Remember when the Pentagon told everyone that the initial casualty report from the Jan. 8 Iranian ballistic missile attack on Ayn al-Assad airbase in Iraq was zero?
Then the casualty assessment went from zero to 11 to a few "headaches."
Then by Jan. 24, The New York Times (NYT) revealed that the count jumped from 11 to 34 American soldiers diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
UPDATE: The Pentagon now reports that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries from the Iranian missile strike on U.S. forces in Iraq. Earlier this week, Trump dismissed TBIs as 'headaches.' Trump originally claimed that no U.S. troops had suffered injuries. pic.twitter.com/qv54WJOTnH— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 24, 2020
One week later, on Jan. 31, the Pentagon admitted that "14 more U.S. service members have been diagnosed with TBI since the Iranian missile attack targeting U.S. forces at two Iraqi bases this month, bringing the total number to 64."
Now, IRAQ- U.S. officials confirmed to Reuters that new total is over 100 American troops have been diagnosed with TBI since the missile attack, up from 64, or about a 56% jump in cases since the last report on Jan. 31.
NEW: @SenTomCotton defends @realdonaldtrump 's comments about soldiers impacted by the Iran strike, says Trump wasn't "dismissing" traumatic brain injuries by calling them "headaches" pic.twitter.com/HH8daFhsIv— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 26, 2020
In summary, confirmed TBI cases went from zero to 11 to 34 to 50 to 100... and who knows where from here:
1/08 – 0
1/17 – 11
1/24 – 34
1/31 - 64
2/10 – 100
To review, Trump's first address to the nation following the major unprecedented attack on U.S. forces in retaliation for Qassem Soleimani's death indicated "no casualties" and that "all is well!" Two weeks later, the Pentagon stunned reporters by indicating 11 U.S. troops suffered TBI.
It must also be remembered that U.S. officials and media pundits slammed Iranian state media for its repeated claims that the Jan. 8 ballistic missile attack resulted in significant casualties.
Iranian media went so far as to report emergency medical evacuations of U.S. personnel from the scene. U.S. officials scoffed and laughed at this "fake news" at the time — and several weeks ago, the semi-official major Iranian media outlet Fars News had its English news website was taken offline by order of U.S. Treasury for sanctions violations and state propaganda.
But now we know the accurate headline in the wake of the attack should have read: "50+ Americans Injured, Some Seriously...".
The awkward truth is the Iranian state media was more accurate than U.S. corporate media in covering what happened that night when Iranian missiles peppered Ayn al-Assad airbase.
‘THEY HAD HEADACHES’: President Trump told reporters injuries sustained by several U.S. service members airlifted from Iraq after the Iran missile attacks were “not very serious” compared to combat injuries he’s seen that have resulted in lost limbs. https://t.co/2UHJ5xQXUq pic.twitter.com/kKSbMOrXTL— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 22, 2020
This evolving casualty count should be a major scandal yet has been swept under the carpet by the military and the Trump administration because it would be optically displeasing for Trump during an election year.
Trump has to control the narrative about how everything is awesome, despite our bravest warriors being ignored for having mere "headaches."