Iraq Body Count project
Iraq Body Count project (IBC) is a web-based effort to record civilian deaths resulting from the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. Included are deaths attributable to coalition and insurgent military action, sectarian violence and criminal violence, which refers to excess civilian deaths caused by criminal action resulting from the breakdown in law and order which followed the coalition invasion. As of December 2012, the IBC has recorded 110,937-121,227 civilian deaths. The IBC has a media-centered approach to counting and documenting the deaths. Other sources have provided differing estimates of deaths, some much higher. See Casualties of the Iraq War.
The project uses reports from English-language news media (including Arabic media translated into English), NGO-based reports, and official records that have been released into the public sphere to compile a running total. On its database page the IBC states: "Gaps in recording and reporting suggest that even our highest totals to date may be missing many civilian deaths from violence." The group is staffed by volunteers consisting mainly of academics and activists based in the UK and the US. The project was founded by John Sloboda and Hamit Dardagan.
According to Jonathan Steele, writing in The Guardian, IBC "is widely considered as the most reliable database of Iraqi civilian deaths". But some researchers regard it at best as a floor, or baseline for mortality, and that it underestimates actual mortality by potentially several factors.
- 1 Project statement
- 2 Method
- 3 Sources
- 4 Web counters
- 5 Body count
- 6 2006
- 7 March 2003 to March 2005 report
- 8 Iraq War Logs
- 9 Academic publications
- 10 Criticisms and counter-criticisms
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The IBC overview page states:
- "This is an ongoing human security project which maintains and updates the world’s only independent and comprehensive public database of media-reported civilian deaths in Iraq that have resulted from the 2003 military intervention by the USA and its allies. The count includes civilian deaths caused by coalition military action and by military or paramilitary responses to the coalition presence (e.g. insurgent and terrorist attacks). It also includes excess civilian deaths caused by criminal action resulting from the breakdown in law and order which followed the coalition invasion."
The project quotes the top US general in Iraq, Tommy Franks, as saying "We don't do body counts ". The quotation was from a discussion of the Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan and was referring to counts of enemy soldiers killed, in the context of using enemy body counts as a measure of military success. The website, which omits the context of the quote, could be said to conflate the meaning of "enemy body count" with "civilian deaths caused" and to imply that the US is not interested in the number of civilian deaths its military operations cause.
Biographical information of group members is shown on the group's website.
The IBC overview page states: "Deaths in the database are derived from a comprehensive survey of commercial media and NGO-based reports, along with official records that have been released into the public sphere. Reports range from specific, incident based accounts to figures from hospitals, morgues, and other documentary data-gathering agencies."
Project volunteers sample news stories to extract minimum and maximum numbers of civilian casualties. Each incident reported at least by two independent news sources is included in the Iraq Body Count database. In December 2007, IBC announced that they would begin to include deaths reported by one source, and that they number of deaths provided by such reports would be openly tracked on its database page. Between 3.3 and 3.5 percent of deaths recorded by IBC are currently listed on the database page as derived from a single source.
IBC is purely a civilian count. IBC defines civilian to exclude Iraqi soldiers, insurgents, suicide bombers or any others directly engaged in war-related violence. A "min" and "max" figure are used where reports differ on the numbers killed, or where the civilian status of the dead is uncertain.
IBC is not an "estimate" of total civilian deaths based on projections or other forms of extrapolation. It is a compilation of documented deaths, as reported by English-language media worldwide. See the sources section farther down for more info on the media and their sources.
Some[who?] have suggested bias of sources could affect the count. If a number is quoted from a anti-coalition source, and the Allies fail to give a sufficiently specific alternate number, the anti-coalition figure is entered into IBC's database as both a maximum and a minimum. The same works vice versa. The project argues that these potential over- and undercounts by different media sources would tend to balance out.
IBC's online database shows the newspaper, magazine or website where each number is reported, and the date on which it was reported. However, this has been criticized as insufficient because it typically does not list the original sources for the information: that is, the NGO, journalist or government responsible for the number presented. Hence, any inherent bias due to the lack of reliable reports from independent or Allied sources is not readily available to the reader.
