Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What's with this headline?

The byline is Bill Nichols, USA Today. Here's the headline: 8,000 desert during Iraq war.

Now here's the first part of the story (emphasis added):

At least 8,000 members of the all-volunteer U.S. military have deserted since the Iraq war began, Pentagon records show, although the overall desertion rate has plunged since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

Since fall 2003, 4,387 Army soldiers, 3,454 Navy sailors and 82 Air Force personnel have deserted. The Marine Corps does not track the number of desertions each year but listed 1,455 Marines in desertion status last September, the end of fiscal 2005, says Capt. Jay Delarosa, a Marine Corps spokesman.


Some lawyers who represent deserters say the war in Iraq is driving more soldiers to question their service and that the Pentagon is cracking down on deserters.
But later in the same story:

Desertion numbers have dropped since 9/11. The Army, Navy and Air Force reported 7,978 desertions in 2001, compared with 3,456 in 2005. The Marine Corps showed 1,603 Marines in desertion status in 2001. That had declined by 148 in 2005.


Desertions in 2005 represent 0.24% of the 1.4 million U.S. forces.

Opposition to the war prompts a small fraction of desertions, says Army spokeswoman Maj. Elizabeth Robbins. "People always desert, and most do it because they don't adapt well to the military," she says. The vast majority of desertions happen inside the USA, Robbins says. There is only one known case of desertion in Iraq.
Uh huh. Am I the only one who detects an odd pattern of fact emergence in that story? Especially compared to the headline?