Government Warned WaPo in Original Article of 'Lynch's Heroics'
Because of Tuesday’s testimony by former Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch, the media have renewed the stories about the government “lying” about Lynch’s heroism and only correcting it later, but the conservative blog American Thinker dug up that first article which supposedly gave the details of Lynch’s rescue and found the “government warned against this fight-to-the-death story line… at the time of the initial reporting by the media,” not later.
Writing at AmThinker, Ray Robison said that the Washington Post was the first to publish the super-soldier story, and even though they had been cautioned by the government, they ran with it anyway, adding a little paragraph that mentioned the warning but giving more prominence to the unnamed “US official” (emphasis added throughout; in this post, I changed AmThinker's highlighting and pointed out the AT's "emphasis added" text to differentiate from mine. Follow link to see original form):
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..."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.[emphasis added] (by AmThink-LD)
Robison questioned why the Post couldn’t identify the anonymous "US official":
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?
It seems that post-battle confusion and a press eager for a hero to sell created this story, along with a government that didn't go above and beyond to correct the Rambo-esque tales. The unnamed “US official” may have lit the imaginations of the media, but those quotes are hardly the media's portrayal of a crack one-woman killing machine, who set her jaw and proficiently took out the Iraqis one by one like Jean Reno in the final scene of the still-excellent 1994 cult action-thriller, “The Professional.”
Even though that easily-located first article carried governmental caution against using the aggrandized Lynch stories, the media ignored those warnings. Instead, with their own runaway imaginations, they romanticized Lynch and repeated each other's unsourced stories, which were too good to check, as fact. AmThinker finished up:
But yet in this reporting, one unidentified source who may indeed be a fiction - a literary device to whom to attribute overheard conversation - trumped the military spokesperson. I challenge The Washington Post to identify this source so that this person can be questioned in the current proceedings.
That would be a start.
Lynn can be reached at tvisgoodforyou2ATyahoo.com (email is edited to reduce spam; replace the "AT" with "@" to send)