1. Entertainment

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_military_deaths.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

U.S. Military Deaths Since 1980

Netlore Archive: Email flier purports to demonstrate that there were more U.S. military casualties under the Bill Clinton administration than there have been during the Iraq War under George W. Bush

Description: Email flier
Circulating since: Nov. 2007
Status: Mostly false


Email example contributed by Chris L., Jan. 25, 2008:

Subject: MILITARY DEATHS FOR TWENTY YEARS---

Bet you didn't know the following! I surely did not..

Military losses for 20 years

These are some rather eye-opening facts: Since the start of the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, the sacrifice has been enormous. In the time period from the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 through now, we have lost over 3000 military personnel to enemy action and accidents. As tragic as the loss of any member of the US Armed Forces is, consider the following statistics: The annual fatalities of military members while actively serving in the armed forces from 1980 through 2006:

>> 1980 ......... 2,392
>> 1981 ......... 2,380
>> 1984 ......... 1,999
>> 1988 ......... 1,819
>> 1989 ......... 1,636
>> 1990 ......... 1,508
>> 1991 ......... 1,787
>> 1992 ......... 1,293 ---------------------------
>> 1993 ......... 1,213
>> 1994 ......... 1,075
>> 1995 ......... 2,465
>> 1996 ......... 2,318 Clinton years @13,417 deaths
>> 1997 .........   817
>> 1998 ......... 2,252
>> 1999 ......... 1,984 ---------------------------
>> 2000 ......... 1,983
>> 2001 .........   890
>> 2002 ......... 1,007 7 BUSH years @9,016 deaths
>> 2003 ......... 1,410
>> 2004 ......... 1,887
>> 2005 .........   919
>> 2006 .........   920 ---------------------------

If you are confused when you look at these figures... so was I.

Do these figures mean that the loss from the two latest conflicts in the Middle East are LESS than the loss of military personnel during Mr. Clinton 's presidency; when America wasn't even involved in a war? And, I was even more confused; when I read that in 1980, during the reign of President (Nobel Peace Prize) Jimmy Carter, there were 2,392 US military fatalities!

These figures indicate that many of our Media & Politicians will pick and choose. They present only those 'facts' which support their agenda-driven reporting. Why do so many of them march in lock-step to twist the truth. Where do so many of them get their marching-orders for their agenda?

Our Mainstream Print and TV media, and many Politicians like to slant; that these brave men and women, who are losing their lives in Iraq, are mostly minorities! Wrong AGAIN--- just one more media lie! The latest census, of Americans, shows the following distribution of American citizens, by Race:

>> European descent (White) ....... 69.12%
>> Hispanic ....................... 12.5%
>> Black .......................... 12.3%
>> Asian ........................... 3.7%
>> Native American ................. 1.0%
>> Other ........................... 2.6%

Now... here are the fatalities by Race; over the past three years in Iraqi Freedom:

>> European descent (white) ....... 74.31%
>> Hispanic ....................... 10.74%
>> Black ........................... 9.67%
>> Asian ........................... 1.81%
>> Native American ................. 1.9%
>> Other ............................ .33%

You do the Math! These figures don't lie... but, Media-liars figure... and they sway public opinion! (These statistics are published by Congressional Research Service, and they may be confirmed by anyone at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32492.pdf )

Now ask yourself these two questions:

'Why does the mainstream Print and TV Media never print statistics like these?' and 'Why do the mainstream media hate the web as much as they do?'


Comments: The claim that there were more U.S. military fatalities during the Bill Clinton administration than there have been to date under George W. Bush is false. Moreover, that erroneous conclusion was based on falsified statistics.

Using the actual figures from the Congressional Research Service report cited above, the total military deaths under each of the two administrations are as follows:

Bill Clinton (1993 - 2000) ............. 7,500 deaths

George W. Bush (2001 - 2006) .... 8,989 deaths
Of the 7,500 fatalities that occurred on Clinton's watch, only 76 were attributable to hostile action (as compared to 2,596 under Bush); the rest were the result of accidents, homicide, illness, self-inflicted injuries, or unknown causes.

For the record, below are the accurate totals for the past 26 years, including those omitted from the message above (please note that statistics for past years are subject to revision by the U.S. government; the figures below match those provided by the Congressional Research Service as of May 14, 2008):
U.S. Active Duty Military Deaths 1980-2006

1980 .... 2,392
1981 .... 2,380
1982 .... 2,319
1983 .... 2,465
1984 .... 1,999
1985 .... 2,252
1986 .... 1,984
1987 .... 1,983
1988 .... 1,819
1989 .... 1,636
1990 .... 1,507
1991 .... 1,787
1992 .... 1,293
1993 .... 1,213
1994 .... 1,075
1995 .... 1,040
1996 ....... 974
1997 ....... 817
1998 ....... 827
1999 ....... 796
2000 ....... 758
2001 ....... 891
2002 ....... 999
2003 .... 1,410
2004 .... 1,873
2005 .... 1,941
2006 .... 1,875
Note that the erroneous totals in the message were arrived at not only by adding up falsified numbers for each president, but also by specifying incorrect starting and ending dates for their administrations. Bill Clinton was inaugurated on January 20, 1993 and left office on January 20, 2001, the same date George W. Bush was inaugurated. In addition, the correct totals comprise only six years of the Bush administration, not seven as claimed.

While it is true that there were 2,392 military fatalities during the final year of the Jimmy Carter administration, what the message fails to share with us -- and there is no clearer indication of its partisan intent -- is a full accounting of military casualties attributable to the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. Those are as follows:
Ronald Reagan (1981 - 1988) ........ 17,201 deaths

George H. W. Bush (1989 - 1992) .... 6,223 deaths
Racial demographics

The portion of the message covering the racial demographics of military casualties over the past few years is accurate enough to stand. Based on the CRS raw numbers for 2003 to 2007, I calculated the following percentages:
White .................... 75.07%
Hispanic ................ 10.57%
Black ....................... 9.19%
Asian ....................... 1.88%
Native American ...... 1.05%
Other ...................... 2.24%
These figures correspond closely enough to the ethnic composition of the general population (cf. 2000 census) to validate the claim that minorities have not suffered disproportionate military casualties during the specified period of time.


Email This Article


Sources and further reading:

American War & Military Operations Casualties
Congressional Research Service, Updated May 14, 2008

Population of the United States by Race and Hispanic/Latino Origin
Information Please Database, 2007


Last updated: 10/30/08


Current Hoaxes / Netlore
The Urban Legends Top 25

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.