Toronto Star (Canada)
May 17, 2003

BBC Questions U.S. Version of Lynch Rescue

Much of what was fed to media about event called false

by Don Melvin

A front-page expose by the Star's Mitch Potter challenged that version of events last month. And tomorrow, a BBC broadcast will do the same, charging that some of what American officials fed news reporters was false. Lynch received no battle wounds and her rescuers endured no enemy fire, according to the television report.

Instead, the BBC show Correspondents will allege that the so-called daring rescue was essentially a Hollywood-style stunt designed to buck up sagging American support when the troops appeared to be getting bogged down. . . .

The BBC report also alleges the American rescuers did not come under fire, as military spokespeople claimed - and that they knew beforehand they would face no resistance. A waiter at a local restaurant said he had told the U.S. advance party the Fedayeen had all left, the broadcast reports.


Robert Fisk, "Saddam Statue Scene Staged," April 11, 2003

["Her Iraqi guards had long fled, she was being well cared for - and doctors had already tried to free her. John Kampfner discovers the real story behind a modern American war myth . . .

Two days before the snatch squad arrived, Al-Houssona had arranged to deliver Jessica to the Americans in an ambulance. . . . He put her in an ambulance and instructed the driver to go to the American checkpoint. When he was approaching it, the Americans opened fire. They fled just in time back to the hospital. "--"The truth about Jessica," Guardian, May 15, 2003]

["The gripping narrative provided six weeks ago by the Pentagon is suddenly looking about as solid as Saddam's Republican Guard. And a deeper issue now has to be raised: Was this another manufactured moment in America's first made-for-TV war?"--Ellis Henican, "Next Rescue: Uncovering the Truth," New York Newsday, May 18, 2003]

["This fabrication has already been celebrated by an A&E special and will soon be an NBC movie. The Lynch rescue story - a made-for-TV bit of official propaganda - will probably survive as the war's most heroic moment, despite proving as fictitious as the stated rationales for the invasion itself."--Robert Scheer, "Saving Private Lynch: Take 2," Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2003]

[". . . tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars are being spent on covering up what happened to Jessica Lynch and her mates during and after their unit was ambushed and they were captured.

"Soldiers from Jessica's El Paso, Texas-based 507th Maintenance Company have been warned not to talk. . . .

"Jessica has been locked up in a private Walter Reed hospital room with an around-the-clock security detail normally reserved for high brass to ensure that what happened to her as a prisoner of war remains inside her room. Medical personnel who look after her have been given the same keep-your-trap-shut treatment as the 507th troopers."--David H. Hackworth, "Secrets galore," World News Daily, May 20, 2003]

["Lynch apparently was not shot. Lynch was not stabbed. Lynch may not have put up much of a fight, maybe none at all. The lights may have gone out for her the moment her unit was attacked and her vehicle went off the road. It was then, probably, that she suffered several broken bones. This information, too, was in The Post -- sort of.

"The original story about Lynch was played on the front page. Later, when it turned out that some of the gripping details in the story were questionable, the "corrections" -- although they were never labeled that -- were played inside the paper."--Richard Cohen, "On Not Admitting Our Mistakes," Washington Post, May 23, 2003]

Lawrence Jackson, "Kucinich seeks videotape of Lynch rescue," AP, June 4, 2003

Dana Priest, William Booth and Susan Schmidt, "A Broken Body, a Broken Story, Pieced Together," Washington Post, June 17, 2003

[The dramatic rescue of Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital was, it turns out, a little too good to be true. But while the US media hastily rewrites history, Andrew Buncombe finds a West Virginian community reluctant to let go of 'their' heroine--"Holding out for a hero," Independent, June 24, 2003]

[The Army will release a report tomorrow on the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company in Iraq that will show Pfc. Jessica Lynch and another female soldier suffered extensive injuries in a vehicle accident, but not from Iraqi fighters.--Rowan Scarborough, "Crash caused Lynch's 'horrific injuries'," Washington Times, July 9, 2003]

Scherezade Faramarzi"Doctors who treated former prisoner of war dismiss claims that she was raped in Iraq," Associated Press, November 7, 2003

"Jessica Lynch condemns Pentagon," BBC News, November 7, 2003

Edward Helmore, "Private Jessica says President is misusing her 'heroism'," The Observer, November 9, 2003

Gary Younge, " Private Lynch's media war continues as Iraqi doctors deny rape claim," Guardian, November 12, 2003

Lynda Hurst, " Jessica Lynch's Story is Turning 'Into a Monster' for the Bush Administration," Toronto Star, November 16, 2003

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