The IBC overview page states: "Our sources include public domain newsgathering agencies with web access. A list of some core sources is given below. ... For a source to be considered acceptable to this project it must comply with the following standards: (1) site updated at least daily; (2) all stories separately archived on the site, with a unique URL (see Note 1 below); (3) source widely cited or referenced by other sources; (4) English Language site; (5) fully public (preferably free) web-access. ... Note 1. Some sites remove items after a given time period, change their URLs, or place them in archives with inadequate search engines. For this reason it is project policy that URLs of sources are NOT published on the iraqbodycount site."
Primary sources used by the media are listed in the 2003 to 2005 IBC report. The sources are followed by the number of deaths reported from that source.
- Mortuaries. 8,913
- Medics. 4,846
- Iraqi officials. 4,376
- Eyewitnesses. 3,794
- Police. 3,588
- Relatives. 2,780
- US-Coalition. 2,423
- Journalists. 1,976
- NGOs. 732
- Friends/Associates. 596
- Other. 196
The IBC overview page states: "Results and totals are continually updated and made immediately available here and on various IBC web counters which may be freely displayed on any website or homepage, where they are automatically updated without further intervention."
Deaths in the Iraq war:
|9 April 2003||996||1,174|
|10 August 2003||6,087||7,798|
|25 April 2004||8,918||10,769|
|12 September 2004||11,797||13,806|
|12 March 2005||16,231||18,510|
|6 December 2005||27,354||30,863|
|28 June 2006||38,725||43,140|
|2 October 2006||43,546||48,343|
|1 March 2007||57,482||63,421|
|5 August 2007||68,347||74,753|
|2 May 2008||83,336||90,897|
|24 October 2010||98,585||107,594|
|12 January 2012||104,594||114,260|
The figures above are those that appeared in real time on the IBC counters on or around those dates. However, those in the first line were increased radically in the following days and weeks. IBC's current Max figure for the entire invasion phase, up to 30 April 2003, now stands at 7,299. Because IBC performs analyses (e.g., accounts for multiple reports, eliminates overlaps, etc.), there is always a delay between the date on which incidents occur and the addition of their numbers to the IBC database. Another factor is that some reports emerge weeks or even months later - for instance the emergence of Baghdad city morgue reports for 2005 in early 2006. The 6 December line above was taken from the IBC total as it stood on 6 December 2005, but the emergence of the morgue figures later increased IBC's figures for that period to 31,818 - 35,747. The majority of civilians death from 2003 to 2011 were attributed to unknown actors.
The Iraq Body Count project states for the week ending 31 December 2006: "It was a truly violent year, as around 24,000 civilians lost their lives in Iraq. This was a massive rise in violence: 14,000 had been killed in 2005, 10,500 in 2004 and just under 12,000 in 2003 (7,000 of them killed during the actual war, while only 5,000 killed during the ‘peace’ that followed in May 2003). In December 2006 alone around 2,800 civilians were reported killed. This week there were over 560 civilian deaths reported."
From the above quote here are IBC yearly death totals (not counting the initial 7000 invasion deaths):
- 2003: 5,000
- 2004: 10,500
- 2005: 14,000
- 2006: 24,000
March 2003 to March 2005 report
The IBC released a report detailing the civilian deaths it had recorded between 20 March 2003 and 19 March 2005. From page 26: "The analyses in this dossier cover the first two years of the military intervention in Iraq from 20 March 2003 to 19 March 2005, and are based on data which was available by 14 June 2005."
The report says the US and its allies were responsible for the largest share (37%) of the 24,865 deaths. The remaining deaths were attributed to anti-occupation forces (9%), crime (36%), and unknown agents (11%).
Who did the killing?
- 37%. US-led forces killed 37% of civilian victims.
- 9%. Anti-occupation forces/insurgents killed 9% of civilian victims.
- 36%. Post-invasion criminal violence accounted for 36% of all deaths.
- 11%. Unknown agents (11%).
- Killings by anti-occupation forces, crime and unknown agents have shown a steady rise over the entire period.
Who was killed?
- 24,865 civilians were reported killed in the first two years.
- Men accounted for over 80% of all civilian deaths.
