Looks like the standard game is being played with casualty reports from today's Chinook chopper crash in Afghanistan.
The basic ploy is always the same: report a low casualty figure and/or a possible 'accidental' cause for any incident involving loss of life.
By the time the real news comes out many media outlets will have already run with the initial low casualty report and thus casualty perception among the public is minimized.
Here's what just happened:
Kabul: A US military CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed on Wednesday after hitting bad weather in southeastern Afghanistan, killing everyone on board, the US military said.Reuters dutifully runs the lowest figure possible -wheeling out an Afghan bureaucrat to report:
'Initial reports indicate that the cause of the crash was severe weather.' 'There were a number of people on board. We believe that there are no survivors,' US military spokeswoman Lieutenant Cindy Moore told AFP, adding that she was unable to give a precise number."
However two high-ranking Afghan security officials, both speaking on condition of anonymity, said nine people were killed in the crash in Ghazni province. [AFP]
At least two U.S. servicemen were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday when a U.S. military helicopter crashed, a provincial governor said. [Reuters]The US Department of Defense admits that 9 'people' are dead -but puts the number of crew aboard at only 4:
Nine people are confirmed dead in the crash today of a coalition CH-47 Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan officials reported. News reports quoted American military sources as saying at least four crewmembers were aboard. [DefenseLink]Finally, this VOA News report is headlined: '9 US Soldiers Killed in Afghan Helicopter Crash' -but the text of the story still only says:
The U.S. military says one of its helicopters has crashed in southeastern Afghanistan, killing nine people on board, including four American crew members.STOP PRESS:
The death toll is now reported to be 16 (actually 18) in the crash:
A U.S. military helicopter smashed into a flat desert in southeastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing the four American crew and at least 12 others, officials said. An Afghan police official said most of the dead appeared to be American. However, the U.S. military provided no details of the passengers’ identity. Two more people were listed as missing. [Army Times]STOP STOP PRESS:
How's this for evidence of deliberate deception?
We are finally there:
A U.S. military statement issued in the Afghan capital, Kabul, said : "Eighteen people, including crew members and passengers, were listed on the flight manifest; two remain unaccounted for," the statement said. [UPI]It was a long way from 2 killed --to 18 killed.
But the math was much easier than they made it look:
1. Nobody could have survived that crash (as photos of the scene show).
2. There were 18 on the manifest.
So at a minimum, the media should have been reporting:
"Up to 18 Feared Dead in Afghan Copter Crash."
Instead we got this farce of trickled casualties.: Total Dead:
And you never realized that the United States is the only superpower which fights with invisible soldiers.
When they're dead, that is.