Media Disinformation Regarding America’s Afghan War

‘My own efforts to report as accurately as possible upon the civilian casualty toll of the U.S. Afghan bombing campaign given the existing data limitations, was greeted with charges of being anti-American, unpatriotic, replete with double-counting, and opprobrium was caste upon using a source like the Afghan Islamic Press, etc.[5] Even the left-of-center in the United States went to pains to discredit my tally of Afghan civilians killed by the U.S.[6] The propagandistic cant was well-critiqued by Philip Hammond,

A number of reporters declared the killing of Afghan civilians to be inherently un-newsworthy, and CNN instructed its journalists to ‘balance’ reports of casualties with justifications for war. The study of casualty figures produced by US academic Marc Herold was often dismissed or attacked, and the much lower estimate of civilian deaths offered by a Project for Defence Alternatives report was presented as more credible. In fact, however, the latter is based on an eccentric method whose only rationale can be a desire to produce as low a figure as possible. The report, drawing on a variety of sources but favouring Western ones as the most reliable, used the following formula in cases where no precise numbers were available: ‘“some or a few” deaths was interpreted as 1, “a dozen or more” was interpreted as 3–4, “dozens” was interpreted as 8–10, “scores” was interpreted as 10–15, “hundreds” was interpreted as 40–60’

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