Spam Email on Military Losses
Type: FAS in the News
FAS Note: Here is the referenced CRS report.
E-mail on military deaths is shaky on facts
By Chuck Vinch - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Mar 27, 2008 7:50:12 EDT
A spam e-mail making the rounds in the military community serves as a reminder that
facts can be flexible when they are launched anonymously into the vast void of
The e-mail, entitled, “Some very interesting statistics: Military losses, 1980 through
2006,” states that more U.S. service members died on active duty during the eight years
of the Clinton administration, when there were no major U.S. military conflicts, than in
the first six years of the George W. Bush administration, during which the military was
fighting two large-scale wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The e-mail offers year-by-year U.S. military death totals from all causes — operations,
illness, accidents, suicides, etc. — from 1980 through 2006.
The data supposedly were taken from a periodically updated Congressional Research
Service report on the subject, which in turn is based on statistics compiled by the
Pentagon’s Defense Manpower and Data Center.
There’s just one problem: The figures listed in the email are wrong. They vary markedly
from the figures published in the cited CRS source document.