Kevin Drum links a Guardian story that contends Jessica lynch never had any combat wounds but rather suffered her injuries as a result of a vehicle accident; that contrary to the propaganda, she received excellent medical care from the Iraqis; and that the commando rescue operation was a publicity stunt, as the hospital was essentially unguarded.

I was very, very skeptical of the Lynch story from very early on and tend to believe some of this. That Lynch suffered her injuries when her vehicle crashed during the ambush strikes me as infinitely more plausible than the idea she was some sort of G.I. Jane fighting off the Iraqis to the last bullet. I also am quite certain that the rescue was at least partly a publicity stunt. That wouldn’t be unusual and, in the midst of a war, maybe not even a bad thing.

That said, I find this story somewhat problematic. The sources are Iraqi medical staffers who would, presumably, have an interest in bolstering their reputation. There appears to be no independent corroboration here.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Lemon says:

    The Guardian is notorious for horrible reporting. I remember a story they reported on Venezuela about 1.5 years ago claiming that multinational oil corporations were sucking all the oil out of Venezuela without turning over any profits. Turns out that Venezuelan oil is state owned and the MNC is named Hugo Chavez.

  2. Jem says:

    I doubt the full story of this will ever come out (though, as your earlier posts point out, there will probably be one or two largely fictional portrayals)–the Special Ops guys aren’t likely to publish an account that details the decisionmaking and planning processes that led to the raid. I suspect they had information resistance would be light or non-existent, but went in “loaded for bear” because human intelligence is almost never 100% right (and besides, by the time they planned, gathered forces & supplies, and launched the raid, their info would be several hours old).

    As for Lynch’s injuries, it would probably be best to wait before any of us sticks our foot in our mouth speculating about what they are and how they were obtained–she’s been recovering (vice giving interviews), and the doctors/administrators that have spoken don’t seem to have a consistent story.

  3. MommaBear says:

    It has been published that Pfc. Lynch has amnesia about the entire incident, according to the Army doctors.

  4. jen says:

    I doubt we’ll ever know the full, true story on this one. Her amnesia coupled with the fact that most of her fellow troops were killed will ensure a foggy story. The ones that were captured only know so much of the story. I’m sure the military is trying to gather enough information to get to the truth or as close to it as possible.

    And there aren’t enough credible sources to the Guardian story to suit me. I will believe the military version until enough credible alternate sources come forward with information.

  5. Nick says:

    I think the only drummed up parts were about how she fought her captors. I honestly don’t see staging a full-scale special operation just for Hollywood effect.

  6. James Joyner says:

    Nick: Heh. Remember Somalia, when the Marines stormed the beaches? Where CNN camera crews had already “secured the area”?