Private Lynch: Rape Charges
November 6, 2003 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Today's big bombshell: Private Jessica Lynch reports that she was raped. But here's the kicker. In the biography, she confesses that she has no memory of the incident. The citation comes from "medical records." But even author Rick Bragg notes that the records "do not tell whether her captors assaulted her almost lifeless, broken body after she was lifted from the wreckage, or if they assaulted her and then broke her bones into splinters until she was almost dead." Serious allegations against her captors or trumped up charges that fail to pinpoint the perpetrator? (It's also worth noting that Bragg was suspended from the New York Times when he relied on the work of stringers and interns. Is it possible that a similar approach was utilized with these medical records?)
posted by ed (61 comments total)
 
Gee, if only there was a TV movie about this incident. That would be awesome!
posted by spilon at 9:40 AM on November 6, 2003


a mini-series. with recurring slo-mo rape flashbacks. it's part of the administration's campaign strategy.
posted by quonsar at 9:49 AM on November 6, 2003


I no longer believe anything I read about Private Lynch. I don't even think she know's what really happened to her. Certainly she suffered. But is she a hero? Only in as much as any POW is hero. It is interesting, however, to watch the various, and at times competing, PR machines try to whip up our emotions. Jessica seems to be just a blank screen where the larger forces at work can project their anger, jingoism, hate, aggression, humanism, patriotism, shame or disgust - depending on the agenda that force wishes to further.
posted by pejamo at 9:53 AM on November 6, 2003


If there were a movie or documentary about the real story of this, that would indeed be awesome.
posted by orange swan at 9:56 AM on November 6, 2003


I wonder if this whole media thing is going to turn into a second rape.
posted by konolia at 9:58 AM on November 6, 2003


Geez, pejamo ... it's almost as if you believe government and major media are cynical, jaded ... manipulators ... of the ... populace's ... emotions ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:58 AM on November 6, 2003


Jessica seems to be just a blank screen where the larger forces at work can project

and that's all she ever has been. a clueless 20 year old motivated by a naive desire to serve, sent off to be broken in pieces by a born-rich, never-had-to-work-for-anything learning-disabled jerk-off pawn of big corporate money. it's going to be years before this kid realizes exactly what happened to her. i only wish it had been jenna.
posted by quonsar at 10:01 AM on November 6, 2003


The huns are attacking lady liberty! We must arm ourselves!
posted by destro at 10:14 AM on November 6, 2003


I am a Soldier, Too
I still don't understand this line. Does "too" mean, "in addition to being a pawn for the US, I am also a soldier"? Someone smart please explain.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:34 AM on November 6, 2003


I can't help but think that Jessica Lynch has become the Ellen James for the cause of the occupation of Iraq.
posted by psmealey at 10:35 AM on November 6, 2003


quonsar, please don't equate learning disabilities with assholish traits. LDs are inborn (usually) while the other qualities are the result of faulty character. Unless it was all the hooch and blow that caused the learning disabilty ... but that's another thread. anyway, carry on!

I'm wondering if the book and/or interview will be as honest about the Iraqis that took care of her during her captivity. Of course, that's not very salacious, so it'll probably be edited out.
posted by whatnot at 10:35 AM on November 6, 2003


quonsar, please don't equate learning disabilities with assholish traits.

i don't beleive i did, but point taken.
posted by quonsar at 10:49 AM on November 6, 2003


I am a Soldier, Too
I still don't understand this line.


You're right, Outlawyr, that is an odd, and possibly revealing, choice of title for the book.
posted by orange swan at 11:01 AM on November 6, 2003


"I still don't understand this line."
I wonder if that's a reference to the fact that she was a clerk. I have family in the military, and the people on the ground are disgusted by the Lynch situation for a lot of reasons. Imagine being a marine whose legs were blown off watching this crap unfold on TV.
posted by 2sheets at 11:06 AM on November 6, 2003


Down with the learning disabled!
posted by xmutex at 11:07 AM on November 6, 2003


My first thought when I heard this:

What if Private Lynch would have gotten pregnant through the rape by her captors? What would that do to the mindset of a rabid pro-lifer?

