Common sense and even a cursory knowledge of history provided plenty of proof that the infamous and widely-discredited Lancet studies were fradulent. Now, via Instapundit, we can follow the money and find that the second study was largely financed by George Soros, who dictated a pre-election release of the data in 2006:
Follow the money. Lancet II was commissioned and financed by Tirman, the executive director of the Center for International Studies at MIT. (His most recent book is 100 Ways America Is Screwing Up the World.) After Lancet I was published, Tirman commissioned Burnham to do the second study, and sent him $50,000. When asked where Tirman got the money, Burnham told NJ: "I have no idea."
In fact, the funding came from the Open Society Institute created by Soros, a top Democratic donor, and from three other foundations, according to Tirman. The money was channeled through Tirman's Persian Gulf Initiative. Soros's group gave $46,000, and the Samuel Rubin Foundation gave $5,000. An anonymous donor, and another donor whose identity he does not know, provided the balance, Tirman said. The Lancet II study cost about $100,000, according to Tirman, including about $45,000 for publicity and travel. That means that nearly half of the study's funding came from an outspoken billionaire who has repeatedly criticized the Iraq campaign and who spent $30 million trying to defeat Bush in 2004.
The very idea that Iraq suffered anything close to the casualties claimed in that study - on the order of two to three times the casulties suffered by both side in the American Civil War, or higher than the death toll of the conventional and nuclear bombings of Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden and Hamburg put together, was simply ludicrous for any student of the history of warfare. There simply were no reports or photographic evidence of anything remotely close to such death tolls and damage coming out of Iraq.
The ridiculously high figures posited by that study of course gained wide attention among the credulous throughout the world, but now it is becoming crystal clear that the entire entrprise was financed by high-octane leftist partisans and written by some more concerned about 'imperialism' than the truth.
Once again, in the tradition of Walter Duranty, we find the left is most eager to play games with numbers of mass casualties to suit their ideological biases and project their agenda.