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Saving Private Lynch story 'flawed'

Discussion in 'Legal' started by rock jock, May 16, 2003.

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  1. rock jock

    rock jock Member

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    From the BBC News:
    Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
    By John Kampfner

    Private Jessica Lynch became an icon of the war, and the story of her capture by the Iraqis and her rescue by US special forces became one of the great patriotic moments of the conflict.

    But her story is one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived.

    There was no [sign of] shooting, no bullet inside her body, no stab wound

    Private Lynch, a 19-year-old army clerk from Palestine, West Virginia, was captured when her company took a wrong turning just outside Nasiriya and was ambushed.

    Nine of her comrades were killed and Private Lynch was taken to the local hospital, which at the time was swarming with Fedayeen. Eight days later US special forces stormed the hospital, capturing the "dramatic" events on a night vision camera.

    They were said to have come under fire from inside and outside the building, but they made it to Lynch and whisked her away by helicopter.

    Dr a-Houssona found no bullet wounds
    Reports claimed that she had stab and bullet wounds and that she had been slapped about on her hospital bed and interrogated.

    But Iraqi doctors in Nasiriya say they provided the best treatment they could for the soldier in the midst of war. She was assigned the only specialist bed in the hospital and one of only two nurses on the floor.

    "I examined her, I saw she had a broken arm, a broken thigh and a dislocated ankle," said Dr Harith a-Houssona, who looked after her.

    "There was no [sign of] shooting, no bullet inside her body, no stab wound - only road traffic accident. They want to distort the picture. I don't know why they think there is some benefit in saying she has a bullet injury."

    Witnesses told us that the special forces knew that the Iraqi military had fled a day before they swooped on the hospital.

    Dr Uday was surprised by the manner of the rescue
    "We were surprised. Why do this? There was no military, there were no soldiers in the hospital," said Dr Anmar Uday, who worked at the hospital.

    "It was like a Hollywood film. They cried 'go, go, go', with guns and blanks without bullets, blanks and the sound of explosions. They made a show for the American attack on the hospital - action movies like Sylvester Stallone or Jackie Chan."

    There was one more twist. Two days before the snatch squad arrived, Harith had arranged to deliver Jessica to the Americans in an ambulance.

    But as the ambulance, with Private Lynch inside, approached a checkpoint American troops opened fire, forcing it to flee back to the hospital. The Americans had almost killed their prize catch.

    When footage of the rescue was released, General Vincent Brooks, US spokesman in Doha, said: "Some brave souls put their lives on the line to make this happen, loyal to a creed that they know that they'll never leave a fallen comrade."

    The American strategy was to ensure the right television footage by using embedded reporters and images from their own cameras, editing the film themselves.

    The Pentagon had been influenced by Hollywood producers of reality TV and action movies, notably the man behind Black Hawk Down, Jerry Bruckheimer.

    Bruckheimer advised the Pentagon on the primetime television series "Profiles from the Front Line", that followed US forces in Afghanistan in 2001. That approached was taken on and developed on the field of battle in Iraq.

    As for Private Lynch, her status as cult hero is stronger than ever. Internet auction sites list Jessica Lynch items, from an oil painting with an opening bid of $200 to a $5 "America Loves Jessica Lynch" fridge magnet.

    But doctors now say she has no recollection of the whole episode and probably never will.





    If true, this would be very disappointing, but not wholely unexpected, given the need for good PR in this war.
     
  2. DaveB

    DaveB Member

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    Story 'flawed"?

    Right. :rolleyes:

    Published on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 by sfgate.com

    BushCo Reams Nation Good - No WMDs After All, No Excuse for War, Too Late for Anyone to Care Anymore. Ha-Ha, Suckers

    by Mark Morford

    Ha-ha-ha oh man did we ever get smacked on that one. Conned big time. Punk'd like dogs. Just gotta shake your head, laugh it off. They reamed us but good, baby! Damn.

    Turns out it really was all a big joke after all. The war, that is. All a big fat nasty murderous oil-licking lie, a sneaky little power-mad game with you as the sucker and the world as the pawn and BushCo as the slithery war thug, the dungeon master, the prison daddy. You really have to laugh. Because it's just so wonderfully ridiculous. In a rather disgusting, soul-draining sort of way.

    See, there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. No WMDs at all. Isn't that great? What's more: There never were. Ha-ha-ha. Gotcha!

