Note: There is excellent reason to believe that the Department of Defense is deliberately not reporting a significant number of the dead in Iraq. We have received copies of manifests from the MATS that show far more bodies shipped into Dover AFP than are reported officially.
The actual death toll is in excess of 10,000. (See the official records at the end of this piece.) Given the officially acknowledged number of over 15,000 seriously wounded (and a published total of 25,000 wounded overall,), this elevated death toll is far more realistic than the current 2,000+ now being officially published.
When our research is complete, and watertight, we will publish the results along with the sources In addition to the evident falsification of the death rolls, at least 5,500 American military personnel have deserted, most in Ireland but more have escaped to Canada and other European countries, none of whom are inclined to cooperate with vengeful American authorities.
(See TBR News of 18 February for full coverage on the mass desertions) This means that of the 158,000 U.S. military shipped to Iraq, 26,000 deserted, were killed or seriously wounded. The DoD lists currently being very quietly circulated indicate over 12,000 dead, over 25,000 seriously wounded and a large number of suicides, forced hospitalization for ongoing drug usage and sales, murder of Iraqi civilians and fellow soldiers, rapes, courts martial and so on -
The government gets away with these huge lies because they claim, falsely, that only soldiers actually killed on the ground in Iraq are reported. The dying and critically wounded are listed as en route to military hospitals outside of the country and not reported on the daily postings. Anyone who dies just as the transport takes off from the Baghdad airport is not listed and neither are those who die in the US military hospitals.
Their families are certainly notified that their son, husband, brother or lover was dead and the bodies, or what is left of them (refrigeration is very bad in Iraq what with constant power outages) are shipped home, to Dover AFB. This, we note, was the overall policy until very recently. Since it became well known that many had died at Landstuhl, in Germany, the DoD began to list a very few soldiers who had died at other non-theater locations. These numbers are only for show and are pathetically small in relationship to the actual figures.
You ought to realize that President Bush personally ordered that no pictures be taken of the coffined and flag-draped dead under any circumstances. He claims that this is to comfort the bereaved relatives but is designed to keep the huge number of arriving bodies secret. Any civilian, or military personnel, taking pictures will be jailed at once and prosecuted. Bush has never attended any kind of a memorial service for his dead soldiers and never will. He is terrified some parent might curse him in front of the press or, worse, attack him.