on civilian deaths in Iraq."

Hours later, the school itself disclosed its own investigation of the Iraq casualties report "to determine if any violation of the school's rules or guidelines for the conduct of research occurred." It said the review "is nearing completion."

Both AAPOR and the school said they had focused on Burnham's study, published in the October 2006 issue of the British medical journal the Lancet, reporting an estimated 654,965 "excess deaths" in Iraq as a result of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. An earlier, 2004 report, in which Burnham also participated, estimated approximately 98,000 excess deaths to that point.

In its original news release on the 2006 study, the Lancet said, "The mortality survey used well-established and scientifically proven methods for measuring mortality and disease in populations." Today, Tony Kirby, the Lancet's press officer, said in an e-mail to ABC News: "The Lancet is making no comment."

Burnham did not reply to e-mail and telephone messages.

Several things are absolutely striking about this ABC report. The Lancet claim that the "survey used well-established and scientifically proven methods for measuring mortality and disease" is clearly a lie. That much was established by other debunkers of the study who pointed out the interview process alone was flawed. Now it appears that Burnham's reluctance in revealing his methodology probably means that he didn't use any acceptable method to reach his conclusions and therefore, the study should have been rejected outright by The Lancet.

The only possible explanation is that there was a political agenda at work by both Burnham and his co-workers as well as The Lancet. This isn't surprising. That much had been evident since scientists running statistical analyses using accepted methods couldn't even come close to the numbers being thrown around by Burnham. Even bloggers were able to point out that more than 700 people a day would have had to be dying for such to be true.

And yet, the left will throw those Lancet numbers in the face of anyone who tries to defend the war and occupation.

The real numbers are bad enough. Most estimates place the number of Iraqi dead since the invasion at more than 150,000. Estimates as low as 110,000 and as high as 180,000 have been given but in a country where there was so much chaos and confusion for several years after Saddam fell, it is all a guessing game.

The point isn't that fewer Iraqis died as a result of our military action in Iraq but that the war's opponents would stoop to such rank dishonesty in order to make their point. It sullies the name of science for these fakes to have tried to pass off fiction as fact. And both Johns Hopkins and the Lancet - who either should have known or actively participated in this fraud - should suffer huge blows to their credibility as a result of these findings.

And yet - the fact that this information has come to light so long after the left's narrative has been established about the "600,000 Iraqi dead" means that we can only correct the record for future historians. Whatever political value that can be gleaned from exposing this fraud has long since passed.

Hat Tip: Hot Air