May 22, 2003


Pam Nicolais, who has served a spokesman for the Lynch family, said that the Iraqi accounts corroborate what the family has been hearing from Lynch herself.

"That goes along with what Jessi told us," she said.

--Huntingdon Herald-Dispatch, May 5

UPDATE: Here, by the way, is the London Times story of April 16, by Richard Lloyd Parry, which confirms many of the details of the initial story by the Washington Post foreign service (see previous posts), and the subsequent Star-Telegraph story that got everyone's attention. An excerpt:

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...

Dr. Harith, one will recall, is the person everyone's accused of lying about the Americans firing blanks. Apparently he also prevented Lynch from being taken on a perilous road trip with the other maintenance company captives, too.

Posted by BruceR at 06:41 PM


From Publisher's Weekly, via Road to Surfdom:

[Harper Collins] paid approximately $300,000 for Rescue in Nasiriya: The Untold Story of American P.O.W. Jessica Lynch's Harrowing Ordeal and the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Save Her . The Iraqi, a lawyer named Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaief, provided U.S. Marines with information on where Lynch was detained that led to the rescue. But now new reports are questioning the danger Lynch was actually in and, consequently, the drama of the mission that saved her...

...Reached in an interview Friday, [publicist] Hirshey had a different take, saying that the book is "not about Jessica Lynch" but rather "the extraordinary story of what life was like for an upper middle class Iraqi under Hussein." He admitted that "We may have been premature in slapping the title on it."

It stands to reason that if Lynch was no longer under military guard, and the hospital was already trying to find a way to get her back to the Americans, that Mr. al-Rehaief's contribution was not as crucial as originally stated. A story of an upper middle class Iraqi... oh yeah, that'll sell. Still, we may have avoided another embarrassing Cassie Bernall publishing episode, at least.

Posted by BruceR at 06:30 PM


The National Review explains why Hitler couldn't have risen to power if the Weimar republic hadn't first imposed gun registration.

In other news, Iraqis have been banned from owning assault rifles or carrying concealed weapons, and have to register the rest.

Posted by BruceR at 06:10 PM


Again, I ask, how do you defend the intelligent Lynch revisionism and military PR analysing out there without being lumped in with this nutball?

Only this week we've learned from the BBC News that the entire "Saving Private Lynch in Iraq" episode was staged by the US military. On advice from PR spinmeisters, the Pentagon ignored efforts by Iraqi doctors to return Private Lynch in an Iraqi ambulance. Instead, according to the BBC, the Pentagon fired on the ambulance so they could then stage a rescue and stage a firefight at the hospital and remove Private Lynch.

--Cynthia McKinney (from Damian)

Posted by BruceR at 04:58 PM


Bill Herbert takes me to task again, and uncovers one story I wasn't aware of:

[Flit's] own comments seem as if he's defending the revisionist version of the Lynch rescue because two Toronto Star reporters "broke" that story -- which, actually, isn't true either.

Of course it isn't. Inigo Gilmore writes for the Daily Telegraph.

This story I hadn't read, until now:

The Washington Post ran a story with the same allegation -- that there was really no resistance to the SOF team that rescued Lynch -- by Keith B. Richburg on April 15.

Here's Richburg's story (dated the 14th, actually).

Here's the lead:

NASIRIYAH, Iraq, April 14 -- Accounts of the U.S. military's dramatic rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch from Saddam Hospital here two weeks ago read like the stuff of a Hollywood script. For Iraqi doctors working in the hospital that night, it was exactly that -- Hollywood dazzle, with little need for real action.

"They made a big show," said Haitham Gizzy, a physician at the public hospital here who treated Lynch for her injuries. "It was just a drama," he said. "A big, dramatic show."

Note this is a separate witness from those quoted in the other pieces. It continues:

Initial accounts reported how [Lynch] was shot and stabbed and continued battling Iraqi fighters until she ran out of ammunition. But the doctors here who treated her said she suffered fractures to her arms and lower limbs and a "small skull wound," sustained when her vehicle overturned.

Lynch's U.S. doctors have said she suffered fractures in her upper right arm, upper left leg, lower left leg and right ankle and foot. Her father, Greg Lynch Sr., told reporters she had no penetration wounds.

"It was a road traffic accident," Gizzy said. "There was not a drop of blood. . . There were no bullets or shrapnel or anything like that." At the hospital, he said, "She was given special care, more than the Iraqi patients."

Herbert proves conclusively that Potter-Gilmore didn't have as much of a scoop as I first thought. That's fine. I'm happy for the Post. But there's no doubt reading this story would make things MORE awkward for many of those attacking the Star/Telegraph team's Lynch revisionist story, not less.

For this story strikes me as good journalism. But is its lead really THAT different from the other, later print story people are condemning? ("Hollywood dazzle, with little need for real action?" How?) So is Richburg part of the anti-American "pile of odour" that Laughing Wolf saw, or not? The "deliberate smear campaign?" And if the Post had settled the truth for all time why, for instance, DIDN'T Fox News, for instance, get around to debunking its "Lynch-shot" stories until May 8? (I'd thought they were just three days behind, but it turns out it was nearly a month.) said he remembered ALL the major news sources running stories saying she was, in fact, not shot, stories that ran before May 5. So far, we've found one that did, then: still a ways to go on that one, to say the least.

Col. David Hunt (retd.) was on Fox News saying he knew for a fact the stuff about no fighting in the hospital was crap. So, was he wrong, then? Biased-BBC says it can only be "anti-American hysteria" to believe an Iraqi "doctor" (their scare quotes) on the subject of Lynch's medical care without confirmation from some, presumably American source. So... the Post is full of hysterics, then? (How about two "doctors"? How about five?)

There are lots of others... I'm only citing those Instapundit has linked to, approvingly, on the subject.

UPDATE: Interesting Google factoid: here are some of the major news sites that cited the Post's big story, picked up by the Associated Press, on Lynch's heroics, the same story they Post recently and uncharacteristically pulled from its website (some of these links are dead now, too):
ABC News
Philadelphia Inquirer
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Philadelphia Daily News
Minnesota Star-Tribune
Sydney Morning Herald
The Daily Telegraph
The Age
The Globe and Mail
The New York Daily News
The Honolulu Advertiser, etc. etc.

Here are all the papers I could find that ran the WashPost's later, April 14 story that first interviewed the Iraqis and was the first to cast doubt on the earlier heroic version:
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Huntington (W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch..., that's it, actually.

Posted by BruceR at 02:50 PM