Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Murderous Iraq Vets--the NYT's Latest Lie

This pile of crap sucked in at least one local LeftoBlogger, so let's get a few figures on the table.

The Times “found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war.” All but one case involved male veterans. They speculated that their research “most likely uncovered only the minimum number of such cases...

Yah? So?

Assuming 121 homicide cases in relation to 749,932 total discharges through 2007, 99.98 percent of all discharged Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have not committed or been charged with homicide.

And assuming 121 cases and 749,932 total discharges, the homicide offending rate for the discharged veterans would be 16.1 per 100,000. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has demographic data aplenty on homicide offending rates. For instance, in 2005, for white males aged 18-24, the rate was about 20 per 100,000. The Times opined that 121 was the “minimum” number, even as it counted veterans charged but not convicted with veterans tried and found guilty. Doubling the number to 242 would double the rate to 32.2 per 100,000.

Wonder why rational people refer to that paper as the NYSlimes?

HT: Malkin


Grim said...

My favorite part of that report was this: the horrible anecdote they start off with about the young soldier with the AK-47? If you read to page nine, you learn that the charges were dropped, because it was determined that he was fired on by the two gang members, both of whom were bigger than him, and one of whom was on serious drugs.

What war did they fight in? Whichever one it was, it apparently drove them to self-medicate, carry guns, and -- unlike the soldier, who acted in lawful self defense -- prey on those smaller and weaker than themselves.

3rd Way said...

Can we have a little honesty Daddio? I thought about the same question when I read the NYT article. How does the rate of murder by COMBAT VETERANS compare to the homicide rate of the general population? Using the 750K number would not give you that answer. 750K is all veterans discharged. How many of those people shot at people and were shot at themselves?

You cannot deny that PTSD is a problem. If you read the article you would have read that a huge number of these vets used PTSD in their defense. Most of them also had no prior arrest record, unlike most murderers. The article gave a somewhat fair analysis. You did not.

I don't see how denying that some of these soldiers (no matter what percentage) come back with debilitating PTSD problems could be construed to be in anyway supporting them.

Dad29 said...

I think we can agree, 3Way, that:

1) The NYT piece seemed to gather numbers in pursuit of a pre-determined conclusion. There is NO (or very, very little) statistical validity to what the paper came up with on the story--beginning with (e.g.), how many troops were cycled through Iraq/Afghan vs. what they report as "discharged." There's a difference.

2) PTSD is a concern for any member of the Armed Forces who saw combat. It should be carefully studied, and standards should be rigorous when one uses the term.

3rd Way said...

I agree that the NYT was foolish to try and use statistical evidence to report on the story of murderous vets blaming their crimes on PTSD. Whether their PTSD claims are rightful or not there is a story there.