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Wednesday, April 02, 2003  
Report says Lynch was treated at hospital

TalkLeft again is first with additional details of Pfc. Jessica Lynch's rescue. It reports that a credible sounding Iraqi pharmacist has confirmed she received medical treatment in the hospital.

The pharmacist who treated Private Lynch at the hospital told Sky News reporter Ross Appleyard that Private Lynch had often been seen crying. She asked about her family and kept asking when the war would finish, the pharmacist added.

He said that no soldiers had visited her and she had been treated well. She was regarded as a patient and not as a prisoner of war, the pharmacist added. He said Private Lynch was "very healthy" and had been treated for an injury to her leg only.

The full account can be read at Sky News.

TalkLeft previously reported the claim the hospital was a torture chamber. Jeralyn has written me to say she has not rejected that perspective. So, it is a measure of her fairness that she is acknowledging that Pfc. Lynch may have been treated decently.

Unfortunately, some Right Wingers are accepting those dubious allegations as the gospel truth. Blogger John Cole of Ballon Juice says in regard to my initial blog of Pfc. Lynch's rescue:

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.

Some conservatives seem to have become obsessed with the idea of swarthy Middle-Easterners attaching hot wires to the genitals of a pale-skinned American teenager despite the absence of evidence any such thing happened. Is it any wonder Birth of a Nation still sells well?

However, for some reason, little attention has been paid to American abuse of captives. George Paine of Warblogging has given the topic some thought.

The message from the government and anonymous sources is mixed. "We don't kick the shit out of them. Some of our friends do, but we don't do that," a "former counterterrorism official" told the Post.

He observes that at least one form of torture, sleep deprivation, is admittedly engaged in by the CIA.

Those who refuse to cooperate inside this secret CIA interrogation center are sometimes kept standing or kneeling for hours, in black hoods or spray-painted goggles, according to intelligence specialists familiar with CIA interrogation methods. At times they are held in awkward, painful positions and deprived of sleep with a 24-hour bombardment of lights -- subject to what are known as "stress and duress" techniques.

I don't, so far, believe Pfc. Lynch was tortured. However, if she was, I don't think that would give the U.S. the moral highground.

I believe the best policy to follow in these times is to treat all reports skeptically. Neither the Pentagon nor the Iraqi government can be trusted to tell us what is really happening. We need to read a variety of accounts and reach our conclusions as best we can, with malice toward none.

11:44 AM