Move America Forward, the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization, today announced that after vetting the numbers cited by The New York Times in their Sunday, January 13, 2008, story, “Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles,” it became clear that the Times had engaged in demonstrably erroneous and false reporting.
It took seven New York Times researchers to find 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in the United States, or were charged with one, upon returning home to this country.
The Times made the false conclusion that:
“Taken together, they paint the patchwork of a quiet phenomenon, tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak.”The Times documentation of 121 potential killings out of more than 1.5 million veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), divided by 6 years of conflict results in a murder rate of just 1.34 incidents per 100,000 veterans per year.
That murder rate is far lower than the murder rate for the general population, demonstrating that the experiences of military service – including having served in Iraq and Afghanistan – actually made it less likely for returning veterans to commit murder once they returned home, than the general population.
Given a census-estimated population of the United States of 300,000,000 persons in this country as of October 2006, and FBI-compiled statistics of 17,399 homicide offenders for 2006, the murder rate of the general population was 5.80 offenders per 100,000 on average – and a rate of approximately 7.67 per 100,000 for men.
Since all but one of the veterans cited by the Times who committed a killing in the U.S. was male, the comparable rate is approximately 7.67 incidents of murder per 100,000 people among the general male population, compared to just 1.34 incidents per 100,000 returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans (of both genders).
“It’s obvious that the New York Times has an agenda of undermining the missions of our troops in the War on Terror, so much so that they are willing to resort to demonstrably false statistics to support their anti-troop bias,” said Melanie Morgan, Chairman of Move America Forward.
“The slander of our troops and veterans by the New York Times is unfortunately all too familiar. We heard this kind of nonsense about our returning veterans from Vietnam. It’s the same insult, different war.
“Perhaps the shameful staff of The New York Times has run out of war-time secrets to publish for America’s enemies to read, because now they’ve resorted to an all-out smear campaign of America’s finest men and women, who have served this country bravely and with distinction,” Morgan said.
In place of hard data to support their premise, The New York Times was instead forced to devote almost the entire portion of the 6,321-word hit piece to anecdotes of wrongdoing by individual veterans.
The New York Times even went so far as to trace back the phenomenon of murderous veterans to Greek mythology to back up their assertions of their report.
“The real mythology is the reporting by The New York Times,” Move America Forward’s Melanie Morgan concluded.