The latest pundit to attack the Lancet study is somebody called John Lott. He writes:
I haven’t spent a lot of time going through the methodology used in this survey by Lancet, but I don’t know how one could assume that those surveyed couldn’t have lied to create a false impression. After all, some do have a strong political motive.
Well, unlike surveys of defensive guns use, where the people questioned can make anything up that they liked, the researchers tried to verify the deaths with death certificates and were successful in 81% of the times that they asked.
There is also the question of the comparability of the before and after war fatality rates. Andrew Bolt has a very extensive and interesting critique of the Lancet paper:
As I explained earlier, Bolt’s article contains some basic statistical errors. But Lott seems to be endorsing it. What does that say about Lott’s knowledge of statistics?
Lott also links to this New York Times article, claiming
If the New York Times critiques you (even with caveats) from the right, you know that you are in trouble
Which is pretty weird, since the article defends the Lancet study:
Other critics referred to the findings of the Iraq Body Count project, which has constructed a database of war-related civilian deaths from verified news media reports or official sources like hospitals and morgues.
That database recently placed civilian deaths somewhere between 14,429 and 16,579, the range arising largely from uncertainty about whether some victims were civilians or insurgents. But because of its stringent conditions for including deaths in the database, the project has quite explicitly said, “Our own total is certain to be an underestimate.”