The US government fabricates a psychological warfare campaign (aided by the compliant mass media) on the American people of the Jessica Lynch “rescue” which was fabricated story to make her a “Rambo from the hills of West Virginia” to manufacture support for the Iraq war.
In crafting the Jessica Lynch fable, “The Pentagon had been influenced by Hollywood producers of reality TV and action movies,” reported the Guardian, including Black Hawk Down director Jerry Bruckheimer, who visited the Pentagon personally on numerous occasions before the event to discuss how occupations overseas could be humanized for means of better mass consumption on behalf of the American public.
The result was a complete fabrication of the Jessica Lynch story in an attempt to turn Lynch into a patriotic pro-war icon based on lies about how she was rescued by US forces in a dramatic siege from the clutches of Iraqi soldiers who had killed nine of her comrades.
According to the scripted version of the fable, Lynch had been shot and stabbed in an ambush by Iraqi soldiers before later being tortured and mistreated in the local hospital. The fearless Lynch had single-handedly fended off her attackers with a hail of gunfire until help came to rescue her from her abusers.
According to this account, a “daring” assault had been carried out in a hospital swarming with Fedayeen, Saddam Hussein’s paramilitary martyrs brigade. Braving repeated fire, US Special Forces had retrieved the private who was said to be suffering from stab and bullet wounds and who was being maltreated.
General Vincent Brooks, the US spokesman in Doha, declared, “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.”
Reports of Private Lynch’s period in captivity flowed thick and fast: we were told how she had fought valiantly, firing until she had run out of ammunition, wounding and killing several Iraqi soldiers despite her own injuries. Later reports suggested that Lynch might even have sustained some of her gun wounds whilst held captive as part of a brutal regime of interrogation.
The media then reported that Lynch’s rescue had been aided by Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaief, an Iraqi lawyer, who had been moved to intervene after witnessing her being beaten by one of her captors. According to the Pentagon, al-Rehaief had risked his life to make several journeys, retrieving information on the private’s whereabouts and conveying them to the US military.
In reality (which took over a month to emerge), Lynch, a 19-year-old army supply clerk, was captured on March 23 when her 507th Maintenance Company convoy was ambushed after taking a wrong turn near the southern city of Nasiriyah. Nine other US soldiers were killed in the attack. She hid inside a truck until she was rescued by Iraqi hospital workers. Her truck had overturned, and she had not been in any kind of shootout with Iraqi troops. Lynch had suffered a broken arm, a broken thigh and a dislocated ankle, and had been well cared for by doctors at the Iraqi hospital. Having discovered that Lynch had been taken to hospital in Nasiriyah, US Army Rangers and Navy Seals staged an early morning rescue operation on April 2, storming the building and whisking the badly injured Private away to safety.
“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,” said hospital worker Dr Anmar Uday.
Within two hours, journalists at the media headquarters in Doha, Centcom, were summoned for an emergency press briefing, where the Pentagon released a five-minute video film of the faux rescue, captured on the military’s night vision camera. Within the US, the young private became a heroine. The lawyer, Al-Rehaief, and his family have been granted asylum in the US and he has signed a $500,000 book deal.
The Correspondent team had gone back to Nasiriyah to interview eyewitnesses on events and found an entirely different story. The only people inside the building when US troops stormed in and began kicking down doors and pointing guns were innocent doctors and nurses. Doctors insisted that far from being ill treated Lynch had received the best treatment possible. Assigned to the only specialist bed in the hospital, and one of only two nurses on the floor, medical staff had even given blood to help her due to a shortage.
Dr Harith al-Houssona, who looked after Lynch throughout her ordeal, told the producers of a BBC documentary on the Jessica Lynch fable, “I examined her, I saw she had a broken arm, a broken thigh and a dislocated ankle. Then I did another examination. There was no [sign of] shooting, no bullet inside her body, no stab wound—only RTA, road traffic accident,” he recalled. “They want to distort the picture. I don’t know why they think there is some benefit in saying she has a bullet injury.”
“Hassam Hamoud, a waiter at a local restaurant, said he saw the American advance party land in the town. He said the team’s Arabic interpreter asked him where the hospital was. “He asked: ‘Are there any Fedayeen over there?’ and I said, ‘No’.” All the same, the next day “America’s finest warriors” descended on the building,” reported the Guardian. “US Special Forces chose to enter the hospital at the dead of night, with guns blazing“, Dr Anmar Uday told the documentary. “We heard the noise of helicopters. We were surprised. Why do this? There was no military, there were no soldiers in the hospital.”
Doctor al-Houssona claimed that medical staff had tried to help Lynch escape two days before the snatch team arrived, placing her in an ambulance and instructing the driver to take her to a US checkpoint. The driver had to retreat back to the hospital, however, when he came under fire from American troops.
Lynch later testified in front of a Congressional committee that the Rambo image cultivated around her circumstances was “misinformation,” “hype” and “lies”. Within 18 months of the events, four of the people involved in “rescuing” Lynch from the hospital had died:
- Petty Officer First Class David M. Tapper died of wounds received in Afghanistan.
- Lance Cpl. Sok Khak Ung was killed in a drive-by shooting.
- Spc Josh Daniel Speer died when his car crashed into some trees for no apparent reason.
- Kyle Edward Williams, who worked in the same company as Lynch, died of “suicide”.
When the Department of Defense insisted on keeping up their official version of the rescue, was it inevitable that some of Lynch’s rescuers would be hushed. After all, here is a woman who endured a few broken limbs from a vehicle accident and is rewarded with a million bucks, while her rescuers continue to live without toilets and running water in a Depleted Uranium wasteland. Her Bronze Star has outraged many veterans. At some point even the threat of an untimely demise will not keep some disgruntled military folks from talking.
“The American strategy was to ensure the right television footage by using embedded reporters and images from their own cameras, editing the film themselves,” reported the BBC.
The entire story behind the rescue of Lynch was a complete fable, a scripted work of fiction, graciously swallowed up and regurgitated ad infinitum to the American people by the corporate media in an effort to generate pro-war fervor and phony patriotism, almost identical to what we’re seeing now with the Bin Laden sideshow.
The BBC documentary was angrily condemned by US officials. Whitman said that claims that Private Lynch’s rescue was stage-managed “is ridiculous, I don’t know how else to respond. The idea that we would put a number of forces in danger unnecessarily to recover one of our POWs is just ridiculous.”
The US military had never claimed that its forces had come under fire when they burst into the hospital. Nor had it released an account on what had happened to Lynch because, “she never told us”, he said. “Certain facts about what happened to other soldiers got confused with what may have happened to Jessica,” Whitman maintained.
Sure enough, Pvt. Lynch has selective amnesia and cannot remember the events of her capture and rescue, though that hasn’t stopped her from a million dollar book deal with the NY Times most recent plagiarist du jour, Rick Bragg.