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The high cost of dignitary visits to Iraq, part 1

July 24, 2007 | Death,Dignitary visits,Iraq,Military

I suck at math, so I need some help. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do some figurin’. Here goes.

It takes 200 to 300 troops, two to three days out, to prepare a site for one congressional visit.

Depending on who you ask, that’s a conservative estimate.

More than 400 elected officials have visited Iraq* — most more than once, many several times, one has been there 15 times (so far, anyway) — since the mission was “accomplished” in May 2003.

*The link contains a database put together by Kirsten Korosec and Steven Stanek, who called every office in the House of Representatives. The database is useful even though it’s already out of date — because the visits keep on keepin’ on.

Do you know where your representative is?

My guess? Iraq. Go check the quarterly foreign travel reports at the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Then go see how many U.S. troops died during each visit. If you want to see more than just names and dates, go here.

Do the math. Come back later, and we’ll compare notes.

Posted by Becky @ 4:27 pm  

One Response to “The high cost of dignitary visits to Iraq, part 1”

  1. Alison Says:

    I’m interested in the point you’re trying to make – but you need to somehow calculate the variability. What are the #s on the days when there aren’t visits? That’s the most important equation: the ratio that compares deaths during visits to deaths during no visits. Otherwise, it’s just a number. A sad, awful, shameful number – true. But a number without the comparison isn’t statistically significant.

    It is a strange phenomenon. Why don’t our representatives trust the military experts to inform them about what’s going on in Iraq? What are they trying to gain by gong over there?

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