- Baghdad alone recorded almost half of all deaths.
When did they die?
- 30% of civilian deaths occurred during the invasion phase before 1 May 2003.
- Post-invasion, the number of civilians killed was almost twice as high in year two (11,351) as in year one (6,215).
What was the most lethal weaponry?
- Over half (53%) of all civilian deaths involved explosive devices.
- Air strikes caused most (64%) of the explosives deaths.
- Children were disproportionately affected by all explosive devices but most severely by air strikes and unexploded ordnance (including cluster bomblets).
How many were injured?
- At least 42,500 civilians were reported wounded.
- The invasion phase caused 41% of all reported injuries.
- Explosive weaponry caused a higher ratio of injuries to deaths than small arms.
- The highest wounded-to-death ratio incidents occurred during the invasion phase.
Iraq War Logs
In October 2010, the group WikiLeaks released the Iraq War Logs, a set of nearly 400,000 classified US military documents on the Iraq war. IBC was among several media organizations and NGO's given pre-release access to the documents, and IBC co-founder John Sloboda delivered a speech at the press conference for the release by WikiLeaks.
IBC published three pieces on their website detailing their analysis of the war logs. Among the main findings were that the war logs, "contain an estimated 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths," and that addition of the new material would suggest that, "over 150,000 violent deaths have been recorded since March 2003, with more than 122,000 (80%) of them civilian."
Between 2009 and 2011, IBC published three papers in peer reviewed academic journals, co-authored with researchers from King’s College London and Royal Holloway, University of London. Each paper uses IBC data to evaluate different aspects of civilian casualties during the war.
The first paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April, 2009, analyses civilian deaths between 2003 and 2008 according to weapon types used. Among the findings were that, "execution after abduction or capture was the single most common form of death overall," and that, "events involving air attacks and mortar fire were the most dangerous" to Iraqi females and children.
The second paper, published in PLoS Medicine in February, 2011, analyses civilian deaths between 2003 and 2008 according to perpetrator, weapon, time, and location. The paper found that most deaths during the period were, "inflicted by unknown perpetrators, primarily through extrajudicial executions." The paper also utilized what the authors refer to as the "Dirty War Index" which evaluates the behavior of different perpetrators or weapon types in terms of the proportion of women and children killed, with higher DWI ratios suggesting tactics or weapons that are more indiscriminate toward civilians. The study found that unknown perpetrators firing mortars had the highest DWI ratio, followed by Coalition Forces air attacks, leading the authors to advise that such weapons should not be used in populated areas.
The third paper, published in September, 2011, in a special edition of The Lancet for the 10 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks of 2001, focused on casualties of both civilians and Coalition soldiers specifically by suicide bomb attacks in Iraq between 2003 and 2010. This paper found that there had been at least 12,284 Iraqi civilians and 200 Coalition soldiers killed in at least 1,003 suicide bombings during the period. The study also found that these bombings had "injured no fewer than 30,644 Iraqi civilians," and that, "children are less likely to survive their suicide bomb injuries than adults."
Criticisms and counter-criticisms
The IBC has been the most often cited source on civilian deaths in Iraq, but it has also received criticism from many sides. Some critics have focused on potential bias of sources. Others have raised concerns about the difficulty of distinguishing civilians from combatants. Others have criticized it for over or undercounting.
Some critics, often on the political right, claimed that the IBC numbers were an overcount, and that the numbers were suspect due to the antiwar bias of the IBC members. For example; the 26 July 2005 National Review article, "Bad Counts. An unquestioning media."
Others, often on the political left, criticized media and government willingness to quote IBC figures more approvingly than the much higher estimate coming from the Lancet study that came out in October 2004.
In a 27 January 2005 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education Lila Guterman wrote:
- "The Lancet released the paper on October 29, the Friday before the election, when many reporters were busy with political coverage. That day, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune each dedicated only about 400 words to the study and placed the articles inside their front sections, on Pages A4 and A11, respectively. (The news media in Europe gave the study much more play; many newspapers put articles about it on their front pages.) In a short article about the study on Page A8, The New York Times noted that the Iraq Body Count, a project to tally civilian deaths reported in the news media, had put the maximum death toll at around 17,000. The new study, the article said, 'is certain to generate intense controversy.' But the Times has not published any further news articles about the paper."
