Remember the BBC’s attempted debunking of the Jessica Lynch rescue story? A great deal has been written about the BBC’s story, now partly retracted, which was the basis for hysterical screeds against the Administration by Robert Scheer and others. One of the key elements of the BBC’s account was the claim that Private Lynch was safe and sound in the Iraqi hospital, and in fact, at one point the Iraqi medical staff loaded her into an ambulance and tried to return her to American troops. Now that part of the story has been shown to be false.
Glenn Reynolds beat us to this story, but it’s interesting enough to reproduce for those who may have missed it there. It was actually blogger Idler Yet who noted the key facts slipped into the middle of a snarky, anti-Administration op-ed by the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof, who is in Iraq and has interviewed some medical staff at Saddam Hussein Hospital. Here is the key language:
“The hospital staff also said that on the night of March 27, military officials prepared to kill Ms. Lynch by putting her in an ambulance and blowing it up with its occupants ? blaming the atrocity on the Americans. The ambulance drivers balked at that idea. Eventually, the plan was changed so that a military officer would shoot Ms. Lynch and burn the ambulance. So Sabah Khazal, an ambulance driver, loaded her in the vehicle and drove off with a military officer assigned to execute her.
“‘I asked him not to shoot Jessica,’ Mr. Khazal said, ‘and he was afraid of God and didn’t kill her.’ Instead, the executioner ran away and deserted the army, and Mr. Khazal said that he then thought about delivering Ms. Lynch to an American checkpoint. But there were firefights on the streets, so he returned to the hospital. (Ms. Lynch apparently never knew how close she had come to execution.)”
Another BBC fraud bites the dust.
Of course, accounts by Iraqis have to be viewed skeptically and trained investigators, not New York Times reporters with an agenda, will ultimately have to sort out the various accounts and evaluate their credibility. But if one Iraqi says they loaded Pfc. Lynch into an ambulance to turn her over to the Americans, and a second Iraqi says they did it in order to kill her in a fake atrocity, it is easier to see the first Iraqi’s motive for lying.
But the overriding point is that the Army had every reason to believe that Pfc. Lynch was in danger; every obligation to try to rescue her; and no reason to assume that military force would not be required to retrieve her.
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