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Spin behind Jessica Lynch story?
World Net Daily ^ | 5/6/03 | Diana Lynne

Posted on 05/06/2003 1:23:02 AM PDT by drew

Discrepancies in reports of POW's capture, rescue raise questions

Posted: May 6, 2003 1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Diana Lynne © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Hollywood writers could not have imagined a more gripping and rousing story as that of the capture of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch and the dramatic Special Ops rescue caught on videotape and instigated by an Iraqi lawyer who reportedly put his life on the line for hers. But some question whether elements of the saga are more hype than fact, created to spin the POW's experience to serve political purposes.

An avalanche of movie and book offers flooded the Lynch family days after her April 1 rescue amid a Washington Post report of her defiant stand against the Iraqi soldiers that ambushed her convoy in Nasiriyah on March 23. According to the Post, Lynch "sustained multiple gunshot wounds" and also was stabbed while she "fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers ... firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition." The paper cited an unnamed U.S. military official as saying "she was fighting to the death."

The dramatic front-page story was picked up all over the world.

But hours after it hit the newsstands, Col. David Rubenstein, commander of the Army hospital in Germany where Lynch was taken, told reporters medical evidence did "not suggest that any of her wounds were caused by either gunshots or stabbing." Lynch's father echoed that report the following day, telling reporters that Army doctors told him Jessica hadn't been shot, but suffered arm and leg fractures.

More recent reports indicate Lynch suffered a head wound, spinal injury and fractures to her right arm, both legs and her right foot and ankle. She is undergoing occupational and physical therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

The Toronto Star quotes a physician who treated Lynch at the Iraqi hospital as describing her injuries as blunt in nature, possibly stemming from a fall from her vehicle. "She was in pretty bad shape. There was blunt trauma, resulting in compound fractures of the left femur [upper leg] and the right humerus [upper arm.] And also a deep laceration on her head," said Dr. Harith Houssona.

The Post writers couched their report with a cautionary paragraph, which stated that Pentagon officials said they had heard "rumors" of Lynch's heroics but had no confirmation. It said the account was based on "battlefield intelligence" and information from Iraqi sources "whose reliability has yet to be assessed."

Post ombudsman Michael Getler concluded "what really happened is still not clear." He questioned the "thin sourcing" used in the article and suggested portions of it were overblown, in response to critical feedback. The dramatic footage of the Army Rangers and Navy Seals swarming the Nasiriyah hospital and carrying Lynch out on a stretcher provided a proud moment for the military and America. The subsequent surge of patriotism muted the catcalls of the anti-war naysayers.

Military advocate Elaine Donnelly sees another political agenda behind the Post's misinformation. "I think someone in the Army – probably a woman – leaked the story to the Washington Post to spin it," she told WorldNetDaily. "If you plant the story first, it's almost impossible to turn." Donnelly, who heads the Center for Military Readiness, is a longtime opponent of allowing women to serve in combat positions. Donnelly suspects "Pentagon feminists," whom she says have actively pursued the advancement of women in the military beyond the dictates of common sense and at the cost of military effectiveness, are behind the unsubstantiated report of Lynch's valor and erroneous report of her injuries. She suspects the Post story was an attempt to tip the long-simmering debate about women in combat in proponents' favor and possibly dampen the potential public outrage over any future reports of torture.

Recent editorials indicate Lynch's ordeal is critical to the debate. A commentator writing in USA Today argued it proves "the time is right to blast through the armored ceiling that keeps women second-class citizens in the military." Another columnist wrote in the Orlando Sentinel that Lynch's story offers conclusive evidence that "women can be as fierce as men."

"I would like to know what happened to those men who were shot right away," Donnelly added, in reference to the nine members of Lynch's unit recovered from a makeshift morgue at the Iraqi hospital with apparent gunshot wounds to their heads.

Donnelly suspects the men may have been trying to protect the women in the company, based on interviews of military servicemen she conducted for a presidential commission in 1992. "Why is nobody asking any questions?" she continues. "Something fishy is going on here."

