U.S. officials say the number of civilian casualties in the Iraqi capital is down 50 percent. But U.S. officials declined to provide specific numbers, and statistics gathered by McClatchy Newspapers don't support the claim.
The number of car bombings in July actually was 5 percent higher than the number recorded last December, according to the McClatchy statistics, and the number of civilians killed in explosions is about the same.
I suppose they could have attempted to go one step further by asking DoD to square the data (and then getting stonewalled), but I really don't see a big problem here. Powerful people say X, X is called into question by independent reporting. Good journalism! McClatchy in general is outstripping all of its competitors on many metrics and deserves to be praised for it. Unfortunately for them, they're getting much less attention than they would be if they were a generally larger organization.
Update: Jim thinks I misread. That would make more sense, I think.