Lancet correction published

As promised, the Lancet has published a correction to the 2nd Lancet study:

Burnham G, Lafta R, Doocy S, Roberts L. Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey. Lancet 2006; 368: 1421–28–The Methods section of this Article (Oct 21, 2006) stated that “Participants were assured that no unique identifiers would be gathered.” Upon review, it was determined that a significant number of the surveys contained names of respondents and household inhabitants. This was a lapse in the authors’ obligations to protect participants. However, to the authors’ knowledge, the completed surveys remained in possession of the research team at all times and there were no known breaches in confidentiality.

Comments

  1. #1 pough
    March 6, 2009

    Forward slash, Tim.

  2. #2 Dano
    March 6, 2009

    Surely the ideologues will trumpet this as proof-PROOF!! that there were fewer deaths in Eye-rack than reported, and probably the lack of coverage about the showering the troops with rose petals is related.

    Best,

    D

  3. #3 David Kane
    March 6, 2009

    No correction to the (inaccurate) description of the sampling scheme? That seems weak. If you are going to publish a correction, you might as well correct all the mistakes.

  4. #4 sod
    March 6, 2009

    David, why not “man up”, and go first?

    where is your “complete corrections” of all the David Kane errors?

    patiently waiting for the link,

    sod

  5. #5 dhogaza
    March 6, 2009

    I knew Kane would provide us with instant gratification of our need for humor …

  6. #6 David Kane
    March 6, 2009

    sod,

    1) The first step in manning up is to provide people with your real name. I suspect that yours is not “sod.”

    2) I have certainly made many mistakes the course of my investigations of the Lancet work. But I also believe that I have corrected every single one of them either in various discussion threads or, more completely, at my blog. If you are aware of a single error that I have not corrected, please point it out and I will do so.

    3) Why the hate? I realize that there are issues on we might all disagree, but isn’t it universally accepted that the sampling description provided in the paper was wrong? (Some background here. The Lancet authors claim, not implausibly that the mistake arose from space constraints and awkward editing. Fair enough. And it is even plausible to believe that such a mistake does not, on its own, merit a correction. But, once you have to send a correction anyway, why not correct the other mistakes?

  7. #7 Raymond
    March 6, 2009

    Kane says: “But, once you have to send a correction anyway, why not correct the other mistakes?”

    This probably wouldn’t be very feasible David. If they were to really correct all the mistakes there’d hardly be any paper left:
    http://personal.rhul.ac.uk/uhte/014/Ethics%20and%20Data%20Integrity_8_09_08.pdf

    See section 3.8.

  8. #8 bi -- IJI
    March 7, 2009

    So, some households inhabitants’ names were gathered, and the sampling description was inaccurate, and therefore the Iraq War failure is nothing but a gigantic hoax.

    Profit!

  9. #9 Jody Aberdein
    March 7, 2009

    Presumably Kane is putting the finishing touches to his Monte Carlo analysis using the stated scheme and the freely available geographical data for Iraq’s road systems classified by type.

  10. #10 sod
    March 7, 2009

    1) The first step in manning up is to provide people with your real name. I suspect that yours is not “sod.”

    i am rather glad, that i have the choice. while you are talking to pretty rational and friendly people here, we are dealing with insane lunatics.

    you have been calling people “LIAR” without any real reason lately. remember?

    2) I have certainly made many mistakes the course of my investigations of the Lancet work. But I also believe that I have corrected every single one of them either in various discussion threads or, more completely, at my blog. If you are aware of a single error that I have not corrected, please point it out and I will do so.

    you are not asking The lancet to correct errors anywhere. you are demanding a full correction of all errors in ONE publish.

    perhaps i missed that long list of all your errors, published on the Michelle Malkin website?

    3) Why the hate? I realize that there are issues on we might all disagree, but isn’t it universally accepted that the sampling description provided in the paper was wrong? (Some background here. The Lancet authors claim, not implausibly that the mistake arose from space constraints and awkward editing. Fair enough. And it is even plausible to believe that such a mistake does not, on its own, merit a correction. But, once you have to send a correction anyway, why not correct the other mistakes?

    well, at first we should agree, not to call people liars without any evidence. i think that is pretty much universally accepted. i guess we can then move forward from there..

  11. #11 sod
    March 7, 2009

    oh and David, i understand your disappointment.

    i guess this press release about a pretty insignificant error was not, what you had in mind, when you wrote “I declare victory!”

  12. #12 mel
    March 7, 2009

    Kane,
    You declared “fraud” at the very outset, lo those many years ago. Will you now say that, after all of your nitpicking, that there is no fraud to be found? Man up, man…

  13. #13 Donald Johnson
    March 7, 2009

    As for error correction, I’m waiting for Lancet1 critics to freely acknowledge that a violent death rate of 100 per day for the first 18 months turns out to be quite plausible in view of the identical number obtained by the IFHS survey. Way back in 2004-2005, I didn’t hear too many L1 critics saying “Yes, the violent death toll could be several times higher than IBC’s numbers.”

    And then we can all agree that no matter what one thinks of L2, the mass media is understating Iraqi mortality when they continue to talk about “tens of thousands” or even “100,000” deaths.

  14. #14 Marion Delgado
    March 7, 2009

    Actually, prevailing has never been the game of the vicious denialists like Kane et al. Not at all; that’s why they’re barely phoning it in.

    No, the only goal, really, once they realized they couldn’t cover up the Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal-level nature of the American et al. aggression in Iraq, they determined to do 2 other things; one, as Napoleon counseled, was to cover up the truth, not forever, but “long enough.” The other was to so vilify and harrass the researchers that the NEXT group wishing to do a study even remotely like this would think twice or 3 times.

    Kane, for instance, knows, I think, that he’s spouting incoherent pseudo-mathematical gibberish. His reputation didn’t exist and so it’s of no value to him, the service he can give to elite power, on the other hand, is going to guarantee him networking support and probably a permanent berth for articles and tv appearances in the future, as well as advancing his personal right-wing imperialist political agenda. I would not be shocked to see him become a kind of Bjorn Lomborg of politicizing and denying American, British, etc. atrocities, or even a Regnery author.

    And his name is legion, really. The demonization of “the Lancet study” has been one of the big projects for the imperialist conservatives and the neoconservatives. I can’t see how this could avoid having a chilling effect, and if it does, they’ve won, and won absolutely.

  15. #15 Sortition
    March 7, 2009

    Marion,

    You are making good points, but we should not overestimate the significance of the going ons in this matter. It is quite clear that:

    1. Kane is not really an ideologue or part of a well-concerted or well-thought out effort – he is in this almost entirely as an attempt at self promotion. How well he managed, time will tell, but I suspect he didn’t make much headway.

    2. Attempts at the destruction of whoever bears politically inconvenient news is an old game. Burnham et al. must have known what they were getting into and have gone into it after having carried out their second and third round of thinking. Kane or not, this situation will persist.

    3. The destruction game is often played at much higher levels than the case was here – see for example the Rathergate incident. The reason the fray here was left to pathetically small fish like Kane is because of the extremely low stakes. The study’s findings were written off as absurd by the big guys – Bush, of course, but also the Democrats and the media. There was therefore no need to use the big guns to destroy the authors. Most people have never heard of the study and never will. Most of those few that have heard of it, heard of it as being unreliable, because that was how it was reported about in the media – long before Kane slithered into the field. They have never heard of Kane, main street bias, or any of the other players in this little fly circus we have been witnessing.

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