For its part, the Pentagon says it will not release an account of what happened to the 507th Maintenance Company until debriefings are completed with Lynch and five other company members held captive for three weeks before U.S. Marines rescued them south of Tikrit. Officials are also interviewing soldiers who escaped the ambush.

On Sunday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ducked a question about Lynch's condition. "I believe that's a matter for her doctors and her family and not for us to talk about," he said. Legend precedes reality even for Lynch. The Associated Press reported she told debriefers in Washington she doesn't remember anything between the time her vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and when she regained consciousness at an Iraqi hospital.

Fox News reports her amnesia extends through the duration of her ten days in captivity, and that the Army supply clerk has no memory of the brutality U.S. military officials believe she endured. "She basically has amnesia, and has mentally blocked out the horrible things we strongly believe she went through," one official told Fox.

"These things usually take months – sometimes years – but usually months to eventually clear up," and the patient recovers, Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld said.

Fox reports the military may have the surviving soldiers from her unit visit her to help refresh her memory. Officials say she "has to be brought back to reality," since she may be the last living witness to war crimes in Iraq.

In addition to the issue of how the 20-year-old supply clerk was taken prisoner by Iraqi soldiers, reporting discrepancies raise questions about Lynch's treatment in captivity and her rescue. The Iraqi lawyer, Mohammed Odeh Rehaief, who became an American hero for alerting U.S. military forces to Lynch's presence at the hospital, conducting surveillance of the facility and relaying the information back to coalition troops, reportedly put her safety before his after seeing her being slapped on the face by an Iraqi security officer. The 32-year-old, his wife and their 5-year-old daughter were granted political asylum in the U.S. as reward for his courage. NBC News reported coalition forces were told an American soldier was being tortured at the hospital.

But the treating physicians at the Iraqi public hospital dispute the claims. The medical team interviewed by the Toronto Star said the Iraqi intelligence officers took no interest in her.

As they describe, Lynch was given VIP care, which included extra juice and cookies and the attention of the hospital's "most nurturing" nurse.

"We all became friends with her, we liked her so much," Houssona said. "Especially because we all speak a little English, we were able to assure her the whole time that there was no danger, that she would go home soon."

The Star reports three Nasiriya doctors, two nurses, one hospital administrator and local residents also ridiculed the U.S. military for its clandestine, midnight raid of the hospital to rescue Lynch. They claim Iraqi soldiers and commanders left the hospital two days earlier.

"The night they left, a few of the senior medical staff tried to give Jessica back," said Houssona. "We carefully moved her out of intensive care and into an ambulance and began to drive to the Americans, who were just one kilometer away. But when the ambulance got within 300 metres, they began to shoot. There wasn't even a chance to tell them 'We have Jessica. Take her.'" The next night, the sound of helicopters circling the hospital's upper floors sent staff scurrying for the x-ray department, the only windowless area in the complex. As the rescue unfolded, the power was cut and the forces blasted through locked doors.

"We were pretty frightened," Dr. Anmar Uday told the paper. "Everyone expected the Americans to come that day because the city had fallen. But we didn't expect them to blast through the doors like a Hollywood movie."

"They made a big show," Haitham Gizzy, another physician told the Charleston Daily Mail, the local paper from Lynch's hometown of Palestine, W. Va. "It was just a drama. A big, dramatic show."

Gizzy and other doctors said most of the Saddam's Fedayeen fighters, and the entire Baath Party leadership had come to the hospital earlier in the day, changed into civilian clothes and fled. "They brought their civilian wear with them," said Mokhdad Abd Hassan, pointing to green army uniforms piled on the lawn. "They all ran away, the same day."

------------------------------------------------------------------------


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 507th; ftbliss; hospital; injuries; iraqwar; jessica; lynch; pfclynch; pow; texas; wva

1 posted on 05/06/2003 1:23:02 AM PDT by drew
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To: drew
She is an American soldier. She suffered severe injuries during an ambush and possibly afterwards in captivity.

