NYT reporter Hassan Fattah touts a left-wing anti-war report on civilian casualties in Iraq, a Wednesday story topped with a headline that betrays none of the politicized controversy over the report. Instead the head lends the hodge-podge "report" (basically a collection of news clippings) a false sense of authority: "Civilian Toll in Iraq Is Placed at Nearly 25,000." As if it's the authorative word on the matter. Yet the researchers are affiliated with far-left outfits like Counterpunch and Peace UK (and, strangely, a lot of music departments all over England). Hardly a scholarly "report."The actual 28-page "dossier" from the left-wing group iraqbodycount.net should have raised suspicion as to the ideological bent of the "researchers." It refers to terrorists who kill Iraqi civilians with car bombs as "unknown agents," innocuously defined as "those who do not attack obvious military/strategic or occupation-related targets." The report mildly notes that these "unknown agents" are planting "suicide bombs in markets and mosques." Also: The word "terrorism" appears in the article only in quoted matter. So one person's terrorist is another person's "unknown agent"?
Touting a Left-Wing "Body Count" for Iraqi Civilians
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.