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Senator Boxer on the U.S. Military Wounded in Iraq

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Barbara Boxer went on FNC with Chris Wallace yesterday, and when she wasn’t incoherent, she was offensive. She attempted to claim that the deaths of 10 Marines in Fallujah and other casualties from California gave her special standing on the issue of the war, and threw in this absolute lie:

BOXER: Well, first of all, what’s happening now, I have to tell you, Chris, that these last 10 Marines ‘” now there were two more since those 10 ‘” all came out of my state in terms of their base there, Twentynine Palms. So 24 percent of the dead have been based or have come from California. And the president failed to mention the 15,000-plus who are so badly scarred and wounded that their lives will really never be the same.

MudvilleGazette has debunked this sort of outrageous claim many times, but rank opportunists of the cut-and-run caucus like Barbara Boxer don’t let facts get in the way of their posturing.

One key excerpt from Mudville’s great post on this subject:

Let’s not deny facts. Nothing can make war less ugly than it is. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the “clearing house” for nearly all military medical evacuees from Iraq and Afghanistan recently treated it’s 25,000th patient from the war on terror. However, a very small percentage of those are combat wounds. Many were evacuated for illnesses. Many are returned to duty after brief inpatient treatment. Statistics for Army hospitals treating Operation Iraqi Freedom casualties can be found here. From March 19, 2003, through May 31, 2005 there were 18,729 total evacuations to Army facilities, broken down for cause as follows:

Wounded in action (WIA): 2,527
Non-battle injuries (NBI): 5,444
Disease: 10,758
The number of amputations may be surprising to those who’ve never seen them reported before.
188 Army soldiers, 28 of whom are multiple amputees
60 Marines, 10 of whom are multiple amputees
4 Navy sailors, no multiple amputees
2 Air Force amputees, 1 of whom is a multiple amputee
Total of 254 service member amputees treated in Army hospitals
The numbers from Afghanistan are smaller:
Wounded in action (WIA): 122
Non-battle injuries (NBI): 408
Disease: 1,046

Total of 28 service member amputees treated in Army hospitals

There is nothing to celebrate in the numbers of injured – but it’s interesting that media references are generally limited to unspecified “higher than expected” numbers of wounded. Others claim “cover-up” of the totals, or report “human interest” stories of individuals most grievously wounded that frequently mention the total number of medical evacuations from Iraq. Here’s one example from 60 Minutes last year.

Each of these wounds is a terrible one, and each of these soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines a hero. Many other wounds are just as serious as those detailed here. And most of these wounded are already fighting back to recovery.

But Boxer is overstating the toll on our troops –blatantly lying– for a political end. It is a disgusting charade, and Wallace and other newsmen should call her and other opportunists on their lies.


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