My second thought:

Dude, that's fucked up that you even considered that. You are an awful person.
posted by ColdChef at 11:14 AM on November 6, 2003


I'm so tired of the promo for the show saying something along the lines of "She brought hope to a desperate nation", or something like that.

Brought hope? Hope for what? "Oh my, they found Jessica Lynch! Now Haliburton can go in unfettered and we can have our oil!"
posted by thanotopsis at 11:21 AM on November 6, 2003


Not sure why ed is slagging on Rick Bragg here. All Bragg's saying is that there's no way to tell whether she was raped before or after her injuries were incurred.

Also, it's kind of surprising to me that the full story of her brutal treatment (i.e., anal rape) wasn't thrown out there with the original U.S. Government story of her capture/rescue. Is it possible that the desire to protect her privacy trumped the Ministry of Propaganda's own storytelling needs?

on preview: ColdChef, go stand in the corner over there with Stan Chin and his imaginary phall-o-phone.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:25 AM on November 6, 2003


Pretty sure that "I'm a soldier too" was her famous response to the Americans who came in to wherever she was being held calling out "Jessica Lynch! We're American soldiers here to rescue you" or some such.
posted by GaelFC at 11:27 AM on November 6, 2003


Ye gods, are Lynch's 15 minutes not over yet? Good Christ, I'm tired of hearing about her. Let's hear more about the kids who are in hospitals still, the kids learning to function without limbs, the kids who are having their pay cut while they clear a path for Halliburton's money machine, the kids who are coming home in boxes that the American public seems to conveniently forget about.

This Lynch thing is not only absurd in it's politicizing, but it's doing a grave disservice to all the women in the armed forces. This is a backhanded way of displaying that women need to be rescued, that they become the focus of any group of soldiers and that they shouldn't be on the field of battle...all precepts which are firmly held by a particular segment of the conservative voter.

All in all though...Jessica Lynch is perfectly typecast to distract the nation away from the real costs of war.
posted by dejah420 at 11:33 AM on November 6, 2003


You know what would make for some good TV? If it turns out that this Jessica was Baby Jessica.

Its funny this should be released now, I was just staring to have doubts about this war thing. But now I know these people are just plain evil and we're doing the right thing.
posted by soren at 11:37 AM on November 6, 2003


Book burning: "that's the ticket". The better books about Iraq will be written later by authors there. The book title: I am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story is pancaked with this new Army idea: Each soldier a rifleman'.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:42 AM on November 6, 2003


ColdChef: As a rabid pro-lifer, I would say "Have the baby. Show her/him a devoted mother's love and acceptance. Honour and support and cherish her/him. Raise her/him to be a fulfilled, happy, and complete. And in this way, help rid the world of the scourge of war." Would it be a difficult, hard, and unasked-for job? Yes. The world is full of tragedy - the challenge is to work to turn tragedy to triumph.
posted by timbley at 11:47 AM on November 6, 2003


stupidsexyFlanders: In the linked Newday article, it's noted that Bragg refuses to talk with the AP. In light of the memory loss, why is that? Like you, I'm curious why these "medical reports" weren't provided earlier. Given the controversy that ensued, would this not have been the smoking gun, so to speak, against her captors? Of course, the skeptic in me wonders at the veracity of these reports, where specifically they came from, and why they were withheld in the interests of book sales. If there was evidence of anal rape, how can it be targeted directly at her captors? Is it possible that someone else was responsible? With all due respect to women who are raped, which is indeed a terrible thing, it's the same shaky mentality behind the so-called Iraq/WMD link and, if a claim of this magnitude is going to be made, it needs more to it. And it's highly questionable given that Lynch lost her memory and given that Bragg has a history of relying upon the work of others, rather than overseeing the confirmation of facts himself.
posted by ed at 11:47 AM on November 6, 2003


Why is everyone so cynical? These are the same Iraqis who threw babies out of incubators in Kuwait!