In late 2005 and early 2006 some on the left began criticizing IBC itself. This criticism of IBC came mainly from the British website Media Lens which published four pieces on what they saw as the "massive bias and gaps" reflected in the IBC database and their totals. David Edwards of Media Lens also wrote for other websites.
This view of IBC was based on the belief that IBC figures are extremely low due to pro-US media bias and inadequate reporting due to its heavy (though not exclusive) reliance on Western media sources, which has led some of these critics to claim IBC should be called the "Iraq Western Media Body Count". These biases and inadequacies, they claim, mean IBC's count is low by up to a factor of 10, and that it specifically minimizes the proportion of deaths caused by US forces.
Media Lens, 26 January 2006 states: "First, the dramatic absence of examples of mass killing by US-UK forces suggests that the low IBC toll of civilian deaths in comparison with other studies is partly explained by the fact that examples of US-UK killing are simply not being reported by the media or recorded by IBC. Visitors to the site - directed there by countless references in the same media that have acted as sources - are being given a very one-sided picture of who is doing the killing."
Stephen Soldz wrote a 5 February 2006 article titled "When Promoting Truth Obscures the Truth: More on Iraqi Body Count and Iraqi Deaths". It stated: "Of course, in conditions of active rebellion, the safer areas accessible to Western reporters are likely to be those under US/Coalition control, where deaths are, in turn, likely to be due to insurgent attacks. Areas of insurgent control, which are likely to be subject to US and Iraqi government attack, for example most of Anbar province, are simply off-limits to these reporters. Thus, the realities of reporting imply that reporters will be witness to a larger fraction of deaths due to insurgents and a lesser proportion of deaths due to US and Iraqi government forces."
A further claim has been that IBC does little or nothing to correct misuse of their figures by public officials or media organizations. It is claimed that the media often misuse IBC's estimate of the total number dead. It is also claimed that the media use the IBC's estimate in order to ignore or downplay the October 2004 excess mortality study published in the Lancet Medical Journal, which estimated a far higher figure. Critics of IBC argue that the Lancet study is the most accurate estimate so far and is more reliable than IBC's estimate.
The 26 January 2006 Media Lens article stated: "We accept that the IBC editors are sincere and well-intentioned. We accept, also, that they have often made clear that their figures are likely to be an underestimate. But we believe they could have done much more to challenge the cynical exploitation of their figures by journalists and politicians. And they could have done much more to warn visitors to their site of the number and type of gaps in their database."
In April 2006 IBC published a lengthy response to their critics entitled "Speculation is no substitute: a defence of Iraq Body Count". In their reply, IBC argues that their critics have several key facts wrong. IBC argues that while their estimate is likely to be below the full toll, their critics' errors have led the critics to exaggerate the likely extent of such an undercount. Finally, IBC argues, the available evidence does not support their critics' claims of a pro-US bias infecting the IBC database.
English-language versus Arabic-language media sources
The IBC report for March 2003 to March 2005 states: "We have not made use of Arabic or other non English language sources, except where these have been published in English. The reasons are pragmatic. We consider fluency in the language of the published report to be a key requirement for accurate analysis, and English is the only language in which all team members are fluent. It is possible that our count has excluded some victims as a result."
Independent journalist Dahr Jamail spent over eight months reporting from occupied Iraq. In a 15 January 2006 email quoted in a 26 January 2006 Media Lens article he wrote: "Due to their [IBC] sources and lack of adequate Arab media in them (who do a much better job of reporting Iraqi civilian casualty counts), it is heavily biased towards western outlets which have from the beginning done a dismal (at best) job of reporting on the air war and consequent civ. casualties."
