Doctors of Lynch dismiss rape charge...

David Quarter davidquarter at sympatico.ca
Sat Nov 8 03:14:03 MST 2003


--  Lynch: "I did not shoot, not a round, nothing. ... I went down 
praying to my knees. And that's the last I remember." 

Doctors who treated former prisoner of war dismiss claims that she 
was raped in Iraq 
SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI, Associated Press Writer
Friday, November 7, 2003 
©2003 Associated Press 
URL: 
{HYPERLINK "/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2003/11/07/international1431EST0621.DTL"}sfgate.com/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2003/11/07/international14
31EST0621.DTL 
(11-07) 22:41 PST NASIRIYAH, Iraq (AP) -- 
Iraqi doctors who treated former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch 
dismissed claims made in her biography that she was raped by her 
Iraqi captors. 
Although Lynch said she has no memory of the sexual assault, 
medical records cited in "I am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch 
Story" indicate that she was raped by her Iraqi captors, according 
to U.S. media who said they had advance copies. 
The book -- due to be released Tuesday -- covers Lynch's 
experience between March 23 when her 507th Maintenance 
Company convoy was ambushed in Nasiriyah and April 1 when she 
was evacuated from a hospital by U.S. commandos. It was unclear 
if the book cites American or Iraqi records. 
A family spokesman, Stephen Goodwin, confirmed the book 
alleges Lynch was raped. 
Lynch suffered broken bones to her right arm, right leg and thighs 
and ankle and received a head injury when her Humvee utility 
vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed into 
another vehicle. Eleven soldiers were killed in the attack. 
Dr. Mahdi Khafazji, an orthopedic surgeon at Nasiriyah's main 
hospital performed surgery on Lynch to repair a fractured femur and 
said he found no signs that she was raped or sodomized. 
Khafazji, speaking at his private clinic in Nasiriyah on Friday, said 
he examined her extensively and would have detected signs of 
sexual assault. He said the examination turned up no trace of 
semen. 
Dr. Khafazji said Lynch was taken first to the Military Hospital, a 
few hundred yards from the ambush site at around 8 a.m., about an 
hour after the attack. A few hours later, she was brought to his 
hospital. 
"She was injured at about 7 in the morning," he said. "What kind of 
animal would do it to a person suffering from multiple injuries?" 
Dr. Jamal al-Saeidi, a brigadier general and head of the orthopedic 
department at the now disbanded Military Hospital, remembers 
seeing Jessica's motionless body on a bed in the crowded lobby of 
his hospital. He said a police van parked outside appeared to have 
brought her to the hospital. 
"When she was brought there she was fighting for her life," said Dr. 
al-Saeidi at his private clinic. "She was in shock because of the 
severity of her injury." 
He said Lynch was fully clothed with her field jacket buttoned up. 
"Her clothes were not torn, buttons had not come off, her pants 
were zipped up," al-Saeidi said. 
Al-Saeidi said he found no signs of rape during an examination 
although he acknowledged he was not looking for signs of sexual 
assault. 
Lynch had lost more than half of her blood because of a four- to six-
inch wound on the left side of her head, as well as broken limbs 
that caused internal bleeding, al-Saeidi said. 
"We had a few minutes, golden minutes to save her," he said. He 
rushed her to the operating room, away from the crowded lobby, 
and gave her intravenous fluid and blood and stitched her head 
wound. 
Another U.S. soldier, Lori Piestewa, died half an hour after arriving 
at the hospital with Lynch of severe head injuries, doctors said. 
Half an hour after surgery on Lynch, al-Saeidi assured her that she 
was in good hands. 
He told her that she had to undergo surgery in a couple of days, 
but Lynch said: "'No, I want to be in the States."' 
Soon afterward, military intelligence officers came to the hospital to 
take Lynch away. Dr. al-Saeidi told them if she did not get medical 
attention she would die. They took her to the Saddam Hospital, 
where she stayed nine days until Iraqi soldiers left the hospital. 
Several hours later American commandos raided the hospital and 
evacuated her. 
"Why are they saying such things?" a bitter Dr. Khodheir al-
Hazbar, the hospital's deputy director, said. "We were good to 
her." 
In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, Lynch said she has no 
recollection of a rape. "Even just the thinking about that, that's too 
painful," she said. 
Lynch told Sawyer she doesn't remember being slapped or 
mistreated at the hospital, and she recalled one nurse sang to her. 
She also accused the military of using her capture and dramatic 
nighttime rescue to sway public support for the war in Iraq. 
Video of U.S. commandos whisking Lynch to a waiting chopper 
helped cement Lynch's image as a hero. But in the "Primetime" 
interview to be aired on Tuesday, Lynch told Sawyer there was no 
reason for her rescue to be filmed. 
"They used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff," Lynch said. 
"It's wrong." 
Lynch told Sawyer she was just in the wrong place at the wrong 
time, and that her gun jammed during the chaos. "I'm not about to 
take credit for something I didn't do," she said. 
"I did not shoot, not a round, nothing. ... I went down praying to my 
knees. And that's the last I remember." 


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