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More than 72,043 battlefield casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan

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Wish the Presidential candidates would talk more about ending the War in Iraq.

The Pentagon officially reported 72,043 battlefield casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan through Jan. 5, 2008. In addition, VA hospitals and clinics have treated 263,909 unplanned patients from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. On top of that, VA reported 245,034 disability claims from veterans of the two wars. Those are some of the disturbing new statistics released by the group Veterans for Common Sense, which gathered that data through use of the Freedom of Information Act (typical of the rest of its secrecy, the Bush Administration doesn't just release this information to the public as a matter of course).

That concealment is the latest example of the Bush Administration's downplaying of the true cost of the Iraq War. Remember, the President initially refused to make public photos of fallen soldiers returning home in flag-draped coffins at Dover Air Force Base.

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Pacifica radio network reporter Aaron Glantz is author of the new book "How America Lost Iraq" (Tarcher/Penguin). More information at www.warcomeshome.org

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