US Military Lies About July Iraq Death Toll

Claims Only 161 Civilians Killed Despite Well-Publicized Reports

After spending most of last week paging over evidence of the US military lying about the scope of the civilian death toll if Afghanistan, it seems that it is Iraq’s turn, with the US military publicly lying, claiming that only 161 civilians were killed in Iraq in July.

The Pentagon’s comments were meant to “refute” figures from the Iraqi government showing the death toll at its worst point in over two years, with 532 Iraqis killed. The US toll would’ve put the deaths at a relative low, certainly appealing as the Obama Administration tries to spin the continuation of the war past his August drawdown date as a sign of success.

Appealing but of course ridiculously, obviously false. 117 Iraqi pilgrims were killed over a single weekend in early July, and 50 were killed in an attack on a Karbala checkpoint last week. Those two incidents alone already put the toll above the US figure, but of course there were hundreds of additional deaths.

President Obama initially promised to have all troops out of Iraq by May of 2010, which was later revised to “all but 50,000 by August 2010,” a figure which itself appears unlikely to be met. The US State Department is currently creating its own alternative army to continue the war past a prospective military pullout at the end of 2011.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.