There is no need to spin this pro or con women in the military. She deserves, as all our soldiers deserve, our gratitude for serving, and she does not deserve to be used by anyone (pro or con) with an axe to grind or copy space to fill.

2 posted on 05/06/2003 1:38:46 AM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: drew
See here for some early suspicions about the stories.

If the report that several male soldiers died trying to protect her and the other women in the group, then the women may have "survivor's syndrome".

At what point does chivalry interfere with the mission? Some military think tanks would have done a lot of studies on this, yes? Or would such studies have been ruled out as sexist from the get-go and never performed? If studies were performed, one wonders, did they extend to dealing with new variations of post trauma stress that gender-integrated armed forces might incur?

3 posted on 05/06/2003 1:55:43 AM PDT by SteveH
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To: patriciaruth
She is an American soldier. She suffered severe injuries during an ambush and possibly afterwards in captivity.

And selective amnesia is very likely for not being able to cope with the trauma she endured. The memories could kill her.

She was left for dead. I think her injuries and things done to her are much worse than reported at all! I have feared from the beginning her 'back spinal injury' may have left her paralised and we should not diminish what she has gone through.

4 posted on 05/06/2003 2:35:42 AM PDT by JustPiper (If we are deemed 'far right wingers', does that make them 'left side wrongers'?)
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To: drew
This woman is echoing what I said in the first days of the incident..
Simply by surviving, Jessica done good. She deserves recognition for that fact. BUT, we now know she was not shot or stabbed. I can't imagine that anyone would report she had been both shot and stabbed unless that person had an agenda. This leads one to strongly question the claims that she kept killing Iraqis until she ran out of ammo.

Another point, even when the report came out that she had fought to the last bullet, I was quite disturbed. There are 3 possibilities why she was the lone survivor. 1, a combo of skill and luck (probably more luck since she was a supply clerk) 2, the Iraqis saw blonde hair and decided they were taking her alive for the obvious reasons 3, the men with her died protecting her, forgeting their training when their biological instincts kicked in to protect the young woman.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/885012/posts?page=77#77
5 posted on 05/06/2003 2:51:36 AM PDT by thedugal (Someone ping me when the shootin' starts...)
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To: drew
So the WorldNetDaily and the Center for Military Readiness aren't spinning the story either?
I agree it was irresponsible of the Pentagon sources to feed the WP an unsubtantiated story of heroics, which if it turned out to be untrue would inevitably cause people to disrespect Pfc Lynch through no fault of her own.
Just a point about the doctors stories; where the Toronto Star refers to "intelligence agents" it's clear from the article that they are referring to the central command in Baghdad, not the local Fedayeen.
I think this brave young woman should be allowed to recover in peace without being used as an example to support any political position.
6 posted on 05/06/2003 2:55:17 AM PDT by postal_andy
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To: drew
The author is accusing others of what they are doing, printing what happened without knowing what happened and drawing conclusions to fit their agenda. Much of what is supposedly attributed to her was from others, yet she is being pilloried as a liar. That is shameful.

I do not want women in combat, but the article is offensive.
7 posted on 05/06/2003 3:18:54 AM PDT by KeyWest
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To: drew
It may be a while before anyone knows the real story because Foxnews announced yesterday that she has Amnesia
8 posted on 05/06/2003 3:22:57 AM PDT by honeygrl
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To: drew
Lynch suffered a head wound, spinal injury and fractures to her right arm, both legs and her right foot and ankle.

From falling from a vehicle?, was she standing on one of those giant mining dump trucks or what.
9 posted on 05/06/2003 4:53:07 AM PDT by Husker24
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To: KeyWest
I wish the press would just leave her alone.

She's gone through a hideous experience, has had multiple injuries and surgeries from which she's still recovering, and people want to make her into a Poster Child for their own agendas.

I'm just happy she's safe and on the long road to recovery.