Stephen Soldz, who runs the website "Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report", writes in a 5 February 2006 ZNet article (in reference to the 2003-2005 IBC report): "Given, as indicated in that report, that ten media outlets provided over half the IBC reports and three agencies [Associated Press, Agence France Presse, and Reuters] provided over a third of the reports, there is simply no reason to believe that even a large fraction of Iraqi civilian combat-related deaths are ever reported in the Western media, much less, have the two independent reports necessary to be recorded in the IBC database. Do these few agencies really have enough Iraqi reporters on retainer to cover the country? Are these reporters really able comprehensively to cover deaths in insurgent-held parts of Iraq? How likely is it that two reporters from distinct media outlets are going to be present at a given site where deaths occur? How many of the thousands of US bombings have been investigated by any reporter, Western or Iraqi? Simply to state these questions is to emphasize the fragmentary nature of the reporting that occurs and thus the limitations of the IBC database."
In an 28 April 2006 BBC Newsnight interview the IBC project's co-founder John Sloboda, in response to these and similar arguments, has said: "we have never had over the entire three years, anyone show us an Arabic source that reports deaths that we haven't already got. In three years. In thousands of incidents. There are organisations that translate Arabic reports into English, and we see their data."
IBC monitors many Arabic sources that either publish in English as well as Arabic, or are translated by other sources. Some of these include:
Al Arabiya TV, Al-Furat, Al-Ittihad, Al Jazeera (Web), Al Jazeera TV, Al Sharqiyah TV, Al-Taakhi, Al-Bawaba, Arab News, Arabic News, Asharq Al Awsat, As-Sabah, Arab Times, Bahrain News Agency, Bahrain Times.
The IBC acknowledges on its website that its count is bound to be low due to limitations in reporting stating; "many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media. That is the sad nature of war." IBC's critics claim, though, that the IBC does not do enough to indicate what they believe is the full extent of the undercounting. IBC has directly disputed these claims in a lengthy document on its website, in particular concentrating on what they see as a campaign against them from Media Lens among others.
One criticism of IBC's method, from MIT's John Tirman, a Principal Research Scientist, is that the "surveillance instrument" - the news media - is changing all the time: media organizations add or (more likely) subtract reporters from the field, which was happening in Iraq; reporters were largely confined to Baghdad during the worst violence; and reporters tended to write about spectacular events, like car bombs, when much of the violence was in the form of revenge killings throughout Iraq. "As a result, this technique of totaling up the dead is incapable of accounting for the deaths that were not being recorded, whether by the English-language news media or the chaotic health care system." IBC itself radically changed its method in the middle of the war, switching from two references to one reference in the news media.
The October 2006 Lancet study states: "Aside from Bosnia, we can find no conflict situation where passive surveillance recorded more than 20% of the deaths measured by population-based methods."
In an April 2006 article the IBC had described an example comparing itself to the 2004 United Nations Development Programme Iraq Living Conditions Survey (ILCS). The Lancet report uses the population estimates drawn from the ILCS study, while not mentioning its estimate of war-related deaths. IBC contends that ILCS is a more reliable indicator of violent deaths than the Lancet study, and suggests a much lower number than the Lancet study.
However, a supplement to the Lancet study published separately by its authors, as well as subsequent interviews with one of Lancet's authors have disputed the methodology and results of the ILCS study. On the other hand Jon Pedersen, author of the ILCS study, has disputed the methodology and results of the Lancet study. For more info on this controversy see the sections titled "Criticisms" and "UNDP ILCS study compared to Lancet study" in Lancet surveys of Iraq War casualties.
The 2006 Lancet study also states: "In several outbreaks, disease and death recorded by facility-based methods underestimated events by a factor of ten or more when compared with population-based estimates. Between 1960 and 1990, newspaper accounts of political deaths in Guatemala correctly reported over 50% of deaths in years of low violence but less than 5% in years of highest violence."
The Lancet reference used is to Patrick Ball, Paul Kobrak, and Herbert F. Spirer and their 1999 book, State Violence in Guatemala, 1960-1996: A Quantitative Reflection. From the introduction: "The CIIDH database consists of cases culled from direct testimonies and documentary and press sources."
Chapter 10 elaborates, saying that "In the CIIDH project, participating popular organizations collected many of the testimonies long after the time of the killings, when people were less clear about details, especially the identities of all the victims." And says, "Typically, during the collection of testimonies, a surviving witness might provide the names of one or two victims, perhaps close relatives, while estimating the number of other neighbors in the community without giving their names."
