IRAQ: the methodology to calculate Iraqi civilian war deaths
Regarding civilian war deaths in Iraq, Randy Black writes: Dr. Gardner may not be aware of the post election revelations regarding the persons who conducted the survey (post publication), nor of the facts regarding how the surveyors came to their conclusions. Note: I am not saying that Ms. Gardner is incorrect, only that there appears to be more to the story. The entire report may be true, but then again, it may not be, and certainly, the editor admitted that he was attempting to influence the election.
1) Contrary to Ms. Gardner’s post that the report was not rushed to publication, the Lancet’s editor stated that the survey was conducted by only SEVEN persons, in only 30 days (September) and in 30 communities out of a nation of 25 million, and published less than 30 days later, half a world away, and bypassed the normal review procedures. I am only providing facts that are easily available on the internet. Facts such as: The surveyors stated that they did not ask for proof of various reported deaths, so as to not insult those interviewed. That puzzles me.
2) The editor stated that the issue was “rushed” to publication, bypassing normal review processes to insure that the public was informed prior to the election, aka, for political purposes. "Editors of the journal decided not to wait for Lancet's normal publication date next week, but instead to place the research online Friday, apparently so it could circulate before the (Tuesday) U.S. presidential election".
Source: International Herald Tribune - http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/10/28/news/toll.html
3) Factually, the publication did not follow their normal review process, and certainly no rigorous peer review process could possibly have occurred in only a few weeks, knowing what little I know about university review processes. Question: Can any WAISer imagine such an important issue at a multiple-university level being conceived, funded, carried out, reviewed, edited, approved and published in such a short time frame?
4) The authors of the report even admitted that some of the dead may have been “insurgents.” Source: ibid.
5) Methodology: The researchers randomly selected 33 clusters of 30 households each for interviews by (7) Iraqi researchers working with the Johns Hopkins team (over 30 days). Some houses were empty, and a few declined to talk. In the end, the researchers interviewed 808 households.
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