    No warehouses teeming with nuclear warheads, no underground bunkers packed with vats of boiling biotoxins, no drums of crazy-??? chemical agents that will melt your skin and turn us all into drooling flesh-eating zombies -- unless, of course, you count the sneering vat of conservative biotoxin that is, say, Fox News, in which case, hell yeah baby, we gotcher WMDs right here beeyatch.

    Go figure. Those lowly U.N. inspectors were right after all. Who knew? It was all a ruse. We've been sucker-punched and ideologically molested and patriotically sodomized and hey, what the hell, who cares anyway, we "liberated" an oppressed people most Americans secretly loathe and fear and don't understand in the slightest, even though that was never the point, or the justification, or the goal. Go team.

    But wait, is liberation of a brutalized and tormented people now the reason? The justification for our thuggery? That is so cool! So that means we're going to blow the living crap out of Sri Lanka and Sudan and Tibet and North Korea and about 47 others, right? Right? Maybe Saudi Arabia, too, second only to the Talilban itself in its abuse of women? Cool! As if.

    Ah, but screw the liberal whiny peacenik U.N. inspectors, right? Let's ask the U.S. search teams themselves, ShrubCo's own squadrons of biologists, chemists, arms-treaty enforcers, nuclear operators, computer and document experts and Special Forces troops who've been in Iraq for weeks now, searching frantically.

    Surely they've found something, right? Surely we can now prove that Saddam was fully intending to fillet our babies and annihilate Florida and poke the eyes out of really cute kittens on national TV for sadistic pleasure, right? Gimme a hell yeah!

    Whoops. Bad news. As The Washington Post reports, the 75th Exploitation Task Force, the very serious-minded group heading up all U.S. inspections in Iraq, the group absolutely certain it would immediately find steaming neon-lit stockpiles of WMDs piled right next to Saddam's personal stash of gay porn and Britney Spears posters and opium pipes, is coming home with its tail between its legs. Found nothing. Nada.

    Psychopatriots are a little nonplussed. Bush is merely "embarrassed." Peace advocates are sighing and drinking heavily. We have done this ghastly horrible inane hate-filled entirely unprovoked thing in the name of power and petroleum and military contracts and strategic empire building, our nation is numb and more bitterly divisive than ever and our leaders are not the slightest bit ashamed.

    But of course you're not the slightest bit shocked. You knew it all along. The WMD line was just a ploy that, tragically, much of the nation bought into like a sucker pyramid scheme after being pounded into submission with hammers of fear and Ashcroftian threats and bogus Orange Alerts and having their tweezers confiscated at the airport.

    And of course the capacity to be outraged and appalled has been entirely drained out of you, out of this nation, replaced by raging ennui and sad resentment and the new fall season on NBC. This is what they're counting on. Your short attention span. WMDs? That's so, like, last February. Hey look, the swimsuit model won "Survivor"!

    Because now it's all done. Like a bad trip to the dentist where your routine cleaning turned out to be a bloody excruciating root canal and 50 hours of high-pitched drilling and $100 billion in god-awful cosmetic surgery, now the bandages come off. Smile, sucker. We're at peace once again. Sort of. But not really. Don't you feel better now? No? Too bad. No one cares what you think.

    It's all over but the shouting. And the screaming. And the endless years of U.S. occupation in the Middle East, the quiet building of U.S. military bases in Iraq so we can keep those uppity bitches Syria and Egypt and Lebanon in line, forge ahead with the long-standing plan to strong-arm those damn Islamic nuts into brutal compliance with Bushco's bleak blueprint for World Inc. What, too bitter? Hardly.

    Should we care that Osama, the actual perp of 9/11, is still running around free? That terrorism hasn't been quelled in the slightest? That the Mideast is more of a U.S.-hating powder keg than ever, thanks to BushCo? That the economy is in the worst shape it's been in decades?

    Should we care that we just massacred tens of thousands of Iraqi (and Afghani) civilians and soldiers and suffered a little more than 100 U.S. casualties and have absolutely nothing to show for it except bogus force-fed pride and this weird, sickening sense that we just executed something irreparable and ungodly and karmically poisonous?

    Nah. Just laugh it off. Have a glass of wine, make love, go play Frisbee with the dog. Breathe deep and focus on what's truly important and try to assimilate this latest atrocity into your backstabbed worldview, add it to the list of this lifetime's spiritual humiliations, as you wait for the next barrage, the imminent announcement that we're about to do it all again.

