Brad Messer Commentary
Friday, June 6, 2003

The Odd Case of Pvt. Lynch

Apparently the original Private Jessica Lynch story was too dramatic to be true. It began with Iraqis ambushing some technicians from Fort Bliss. News reports said the Americans put up a terrific fight, down to the last bullet, then were overwhelmed and captured.

The first stories said Pvt. Lynch had been shot as she fought, and then became a POW. She was subsequently rescued by commandos who shot their way into an Iraqi hospital.

But when the Toronto Star sent reporters to Nasiryah to interview hospital workers, a whole different story came out. The Star and then others claimed Lynch hadn't been in enemy hands at the time of the rescue, the rescue raid wasn't necessary, the night-vision rescue video taken by Spec Ops was staged, and so on. We were even told that Lynch hadn't been shot after all, that she had been injured in a vehicle wreck.

A BBC investigation soon claimed the whole Lynch-As-Hero story was "one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived."

This week, congressman Dennis J. Kucinich of the Subcommittee on National Security, wrote to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He wrote, "I believe it is time for the Department of Defense to fully disclose what happened. First, I request that you order the public release of the unedited footage taken by the military cameraman of the military operation to recover Private Lynch."

None of this is Lynch's fault: she did her duty, and didn't ask for any PR fluff. Where the fluff did come from is now the reigning question.

Brad Messer, commentary, KTSA.


CHRONOLOGY OF PVT. LYNCH REPORTS
Iraq hero tipster gets job as D.C. lobbyist May 1
Rescued POW Jessica Lynch has "amnesia" May 5
Toronto Star exclusive
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The REAL "Saving Private Lynch" May 5
Saving Private Lynch story 'flawed' May 15 BBC "one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived."
US rejects BBC Lynch report May 20 BBC had reported the American story of the rescue was "one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived".
Does the Pentagon have amnesia on Pvt. Lynch? June 2 Letter from Dennis J. Kucinich, Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on National Security, to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

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