The MSM Was Warned Off The Jessica Lynch Story


At the show trial of Waxman’s we heard all the usual stuff we get from the hippies.  The military is bad, the war is bad, Bush is bad.  Apparently it was learned during this farce of a hearing that the military made up a story about Jessica Lynch.  But Ray Robison discovered a WaPo article written two days after her rescue that should have warned many many people off:

We all know it is hard to prove a negative, in this case that the US military did not create the shoot-out scenario reported by the media. So we have to instead ask questions. If the US military did so, who specifically did it? Do we have a name in all this media hype about the misleading Pentagon reporting? Where was the claim first made? Who was the source?

This USA Today article from July of 2003 is a hint. It states:

Lynch had been mythicized during the war. An initial report in The Washington Post said Lynch had killed several Iraqis. Later, government officials said she had killed no one.

The fact is it wasn’t "later" that the government warned against this fight-to-the-death story line, it was at the time of the initial reporting by the media. And as the USA Today article has correctly identified, The Washington Post did run the story first.

Here is the article:

Lynch, a 19-year-old supply clerk, continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in her unit die around her in fighting March 23, one official said. The ambush took place after a 507th convoy, supporting the advancing 3rd Infantry Division, took a wrong turn near the southern city of Nasiriyah.

"She was fighting to the death," the official said. "She did not want to be taken alive."

[…]Several officials cautioned that the precise sequence of events is still being determined, and that further information will emerge as Lynch is debriefed. Reports thus far are based on battlefield intelligence, they said, which comes from monitored communications and from Iraqi sources in Nasiriyah whose reliability has yet to be assessed. Pentagon officials said they had heard "rumors" of Lynch’s heroics but had no confirmation.

Ray continues:

So let’s get this straight, The Washington Post single-sourced this story from one official that they couldn’t even identify. Ask yourself why they couldn’t identify a military official praising a soldier. Is that really a secret? This isn’t a whistle blower or Bush Administration insider. It would more than likely be an officer or NCO at the tactical operations center if this person existed.

So why couldn’t The Washington Post name the source? The answer is obvious; because the reporters don’t even know who it was, or if the incident even occurred. It sounds very much like one person’s ruminations in passing, chatting about rumors from unofficial sources. Then The Washington Post ran with the information despite army officials warning them about the veracity of such rumors. And this is the military’s fault? Are you kidding me?

What struck me while reading the WaPo’s report is that it sounded quite familiar to what Rich Lowry had written a few days ago: (my post here)

The vehicle that Brandon Sloan and Sergeant Donald Walters were riding in got stuck in the sand. Sloan jumped from the vehicle into another truck; Walters began to lay down covering fire as his comrades turned their vehicles and fled to safety. In the confusion, Walters was left fifteen miles behind enemy lines.

Sergeant Donald Walters was the Real Hero

Walters resisted for as long as he could. He probably "fought to his last bullet." He was captured alive and taken to an Iraqi stronghold and later murdered. When I last spoke to my source, a criminal investigation was still under way. Our government was helping the Iraqis collect evidence against Walters’ murderers in an ongoing effort to bring them to justice.

[…]The story of the Marines’ battle to secure Nasiriyah is an amazing saga that everyone should read. The battle was filled with individual acts of heroism. A Distinguished Flying Cross, two Navy Crosses, a handful of Silver Stars, and a larger handful of Bronze Stars were awarded for valor in the battle. Sergeant Donald Walters was awarded a Silver Star, as well. Donald was a sandy-haired young man. Some believe that it was an intercepted Iraqi radio report of his ordeal that was somehow attributed to Jessica Lynch, the only blonde female in the unit.

Did this unnamed source for the WaPo receive these reports about the blond soldier taking on the Iraqi army solo and attribute it to Jessica?

The WaPo article:

Reports thus far are based on battlefield intelligence, they said, which comes from monitored communications and from Iraqi sources in Nasiriyah whose reliability has yet to be assessed.

I’m thinking this is EXACTLY where this unnamed source received his information, he passed it on to the WaPo but other military officials tried to warn them off of it.

And the rest is history.  The MSM did not get off of the Jessica fought to the last bullet story and a legend was born.

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The Jessica Lynch story: Manufactured by the Pentagon, or by the press?

Outside of undermining Republican administrations, there’s nothing more the mediots love to do than to advance their pet causes via reporting news stories as an advocate would rather than how a straight news reporter is supposed to be trained to …

Wow! That was a really great article� Please keep writing because I love your style a lot.