Media Irregularities

Mac Diva has spent a while trying to detail all the misreported information regarding the capture and imprisonment of PFC Lynch. In the process, she decides to take a swipe at me:

Stories such as the Chronicle’s were, in turn, used to support the claims of biased Right Wing bloggers, such as this one.

“Such as this one?” I wonder who that might be? Oh… Me.

I watched him single-handedly transform the hospital where Lynch was treated into a military headquarters pretending to be a hospital. He has yet to acknowledge that the latest, apparently accurate information, contradicts his claim of subhuman Iraqis torturing Pfc. Lynch in a torture chamber there because ‘that’s what Iraqis are like.’

Presto, watch me transform hospitals into torture chambers, torture chambers. It’s like, ummm, magic? Except I never did that. In fact, here are my words:

Mac also seems to want to believe the Iraqi propoganda over reality, and thinks that Jessica is being held in a hospital for treatment. This, despite all the evidence of Iraqi perfidy, despite the Saddamite thugs using hospitals as command posts for the duration of this conflict. It is mind-boggling, and as the evidence has shown today, there were maps, mortar rounds, car batteries (for torture), terrain mock-ups, and other various weapons in this command post in the basement of the hospital.

Note to the discerning reader- Mac agrees with methat all of the above is true- she cites it in the piece I linked to. The hospital was being used as a bunker/command post, as have previous hospitals, mosques, and Red Crescent vehicles.

Nowhere did I write that it can be stated without pause that PFC Lynch was tortured. In fact, here are my words:

She was in the hospital because it was the best place to hide her, and she had numerous broken bones and was reported to have been tortured.

She was reported to have been tortured- and that is still the case, as far as we know it. Nowehere have I stated that Iraqi’s torture people simply because ‘that is how they are.’ I am not a xenophobic, racist nitwit- I don’t think like that. Everyday Iraqis are probably very much like every other person in the world. However, the shock troops, the paramilitary leaders, the Ba’ath Party leaders- they are, in my opinion, subhuman. They have conducted numerous atrocities, and they are scum. It would not surprise me at all if they tortured her, as they have executed other Americans, and they have tortured in the past. What is so irresponsible about speculating that past behavior is a good indication of future behavior?

When Mac Diva can show me proof that she was not tortured, I will admit it and be relieved (for goodness sake, I hope to God I am wrong). Until then- I will base my speculation that she probably was tortured on the past behavior of the Hussein regime and the reports I read in the media. What else do I have to go on?

A New American Hero

And perhaps one day a new American:

New heroes have surfaced in the rescue of U.S. Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch.

Under the watchful eyes of more than 40 murderous gunmen, the 19-year-old supply clerk laid in Saddam Hussein Hospital suffering from at least one gunshot wound and several broken bones.

As her captors discussed amputating her leg, an Iraqi man leaned to her ear and whispered, “Don’t worry.” Lynch replied with a warm smile.

The man was already working with U.S. Marines to gain the critical information needed to rescue one of the first American prisoners of war in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Just a day earlier, the lawyer from An Nasiryah had walked 10 kilometers to inform American forces he knew where Lynch was being held.

Go read the whole story about how this brave Iraqi helped to save PFC Lynch’s life. I’d vote for him before I would vote for Kerry.

Jackass, The Candidate

I just rented and watched Jackass, the Movie. In other words, I watched grown men set firecrackers off from the crack of their asses, I watched a guy box Butterbean in the middle of a department store, and I saw a guy wrap a toy car in a condom, insert it into his anus, and then go to the doctor for an x-ray.

When the movie was over, I turned the television to MSNBC, where I found out that Sen. John F. Kerry (D- MA) had this to say:

“In a speech Wednesday in Peterborough, N.H., Kerry said President Bush so alienated allies prior to the U.S.-led war against Iraq that only a new president can rebuild damaged relationships with other countries.

“What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States,” said Kerry, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts.

Congratulations, Democrats. Your leading candidate is someone more disgusting than a group of people who light their farts. Well done.

The Real Human Shields


Coward, Liar, or Mooch?


This is what a coward, a liar, and a mooch looks like. He used the military to further his personal goals, and now, when the nation needs him, he is turning his back on those who got him where he is now. The press should not be allowed to refer this twerp as a marine. Kick him out, and take back every penny that the military has given to him in college aid.

Then, get rid of conscientious objector status in the all-volunteer military- and for the exceptionally stupid, force all recruiters to tell potential recruits that they just might have to kill someone in the future.

*** Update ***

John Scalzi has some trenchant remarks regarding Mr. Funk:

You have to be a really interesting sort of ignorant not to know that the Marines kill people from time to time. Your first hint: The big rifle so many of those Marines carry around. Your second hint: All those movies, books and television shows, widely available to the general public, in which Marines are shown, you know, killing people. Your third hint: The fact that the Marines are widely acknowledged to be a branch of the military of the United States, and militaries are likewise widely known, by most people who are smart enough to stand upright on two legs, to kill other people on occasion (typically members of other nations’ militaries, though sometimes they’re not so picky, depending on country and context).

