Monday, December 15, 2003


Jessica Lynch went down shooting in an Iraqi ambush ... well, not really. The original version of that story released by the U.S. military was highly dramatized. Among other flaws in the pulse-pounding military version, her gun jammed. Her rescue team, thoughtfully carrying video cameras, encountered no resistance, but the footage the military gave television sure looked exciting.

Now, with the capture of Saddam Hussein, we already have two versions of a key fact: How we found his final hiding place.

In one, “A piece of fiber protruding from the dirt caught the eye of an American special forces soldier,” revealing the hole’s trap door. In the other, an Iraqi “on the property, apparently realizing the game was up, pointed out a bricked-in wall ... Saddam is in there, he told the special forces operators.”

Based on recent experience, I’m going to guess the less dramatic story, the one that fails to deify our armed forces, is closer to the truth.

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