Skip to comments.UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS: THE MYSTERY OF PFC. LYNCH: What We Need to Know About “Bloody Sunday”
Posted on 07/08/2003 5:27:49 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
The Center for Military Readiness, an independent public policy organization that specializes in military personnel issues, hopes that Army officials will investigate and answer the following questions about the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Unit, and the subsequent rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch. It is impossible to make sound decisions on any major personnel policy, such as women in combat, until relevant facts are known:
1. A disturbing video of apparently executed soldiers was shown on Aljazeera TV, together with the frightened faces of Spec. Shoshana Johnson and four male captives. One month later, the remains of the last-identified casualty of the March 23 ambush were finally found.
Why have Pentagon officials withheld information about the circumstances of the death of soldiers and Marines involved in the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Unit, including those who appear to have been abused and executed point blank in violation of international law?
2. Army Sgt. Cassaundra Grant lost her left leg, and eventually her right, when she was pinned under a tank that her transportation unit was moving in Kuwait on March 14. She was treated at Walter Reed Hospital, and eventually transferred to the Brooke Medical Center in Texas on April 3the same day that the sensationalized Jessica Lynch story headlined the Washington Post. An Internet search reveals only one feature article about Sgt. Grant, a courageous and still-cheerful single mother of a two year-old boy, which appeared in her hometown newspaper on May 2. Perhaps this is because her story conflicts with the glamorized women-in-combat agenda.
Were efforts made to suppress or eclipse the story of Sgt. Casaundra Grant, especially on the day that she left Walter Reed? Are there stories about other female soldiers that so far have been considered too sensitive to reveal?
3. The Washington Post reported that the unconscious Pfc. Lynch and her still-alive friend Pfc. Lori Piestewa, a single mother of two small children, arrived at a nearby medical/Iraqi headquarters facility three hours after the ambush. Experts say that the first 3-6 hours are the most perilous for captives who are at the mercy of enraged thugs who never heard of the Geneva Convention. Army helicopter pilots Ronald Young, Jr. and David Williams said that they were brutally beaten when they were captured in central Iraq on March 23.
If the Post account is correct, what happened to the male and female soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Unit, and the Marines who tried to rescue them, during those three hours?
4. According to embedded MSNBC reporter Kerry Sanders, an Iraqi resident asked him to Please make sure the people in charge know that she [Lynch] is being tortured. MSNBC also reported that Marines had previously found at the first facility that received the prisoners a bloody uniform of a kind used by female soldiers, and a metal bed with a car battery next to it. These items, they said, suggested that the place was a torture chamber. (Wire reports, April 3, and Bill Gertz, Washington Times, April 23)
Why have officials not released more information, including medical and autopsy reports, about the treatment of Pfc. Lynch, Pfc. Lori Piestewa, and other captives who were killed or taken to one or both facilities? (Laws protecting privacy do not apply to deceased military personnel.)
5. Saddam Husseins regime was known to beat male and female prisoners with canes, whips, pipes, and metal rods, especially on the soles of a victims feet. Female Iraqi prisoners were frequently raped and their children tortured in front of their husbands. Lawyer Mohammed Odeh Al Rehaief, who assisted in the rescue of Jessica Lynch, told Marines that he had seen an Iraqi woman killed and dragged through the street, apparently because she had waved at a U.S. helicopter.
Were any of these torture techniques used on the women of the 507th, or any other women or men deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom?
6. Qatar-based CENTCOM briefer Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks told reporters that the extent of Jessica Lynchs injuries would not be discussed in the interests of her privacy. Such terms are rarely used, except with regard to sexual assault.
Some discretion is appropriate, but why were Pfc. Lynchs injuries treated as a completely private matter, unlike other injuries that are routinely discussed in the media? Is there medical evidence of physical abuse, including sexual assault, while she was in captivity?
7. The parents of Jessica Lynch recently disputed reports that their daughter has amnesia. They denied that anyone had told them to remain silent, but also said that they were not supposed to talk about certain questions. (Allison Barker, AP, Newsday.com, May 29)
If the amnesia story is not true, who is responsible for it? Were gag rules imposed on the family, doctors, and/or military personnel close to the situation in Iraq? If so, why?
8. Several news accounts have reported that Jessica Lynch is being kept under guard and in isolation, even from fellow hospital patients who might give her encouragement during her painful recovery.
Pfc. Lynch should be protected from unwanted intruders, but what is the purpose of the extraordinary isolation and security arrangements surrounding her?
9. Many news organizations reported that the Iraqi lawyer Mohammed witnessed a physical assault on Lynch at the Saddam Hussein General hospital. When doctors there said that they were preparing to amputate her leg, Mohammed decided to put his own life at risk to help save hers. Pfc. Lynch was reportedly suffering from infection and fever, due to bone fragments piercing her skin, which might have killed her had she not been rescued. (DefendAmericaNews, Marine Combat HQ, Iraq, April 3)
Are these accounts accurate or not? What have American eyewitnesses other than Pfc. Lynch said about her treatment in the Hussein hospital?
