The British government was advised against publicly criticising a report estimating that 655,000 Iraqis had died due to the war, the BBC has learnt.What does this mean?
Iraqi Health Ministry figures put the toll at less than 10% of the total in the survey, published in the Lancet.
But the Ministry of Defence's chief scientific adviser said the survey's methods were "close to best practice" and the study design was "robust".
Another statistician agreed the method was "tried and tested."
If the Lancet survey is right, then 2.5% of the Iraqi population -- an average of more than 500 people a day - have been killed since the start of the war.Couple that with this, and what else can you say but that Iraq is better off now. Right?