Patterico's Pontifications


Ceci Jordan

Filed under: Media Bias,Terrorism,War — Dafydd @ 5:17 am

The newest unsupported charge of heinous behavior on the part of American forces doesn’t involve shooting at journalists; Ceci Connolly charged on Monday’s Special Report With Brit Hume that U.S. Soldiers and Marines have committed “close to a hundred” homicides of detainees in various prisons in our gulag.

Britt looked discombobulated; Fred Barnes and Mort Kondrake were incredulous. But Ceci stuck to her guns (so to speak). The following is not an official transcript; but I have a digital video recorder, and this is what she said:


I do think though that one of the problems for the United States is that there have been instances of prisoner abuse. And there have been instances that our own Pentagon and our own FBI have documented in their investigations and reports. At Abu Ghraib, in Afghanistan. There have been many homicides of prisoners —




I believe close to a hundred.


A hundred murders?


Homicides around the world, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, that have come through Pentagon investigations.

Crosstalk – Brit, Fred, Mort

A hundred? Hundred?

Now, I had never heard the claim that our guys had committed a hundred “homicides” in Iraq and Afghanistan before; and clearly that number took Brit Hume and the other two panelists by surprise as well. So I started Googling around, trying to find where she pulled that number from (come on, guys, this is a family blog!), and I think I finally found the source.

There are probably many versions of this list; the one I found was an anti-war web site called Human Rights First. It claimed, in its April 26th story One Year After the Abu Ghraib Torture Photos: U.S. Government Response ‘Grossly Inadequate’, that 108 prisoners had died while in custody; it did not claim that there were a hundred homicides:

Deaths in Custody: 108 People Have Died in U.S. Custody, U.S. Government Acknowledges

  • The U.S. government has acknowledged 28 confirmed or suspected homicides of detainees in U.S. custody. Only one of these homicides occurred at Abu Ghraib.[1]
  • The footnote sent me scurrying to this AP story from March 16th, 2005. In Prisoner Deaths in U.S. Custody, AP reports (by my own count):

  • Twenty-three cases being investigated as homicides; of these, eight cases resulted in charges of murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter (one of the voluntary-manslaughter cases was for “not warning escaping prisoner before shooting him”);
  • Twenty-one justifiable homicides, typically prisoners shot when they attacked guards, during riots, or trying to escape (presumably after being warned that escape was frowned upon);
  • Twenty-two killed by terrorists during attack on Abu Ghraib;
  • Twenty-nine died by accidents or natural causes;
  • Ten other cases of deaths while a prisoner was “in custody,” which in some cases included on the battlefield. No charges filed.
  • Admittedly, I majored in math, not arithmetic; but I still get 105, not 108, when I add up these numbers. Not that large a discrepancy… but in any event, only twenty-three (not twenty-eight) cases can reasonably be called “homicide,” as most people use the term.

    Twenty-eight is a far cry from “close to a hundred,” as Connelly claimed; and even most of those are only suspected homicides — only eight resulted in charges of homicide or murder.

    I can only presume that when she said “homicides,” she actually meant all deaths in custody, whether from possible homicides, from prisoners shot while attacking their guards or escaping, prisoners killed by terrorists or by other prisoners, and even those that died of purely natural causes or from wounds suffered during firefights before they were even in custody.

    Even for Ceci Connolly, referring to all of these deaths as homicides is pretty sharp practice. She appears to have been taking lessons from the master, Eason Jordan. But with Chris Cramer, William Schulz, the entire editorial staff of the Los Angeles Times, and now Ceci Connolly as rapt pupils, Jordan may soon have to join the teachers’ union.

    UPDATE FROM PATTERICO: Via Instapundit, I see other blogs have been on the same trail.

    10 Responses to “Ceci Jordan”

    1. Great catch, thank you — but I believe it’s Ceci Connelly

      dauber (cf27fb)

    2. Thanks, Cori. I have gone back in and fixed the spelling.


      When your spelling is being corrected by Cori Dauber, you know you’re in trouble. [Quick! Somebody put a smiley-face in here somewhere!]

      Plus, Dafydd, I would think you of all people would be sensitive to the importance of correctly spelling an unusual first name. [Another smiley face!!]

      Patterico (756436)

    3. I assume we will not be seenig much of Ms Connely on Fox from now on. Hardball is warming a seat for her next to Chris. She actually made her charge with a straight face and knowing, dower presence. I am glad that the 3 men on the show treated her with pitty reserved for those who mouth senseless charges without backup data or the professionalism to verify facts. The liberal commentator knows that it is the seriousness of the charge not the truth that is important. I bet Ms Connely still thinks she scored a victory for the left.

      Ray Simpson (75a3b5)

    4. “The liberal commentator knows that it is the seriousness of the charge not the truth that is important”

      They also know how many people are exposed to the lie and how few are exposed to the truth. Also, it’s easier to learn than to unlearn. They inoculate their listeners to the truth by injecting them with a lie.

      Amphipolis (fdbc48)

    5. I believe it’s spelled “Connolly.” Anyway that’s how they run it at the Post.

      Great account. Michelle Malkin also had an awesome uberpost today.

      Christopher Rake (f9677b)

    6. Corrected. Thanks.

      Anything else misspelled in the post?

      Patterico (3b77ed)

    7. I was thinking of starting a blog called SpellWatch but my own skills there are shaky…

      Christopher Rake (f9677b)

    8. Sigh.

      The thing is, I did search on the web to see how she spelt her name; alas, the misspellings are so common that they crop up even in reputable sources.

      Sorry about that, Ceci. There… see how easy that was? Now how about a “sorry about that” from you for that little kafuffle on last night’s show?


      P.S. Please, nobody “correct” me that kafuffle is actually spelt kerfuffle; it’s a regional thing. And don’t tell me that spelt is spelt spelled; it’s an elitist Dafydd thing.

      Dafydd (df2f54)

    9. One thing I don’t like about Firefox is that I haven’t found a reliable spellchecker plug-in.

      Then again, I haven’t looked.

      Patterico (756436)

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