    Steel yourself. Protect your soul. Because man, they reamed us good. Slammed this nation like a bad joke. Gotcha! Ha-ha-ha.


    db
     
  3. Carlos Cabeza

    Carlos Cabeza Member

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  4. 444

    444 Member

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    I saw something like this coming from a mile away and said so on the threads at that time.
     
  5. tiberius

    tiberius Member

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    I am personally very interesting to hear the TRUE story of PFC Lynch. I do not believe that we have heard anything approaching the truth yet and I fear that we may never.

    One thing that I am sure of however, is that I do not like the idea of having American teenage girls put into a position that they can taken as POW's.
     
  6. Ian

    Ian Member

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    I hear we also have a single American soldier left in Albania who needs to be dramatically rescued. ;)
     
  7. geegee

    geegee Member

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    This whole "amnesia" thing is very interesting. I'm not a combat veteran, but I would like to ask a few if they know of anyone that served in combat, that has experienced such a thing? It's just too much drama for one person to be involved in.Regardless of what happened to this young woman, by all accounts she performed her duties professionally. But the amount of spotty information and conflicting accounts, mixed with "amnesia" is a little hard to digest. geegee
     
  8. LawDog

    LawDog Moderator Emeritus cum Laude

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    *shrug* I have seen many people involved in vehicle accidents who remember little to none of the actual event. It seems that the more traumatic the accident, the less the survivors remember.

    And that is accidents not involving anti-vehicle mines/automatic weapons fire/grenades/ambushes.

    As far as the rest of the news story goes, as soon as I came to this part:
    I wrote off the rest of the story. I mean, come on -- blanks?! In a war zone?!

    Sheesh.

    LawDog
     
  9. cordex

    cordex Member

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    Even a mild head wound can cause memory loss. If she was involved in an accident, there's nothing strange about that.
    A few years back, I had an encounter with a tree, gravity and hard packed dirt. Or so I'm told.
    I'm also told that after I was "revived", I responded to questions (though didn't store information very well), walked under my own power into a house, and was subsequently delivered to two different hospitals.
    I don't remember anything until I woke up a day or two later.

    Like LawDog, I cocked an eyebrow when I read about the blanks.
     
  10. winwun

    winwun Member

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    Being rendered unconscious by a blow to the head can cause memory loss comensurate with the severity of the blow. I know. I regained consciousness and was told the god-awful truth about what had happened to me, and to this day I don't remember a bit of it. In fact, about 2 hours of my life before the incident are gone, also.
     
  11. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    I think elements of the story were made up but not by the military.

    IIRC the reports of Lynch shooting up the bad guys, and getting wounded, and have head trauma all stem from one reporter (female) from the Boston Globe. To the best of my understanding no other independent story tracked the Boston Globe story. I smelled a feminist agenda being developed when I heard the report.

    Blanks? Yea, right!
     
  12. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    I wonder why this is only coming out now. Like LawDog, I find it extremely hard to believe there was even one single blank round in any coalition munitions supply in all of Iraq. That was not a training mission. No spec ops member would ever stand for a grandstanding stunt like that described.
     
  13. LawDog

    LawDog Moderator Emeritus cum Laude

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    Can any of our British colleagues give me a profile on John Kampfner?

    Socialist? Conservative? Panty-waisted, bed-wetting liberal? Middle-of-the-road?

    Does he try to remain unbiased, or does he have axes to grind?

    LawDog
     
  14. HBK

    HBK member

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    God save me from conspiracy theorists.:D
     
  15. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I am curious... How would an Iraqi doctor have any idea if blanks or live ammo was being fired?
     
  16. geegee

    geegee Member

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    I agree, but what is interesting is that the one person who could tell everyone the details of what happened throughout this ordeal, now has no memory. I'm not trying to paint her as a liar, just making an observation that in this peculiar story there is a very interesting confluence of events that has taken place. geegee
     
  17. LawDog

    LawDog Moderator Emeritus cum Laude

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    Last that I heard, the only statements that PFC Lynch had made involved what she wanted to eat when she got off I.V. therapy.

    Has that changed?

    Edit: A quick search of FoxNews on-line site doesn't reveal any quotes by Jessica Lynch regarding the ambush. An un-named Pentagon source is quoted as saying that PFC Lynch doesn't remember anything after an RPG hit her truck.

    Hell, an RPG hits my truck and not only will I forget the ensuing tussle, but you can bet your last bippy that I'm probably going to forget everything clear back to my 2nd birthday.

    Does anyone have any links to quotes by PFC Jessica Lynch regarding the ambush, or her captivity?


