Doctors of Lynch dismiss rape charge...
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
(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
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
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
"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
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
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
"Why are they saying such things?" a bitter Dr. Khodheir al-
Hazbar, the hospital's deputy director, said. "We were good to
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.
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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