campaign against Iraq Body Count (IBC) continues. As well
as generally irritating dissenters/campaigners (now including
Albert) with his hysterical holier-than-thou rhetoric, he's
resorting to fairly blatant falsehoods:
"Iraq Body Count has been carrying out a three year long
campaign to discredit the two Lancet studies and its authors."
One can quickly demonstrate that this is false. Between the release
of the 2004 Lancet study and the 2006 anti-IBC campaign (by Zamparini
& Medialens), IBC issued one response
to the Lancet study - basically supportive, uncritical, and serving
to point out the differences between IBC and the Lancet study.
I've seen no evidence of IBC "discrediting" (or even
criticising*) the Lancet study between 2004 and 2006. But according
to Zamparini, from 2004 onwards, IBC have been engaged in a "campaign"
to "discredit" the Lancet studies. Where is your evidence
for this, Gabriele? You don't have any.
A few months after the 2006 anti-IBC campaign initiated by Medialens,
things changed. IBC tried to ignore the smears for two months,
but were attacked (on an almost daily basis) for "remaining
silent". So IBC finally responded with a document, Speculation
is no Substitute, which exposed the ineptitude of Zamparini/Medialens
and the errors of Les Roberts (co-author of Lancet 2004 study)
upon which Medialens based their "critique" (acknowledged
by Les Roberts to be errors, btw). However, this in no way "discredited"
the Lancet study - Roberts' errors were made outside of that study;
IBC's document was not a critique of the Lancet study.
Finally, after the release of the 2006 Lancet study, IBC (like
others from related fields) published a few documents (eg Reality
checks) which expressed (in a questioning, not a "discrediting"
way) scepticism towards aspects of the Lancet study. Although
they weren't alone in expressing scepticism (others who have expressed
doubts/scepticism include Jon Pedersen of ILCS and Fritz Scheuren,
a past president of the American Statistical Association, who
said the response rate in the Lancet 2006 study was "not
credible"), IBC seem to have been singled out for smear treatment
from the likes of Zamparini.
It's a kind of hysteria. In the hopefully reasonable world of
research/science, one expects parties to raise criticisms, doubts,
questions. If you do this (with good reason) towards a study whose
findings are quoted by those who find the war abhorrent, it doesn't
mean you are an apologist for war. Obviously. And yet, "apologist
for war crimes", is exactly the type of "criticism"
of IBC I've seen coming from those who subscribe to the Medialens/Zamparini
position on this issue.
*A few of Medialens's disciples spent a lot of time trying to
dig up material on IBC (from all over the web) which might appear
damning in this context (given the right rhetorical spin). But
the best they could come up with for the period upto 2006 was
just one quotation (apparently from IBC's John Sloboda, apparently
criticising the Lancet 2004 study) from an obscure US web page.
Some "campaign" to "discredit".