Maureen Dowd- Idiot

There is something about a war that provides a real clarity and fresh perspective- bullets have a tendency to do that. That is why Maureen Dowd seems dumber and even more irrelevant than ever:

The president and his war council did not expect so much heavy guerrilla resistance in Iraq. And they really did not expect so much heavy guerrilla resistance at home.

??? The NY Times has been waging a guerrilla war against this administration since the election. OF course they expected it- they just didn’t think that anyone would really pay attention to the prognostication of Howell Raines and Gail Collins and a few retired Generals with political agendas.

So it should not be a surprise that the troubled opening phase of the war has exacerbated territorial and ideological fissures in the administration and the Republican Party.

Anyone else tickled that the day Dowd discusses the ‘troubled opening phase’, we smashed through the Republican Guard, destroying them, and we are now on the outskirts of Baghdad?

Is there really any point reading the NY Times op-ed page anymore?

Saddam- Dead or Alive?

This might be photographic evidence that Saddam is still alive.

Caption Contest

Ipse Dixit usually runs the best caption contest on the web, but I could not pass up on this image (swiped from Drudge). Place your entries in the comments section below.


Democracy, Whiskey, and Sexy

Via Sullivan, this quote in the NY Times:

In the giddy spirit of the day, nothing could quite top the wish list bellowed out by one man in the throng of people greeting American troops from the 101st Airborne Division who marched into town today. What, the man was asked, did he hope to see now that the Baath Party had been driven from power in his town? What would the Americans bring? “Democracy,” the man said, his voice rising to lift each word to greater prominence. “Whiskey. And sexy!”

Works for me.

Congrats are In Order

Everyone head over to Matthew Yglesias’s site and extend him a hearty congratulations for being newly hired as a writer for The American Prospect.

Quip of the Day

From the minefields around Najef, Iraq:

American troops found that the fleeing Baath Party and paramilitary forces had set up minefields on roads and bridges leading out of the city. Late today an American engineering team was clearing the third of such fields, this one with 30 mines, by detonating them with C4 explosives.

Lt. Col. Duke Deluca, noting that the mines had been made in Italy, said, “Europeans are antiwar, but they are pro-commerce.”

Getting It

Many people have emailed me and asked me why I consistently and frequently speak positively about Jeralynn Merrit’s TalkLeft, since on the face it appears that we have nothing in common politically. While it may appear that way, it is most certainly an inaccurate perception- we agree on a number of important issues (which I am not going to go into detail about right now- most notably, the death penalty, the war on drugs, and prosecutorial misconduct). However, the real reason I link to TalkLeft frequently is because Jeralynn, despite, IMHO, being wrong about the war (and that is a disagreement- a difference of opinion- adults have them from, time to time) deals with facts like adults.

Go read the bile at the Democratic Underground regarding the rescue of PFC Lynch, which features statements like this:

This woman is a volunteer who willingly invaded another country.

She’s not a hero.

She’s just lucky.

Let her get a job at Dairy Queen.

Or this:

Here’s a scenario. Fake MP’s stop the convoy take the people to a pre-planned destination. Take the West Virginia girl back to Kuwait to wait, give the others, wrong demographics, to a tame Iraqi pre-paid unit to set up a later atrocity story. Bad news day? Trot out the young woman on a bad news day. This stinks like a CIA Black Op mission.

Mac Diva innacurately speculated, as did many, that PFC Lynch was in the hospital for treatment. However, it appears that the real concern for Mac is this:

Though I wish Private Lynch nothing but the best, I have some reservations about how this story may be used by the Bush administration. They may not be above treating it as an example of American superiority and macho derring-do. While simultaneously painting the Iraqis as savages, of course. (Indeed, some of Bush’s supporters have already convicted these very same Iraqi irregulars of rape and murder.)

However, the fact she was rescued from an Iraqi hospital where she was being treated is significant. First, because the Iraqis, though irregulars, at least were decent enough to get her treatment. Second, because a rescue from a medical facility is a heck of lot easier than a rescue from a jail or other holding facility. An American POW has been rescued — but not directly from Iraqi armed forces.

This IS an example of American superiority, in both military prowess and in concern for human life. Has Saddam or his troops made any attempt to rescue his POW’s? No, of course not, for several reasons. For one, he does not care about them- they are merely disposable pawns for him to remain in power. Another reason is that they know we are not mistreating our POW’s, and they are probably receiving better food and medical treatment than they have received in years.

Mac also seems to want to believe the Iraqi propoganda over reality, and thinks that Jessica is being held in a hospital for treatment. This, despite all the evidence of IRaqi perfidy, despite the Saddamite thugs using hospitals as command posts for the duration of this conflict. It is mind-boggling, and as the evidence has shown today, there were maps, mortar rounds, car batteries (for torture), terrain mock-ups, and other various weapons in this command post in the basement of the hospital. The mistrust of the current administration runs this deep within many of our Democrat friends.