They report in chapter 7:
- "Figure 7.1 shows that in the CIIDH database, most of the information for human rights violations prior to 1977 comes from press sources. ... Approximately 10,890 cases were coded from the newspapers. Sixty-three percent of the press cases were taken from Prensa Libre, 10 percent from El Gráfico, 8 percent from La Hora and El Impacto respectively, and 6 percent from El Imparcial. The remaining 5 percent is made up by eight other newspapers."
But also in chapter 7 they reported that in later, more violent years:
- "When the level of violence increased dramatically in the late 1970s and early 1980s, numbers of reported violations in the press stayed very low. In 1981, one of the worst years of state violence, the numbers fall towards zero. The press reported almost none of the rural violence."
There is a list of figures, tables, and charts in the book that can be used to calculate what percentage of their cases of killings by state forces were reported by 13 Guatemalan newspapers for each year when compared to the testimonies of witnesses (as previously described from chapter 10).
In a 7 November 2004 press release concerning the October 2004 Lancet study the IBC states: "We have always been quite explicit that our own total is certain to be an underestimate of the true position, because of gaps in reporting or recording".
One of the sources used by the media are morgues. Only the central Baghdad area morgue has released figures consistently. While that is the largest morgue in Iraq and in what is often claimed to be the most consistently violent area, the absence of comprehensive morgue figures elsewhere leads to undercounting. IBC makes it clear that, due to these issues, its count will almost certainly be below the full toll in its 'Quick FAQ' on its homepage.
Quote from an IBC note: "The Iraq Body Count (IBC) estimate for x350, like that for x334, was made possible by examination of the detailed data supplied to the Associated Press (AP) by the morgues surveyed in AP's 23 May 2004 survey of Iraqi morgues."
That 23 May 2004 Associated Press article points out the lack of morgue data from many areas of Iraq. Also, it states: "The [Baghdad] figure does not include most people killed in big terrorist bombings, Hassan said. The cause of death in such cases is obvious so bodies are usually not taken to the morgue, but given directly to victims' families. Also, the bodies of killed fighters from groups like the al-Mahdi Army are rarely taken to morgues."
- Casualties of the Iraq War. An overview of many casualty estimates.
- Iraq War. Infobox there has the most up-to-date casualty figures.
- Lancet surveys of Iraq War casualties
- ORB survey of Iraq War casualties
- Iraq Family Health Survey
- "Iraq Body Count. Background and overview.".
- "IBC Methods: Overview".
- "IBC database page".
- Steele, Jonathan (27 August 2010). "Chilcot inquiry accused of fixating on west and ignoring real victims". The Guardian (London).
- John Tirman, The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America's Wars (Oxford University Press, 2011), esp. Chapter 10; Neta Crawford, "Assessing the Human Toll of the Post-9/11 Wars: The Dead and Wounded in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, 2001-2011," Cost of War project, 13 June 2011, http://costsofwar.org/sites/default/files/articles/13/attachments/Crawford%20Assessing%20The%20Human%20Toll%20.pdf; Christine Tapp, Frederick M. Burkle, Jr., Kumanan Wilson, Tim Takaro, Gordon H. Guyatt, Hani Amad, and Edward J. Mills, "Iraq War Mortality Estimates: A Systematic Review," Confl ict and Health , vol. 2, no. 1 (7 March 2008): 9–10, http://www.confl ictandhealth.com/content/pdf/1752–1505–2-1.pdf
- Methods. Iraq Body Count. Overview.
- http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/reference/announcements/3/ "IBC begins to include credible single-sourced reports"
- "A Week in Iraq - Iraq Body Count". Week ending 31 December 2006.
- "A Week in Iraq - Iraq Body Count". Archive of Previous Weeks in Iraq.[dead link]
- Iraq Body Count. PDF (650 KiB). Report covers from 20 March 2003 to 19 March 2005, based on data available by 14 June 2005.
- "WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs press conference" 23 October 2010.
- "Iraq War Logs: What the numbers reveal" 23 October 2010.
- "Iraq War Logs: The truth is in the details" 23 October 2010.
