private lynch - one almighty f*ck up

  1. 268 Posts.
    From the Age

    Probe debunks tales of Private Lynch's heroics
    July 11 2003
    By David Rennie

    The heroic story of Jessica Lynch, the teenage US army soldier rescued from Iraqi captivity in a televised commando raid, has been largely debunked by an official military investigation.

    The 15-page report dismissed lurid media accounts - based on intelligence intercepts and passed to US reporters by military officials - that Private Lynch fought back fiercely as her supply convoy was ambushed in the central Iraqi town of Nasariyah on March 23. It had been claimed she fired until her ammunition ran out before being overpowered, shot and stabbed by her captors.

    Instead Private Lynch suffered "horrific injuries" when the Humvee in which she was riding was hit by enemy fire and crashed into a wrecked truck.

    She survived "principally because of the medical attention she received from the Iraqis", a Pentagon source told the Washington Times.

    Early reports also referred to her supply convoy, from 507th Maintenance Company, being ambushed by Iraqi forces. But the report instead describes how a series of blunders by a commanding officer led the 13-vehicle convoy into Nasariyah, a well-defended Iraqi town which would not fall to American hands for another week.

    Captain Troy Kent King, 37, from Texas, misread his orders and took a series of wrong turns into the town, past waving Iraqis at military checkpoints. As the convoy attempted two successive U-turns, army vehicles broke down, ran out of petrol, became stuck, and collided with each other, while Iraqi fire poured in on their column. Many of the US weapons jammed, possibly due to poor maintenance.

    Of the 33 soldiers who entered Nasariyah, 11 were killed, seven were captured and one died in captivity, the report said. It did not touch on allegations of summary executions or mistreatment, which are being investigated separately.

    The report assigns no blame to Captain King, saying he committed a "navigational error caused by the combined effects of the operational pace, acute fatigue, isolation and harsh environmental conditions".

    Private Lynch remains in a US military hospital and reportedly remembers nothing of her ordeal. Her daring rescue by US special forces sealed her status as the pre-eminent good news story of the conflict. Several fictionalised TV movies of her story are in the works
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