The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Poof!
Now they’re gone!

Feb 5, 2007

The Pentagon performed a magic trick on their website at the end of January: They made tens of thousands of casualties seem to disappear.

The Pentagon made the move after a Harvard professor, Linda Bilmes, published an article in the Los Angeles Times including the total of all non-mortal casualties in both wars – over 50,000.

ONE person reporting that high number was too much for the Pentagon – so they just got rid of that number on their website. In its place, they left a lower number, totaling just over 31,000.

The new total does not include wounded soldiers whose injuries the Pentagon considers “minor” – because they were not evacuated out by air.

Poof! They just made over 16,000 casualties disappear – because all of a sudden they decided those casualties weren’t “serious”.

And that doesn’t even count the big under-reporting that’s already going on. The Pentagon has accorded disability status to over 100,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans whose illnesses or injuries were diagnosed after they returned stateside; another 50,000 are still waiting. NONE of these soldiers are listed in any of the Pentagon’s casualty lists.

The Pentagon can play all they want with figures – but for all the soldiers injured and made sick in these wars, their suffering is very, very real.