Independent experts looked at the Lancet study’s method and the data and said it is valid — it could be as high as 943,000 — compared to up to 290,000 killed by Saddam in 20 years.
United Press International – Analysis: Disputed Iraqi bodycount,
President Bush has dismissed new statistics showing that more than 650,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the U.S. invasion and the continuing insurgency. But the U.S. military’s own estimates suggest that the casualty rate for Iraqis is five times what it was at the beginning of 2004.
And many scientists — including four experts who anonymously peer-reviewed an article for the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet — insist that the 654,000 figure, a measurement of what demographers call “excess mortality,” is derived by a scientifically valid methodology from a statistically valid sample.
The story continues,
…The figure is actually the midpoint in a statistical projection of “excess” deaths — the number of people who have died as a result of increased mortality rates since March 2003.
The projection says that number of excess deaths can be said, with 95 percent confidence, to range between 393,000 and 943,000. It said that 92 percent of the excess deaths were from violence, mainly gunfire, but also explosions. In those instances where respondents allocated [a cause].
By way of comparison, Human Rights Watch has estimated Saddam Hussein’s regime killed 250,000 to 290,000 people over 20 years.
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