10 posted on 05/06/2003 4:56:10 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: Husker24
The injuries sounds like their vehicle may have flipped and she got pinned. It may be the reason she was not shot.
11 posted on 05/06/2003 5:00:49 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Catspaw
Just serving in the war was dramatic. Being captured by enemy forces is dramatic. Being held in a rat hole cell in a foreign land is dramatic. Being injured is dramatic. Being rescued by special forces is most dramatic and joyous. Where are these people coming from?
Too much hype? If you want hype, watch the loser democrats running for president!!
12 posted on 05/06/2003 5:01:48 AM PDT by Cameron1
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To: Husker24
From falling from a vehicle?, was she standing

If the vehicle was moving when she panicked and jumped her efforts could have killed her.

Yes, you may number me among the skeptics of WOMEN IN COMBAT.

At this point the Pentagon has a pretty good idea of what happened and the fact they refuse to discuss it does not bode well for the gender neutral military concept.

Best regards,

13 posted on 05/06/2003 5:07:29 AM PDT by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: Cameron1
Next, they're going to be questioning what Audie Murphy did in WW2 and will be taking his Medal of Honor away.
14 posted on 05/06/2003 5:12:22 AM PDT by lonestar (Don't mess with Texans)
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To: KeyWest
"...yet she is being pilloried as a liar."

There in lies the problem with the forces of the media, Hollywood and public opinion. I don't ever recall hearing a word from PFC Lynch on this matter. The media and Hollywood seem to be writing the script and public opinion is running with it.

Maybe PFC Lynch is feigning amnesia because she's too embarrassed to admit she fell out of the truck when it hit a bump, they had to stop the convoy to pick her up and were subsequently attacked as they fell behind?

Hey, who's to say? The only people that know what happened are not talking or can't talk anymore. If you have a quote from the poor girl, please link us to it.

15 posted on 05/06/2003 5:18:37 AM PDT by Hatteras (The Thundering Herd Of Turtles ROCK!)
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To: drew
Gizzy and other doctors said most of the Saddam's Fedayeen fighters, and the entire Baath Party leadership had come to the hospital earlier in the day, changed into civilian clothes and fled

Did this guy just say criticize the Americans for "blasting through the doors like a Hollywood movie" because the Iraqis had laft the hospital TWO DAYS earlier? I guess he's making a distinction between Iraqi soldiers and Baath party leadership and Fedayeen Sadaam. I personally see no difference. If they were there earlier in the day, then American intelligence WAS right, and the rescue was necessary.

I didn't believe all the overblown stuff in the original article anyway. From whom would they have gotten that information? I suspect, as Elaine Donnelly said, it was put out by someone trying to solidify womens' place in combat roles. As the truth comes out, I believe that fervor will be gone. Thank God that Bush is President right now. If it had been a Democrat, they'd have already pushed through the changes making it policy, because Lynch supposedly fought 'as fierce as any man'.

Don't get me wrong, I am NOT criticizing Pvt. Lynch. She has become a pawn in this fight. She and her family, as far as I can tell, have acted with complete honor in this. It is the feminists behind the scenes with whom I have MY beef!

16 posted on 05/06/2003 5:22:15 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: thedugal
"BUT, we now know she was not shot or stabbed."

No, we don't know that.

A subsequent medical briefing (after the April 4th article you quoted) said the open fractures in her arm and leg may have been caused by gunshots.

17 posted on 05/06/2003 5:25:20 AM PDT by HAL9000
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To: drew
BFL
18 posted on 05/06/2003 5:26:20 AM PDT by oyez (Is this a great country or what?)
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To: drew
Maybe the author of this piece should ask this woman if there's an "armored ceiling" in the military. (Yes those are 3 stars on her epaulets)

Lt General Leslie F. Kenne,
AF Deputy Chief of Staff for Warfighting Integration.

19 posted on 05/06/2003 5:33:18 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (Standing tough under Stars and Stripes)
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To: SuziQ
She and her family, as far as I can tell, have acted with complete honor in this. It is the feminists behind the scenes with whom I have MY beef!

