The Wall Street Journal opinion page has an article about a “study” appearing in the prestigious journal Lancet that purports to estimate the number of deaths in the Iraqi war. It turns out that the statistics were “funded by anti-Bush partisans and conducted by antiwar activists posing as objective researchers” and that the paper’s estimated “death toll was more than 10 times what had been estimated by the U.S. and Iraqi governments, and even by human rights groups.”
The Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, rushed the paper into print, and was quoted as saying, “This axis of Anglo-American imperialism extends its influence through war and conflict, gathering power and wealth as it goes, so millions of people are left to die in poverty and disease.” The study’s authors have also “failed to follow the customary scientific practice of making [their] data available for inspection by other researchers.”
Peer-reviewed research that is subservient to political ideology? Is it even possible?