"American Woman Travels Door to Door to Count Iraqi Casualties"
From this ABC Nightline piece:
Marla Ruzicka, 26, from the San Francisco Bay Area, has been in Baghdad since the day Saddam's statue fell in the city center. She has been doing a headcount of the Iraqi injured and the dead. She's found more than she expected.
She has formed her own nonprofit organization, called the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, or CIVIC. She has organized 150 surveyors to fan out across Iraq. So far, they say they have documented 620 civilian deaths in Baghdad, 256 in Najaf, 425 in Karbala and as many as 1,100 in Nasiriyah. It is only a preliminary count.
"Somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 people died in this conflict," Ruzicka said...
Ruzicka does not represent the U.S. government. She's not affiliated with any big relief agency. She is a lone peace activist who has taken it upon herself to help the civilian victims of war...
The article goes on and on, heaping praise by the wheelbarrowful, finally ending with:
But while other aid agencies are still getting organized in Iraq, still tentatively working out the difficult security situation, Ruzicka is already out there, trying as much as one person can to help.
By the end, if you aren't willing to give her the Nobel Peace Prize, perhaps it's because her name sounds a bit familiar.
In fact, Marla Ruzicka was one of the NY Times' sources for civilian death statistics in Afghanistan:
When The New York Times ran a front-page report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan ("Flaws in U.S. Air War Left Hundreds of Civilians Dead"), bloggers descended on the article like ants on a picnic...
On his site, The Politburo [*], blogger Michael Moynihan noted that the Times' source for the toll of 812 dead was Marla Ruzicka, identified as a field worker in Afghanistan for Global Exchange, "an American organization." What the Times didn't say, Moynihan wrote, is that Global Exchange is a "far-left" group that opposes globalization and the U.S. military. Ruzicka, he said, is a fan of Fidel Castro's Cuba and the winner of an award from "the Marxist group Refuse and Resist..."
Marla may no longer be working for or with Global Exchange, but I'd think her past history and affiliations might be of interest to most of Nightline's readers. If you want to suggest something like that to Nightline, you can contact them from this page, and the article linked above contains the email addresses for the story's author and for Ruzicka.