Whaddya mean, 'that was a lie'?

oh.
posted by stonerose at 11:51 AM on November 6, 2003


All the conflicting stories point to one obvious conclusion: Jessica Lynch is really a composite of inner-city black female soldiers.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:54 AM on November 6, 2003


Have the baby. Show her/him a devoted mother's love and acceptance. Honour and support and cherish her/him. Raise her/him to be a fulfilled, happy, and complete.

Until it's time for him to go to war in the Middle East and get blown apart by a landmine.
posted by stonerose at 11:57 AM on November 6, 2003


my first thought
who wrote this!

my second thought...
not cold chef!
posted by goneill at 12:03 PM on November 6, 2003


In light of the memory loss, why is that? Let see the war just started how much sleep/rest did she have up to that time. Add, ever have roomate(s) and stay up a couple of days then pass out with them home?

I'm curious why these "medical reports" weren't provided earlier. I have medical repors I don't want known, anything private these days.

The rape can leave a mental mark with some, would you chance a big lie like that?, may be a better question. She is single.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:03 PM on November 6, 2003


Pretty sure that "I'm a soldier too" was her famous response to the Americans who came in to wherever she was being held calling out "Jessica Lynch! We're American soldiers here to rescue you" or some such.
posted by GaelFC

Ok, now I have this image of the scene:

Rescuers: Lynch! We're American soldiers here to rescue you.
JL: Really? I'm a soldier too!
R: You are? Hey, us too.
JL: Me too.
R: Wow. Your a soldier, and we're soldiers.
JL: Too.
posted by Outlawyr at 12:16 PM on November 6, 2003


ColdChef: What if Private Lynch would have gotten pregnant through the rape by her captors? What would that do to the mindset of a rabid pro-lifer?

"The book does indeed cite some intelligence reports that she was treated brutally and a medical record that says, in the book, that she was a victim of a sodomizing rape," Sawyer said.

Can someone get pregnant that way?
posted by pemulis at 12:24 PM on November 6, 2003


I still don't understand this line. Does "too" mean, "in addition to being a pawn for the US, I am also a soldier"? Someone smart please explain

On the ABC site she is quoted as saying that was the first thing to come to mind when she was being rescued. She herself thought it was a dumb thing to say. Under the circumstances, I think we can let this one pass.
posted by konolia at 12:39 PM on November 6, 2003


"... in the book, that she was a victim of a sodomizing rape," Sawyer said.

Can someone get pregnant that way?


If she's a fan of fat-free Olestra Chips, the answer is, quite possibly.
posted by BentPenguin at 1:08 PM on November 6, 2003


Under the circumstances, I think we can let this one pass.
Well obviously we can't since they made it the title of her book. If it was so dumb why wave it out there. Are we supposed to say, "ah, isn't that cute, the dumb little lady, I'll buy her book." The whole thing is disgusting and manipulative.
posted by Outlawyr at 1:30 PM on November 6, 2003


Can someone get pregnant that way?

I give a partial-birth abortion out that end every day.
posted by rocketman at 1:56 PM on November 6, 2003


Its not like she wrote the book herself Outlawr. I'm reading the comments and watching the news, and I won't be blind anymore. Jessica Lynch is a puppet so the proletariat's and bourgeoisie's can forget about uncertainty regarding the war in Iraq.

Does anyone here remember the end of Animal Farm? Why did the animals all forget?
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:00 PM on November 6, 2003


Keyser, which part of "authorized biography" don't you understand?
posted by Outlawyr at 2:12 PM on November 6, 2003


What if Private Lynch would have gotten pregnant through the rape by her captors?

As a matter of fact, she did. But then those dirty Iraqi bastards removed the baby and put it in an incubator, and then they removed it from the incubator and killed it.

I have this on good information from a Kuwaiti source.
posted by moonbiter at 2:17 PM on November 6, 2003


Outlawyr, how much control do you think people have over these things? Some editor picked the title and that was that.