She and her family act like they'd like to be left alone --- the feminists ought to find someone else. Maybe Hillary can fight in the next war and be a ferocious hero.

20 posted on 05/06/2003 5:34:28 AM PDT by FITZ
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To: postal_andy
I think this brave young woman should be allowed to recover in peace without being used as an example to support any political position.

You're too late, the political spin wheel is already in motion.

I would just like to know what really happened?

21 posted on 05/06/2003 5:38:40 AM PDT by Cuttnhorse
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To: drew
I tend to believe that the reality of her captivity was ugly and brutal, involving rapes and beatings and who knows what, and it's best that the People magazines and Today Shows and Fox News just BACK OFF.
22 posted on 05/06/2003 5:38:47 AM PDT by Jhensy
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To: patriciaruth
I disagree. While I don't think she needs to be "used" or treated badly, I believe the truth needs to come out so that we can add it to other information to make a rational decision regarding women in the military. This does not mean disregarding her service and/or bravery. It simply means determining what actually happened and why.
23 posted on 05/06/2003 5:49:00 AM PDT by brownie
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To: CholeraJoe
Lt General Leslie F. Kenne, AF Deputy Chief of Staff for Warfighting Integration.

What is "Warfighting Integration"? Yes, there are three stars on her uniform. What does that mean and how did she get them?

Perhaps some answers could be had by reviewing some of her public comments, which are straight down the feminist line about "women in combat", of which she has seen little or none.

24 posted on 05/06/2003 5:51:14 AM PDT by William Terrell (People can exist without government but government can't exist without people.)
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To: drew
When the press and the military spun the photographs of the flag raising on Iwo Jima
the propaganda value ended up destroying the lives of those used for the propaganda

The others of Pvt Lynch's party reported jammed weapons...almost immediately....

Given the past history of Iraqi's treatment of U.S. female personnel...most specifically the rape-torture of even their own women..

The truth of how she was treated may not be for publication ..ever...

To treat her now as a great female warrior ..other than just a soldier like (many others) who did her duty to the best of her ability under the conditions would be doing her a grave injustice.

And ultimately harm her....leave her alone...let her recover in her own time..with her childhood friends and family...

The worse this story gets spun...the worse it will be for her in the long run imo

Yes its nice for us to have heros...but only if the absolute truth comes out...and not some fiction spun on the keyboard of a pentangon-dacowitz nebish
25 posted on 05/06/2003 5:53:14 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: joesnuffy
Yes its nice for us to have heros...but only if the absolute truth comes out

POWs, WIAs and KIAs will always be heroes, even if the circumstances of their capture/death are otherwise mundane. They stood on the line for us and paid a high price.

26 posted on 05/06/2003 5:56:41 AM PDT by jlogajan
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To: William Terrell
As near as I can figure out Warfighting Integration involves making sure that all of the Command and Control functions from the front line of the battlefield to the satellites in space can talk to one another in real time and rapidly adjust as situations dictate.

I graduated from AFROTC with Lt General Kenne. She's an aerospace engineer and an acquisition executive. She participated in the test and acquisition of LANTIRN, the F-16 and the Joint Strike Fighter. She earned her rank through leadership and personal excellence.

27 posted on 05/06/2003 6:08:55 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (Standing tough under Stars and Stripes)
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To: JustPiper
I think her injuries and things done to her are much worse than reported at all! I have feared from the beginning her 'back spinal injury' may have left her paralised

Yes, the spinal injury sounds ominous. IIRC it was a lumbar fracture, and such trauma can cause problems with continence. (Sorry to be so blunt, but that's often the reality of this kind of injury, and might explain why her condition is being kept hush-hush.)

From the beginning, I've doubted that her injuries were caused by torture by the Iraqis, however. (Sounded more like her vehicle fell on top of her and crushed several bones.) I also doubted that she kept firing and "fought to the death."

