January 31, 2008

Lancet Study Claiming 600,000 Dead Iraqis Debunked; Turns Out It's An Even Million
— Ace

Um, okay.

I just did my own study. It turns out the correct figure is forty-three thousand million bazillion kajillion. Grant me, baby. I've got spreadsheets and pie graphs and everything.

I'm sure you'll be very, very surprised to find out this new study was done by many of the same people responsible for the former thoroughly debunked Lancet study.

Posted by: Ace at 12:52 PM | Comments (32)
Post contains 86 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Sounds like their doubling down on the lie.  It's one of the classic options available to liars.

Posted by: Eleven at January 31, 2008 01:07 PM (7DB+a)


Dude, everybody knows that the first rule of lying about numbers is that you don't make them round. That makes it too easy to call bullshit. You need a number like 2,384,251. See, you even gotta make it an odd number b/c that's more believeable.

I'll take my check now Lancet, thank you.

Posted by: TJ at January 31, 2008 01:18 PM (bbYGT)

3 I used to use this method of communication when I was in junior
high-school.  Lie, lie, then tell a bigger lie to cover the tiny lies I
had just lied about.  Then, I'd just go the whole fucking nine yards
and blast them with THE BIG LIE, which was so outrageous that it had to
be believable, because who the fuck would make something like that up...

Well there's Lancet...

Posted by: SOC at January 31, 2008 01:21 PM (1/F/d)


Is my math wrong or would that be 4 percent of the Iraqi population? So that would be the equivalent of the US losing every person in NYC and LA. Not a bad start but I'm sure we could try much harder.


Posted by: Penn State Marine at January 31, 2008 01:32 PM (DFVTW)

Wasn't there another recent study by Lancet on an entirely different subject that was also bogus? I thought they were supposed to be the euroweenie equivalence of the New England Journal of Medicine.  It may explain why health care sucks over there and they are totally dependent on the U.S. for their R&D.

Posted by: dlm at January 31, 2008 01:36 PM (wxBdh)

6 1 million dead. 600,000 decapitated.

Posted by: Z Ryan at January 31, 2008 01:37 PM (PDeVA)


I mean really, is anyone really that impressed with 4 percent? There's like 4 percent of the population of Mexico mowing lawns in Mission Viejo right now.


Posted by: Penn State Marine at January 31, 2008 01:40 PM (DFVTW)

Here you go -- the perfect present for someone you hate.

h/t no pasaran

Posted by: dlm at January 31, 2008 01:48 PM (wxBdh)

9 WHAT?!?  Only a million?  I told them I wanted the study to show at least 3 million!  No more money for them!

Posted by: George Soros at January 31, 2008 01:49 PM (plsiE)

10 When there are no penalties for lies, the truth will be buried.

Some days I really, really just want to hit some people in the face with a shovel.

Posted by: Merovign at January 31, 2008 01:51 PM (GLJe8)


"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of innocent Iraqis"

-Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father and Inventor of the Rail Gun


Posted by: Penn State Marine at January 31, 2008 01:59 PM (DFVTW)

12 My BS detector went off immediately, I knew it tied to the Lancet study the second I saw it, and it was, the group that was a partner in the propaganda study for Lancet was a partner in this one too, though the Mudville guys beat me to finding that out.

Posted by: doubleplusundead at January 31, 2008 02:11 PM (68v+0)

13 I love this Bullsqueeze.

Here it is for the Math Challenged:

We have been in Iraq for 5 years, thats 1825 days.

1 million / 1825 = 545+ people dead PER DAY.

Umm the highest death toll out of Iraq for a single day was in the high 200s. 
We haven't had any 15000 dead months yet unless the media is covering up a LOT...

Posted by: DavidM at January 31, 2008 02:46 PM (a9V3t)


...the former thoroughly debunked Lancet study...

Uh, which Lancet study are you saying was debunked?  There were two, you know.  And who, supposedly, did this debunking?  I trust you're referring to actual statisticians and public health professionals, because BS detectors are known to be little match for statistical methods.

Posted by: Beloved Weaver at January 31, 2008 03:16 PM (MN3Lr)


Weaver, look one post above yours.  The 600k number was already obviously wrong.  Really, this kind of stuff reflects badly on the Lancet.

