Friday, November 07, 2003

well even jessica lynch herself has come out to lambast the military for the way it misreported her story in the media, turning her from a normal captured soldier into some combo of she-ra, xena, & the dirty dozen. she's no rambo, she says, & it's honorable of her to come forward & say so (even if it's way way too late).

but at the same time, her story is about to get a lot cloudier. in coming weeks she has a tv movie, a bunch of big interviews, & an authorized biography coming out... & the biography asserts that she was raped while in captivity. of course, she has no memory of any rape; the implication is that this happened during the "three hours" when she was blacked out, with no memory. the book apparently cites some medical records as evidence that it happened.

now of course i don't know whether it really happened (neither does lynch, which means probably nobody knows for sure), & it's possible, since that & worse can happen on the battlefield. but it all seems suspicious to me, because that is the kind of detail that the military would've loved to publicize a long time ago. considering all the lies & disinformation that circulated about pvt lynch, if there were real evidence of rape, bushco would've publicized it long ago to demonize the iraqi army. it would've made the fable that much more sensational: "lady rambo" lynch is ambushed, empties her clip at the forces of evil assaulting her, is eventually overtaken, is brtually sodomized by those vicious baathist misogynists, & is slapped around in the hospital, before her saviors rescue her in a blaze of glory. the sodomy bit adds so much more emotional tension that if this kind of info were out there, they probably would've made saddam himself into the rapist. saddam forcing himself on jessica would've made one hell of a t-shirt. it's exactly the kind of emotional propaganda that the govt loves to foist on us anytime we have a new enemy (& if you don't think so, you must've forgotten the tale of nayirah & the kuwaiti babies being thrown out of incubators... a story that was completely fabricated to drum up support for gulf war I). of course now we know all the other parts of the lynch fable are pretty much false, so why should we believe this new detail?

in other military news, the sergeant who was accused of cowardice has had the charges against him bumped down to dereliction of duty (ny times article; registration required). this means that he can no longer be given the death penalty simply because he freaked out after seeing a highly mutilated corpse. of course, he already has the stigma of "coward" attached to him so his military career is as good as over, but it's a start. i guess the military realized that with so much bad press out there already, they shouldn't exacerbate the problem by openly turning on their own people.

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