FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s Time to Disclose the Real Casualty Figures

by RALPH NADER

 

President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Bush:

On June 30, 2004, I wrote you an open letter urging that your Administration include, in the U.S. casualty toll, in Iraq:

(1) injuries in non-combat situations;

(2) personnel who have come down with disabling diseases; and

(3) cases of mental trauma requiring evacuation from Iraq.

You did not respond, nor did Senator John Kerry, who received a copy of the letter.

I should have added three additional categories which are also not part of the official casualty count – – (4) fatalities that occur after U.S. military personnel are brought stateside; (5) soldiers committing suicide in Iraq; and (6) injuries and fatalities incurred by corporate contractors operating in the Iraqi war theatre.

On November 21, 2004, CBS’ 60 Minutes led its program with a segment on the subject of uncounted “non-combat” casualties. They interviewed badly injured soldiers who were upset by their being excluded from the official count, even though they were, in one soldier’s words, “in hostile territory” The Pentagon declined to be interviewed, instead sending a letter that contained information not included in published casualty reports. “More than 15,000 troops with so-called ‘non-battle’ injuries and diseases have been evacuated from Iraq,” wrote the Department of Defense. John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org told 60 Minutes that this uncounted casualty figure “would have to be somewhere in the ballpark of over 20, maybe 30,000”.

What’s your problem here? The American people need to know the full casualty toll of U.S. personnel in Iraq and know it regularly and in a timely fashion. Not to do so is disrespectful, especially of the military families, but none more so than of the soldiers themselves. As a severely wounded Chris Schneider told CBS: “Every one of us went over there with the knowledge that we could die. And then they tell you – – you’re wounded – – or your sacrifice doesn’t deserve to be recognized or we don’t deserve to be on their list – – it’s not right. It’s almost disgraceful.”

Soldiers like Chris Schneider, Joel Gomez and Graham Alstrom want to know whether you are going to continue to stonewall their desire for official respect. What shall we tell them and others who seek that simple, decent official recognition? Please do not think that because you are a chronic non-responder to critical questions, you will be able to delay this growing demand indefinitely. Your hit and run photo opportunities with the troops just doesn’t cut the mustard. Stand up and face it. It is the right thing to do by them.

Sincerely,

RALPH NADER

 

 

More articles by:

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 

Weekend Edition
February 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Richard D. Wolff
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Paul Street
Where’s the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate
Jeffrey St. Clair
They Came, They Saw, They Tweeted
Andrew Levine
Their Meddlers and Ours
Charles Pierson
Nuclear Nonproliferation, American Style
Joseph Essertier
Why Japan’s Ultranationalists Hate the Olympic Truce
W. T. Whitney
US and Allies Look to Military Intervention in Venezuela
John Laforge
Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction are “Mentally Deranged”
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning
David Rosen
For Some Reason, Being White Still Matters
Robert Fantina
Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations
Joyce Nelson
Why Mueller’s Indictments Are Hugely Important
Joshua Frank
Pearl Jam, Will You Help Stop Sen. Tester From Destroying Montana’s Public Lands?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Attack on Historical Perspective
Conn Hallinan
Immigration and the Italian Elections
George Ochenski
The Great Danger of Anthropocentricity
Pete Dolack
China Can’t Save Capitalism from Environmental Destruction
Joseph Natoli
Broken Lives
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Did Russia Vote For Trump?
Geoff Dutton
One Regime to Rule Them All
Torkil Lauesen – Gabriel Kuhn
Radical Theory and Academia: a Thorny Relationship
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Work of Persuasion
Thomas Klikauer
Umberto Eco and Germany’s New Fascism
George Burchett
La Folie Des Grandeurs
Howard Lisnoff
Minister of War
Eileen Appelbaum
Why Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Ramzy Baroud
More Than a Fight over Couscous: Why the Palestinian Narrative Must Be Embraced
Jill Richardson
Mass Shootings Shouldn’t Be the Only Time We Talk About Mental Illness
Jessicah Pierre
Racism is Killing African American Mothers
Steve Horn
Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests
David Griscom
When ‘Fake News’ is Good For Business
Barton Kunstler
Brainwashed Nation
Griffin Bird
I’m an Eagle Scout and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness
Edward Curtin
The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Missy Comley Beattie
Message To New Activists
Jonah Raskin
Literary Hubbub in Sonoma: Novel about Mrs. Jack London Roils the Faithful
Binoy Kampmark
Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow
Chelli Stanley
The Mirrors of Palestine
James McEnteer
How Brexit Won World War Two
Ralph Nader
Absorbing the Irresistible Consumer Reports Magazine
Cesar Chelala
A Word I Shouldn’t Use
Louis Proyect
Marx at the Movies
Osha Neumann
A White Guy Watches “The Black Panther”
Stephen Cooper
Rebel Talk with Nattali Rize: the Interview
David Yearsley
Market Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail