Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Creating facts that are easily disproved

Chris Matthews, MSNBC
Watching Chris Matthews’ Hardball today I was struck by war stats he threw out at the beginning of his show. The guests were Republicans Michael Steele and Ron Reagan. Matthews, talking about the American causalities in the Afghanistan war, said during the Bush presidency only 630 soldiers were killed from 2001 to 2008; in the case of President Obama, since 2009 to the present, 1,000 soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.

I wrote the numbers down to make sure I heard them correctly. They were discussing the President’s “two wars” in Afghanistan and Libya, his polices, questioning why Americans were still in Afghanistan. They were all over the place with their expert wisdom. As usual, Matthews was way, way off track!

Going on the Internet I found the information I was looking for at The Washington Post, under the banner “Faces of the Fallen.”  This information assured me even more that Matthews, as usual, was creating his own facts. His guests did nothing to disabuse him of these wrong numbers. I looked for Afghanistan stats alone but couldn't find them. Fallen solders in both wars are combined. Matthews didn't say where he got his statistics.

The “Faces of the Fallen” site was designed by Nelson Hsu and Alyson Hurst and programmed by Andrain Holovaly. To see the complete breakdown with photos, ages, year of death, home state and military branch, go to washingtonpost.com, key in "Faces of the Fallen" to view the site.

To date the total of fatalities in Iraqi and Afghanistan is 6,026. The wounded  was not included in the statistics, but the number is reportedly in the thousands. Wounded soldiers suffer a variety of serious wounds due to IED attacks.

*Barack Obama was not sworn in as president until January 20, 2009.

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