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Saving Private Lynch - Part 2: Propaganda Machine???

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Could this really be true? I'd be fuckin' pissed!!! Is nothing sacred??

Los Angeles Times

Robert Scheer:

Saving Private Lynch: Take 2

The rescue was pure Hollywood, reportedly a bit of Pentagon fiction.

In the 1998 film "Wag the Dog," political operatives employ special editing techniques to create phony footage that will engender public sympathy for a manufactured war. Now we find that in 2003 the real-life Pentagon's ability and willingness to manipulate the facts make Hollywood's story lines look tame.

After a thorough investigation, the British Broadcasting Corp. has presented a shocking dissection of the "heroic" rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch, as reported by the U.S. military and a breathless American press.

"Her story is one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived," the BBC concluded — the polite British way of saying "liar, liar, pants on fire."

Though the Bush administration's shamelessly trumped-up claims about Iraq's alleged ties to Al Qaeda and 9/11 and its weapons of mass destruction take the cake for deceitful propaganda — grand strategic lies that allow the United States' seizure of Iraq's oil to appear to be an act of liberation — the sad case of Lynch's exploitation at the hands of military spinners illustrates that the truth once again was a casualty of war.

Lynch, who says she has no memory of the events in question, has suffered enough in the line of duty without being reduced to a propaganda pawn.

Sadly, almost nothing fed to reporters about either Lynch's original capture by Iraqi forces or her "rescue" by U.S. forces turns out to be true. Consider the April 3 Washington Post story on her capture headlined "She Was Fighting to the Death," which reported, based on unnamed military sources, that Lynch "continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds," adding that she was also stabbed when Iraqi forces closed in.

It has since emerged that Lynch was neither shot nor stabbed, but rather suffered accident injuries when her vehicle overturned. A medical checkup by U.S. doctors confirmed the account of the Iraqi doctors, who said they had carefully tended her injuries, a broken arm and thigh and a dislocated ankle, in contrast to U.S. media reports that doctors had ignored Lynch.

Another report spread by news organizations nationwide claimed Lynch was slapped by an Iraqi security guard, and the U.S. military later insisted that an Iraqi lawyer witnessed this incident and informed them of Lynch's whereabouts. His credibility as a source, however, is difficult to verify because he and his family were whisked to the U.S., where he was immediately granted political asylum and has refused all interview requests. His future was assured with a job with a lobbying firm run by former Republican Rep. Bob Livingstone that represents the defense industry and a $500,000 book contract with HarperCollins, a company owned by Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox network did much to hype Lynch's story, as it did the rest of the war.

But where the manipulation of this saga really gets ugly is in the premeditated manufacture of the rescue itself, which stains those who have performed real acts of bravery, whether in war or peacetime.

Eight days after her capture, American media trumpeted the military's story that Lynch was saved by Special Forces that stormed the hospital and, in the face of heavy hostile fire, managed to scoop her up and helicopter her out.

However, according to the BBC, which interviewed the hospital's staff, the truth appears to be that not only had Iraqi forces abandoned the area before the rescue effort but that the hospital's staff had informed the U.S. of this and made arrangements two days before the raid to turn Lynch over to the Americans. "But as the ambulance, with Pvt. Lynch inside, approached the checkpoint, American troops opened fire, forcing it to flee back to the hospital. The Americans had almost killed their prize catch," the BBC reported.

"We were surprised," Dr. Anmar Uday told the BBC about the supposed rescue. "There was no military, there were no soldiers in the hospital. It was like a Hollywood film. [The U.S. forces] cried 'Go, go, go,' with guns and blanks without bullets, blanks and the sound of explosions," Uday said. "They made a show for the American attack on the hospital — [like] action movies [starring] Sylvester Stallone or Jackie Chan."

The footage from the raid, shot not by journalists but by soldiers with night-vision cameras, was fed in real time to the central command in Qatar. The video was artfully edited by the Pentagon and released as proof that a battle to free Lynch had occurred when it had not.

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.

If the movies, books and other renditions of "saving Private Lynch" were to be honestly presented, it would expose this caper as merely one in a series of egregious lies marketed to us by the Bush administration.

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First, do a little research on this author....then comeback to me f you think his story is real..

Secondly, this is a shameless fabrication by this author, and the LA Times.

Lastly--stop falling victim to every conspiracy theory created

O'Reilly covered this last night on his show. First with a memo, and then with Col. Hunt, who explained in detail how ludricous this is, and explained in detail the operation. Go to O"reilly's site for the transcript.

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.

Somebody's lying in a big way. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.

As we've been reporting, The Los Angeles Times has staked out a very controversial place for itself by employing radical columnist, Robert Scheer, who many perceive to be a hater of [the] USA. Now that allegation may be proven once and for all.

Scheer despises President Bush and today wrote this, "Though the Bush administration shamelessly trumped claims about Iraq's alleged ties to Al Qaeda and 9-11 and its weapons of mass destruction take the cake for deceitful propaganda, grand strategic lies that allow the United States the seizure of Iraq's oil to appear to be an act of liberation, the sad case of Jessica Lynch's exploitation at the hands of military spinners illustrates that the truth, once again, was a casualty of war."

Scheer is referring to reports by the BBC that the U. S. military faked the rescue of Private Lynch. The story said that she was in an unguarded Iraqi hospital, and no military action was necessary. The Pentagon flat out denies the allegation and provided this statement to The Factor, "Any suggestion that the events were staged or that we have been less than forthcoming about them is ludicrous."