Posted by: Eric at January 31, 2008 03:32 PM (eSqCK)


I trust you're referring to actual statisticians and public health professionals, because BS detectors are known to be little match for statistical methods.

Thwbppt. I've known too many statsiticians to read that with a straight face.

Posted by: The Band at January 31, 2008 03:45 PM (/94xL)

17 WTB better trolls

Posted by: leoncaruthers at January 31, 2008 03:52 PM (JSO4h)

18 If this were true, we'd be running pics of the graves 7x24.

Posted by: al-Jazzera at January 31, 2008 03:55 PM (ERV3B)

19 I visit HuffPo a lot, and for awhile now that 1 million figure has been dogma among the commenters and posters. A few weeks ago, I finally got one of those bozos to give me a link to where in the hell they get that number. It was to this group, and if you read their site, you learn that they get the number by extrapolating from the bogus 2006 Lancet study.

No one seems to care that this study is an extreme outlier by orders of magnitude from the studies made by every other human rights group, the UN, and the Iraq government.

Posted by: stace at January 31, 2008 04:00 PM (4x6iT)

20 Beloved Weaver, how about David Kane, Institute Fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. His debunking can be found here.

Posted by: bonhomme at January 31, 2008 04:03 PM (pKBEW)

21 Also, the Lancet study authors refuse to provide their underlying data.  In the scientific world, that's pretty much a self-debunking.

Posted by: bonhomme at January 31, 2008 04:06 PM (pKBEW)

22 I'll be in my debunk.

Posted by: Jayne at January 31, 2008 05:17 PM (ES8sY)

23 600,000 to a million?

It's like a reverse Dr Evil study.

Posted by: cheshirecat at January 31, 2008 06:03 PM (Z8sox)


There are millions of people deluded, willingly, just like BW.

And I didn't even need Lancet's random number generator to figure it out.


Posted by: Sweetie at January 31, 2008 08:07 PM (i7Qh4)

25 What I'm saying is that I don't think that Lancet 2 has been thoroughly debunked.  I've seen Kane tussle with Dsquared & Lambert, and, well, I'm not a statistician, but they seem to think he's got nothing.  What I do agree with, and I think D&L might agree as well, is that it's not a proper use of Lancet 2 to claim that from 2003-2006 (I think) there were 640,000 excess deaths in Iraq.  The point really being that there have been alot.  And hopefully, through the surge, the Sunnis, Al Sadr's low profile, and people leaving the bad (for them) areas, the excess deaths have fallen.  It must be so.  My guess is that the Lancet has other studies planned, and the reduction in violence does make sampling easier for this period, especially if they're doing any sampling now.

Posted by: Beloved Weaver at January 31, 2008 09:07 PM (MN3Lr)

26 Lambert NEVER admits he's wrong.  He will go to his grave claiming that guns cause crime & death.  He's been on an anti-John Lott jihad since "More Guns - Less Crime" was released. 

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum at February 01, 2008 12:27 AM (YacaW)


What I do agree with, and I think D&L might agree as well, is that it's not a proper use of Lancet 2 to claim that from 2003-2006 (I think) there were 640,000 excess deaths in Iraq. The point really being that there have been alot.

The purpose of a study is to produce accurate numbers, not to give people feelings. You want to give people a feeling? Create art. That's what it's for. I'm tired of people trying to pass off their feelings as hard facts, then saying that their facts aren't really supposed to be taken literally, but you should still listen to them anyway.

Of course, we still have to define "a lot." If you want people to believe that the war in Iraq is wrong, and your case is that too many people have died for it to be worthwhile, you'll clearly run into people who don't think the number of deaths is high enough to justify the war. So you have to pick a number high enough that it's beyond question, even if it's beyond reason. That's just flat-out dishonesty, in addition to missing the point of the war in the first place.

Posted by: The Band at February 01, 2008 03:42 AM (/94xL)

28 Correction: "people who don't think the number of deaths is high enough to justify opposition to the war."

Posted by: The Band at February 01, 2008 03:46 AM (/94xL)

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