Nonetheless she is an American soldier and deserves to be honored for doing her duty. What's shameful is that lies have likely been told to further a certain agenda.

28 posted on 05/06/2003 6:09:38 AM PDT by shhrubbery!
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To: postal_andy
inevitably cause people to disrespect Pfc Lynch through no fault of her own.

Not me! I pray for her swift and complete recovery.
That being said women really have no place in a frontline combat unit.
29 posted on 05/06/2003 7:52:18 AM PDT by Valin (Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
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To: CholeraJoe
Then she should keep her mouth shut about putting her gender to work in an area she knows nothing about.

30 posted on 05/06/2003 4:00:52 PM PDT by William Terrell (People can exist without government but government can't exist without people.)
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To: brownie
I'm happy to learn what actually happened and why. But this story is just filling up space to take home a paycheck or score a political point, and it contains not one fact about what happened to Pvt. Lynch.
31 posted on 05/06/2003 11:10:37 PM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: drew
"VIP treatment" is a pure lie.

She was NOT fed, given only two drinks (in some four days) and never allowed to clean herself, nor relieve herself out of the bed .... (A bit tricky to take care of yourself with a broken back, internal injuries (from sodomy with a "blunt object ?), a busted pelvis, broken legs, and several puncture/bullet wounds....)

This is a pure lie, pushed by a lying international press "corpse" that hates Bush.

"Falls" from a truck don't break legs and arms and give internal injuries above the pelvis ... AFTER the fighting/shooting has stopped.

Torture does. Rape does. Sodomy does.
32 posted on 05/06/2003 11:18:00 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I support FR monthly; and ABBCNNBCBS (continue to) Lie!)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
thank you for that...

I would guess that J.Lynch's injuries are among the most severe in this war.....but that is only a guess, and thank God she survived, not killed like so many....

it takes a big person to criticize and question and cast aspersions on a soldier who is still in the hospital and might very well have life changing injuries....yep, a very big person..

since worldnetdaily seems to want to harp on this young woman, then I would also suggest they investigate the thousands of purple hearts given out to so many, even those with the smallest of wounds or injuries....afterall, we wouldn't want the undeserving to get them......geesh

33 posted on 05/06/2003 11:33:05 PM PDT by cherry
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To: William Terrell
Do you have any evidence that LtGen Kenne has made any public statements concerning women in combat?

While we're at it, what are your military credentials? How many women have you commanded under hostile conditions? I ran an Air-Transportable Hospital in Honduras and in GW I.

34 posted on 05/07/2003 6:07:10 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (Standing tough under Stars and Stripes)
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To: CholeraJoe
I know what I've read of her statements to the press and interviews. I didn't keep track of them.

I spent four years as a Marine. I spent 13 months of that as a grunt in active combat every month of that tour. I ran patrols over mountains, sometimes with full gear, through jungles and across plains of elephant grass in 110 degree weather and monsoon, set up ambushes all night, participated in firefights with North Vietnamese and Red Chinese regulars. Every one of those activities required equal and consistent brutal strength of mind and body every sequential second.

There were no women there to command except support personel in rear areas, and few of those, due to the dangerous nature of just being in that country at that time.

I don't have to have commanded women to know that they could not have endured this type of exercise, regardless of their desires, hopes or agendas. They would have been a danger to themselves and others.

As far as I can see, we have a cup overflowing with strong healthy men. The is no point but social engineering to go near the population of women. I don't think social engineering that runs contrary to millennia of human understanding of natural law, when natural law was right out the back door, is worth the life of one innocent man or deluded woman.

Obviously this general went up the chain in the support and logistics ranks, the area where women have served often and well. I sorry if I tarnish your viewpoint of this lady, but for her to speak, with the authority of her rank, of such physical, mental, emotional hardships is absurd.

35 posted on 05/07/2003 4:48:53 PM PDT by William Terrell (People can exist without government but government can't exist without people.)
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To: drew
bttt
36 posted on 05/14/2003 2:33:50 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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