Media Blog

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“We Don’t Do Body Counts”


A Media Blog reader send this e-mail, which makes a great point:

Don’t forget that Iraq Body Count uses Tommy Franks’ quote that “we don’t do body counts” as its motto. The NPR story on ‘All Things Considered’ about the IBC report ended with that quote. When I heard that, I thought it sounded off, so I looked it up.

Franks said that in reference to Afghanistan in response to a question on numbers of enemy dead. His actual quote (in 2002!) was “You know we don’t do body counts.” IBC and NPR (by proxy) took a quote that was supposed to be
civilized and possibly even gracious (we don’t celebrate killing the enemy) and
turned it into a symbol of American indifference.

This is the group’s M.O. Typical also is this pull-quote from the group’s report (an Iraqi man speaking in an AP story):

“Before the war, there was a strong government, strong security. There were a lot of police on the streets and there were no illegal weapons,” he said during an AP reporter’s visit to the morgue. “Now there are few controls. There is crime, revenge killings, so much violence.”
Sure. And that whole Iran-Iraq meatgrinder was pretty typical of that non-violent former regime.


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