At some point, people are going to have to come to grips with reality. You may have been against this war, but you have to realize who we are fighting- which brings us back to TalkLeft. Go read Jeralynn’s account of the Lynch rescue. Despite being wrong about the war in general, Jeralynn knows who we are dealing with it, and doesn’t try to sugarcoat it, spin it, or to pretend that Bush, Ashcroft, and Rumsfeld are worse than the murderous regime in Iraq.

*** Update ***

Chalk this up as a surprise (/sarcasm)- Mac Diva disagrees with my mischaracterization of her statements (which I linked to, so you can read them for yourself), and states:

John Cole, I don’t know why you chose not to cite my second Pfc. Lynch entry, which incorporates and responds to Jeralyn’s posts of both the 28th and yesterday. I emphasize the murkiness of what we think we know about the rescue. One of the claims I question, without further proof, is that the hospital room where Pfc. Lynch was treated was a torture chamber. No evidence has been offered to support that claim other than a wrongheaded desire that it be true. You are among the people actively promoting that unsupported claim.

I also believe you are misrepresenting Jeralyn’s position under the guise of applauding her. TalkLeft reported the allegations of a torture chamber being made by the U.S. military and a single embedded reporter. However, Jeralyn has not endorsed them as true, as you imply. She most recently said:

“Hopefully, if one of the bloodied uniforms was Jessica’s, the blood was from a gunshot wound, not from being tortured. However, MSNBC also is reporting that the gunshot wounds occurred during Jessica’s rescue, and that she had been held in the hospital since March 23 when she disappeared. The Pentagon is being very close-mouthed about the details of Jessica’s rescue and her captivity. We hope she wasn’t tortured and wish her a speedy recovery.”

That is hardly an example of someone swallowing the Pentagon’s claims hook, line and sinker, as you believe it is.

To which I respond:

There is ample reason to speculate torture (such as the treatment of POW’s in the Gulf War), including this widely reported piece of information:

Late last week, Yarsinske said she had thought Lynch was probably dead after hearing reports last week that the young woman’s bloodied uniform had been found by Special Forces soldiers inside a closed Nasiriyah hospital room — not the same hospital where she was found Tuesday. It was thought that the Iraqis used the room in the shuttered hospital for torture and interrogation.

The identification tag and American flag had been torn off her uniform. There was a car battery with wires hooked up to it found in the room, a primitive instrument of torture.

Some info on the use of car batteries as implements of torture can be found here, and here.

I have not misrepresented Jeralynn- she reported those views, did not refute them, and it is rather clear to her regular readers that she believes this to be the case. Check EVERY other post Jeralynn has written- when she disagrees with a news story or press report, is is virtually always followed by a lengthy exegesis.

The information will come out, thought. We can not be 100% sure at this point that PFC Lynch was tortured, but I am willing to bet that, regrettably, that that was the case. It is clear from current reports that this was just not a hospital.

Short Film of the Year

Who is Katherine Hall? Beats me- but if you go here, you can watch her in all her drunken glory (click on the picture below the drink count).

I don’t know her, but I KNOW her.

(Via the ALWAYS entertaining Oliver Willis)

From the Mouths of Babes

Atrios, on the recovery of Jessica Lynch:

Apparently she was rescued from a hospital. I assume that means she was getting medical treatment – if so, it gives some hope that some of our POWs may not be as mistreated as one might fear.

That explains it all about the opposition to this war- despite all the evidence, still willing to attribute the best motives to a bunch of murderous thugs. I guess he forgot about the members of the 507th who were executed. Or the hospital in the SAME CITY that was used as a weapons depot and fighting position.

Reality Check- She was in the hospital because it was the best place to hide her, and she had numerous broken bones and was reported to have been tortured. She was not there, as you are suggesting, to get ‘medical treatment.’ The other POW’s in the hospital are not faring any better, as they are dead. More will come out in the near future about the treatment of PFC. Lynch by her captors.

What is most telling, however, is that Atrios affords the Iraqi thugs more respect and benefit of the doubt than he has ever given George Bush.

The ‘Elite’ Republican Guard

From Reuters and IOL:

United States Marines seized a key bridge over the Tigris river in central Iraq on Wednesday and took control of the main Highway 6 from Kut to Baghdad, a senior Marine officer said.

“That’s the last big bridge we needed for an advance on Baghdad,” the officer told Reuters correspondent Sean Maguire near Kut. “This was the plan. It’s been successful.”

“Today’s action is a major move. There’s still tank battles continuing,” the officer added, saying the Baghdad Division of Iraq’s Republican Guard, based at Kut, was now “irrelevant”.

(Cross-posted on the only war resource you need, The Command Post)