They picked it because that was the phrase people remembered. Was she supposed to have a neat little speech memorized for her rescue??? And I doubt she expected this amount of public attention.
posted by konolia at 2:23 PM on November 6, 2003


how much control do you think people have over these things?
As much as they want. Since it's her story and everyone wants to do the authorized biography, she can pretty much name the price and the terms. And please drop the straw man argument, I never faulted her for what she said at the moment of her rescue. I think it's foolish to emblazon it on the cover of a book as if it makes any sense, which it doesn't. If she had said, "Help, I've been anally raped," I don't think that would make a good title either.
posted by Outlawyr at 2:29 PM on November 6, 2003


Well, quel fuckin' suprise, was my initial reaction. But I'd have preferred not knowing this bit of "news." Whatever the did or did not happen to/around her, it would be better for her if she were out of the limelight.
posted by alumshubby at 3:19 PM on November 6, 2003


Why the memory loss? She had head injuries. It's quite common for people with head injuries to have memory loss. It seems to mess up the transfer of short-term memory into long-term memory.
posted by Shoeburyness at 3:58 PM on November 6, 2003


Oh no, poor Pvt. Lynch, the poor dear, she's so adorably cute and stupid and a petty trophy offered up by the GOP as a sign that war isn't all bad.

And now she was raped and can't remember it? Damn, doesn't that mean they have to rape her again?

Does anyone care about this fake war hero? Oh yeah, millions of brain dead housewives on Xanax and Paxil and Prozac and whatever other pill popping cute names they live on and by and for.

The same idiot people that keep trash like Rikki Lake and Jenny Jones on the air and let them think they're important when they're just human garbage movers.

Yawn, wake me up when something real happens.
posted by fenriq at 4:11 PM on November 6, 2003


And now she was raped and can't remember it? Damn, doesn't that mean they have to rape her again?...Oh yeah, millions of brain dead housewives on Xanax and Paxil and Prozac and whatever other pill popping cute names they live on and by and for...The same idiot people that keep trash like Rikki Lake and Jenny Jones on the air and let them think they're important when they're just human garbage movers.

Misogyny. Check. Classism. Check. Gratuitous swipe at depression sufferers. You've got it all (I think we can safely assume that these hypothetical gauche housewives are also disgustingly fat, eat fast food and never listen to NPR, right?)

Whether or not Jessica Lynch's story was manipulated by the Pentagon is a really interesting discussion that you might want to have sometime.
posted by transona5 at 4:22 PM on November 6, 2003


Remember. This is all alleged. I don't want metafilter to get sued by any members of the former Iraq Government for slander.

My question is whether Jessica Lynch will appear at the Republican Convention in 2004 hugging George Bush. I say 50/50.
posted by graventy at 4:42 PM on November 6, 2003


graventy, I'd say the odds are very, very good that she'll be paraded for dirty old men to ogle.

And transona5, why would I need to have a conversation about whether the Pentagon manipulated her "story" of course they did.

By the way, what part of my comment indicates that I hate women? I hate anyone who allows themselves to be a puppet. Gender has very little to do with it.

As for classism, who do you think the target demographic is for soap operas and daytime trash shows like Rikki Lake? If its classism to point out the target audience then I'm a classist or whatever term you care to level at me.

I know that the whole Jessica Lynch story is about 98% hype in a rabid effort by the Bush administration to find something laudable about this atrocity in progress in Iraq. Do I think she's a stupid girl for all of this? Yes. Yes I do. I've heard her speak and, if you'll excuse my classism, she speaks like she struggled to get out of high school English.

What's gratuitous about leveling a finger at the over medicated public? If you aren't happy all the time then there's something seriously wrong with you so take these pills, oh sure, you'll never be sad again but you'll never really be happy and kiss those orgasms goodbye along the way too. Besides, sex for any reason aside from procreation is a sin.

