In July last year, Lott, armed with no evidence at all, claimed that Washington DC had a higher murder rate than Baghdad. Faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Lott stuck to his guns, even demanding that the New York Times “correct” an article and use Lott’s bogus murder rate. The whole discussion is here.
The New York Times has updated its figures:
Rate in Baghdad
per 100,000 (DC rate 43)
The authors also explain how they worked out the murder rate:
Our best estimates on murder rates in Baghdad — a difficult calculation given that many Iraqi families are burying their own dead without notifying the authorities — indicate some improvement, but they are still far higher than in the most crime-ridden American cities. These murder numbers, it’s worth noting, are compiled using data from the Baghdad morgue, a wide array of news accounts and our conversations with American officials in Washington and Iraq. (Despite repeated requests, the Pentagon has not provided us with any figures of its own.)
Interesting. Lott claims he obtained his contradictory figures from the Pentagon.