    LawDog
     
  18. SkunkApe

    SkunkApe Member

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    Old news:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5944-648517,00.html

    April 16, 2003

    So who really did save Private Jessica?
    From Richard Lloyd Parry in al-Nasiriyah
    Doctor claims that soldiers terrorised unarmed staff



    THE rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, which inspired America during one of the most difficult periods of the war, was not the heroic Hollywood story told by the US military, but a staged operation that terrified patients and victimised the doctors who had struggled to save her life, according to Iraqi witnesses.

    Doctors at al-Nasiriyah general hospital said that the airborne assault had met no resistance and was carried out a day after all the Iraqi forces and Baath leadership had fled the city.

    Four doctors and two patients, one of whom was paralysed and on an intravenous drip, were bound and handcuffed as American soldiers rampaged through the wards, searching for departed members of the Saddam regime.

    An ambulance driver who tried to carry Private Lynch to the American forces close to the city was shot at by US troops the day before their mission. Far from winning hearts and minds, the US operation has angered and hurt doctors who risked their lives treating both Private Lynch and Iraqi victims of the war. “What the Americans say is like the story of Sinbad the Sailor — it’s a myth,†said Harith al-Houssona, who saved Private Lynch’s life after she was brought to the hospital by Iraqi military intelligence.

    “They said that there was no medical care in Iraq, and that there was a very strong defence of this hospital. But there was no one here apart from doctors and patients, and there was nobody to fire at them.â€

    Dr Harith was on duty when Private Lynch was brought to al-Nasiriyah general by Iraqi soldiers a few days after her capture on March 23. She was a member of a 15-member US Army maintenance company convoy that was ambushed after taking a wrong turn near the city.

    At the time, she was suffering from a head injury, a broken leg and arm, a bullet wound to her leg, a pulmonary oedema and her breathing was failing. In a hospital inundated with war casualties with few drugs, her condition was stabilised and she regained consciousness.

    “She was very frightened when she woke up,†Dr Harith, 24, a junior resident at the hospital, said. “She kept saying: ‘Please don’t hurt me, don’t touch me.’ I told her that she was safe, she was in a hospital and that I was a doctor, and I never hurt a patient.â€

    Private Lynch’s military guards would allow no other doctor to tend to her and Dr Harith formed a friendship with her. She talked to him about her family, including her arguments about money with her father, and about her boyfriend, a Hispanic soldier named Ruben.

    Dr Harith went outside the hospital during the bombing to get supplies of Private Lynch’s favourite drink, orange juice, and struggled to persuade her to eat.

    “I told her she needed to eat to recover, and I brought her crackers, but her stomach was upset. She said as a joke: ‘I want to be slim.’

    “I see (many) patients, but she was special. She’s a very simple person, a soldier, not well-educated. But she was very, very nice, with a lovely face and blonde hair.â€

    The Iraqi intelligence officers told the hospital that Private Lynch would soon be transferred to Baghdad, a prospect that terrified her.

    After her condition stabilised, they ordered Dr Harith to transfer Jessica to another hospital.

    Instead he told the ambulance driver to deliver her to one of the American outposts that had already been established on the ouskirts of the city.

    “But when he reached their checkpoint, the Americans fired at him,†he said.

    On April 1 the local Baathists fled al-Nasiriyah for Baghdad and arrived at the hospital looking for their prize captive. Dr Harith moved her to another part of the hospital, and other doctors told the soldiers that he was away.

    “They said that they thought Jessica had died, and they didn’t know where she was,†he said. In their haste and confusion the soldiers left, leaving behind only a few critically injured soldiers.

    The American “rescue†operation came on the night of April 2. The hospital was bombarded and soldiers arrived in helicopters and, according to the hospital doctors, in tanks that pulled up outside the hospital.

    Most of the doctors fled to the shelter of the radiology department on the first floor.

    “We heard them firing and shouting: ‘Go! Go! Go! Go!’ †Dr Harith said. One group of soldiers dug up the graves of dead US soldiers outside the hospital, while another interrogated doctors about Ali Hassan al-Majid, the senior Baath party figure known as Chemical Ali, who had never been seen there. A third group looked for Private Lynch.

    US soldiers videotaped the rescue, but among the many scenes not shown to the press at US Central Command in Doha was one of four doctors who were handcuffed and interrogated, along with two civilian patients, one of whom was immobile and connected to a drip. “They were doctors, with stethoscopes round their necks,†Dr Harith said.

