Yes, Mr. Holmes: because it is splashed all over the desert, every single day, without question. This is not an opinion, as much as you'd like it to be so. The commission report you're excited about does not dispute it, does not alter it, and does not render it irrelevant. The daily target reports are very clearly a product of operational reporting rather than serialized intel briefings -- they are posted like 12 hours after the fact, and they are explicitly labelled "initial" assessments, and they are presented as nothing more than a list of shit the good guys blew up and/or shot at. They do not make any attempt to represent themselves as something else, and neither did I. And they are very, very far from useless, because if you think it's anything other than informative to read, on a daily basis, operational reports made by soldiers on the ground of their activities on the battlefield, then you're an idiot. What about the possibility that, say, five percent of the tabulated targets turns out, in the last IC analysis, to have been off somehow? Say we think we destroyed twenty fighting positions, but we actually only destroyed seventeen? Or one of the buildings we think we cooked turned out to have a basement within which a group of lucky bastards survived? OK, great, but that doesn't change any of this, at all. If you thought that a thousand days' worth of "initial" reporting was supposed to be a 1000/1000 Flawless Record of All That Has Happened, then, again, you were just an idiot.
So, you're 0 for 1. (Incidentally, do you know what it's called when someone minimizes the work done / risks taken by American servicemen by preferring to pretend that that work is not being done and those risks aren't being taken? Do you know what it's called if this someone has never and will never come within a thousand miles of a battlefield? That you would like to pretend it illegitimate for me to describe in their own reported assessments the day-to-day operations of guys who are sweating their balls off in Iraq right now for you is...what's the word...disgusting? Repugnant?)
Are you refuting it? No? Then kindly grit your teeth and return this observation to its point of origin.
Put another way, it's unclear why you think I would "refute" the number. I have no specific evidence that it is off, and I have no evidence of what number it might be off by, if it is indeed off. If you have some better estimate, be my guest. I'll wait.
But I do have a question: say for the sake of argument that the actual number is 22,500. What do you think this changes? In what possible universe is this some kind of victory for you or loss for me? Because I didn't correct somebody who didn't correct operational reporting that turned out after the fucking fact to be off by some number of ISIS casualties? (And note here that the point -- viz., that we are bombing ISIS literally every day and dumbasses like you wouldn't know it if you weren't being beaten over the head with it by people who follow this stuff [and you still don't want to believe it, because err dur Obama!] -- remains unchanged and unchallenged regardless.) What material affect does this have on a single word I've said about ISIS or OIR? None. Next.
These allegations have indeed been public, in one form or another, for a good while. If you were to read a real newspaper and not Breitbart or whatever similar masterpiece of intellectual bankruptcy and moral confusion you get your news from, you would have known about them too! But more importantly, as we've seen, nothing I've written about ISIS is altered by them, so whatever you're trying to do here isn't working. Sorry!
I've tried to live up to the condescending part, and I do hope I broke 1000 words.
I've got to tell you: it makes ME feel kind of odd to know that I make YOU feel so fucking ideologically impotent that you have twice turned to the comfort of smh must be a part of some shadowy conspiracy. It's stupid and pathetic and funny and just all-around wonderful, but it's kind of sad, too. Enjoy your paranoia.