10. At least one journalist sought access to enlisted women like those who were ambushed in the ill-fated support unit in Iraq. Public affairs officials denied that request, and allowed the reporter to interview only female pilots on camera. Most enlisted women, who outnumber female officers by more than five to one, are known to oppose mandatory assignments in combat units on the same basis as men.
What is the purpose of what appears to be unusually restrictive news management of news regarding women in combat?
11. Unlike other servicemen and women who have been allowed to speak freely about their experiences in Iraq, none of the personnel who were involved in the March 23 ambush and subsequent rescue have been permitted to discuss their specific role in those operations. The families of those who died have a right to know the circumstances of their death. Those who survived or performed heroically also deserve recognition and the opportunity to tell their stories in more than limited welcome home stories. One serviceman currently fears for his career because he identified himself as a member of the April 1 rescue team.
What is the purpose of the unusual secrecy surrounding every person involved in the perilous ambush of the 507th Maintenance Unit, and the life-saving rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch?
12. The family of Spec. Shoshana Johnson said that she had joined the Army to learn cooking skills in a support unit, adding that she had never expected to wind up in a unit exposed to combat violence and capture in the early days of a full-scale war. The situation probably would not have happened were it not for Defense Department rules ordered by the Clinton Administration in 1994, which now require women to serve in support units involving a substantial risk of capture.
Are young female recruits being informed that they could be assigned in or near previously all-male units that involve a substantial and unequal risk of combat violence and capture in a future war?
If Defense Department officials cannot bring themselves to tell young women that the rules and their conditions of employment have changed, perhaps they should reconsider and revise current policies on women in combat.
The Washington Post described Pfc. Jessica Lynch as blond and waiflike. Thousands of young men, who could have taken her place, would probably volunteer to serve in the military if President George W. Bush issued such a call.
Instead, the armed forces are spending extra time and money recruiting unusually large numbers of waiflike women and single mothers to fight our nations wars.
The ultimate, most important question is, Why?
Moreover, let's also recall that the LATEST info---NOT released by the DOD--was totally in the other direction, namely that Lynch was not in danger, that the raid was "staged" and that she certainly was not tortured. That was the testimony of virtually all the doctors and nurses there. Now, they may be lying, but there IS another side to this story.
2 posted on 3/6/02 7:30 AM Pacific by grammymoon:
"What would you do Without FR?
How would You Feel without FR?
Suppose one day you tried to log on and Free Republic wasnt there?
Where would you get your up to the minute news? How about the live threads as things are happening?
How would you know about the latest Demorat scams, anti-second amendment schemes and all the other liberal, anti-American ploys that are tried every single day?
Insight into world affairs, brilliant wit, sharp retorts, instant information gratification are a few of the things that make FR so vital.
How would you keep on top of things without FR?
How would you know who to contact to complain about the lying politicians, Media Bias, Hollyweirds latest mouth off, sponsors of these idiots, company policies that are unfair and all the other things we need to know to counteract the liberal mindset and the evil plans of liberals?
How would you be part of a Freep?
What would you do without FR????
Freedom isnt free.
If you enjoy the site and find it a place of like minded Americans to sound off, to get together, to fight back, to have your voice heard and make a difference,PLEASE CONTRIBUTE NOW ! Donate Here By Secure Server
Jim cant do this alone.
The liberals are sure we wont be able to keep FR up & running. Prove them wrong. Show them we are indeed united Freepers. Whether it is $5.00, $50.00 or more, it all adds up. Please send a donation now to Free Republic.
Because we have hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq, Afganistan, Saudi Arabia, the Balkans, Korea and dozens of other countries and we need the bodies. And this situation will continue unless the U.S. starts reducing its commitments abroad. Seeing as we are now headed for Liberia as well it's clear that that isn't going to happen with the current administration any time soon.
Having been both a grunt and a combat medic in Vietnam (2/39th & 6/31st 9th ID) and both patient & a volunteer in VA hosptials
IMO Women have NO place in combat -period....
Its bad enough that men have to be there
Why? Because 1) the concept of warrior women is a load-bearing plank in the socialist platform and 2) if women can't fight, there can be a case made for their exclusion in political leadership roles.
The military is forced to accept women in combat and like it, due to the requirements of the civilian leadership. The militay doesn't have the option of saying 'no women in combat' or 'we need more men'. That kind of debate isn't allowed. You'd have to talk to congress and President Bush about a changing their position, but don't hold your breath.
What this means is that the Army and Marines are saddled with women in roles that will put them into direct combat, even if they are non-combatant MOSs. No ammount of spin will change the fact that women are a hinderance in combat. Period. Full stop. They can be as effective as men in support roles that don't require heavy lifting, but otherwise are a complete liablility.
Why does the pretty young former POW get all the attention while the crippled single mother gets none? Because the military has been ordered to ignore the truth in favor of the myth, and any officer who tried to oppose it would be commiting career suicide. Political BS, all the way.
She stays very focused in her pursuit of non-combat roles for women in the military.
She's been saying this for years.
Clinton is the one who introduced & promoted women's roles in combat.....
..and Elaine has been fighting, for years, to change that direction.
I can't fault her.....I'm just glad she perseveres!!
My concern is that either side---the "no women in combat" group or the "it was all staged by the Pentagon" group are jumping the gun before we know all the information.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.