Only thing is that I'm an agnostic on a good day and a cynical athiest on a normal day. Depression at the current state of the world isn't a sign of something wrong internally, medicating to a flat line emotional state is running away from the reality. What's the old line? If you're not infuriated then you're not paying attention? Well I'm thoroughly pissed off and hate the fact that the government is parading this girl like she's some kind of hero. She screwed up, she got captured, she got abandoned in a hospital and is now the saviour of America. Puhlease!
posted by fenriq at 4:56 PM on November 6, 2003


/me ♥ fenrig

*pops another xanax*
posted by quonsar at 5:02 PM on November 6, 2003


Yes, quonsar, but did he make you orgasm?
posted by notsnot at 5:32 PM on November 6, 2003


I wonder when they'll make a movie about Shoshana Johnson. I'll never forget the look on her face on the video that the Iraqis released of our POW's who were also from Jessica's unit. That's the story I want to hear. She was shot through both ankles and was not taken to a hospital.
posted by whatever at 5:32 PM on November 6, 2003


Depression at the current state of the world isn't a sign of something wrong internally, medicating to a flat line emotional state is running away from the reality.

Dude, you understand little to nothing about a.) depression and b.) medication for same.

That said, I'd like to jump back to the whole rape-abortion-women-soldiers thing.

The question of rape in war is a huge one, one that we aren't going to solve here, BUT having females in service is a strategic advantage in almost every way (more [wo]manpower is a good thing) except when you come to the ultra-problematic problem of rape. It's basically another form of torture, but MEN tend to get really touchy about, because for them the symbolism is devasting--their women have been defiled, which is humiliating for men in their archetypal protector-defender role, a role that is further amplified by their commitment to a military ethos.

Patriotic anti-abortion activists who would deny abortions to women soldiers who have been raped are strategically stupid, because they are empowering the rapists. Awoman has much more to walk away from if she is pregnant--much more to suffer, much more to bear--and it's a contagious emotional burden.

The medical corps of the U.S. armed forces does not currently provide abortions, but I suspect that it would be tactically wise for them to beginning training medical personnel in obstetric issues, including the correct administration of the morning-after pill, the abortion pill and surgical abortion, not just for the sake of American and coalition servicewomen but for the sake of civilians and enemy combatants for whom sex and violence have intersected in the worst possible way.
posted by jengod at 5:57 PM on November 6, 2003


The Unknown Hero of the 507th

He received no book publishing offers or movie deals for his heroism in Iraq. But six months after the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Co. convoy in Nasiriyah, the full story has finally emerged of what Pfc. Patrick Miller accomplished in his valiant defense of fellow soldiers surrounded by an overwhelming number of Iraq fighters.

While the news media feasted on the glamorous -- and inaccurate -- accounts of Pfc. Jessica Lynch, few people outside the Army have ever been told of Miller's stand against the enemy that day -- until now.


‘Would You Do the Things He Did? Could You?’

By all accounts, he was not Ranger material: A scrawny, 23-year-old Army soldier from Kansas who shot a mediocre 26 on the M-16 qualification range, worked as a welder in a rear-area maintenance unit, and in his own words, had authority problems with officers.

That was until the morning of March 23, 2003, on the banks of the Euphrates River outside Nasiriyah, Iraq, where Pfc. Patrick Miller became an icon of heroism and true grit.

Miller was driving a five-ton wrecker towing a water trailer when the rest of his unit from the 507th Maintenance Co. took a wrong turn and drove straight into the city. The horrific ambush that followed, where Iraqis killed 11 soldiers (including two from another unit), wounded nine and took six prisoner, has been widely documented in recent months because of the media feeding frenzy over Pfc. Jessica Lynch.

It is a sad and cynical commentary on our times that reporters, Hollywood screenplay writers and other members of the chattering class were so blinded by the politically-correct stereotypes fueled by the (inaccurate) accounts of Lynch’s heroism that they were blinded to the astounding story of what Miller did during the ambush at Nasariyah.

posted by y2karl at 6:18 PM on November 6, 2003


So from reading that article we learn that she was probably raped , but thankfully she survived. Luckly she says she doesn't remember anything, which is even better.

My compliments to whoever managed to have the rape part discovered and "published". Maybe it would be better not to mention that, if she doesn't remember, wouldn't it ? Maybe it's not necessary to add pain to pain, isn't it ? But the publishers needed something that sells, like sex.