- "Iraq War Logs: Context" 23 October 2010.
- Iraq Body Count, 16 April 2009 "The Weapons That Kill Civilians — Deaths of Children and Noncombatants in Iraq, 2003–2008 - Press Release"
- Iraq Body Count, 16 February 2011 "New study: Analysis by perpetrator, weapon, time, and location (2003-2008)"
- Iraq Body Count, 3 September 2011 "Casualties of suicide bombings in Iraq, 2003-2010"
- Media Lens. 25 January 2006. "Paved with good intentions - Iraq Body Count - Part 1".
- "Bad Counts. An unquestioning media", National Review, 26 July 2005
- PDF (263 KiB). By Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, and Gilbert Burnham. The Lancet, 29 October 2004. (hosted by zmag.org).
- "Researchers Who Rushed Into Print a Study of Iraqi Civilian Deaths Now Wonder Why It Was Ignored". By Lila Guterman. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 27 January 2005.
- "Dead Iraqis. Why an Estimate was Ignored". By Lila Guterman, Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 2005.
- "How Many Iraqis Have Died Since the US Invasion in 2003?". By Andrew Cockburn. CounterPunch. 9 January 2006.
- "Bringing Out the Dead". By George Monbiot. The Guardian. 8 November 2005
- Media Lens, 26 January 2006. "Paved with good intentions - Iraq Body Count - Part 2".
- Media Lens. 14 March 2006. "Iraq Body Count refuses to respond".
- Media Lens. 10 April 2006. "Iraq Body Count. A shame becoming shameful".
- David Edwards. ZNet. 14 March 2006. "Iraq Body Count Refuses to Respond".
- Stephen Soldz. "When Promoting Truth Obscures the Truth: More on Iraqi Body Count and Iraqi Deaths". ZNet, 5 February 2006.
- Dahr Jamail and Jeff Pflueger. 13 April 2006. "Learning to Count: the Dead in Iraq"
- Iraq Body Count. April 2006. "Speculation is no substitute: a defence of Iraq Body Count". By Hamit Dardagan, John Sloboda & Josh Dougherty. A rebuttal to the critiques by Media Lens, Stephen Soldz, Dahr Jamail, etc.
- "Interview transcript - John Sloboda". BBC Newsnight. 28 April 2006.
- http://www.iraqbodycount.org/sources.php "IBC sources"
- Tirman, op. cit.: 333.
- 2006 Lancet study. PDF (242 KB). By Gilbert Burnham, Riyadh Lafta, Shannon Doocy, and Les Roberts. The Lancet, 11 October 2006
- PDF (603 KB). By Gilbert Burnham, Shannon Doocy, Elizabeth Dzeng, Riyadh Lafta, and Les Roberts. A supplement to the October 2006 Lancet study. It is also found here:  
- Iraq Body Count. April 2006. "Legitimate comparisons between studies and the strength of ILCS".
- Iraq Body Count, April 2006 "IBC Compared to ILCS"
- State Violence in Guatemala, 1960-1996: A Quantitative Reflection.. 1999 book by Patrick Ball, Paul Kobrak, and Herbert F. Spirer.
- "Chapter 10: Naming the Victims" 1999 book by Patrick Ball, Paul Kobrak, and Herbert F. Spirer.
- "Chapter 7: Reporting the Violence". 1999 book by Patrick Ball, Paul Kobrak, and Herbert F. Spirer.
- "List of figures". From 1999 book. By Patrick Ball, Paul Kobrak, and Herbert F. Spirer.
- Iraq Body Count. 7 November 2004 press release. "IBC response to the Lancet study estimating '100,000' Iraqi deaths".
- Iraq Body Count
- "5,500 Iraqis Killed, Morgue Records Show". By Daniel Cooney. Associated Press. 23 May 2004. Article is here also.
- Official website
- Iraq 2013 Casualty Overview
- Roberts, Les (14 February 2006). "Do Iraqi Civilian Casualties Matter?". AlterNet.
- Sloboda, John; Hamit Dardagan (February 2006). "On the Iraq Body Count project". Iraq Body Count project.
- UNDP Iraq Living Conditions Survey