What Not to Count

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… government data has gotten has gotten less reliable under this administration. Iraq is the prime example. From McClatchy Newspapers:

Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn’t include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

President Bush explained why in a television interview on Tuesday. “If the standard of success is no car bombings or suicide bombings, we have just handed those who commit suicide bombings a huge victory,” he told TV interviewer Charlie Rose.

By that standard, we could show that the murder rate in the US just dropped to zero. After all, counting people who were actually killed would just hand a huge victory to those who kill.


Update. Mark Thoma has more. So does Steve Benen.