The numbers are a smokescreen, a diversion. Who cares if deaths are slightly up or slightly down; if the Pentagon is right or Petraeus is right. That was not the goal of The Surge®; it was supposed to let the Maliki government make significant political progress. This has not happened and it will not happen. The Surge® has failed. It does not matter who's body counts are right. My guess is that Petraeus and the Pentagon both have it wrong. And O'Hanlon is a Useful Idiot.
Think Progress » O’Hanlon Defends His Old Friend Petraeus, ‘Convinced’ Pentagon Is Wrong On Iraq Stats