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Lawmaker Seeks Release of Lynch Rescue Footage

June 04, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Dennis J. Kucinich called on the Defense Department on Tuesday to release the unedited recorded footage of the rescue of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital.

"Nothing the [Bush] administration has said about Private Lynch has been verified by private news reports," the Ohio congressman said. "It's time to find out the truth."

Attention has been drawn to the April 1 rescue since a British Broadcasting Corp. report and Associated Press interviews with Iraqis who were present suggested the dramatics surrounding Lynch's rescue were unnecessary.

Reports of the rescue say the U.S. commandos broke down doors and went in with guns drawn, carrying Lynch out with helicopter and armored vehicle backup, even though there was no Iraqi military presence and the hospital staff didn't resist.

The hospital's staff members have said they tried earlier to return Lynch to American troops but the ambulance carrying Lynch was fired on, so the driver sped back to the hospital.

A Defense Department official speaking on the condition of anonymity said Tuesday that it's unlikely that the full tape of the rescue will be released.

Pentagon officials have played down suggestions that Lynch's rescue was staged.

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