So somebody's lying and predictably, Robert Scheer is siding with the BBC, which, you remember, was stridently against the war in Iraq and chastised by one of its own correspondents for slanting its reports.

Talking Points does not know the truth in this matter. We don't know, but we have no reason to doubt the mission's original report. However, if it turns out that the U.S. military is lying, it will be a terrible scandal.

But what if Scheer is wrong, and the BBC's report is fallacious? What happens then? What will The Los Angeles Times do?

Now, The New York Times, as you may know, is in the middle of a huge scandal because of this Jason Blair guy. He was allowed to fabricate stories because the editors were blinded by his skin color and refused to supervise him.

Now The L.A.Times could lose credibility as well if they're lead columnist turns out to be a provable propagandist. Nowhere in his column does Scheer do any original reporting. He just assumes the USA is lying, and the BBC is telling the truth. That's a dangerous game to play, and The Los Angeles Times should at least run a counter-column on the issue, but they never do that. The L.A. Times is extremely left wing in its editorial presentation.

Once again, we don't know the truth of the matter, but it is unfair to call the Bush administration liars unless you have proof. The L.A.Times op-ed page believes that a BBC report is all it needs to call the Private Lynch rescue bogus. We were skeptical of the source and of Scheer's anti-American motives, but we do hope the unassailable truth will emerge soon.

And that's The Memo.

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Next Rescue: Uncovering the Truth

Ellis Henican

May 18, 2003

No wonder Jessica Lynch has amnesia.

The story of her dramatic capture and rescue has just gotten a whole lot weirder, even for a 19-year-old Army private who says she can't remember a thing.

And she may not be the only one with memory problems about the war in Iraq. The Pentagon is also having trouble recalling what happened over there.

Was Jessica shot?

Was she stabbed?

Was she slapped around by brutal Iraqi interrogators?

Was she freed in a daring rescue by Army Rangers and Navy Seals, who braved enemy fire as they stormed a heavily guarded hospital in Nasiriyah and choppered young Jessica away?

That's the way Pentagon officials told the story back in early April, an account that turned a sweet-faced clerk from Palestine, W. Va., into America's plucky poster girl for the war with Iraq. The story made front-page news across America and the cover of Newsweek. No war-obsessed TV producer could resist night-vision video of the American commando raid, conveniently supplied by Central Command.

But now, some uncomfortable questions are being asked about what really happened to Pvt. Jessica Lynch.

Clearly, she was captured and hurt. But in what order? And how? And how exactly was she freed?

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?

"Her rescue will go down as one of the most stunning pieces of news management yet conceived," said John Kampfner, a British journalist who has taken a hard second look at the case for the BBC and the Guardian newspaper. His documentary, "Saving Private Jessica: Fact or Fiction?" airs in Britain on Sunday night.

This comes as the White House has been working hard to bring Hollywood-style production values to politics and war, sometimes to troubling effect. Administration officials have already been trying to explain why President Bush needed that jump-suited, top-gun landing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Could future campaign commercials be involved?

The presidential carrier landing was obviously a stunt. But we were supposed to believe the story of Jessica Lynch.

She is now being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and said to be doing better. Which is great. She has no recollection of her capture or rescue, the Army doctors say.

So she won't be providing key details.

But Harith al-Houssona, the doctor who treated her in Iraq, said she wasn't shot or stabbed at all, as American officials claimed. Her only injuries appeared to be the result of a vehicle accident - after her convoy took a wrong turn and was ambushed.

"I examined her," the Iraqi doctor told Kampfner. "I saw she had a broken arm, a broken thigh and a dislocated ankle. Then I did another examination. There was no shooting, no bullet inside her body, no stab wound - only RTA, road traffic accident ... I don't know why they think there is some benefit in saying she has a bullet injury."

As for the daring U.S. commando raid, the evidence on the ground suggests it wasn't quite as daring as it sounded.

The day before the American forces burst into the hospital with guns blazing and helicopters swirling overhead, Kampfner found, the Iraqi military had fled. The hospital was completely unguarded.

"We were surprised," said another doctor, Anmar Uday. "Why do this? There was no military, there were no soldiers in the hospital."

Could the American commandos have been playing for the cameras? "It was like a Hollywood film," Dr. Uday said. "They cried, 'Go, go, go,' with guns and blanks and the sound of explosions. They made a show - an action movie like Sylvester Stallone or Jackie Chan, with jumping and shouting, breaking down doors."

And there was one final surprise in Jessica Lynch, take-two. Two days before the American rescuers arrived, al-Houssona said, he had tried to deliver his young patient back to her American comrades.

The doctor said he put his patient in an ambulance and instructed the driver to go to the American checkpoint. While on the way, he said, American troops opened fire on the Iraqi ambulance, nearly killing the young private they were soon to retrieve. Facing heavy fire, the ambulance turned back to the hospital.

In the days to come, Pentagon officials will certainly try to discredit this British reporting. So far, it seems to be holding up.

One contention, at least, should be easy enough to prove.

Was she stabbed? Was she shot? Or were Private Lynch's injuries more consistent with a road accident?

Either way, she seems like a lovely young woman.

Too bad she can't step forward and speak for herself.

Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.

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