    “Even in war, a doctor should not be treated like that.â€

    Unluckiest of all was Abdul Razaq, one of the hospital administrators, who took shelter from the bombardment in Private Lynch’s room, believing that he would be safe.

    He was seized and taken with the US soldiers on their helicopter to their base, where he was held for three days in an open-air prison camp.

    “When he left his skin was the colour of yours,†another doctor, Mahmud, said. “When he came back, he was black.â€

    Bizarrely, the rescuers cut open a special bed, designed for patients with bed sores, which had been provided for Private Lynch’s use.

    “They took samples of sand out of it,†Dr Harith said. “It was the only bed like it that we have, the only one in the governorate.â€

    Today, the hospital struggles on without adequate supplies of drugs and without running water or mains electricity.

    “There are two faces to Americans,†Dr Harith said. “One is freedom and democracy, and giving kids sweets. The other is killing and hating my people. So I am very confused. I feel sad because I will never see Jessica again, and I feel happy because she is happy and has gone back to her life. If I could speak to her I would say: ‘Congratulations!’â€


    Like I said, the Bush administration sold this war like Frito-lay sells a new flavor of Cheesy Poofs. Most of you bought it. And why not? U.S. propaganda sold the first gulf war.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2003
  19. HBK

    HBK member

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    Propoganda. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight...:rolleyes:
     
  20. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    SkunkApe,

    Enlighten me on how an article datelined today is "old news". :confused:

    Also, note that the principle (and almost only) interviewee in both columns is the same guy, one Dr. Harith.

    Lastly, I remember watching the footage the night/following day of the rescue. I must have missed any claims the military made of shooting their way in and out through heavy resistance. All they claimed was that a bunch of brave guys made a daring rescue. Last I checked, flying off behind enemy lines (whether one actually winds up getting shot at or not) qualifies for that description.

    Perhaps you haven't read much on hostage rescue ops and are therefore failing to read between the lines in much the same way that Mr. Parry and Mr. Morford did?

    They knew that at least one live soldier and possibly the remains of others were at a location still behind enemy lines. They went in, secured the location (this will require flash bangs, and much yelling of "Go! Go! Go!" and such), secured any unknowns with flexicuffs (there is no law of physics that prevents soldiers from donning lab coats and stethoscopes or doctors from stashing Krinkovs under their scrubs) retrieved their live comrade and the remains of their fallen ones, and split. Nothing Dr. Harith described is inconsistant with a hostage rescue operation with possible active shooters.

    Whether there actually were active shooters or not at the site when the team went in, unless one is ready to gear up and sit in the door of the next MH-60 to fly off into the black, questioning the bravery of the men who did so is somewhat high handed. :scrutiny:
     
  21. SkunkApe

    SkunkApe Member

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    Tamara,

    Its old news because:

    1) The article I posted is dated April 16, 2003.

    2) This story smelled fishy from day one. It had "made for TV" written all over it.

    Good gravy, and you wonder why its so hard to convince the anti-gunners.
     
  22. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    My bad, I thought it was still April. ;)

    Care to elucidate?
     
  23. SkunkApe

    SkunkApe Member

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    Hallucinate?
     
  24. SkunkApe

    SkunkApe Member

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    Oh, "elucidate". Thank goodness for dictionary.com.

    Do you remember when the "assault weapons" ban was up for a vote the first time? One (or more) of the networks was running film footage of a full-auto weapon while talking about the legislation. I'd tell all of my associates:

    "They're deliberately misleading you! They're lying! That's a fully-automatic weapon! These aren't the kinds of guns this bill is about! Can't you see what they're doing?"

    To which they'd respond:

    "So what? I don't care. Assault weapons are still bad. They should be banned."


    And that's how I feel discussing the the Iraq war with most of you on this forum. The truth is right there, in front of you. Can't you see? Or don't you care?
     
  25. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Most of "us" on this forum, eh?

    Ever bother to ask my opinion on the war?


    All I'm saying is that in this particular incident the reporter and his sole interviewee display a shocking lack of knowledge in how a prisoner recovery mission goes down, even compared to a lay person like me.

    “We heard them firing and shouting: ‘Go! Go! Go! Go!’ †Well, duh! Did he think they were going to come in singing Kum-bah-yah and saying "Oh, our psychic powers tell us there are no hostile soldiers here and that you doctors are all friendly. Here, have a lei and a pina colada."?

    In assuming that everything is bullcrap, you make too much stew from one oyster.
     
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