Excerpts from RawStory–
…unnamed military affairs blogger has published a list of recent air strikes against militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and an amazing pattern has emerged: It seems that just about every time an air strike is reported in the news, the Taliban casualty figure cited is 30.
Why 30, well…
(LA TIMES) in 2007, Marc Garlasco, the Pentagon’s former chief of high-value targeting, offered a glimpse when he told Salon magazine that in 2003, “the magic number was 30.” That meant that if an attack was anticipated to kill more than 30 civilians, it needed the explicit approval of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld or President George W. Bush. If the expected civilian death toll was less than 30, the strike could be OKd by the legal and military commanders on the ground.
(RAWSTORY)… the Rumsfeld-era casualty policy applied to civilian casualties, not insurgent casualties. Yet the series of news reports this year cite the 30 number for Taliban casualties, and cite varying figures for civilian casualties, if any are cited at all. It would be hard to argue that the Pentagon believes the American public can only stomach 30 Taliban casualties at a time.
So the likelier explanation is that the Pentagon doesn’t know how many insurgents were killed…
So the 30 figure is made up, so the military do not get into trouble for not asking the higher ups (plus having to ask slows things up) and the rest is no revelation, they just kill a bunch of people and say ‘insurgents’ to the press who dutifully print it, when there has ever been any investigations the military has been found to have lied, try and act surprised. So…we have no idea how many people are being killed in the airstrikes in the Afghan war and how many of those are civilians and… our militaries do not care and do not want you to know both that they do not care (we are there to protect the Afghans from extremists blah de blah etc) and how many people our taxes are slaughtering in the Nobel Prize winning war. All of which reminds me of a Slowpoke cartoon I saw yesterday-