Also, on a tangent: there's no need to buy that friggin book if you want to learn about what really is a war ; a more or less ordered sequence of atrocities , some quick googling revealed (warning disturbing pics ahead)the My Lai massacre , Auschwitz ,some lesser known genocide in 1971 in Bagladesh and the list goes on -forever-

So it's not like the iraqui soldieres were particulary brutal SO all the iraquis are brutal. Neither all americans were brutal when indians were slowly decimated. It's war that's like that and it can only get worse.
posted by elpapacito at 6:29 PM on November 6, 2003


Is there anyone else who thinks it's odd that this information came out a mere two days before the showing of the NBC Movie Sunday at 8 pm (7 central)?

I was actually considering watching the movie, but I was able to find a copy of Triumph of the Will at my local Blockbuster Video, so I'll watch that instead.

/cynical
posted by graventy at 7:24 PM on November 6, 2003


how much control do you think people have over these things?
As much as they want.


Yeah, dream on, authors get overruled by editors all the stinkin time.

Meanwhile I have one request. This girl has had enough rotten stuff happen to her. Let's not add to it by calling her stupid. And frankly I would rather read her book than hear another word about Elizabeth Smart, if you get my drift.
posted by konolia at 8:21 PM on November 6, 2003


how much control do you think people have over these things?
As much as they want.

Yeah, dream on, authors get overruled by editors all the stinkin time.


No, sorry, I'm an editor and authors usually can get away with whatever they want to do. I've had to put up with asshole authors making outrageous demands and my company usually does end up compromising or giving in. It's a one-time contractual relationship, the publisher has invested in the book and is depending on the income from it. It does usually come down to personality and I don't believe Jessica would have the sophistication or the strength of character to really call the shots against opposition, but the fact remains that her editor can't force her to do anything - if Jessica were to really dig in her heels about the title or something, she'd win the day. She might not get a specific title she wanted but she wouldn't have to settle for something she hated.
posted by orange swan at 9:58 PM on November 6, 2003


Even even Jessica Lynch sees her mythology as ridiculous and overblown - also embarrassing and flat-out "wrong." Will she be showing up to hug Bush at the GOP convention? I seriously, seriously doubt it.
posted by raysmj at 10:02 PM on November 6, 2003


Thanks for the link, raysmj.

Hm...

...oh, shit...
posted by squirrel at 11:01 PM on November 6, 2003


I wonder when they'll make a movie about Shoshana Johnson. [...] She was shot through both ankles and was not taken to a hospital.

Yep, and now that she's a disabled vet and no longer physically fit for army service thanks to having both of her ankles shot through, she's retiring with 20% of her (piddling) army salary as disability payments for life.

Meanwhile, Ms. Lynch will be receiving 80% of her salary as disability payments for life.

For once I'm in agreement with Jesse Jackson, who has taken up Shoshanna's case, asking why the disparity. Granted, Shoshanna wasn't alone (well, she was held in a separate room but in the same building as the male members of her squad) and she wasn't raped, but she'll never walk without a limp again, and she's got a child to take care of.

The cynic in me compares and contrasts cutesy blonde girl from nowheresville West Virginia and heavyset black single mother from a southern urban center and comes to some pretty ugly conclusions.
posted by Dreama at 1:57 AM on November 7, 2003


I heard the news today that Jessica is outraged by the treatment her rescue has gotten. Maybe she's not as dim as she's been made out to be.

And the timing? Pure marketing. Of course, it is. Look at how many comments the thread's gotten here. Keeping people engaged in the story is the first step to a successful campaign.

And Jengod, um, no, I have a pretty decent understanding of what depression is all about. But I still continue to think that it is incredibly over diagnosed and the over medication of our populance continues unabated. Sheep are easier to rule over than people with sharp minds and the will to use them. Opiated masses and all that.
posted by fenriq at 10:00 AM on November 7, 2003


Fenriq, come borrow my bipolar depression for awhile. The one that the pills barely make bearable.

In other words, take it elsewhere.
posted by konolia at 11:46 AM on November 7, 2003


mmmm.... Prozac
posted by delmoi at 12:39 PM on November 8, 2003


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