(From the comments on this post.)
This is, of course, untrue, though I doubt any neutral observers were fooled. If Shannon decides to declare victory on this account he/she is a bigger fool than I thought, which is quite some fool.
[. . .]
By the way, can we get the charge clear; Shannon is still saying (falsely) that the authors made “sweeping claims of mass murder”, but appears to have dropped the accusation that they did so specifically in order to provide propaganda for Iraqi fascists? I only ask for the benefit of the libel lawyers who I still hope will take an interest in this series.
One of the disturbing things about the sociology of this study is the degree to which many have embraced its findings as revealed truth even though, just as any other scientific study, it must be verified through replication before we can confirm its accuracy. (Our arguments over methodology are so vociferous because we don’t have any other means of evaluating the accuracy of the study. Solid science ends arguments, it doesn’t start them.)
If we use a single, unverified study to direct our policy we are not actually basing our decisions on good science.