Scott Horton Interviews Les Roberts

Scott Horton, March 10, 2011

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Les Roberts, Associate Clinical Professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia University, discusses the hundreds of thousands of unreported Iraqi deaths, 80% of which were previously uncounted; how “excess deaths” are inferred from statistical sampling; the changing cause of death in Iraq during 2004-06, from US bombs to Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence; how lazy journalists failed to cross check fatalities and assumed newly reported deaths were already accounted for; and the lying US government officials who claimed “we don’t do body counts.”

MP3 here. (20:11)

Les Roberts did a post-doctorate fellowship in epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he worked for 4 years. In 1994, he worked as an epidemiologist for the World Health Organization in Rwanda during their civil war. Les was Director of Health Policy at the International Rescue Committee from Dec. 2000 until April of 2003. Les had led over 50 surveys in 17 countries, mostly measuring mortality in times of war. In recent years he has taken part in studies to measure mortality in DR Congo, Iraq, and Zimbabwe. His present research is focused on developing methods to document the incidence of rape. He spends his weekends in Central New York with his wife Mary Grace.

6 Responses to “Les Roberts”

  1. What happened to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Professor Burnham – who was slapped with an unprecedented academic condemnation for his role in analyzing the data used the Lancet study? The validity of the study design and the importance of the data in showing the genocidal consequences against an entire nation due to the unprovoked US attack and invasion of Iraq, which will serve as the foundation for war crime charges against the authors of this war, has been firmly established. The retaliation against American or British academics involved in this study has served to prevent similar studies from being carried out by universities and medical societies in the West – which depend on government funding.

  2. Before the invasion of Iraq – there were a many reports in the medical journals about the horrific 'human rights' situation – usually attributed to the Iraqi government, target for 'regime change'. After the invasion, and especially after the much-attacked Lancet study there have been almost no reports of the war's consequences published in the 'main-stream' medical or scientific media – except to parrot the government's line of condemning the Lancet study. A side effect of these 'humanitarian' invasions has been the propagandistic use of main-stream medical media to highlight 'disasters', only to disappear in terms of any follow-up after the invasions.

  3. Consider the daily reports on the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe (a target for regime change) and the almost deafening silence, even from the West's medical establishment, regarding the ongoing enormous outbreak in Haiti (the first outbreak in the Caribbean in over a century). The scientific establishment is terrified of conducting any normal study of the medical consequences of US foreign policy which could lead to the retaliative destruction of careers and the withdrawal of research funding. The result – even from the point of view of successful empire-building: epidemiology and public health planning in military-occupied nations has become a joke.

  4. Excellent radio show and excellent comments by robin.

    Les Roberts' final sentence that most of his fellow researchers had supported the invasion of Iraq was a bone-chilling reminder of how complict 'cruise missle liberals' were in this mass murder.

    Here in Canada we are expecting an election soon and the two media-annointed candidates are a hardcore neo-con ideologue and 'cruise missle liberal' professor – both of whom supported the invasion of Iraq. The offered choice is which flavour of war criminal we want.

  5. As a part-time university prof I can attest that the majority of 'my esteemed colleagues' are liberals who bend over backwards to give equal time to neo-con lies because they wanted to be 'fair and balanced' post 911. Richard Seymour and Chris Hedges both offer devestating critiques of the moral bankruptcy of modern liberal establishment.

    The social sciences of Economics and Psychology seem to be particularly corrupt – something about all that statistical sleight of hand (and military-corporate job offers…) seems to dissolve any moral center. History profs self-neuter and Anthro wants to give helpful tips to the military COIN crowd on how to handle the 'tribals'. And Sociology needs those govt. funds…

  6. American doctors and nurses and psychologists , through their professional organizational institutions, remain silent about their members participating in ongoing torture activities…

Leave a Reply