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Panel Hears About Falsehoods in 2 Wartime Incidents - New York Times

WASHINGTON, April 24 -- House Democrats burrowed into the histories of Pfc. Jessica D. Lynch and Cpl. Pat Tillman in a hearing on Tuesday, holding up the episodes as egregious examples of officials' twisting the truth for public relations in wartime.

They received help in making their case from witnesses who have mostly shied from the spotlight, Ms. Lynch and Corporal Tillman's mother, Mary, and brother, Kevin, who enlisted in the Army along with him after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary," said Ms. Lynch, speaking softly but firmly into the microphone as more than 12 photographers clicked away in front of her.

Accounts from officials of Ms. Lynch's bravery held the nation in thrall in the early stages of the Iraq invasion in 2003 after her maintenance convoy went astray near Nasiriya and she was taken prisoner. After her rescue, which was made into a television movie, she disputed those who said she fought off Iraqi soldiers until she was captured. She never fired a shot, she restated on Tuesday.

The "story of the little girl Rambo from the hills who went down fighting" was untrue, she said.

Kevin Tillman was scathing in his assessment of how his brother's death in Afghanistan in 2004, which was later determined to be a result of American fire, was initially portrayed by the military as an act of heroism in the face of enemy fire.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 03:27:07 AM EST
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