Monday, October 16, 2006

intentionally hiding the number of dead American contractors in Iraq.

As I mentioned recently, I used to track the number of dead american contractors in Iraq - but I haven't had much luck this past year finding the numbers.

Now we get this from Reuters:
Oct 10 (Reuters) - The war in Iraq has killed at least 647 civilian contractors to date, according to official figures that provide a stark reminder of the huge role of civilians in supporting the U.S. military.

The contractor death toll is tracked by the U.S. Department of Labor on the basis of claims under an insurance policy, the Defense Base Act, that all U.S. government contractors and subcontractors working outside the United States must take out for their civilian employees.

In response to questions from Reuters, a Labor Department spokesman said there had been 647 claims for death benefits between March 1, 2003, and Sept. 30, 2006. The Defense Base Act covers both Americans and foreigners, and there is no breakdown of the nationalities of those killed.

That's odd, because in July 2005, Bloomberg said:
Based on death and injury claims filed with the U.S. Labor Department, 217 non-U.S. contractors and 113 U.S. contractors have been killed since the March 2003 invasion
How to reconcile the two?

a) the
Labor Department spokesman for the current Reuters report is lying.
b) the Labor Department has changed it's reporting requirements in the middle of a war.

Either way, I can only conclude that they are intentionally hiding the number of dead American contractors in Iraq.