May 21, 2003

LILEKS COMMENTS on the BBC's disgraced Jessica Lynch "expose":

The Beeb did an expose on the Jessica Lynch rescue. Perhaps you’ve heard this story. Apparently it was all staged. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck led the charge under the command of the DI from “Full Metal Jacket,” and the initial reports that she was beamed up to the Enterprise were utterly false. The very fact that she was rescued alive proves that the Ba’athist regime was the epitome of humanitarian solicitousness. Admit it - when you saw the footage of American helicopters roaring over the hospital blaring “Rock You Like a Hurricane” from their loudspeakers, weren’t you suspicious? Didn’t you think hmmmm when one of the soldiers turned to the camera and said “Ah’ll be back” and did an end-zone spike with the severed head of a Republican Guard commander? Were you not a little bit unnerved when the giant face of Karl Rove filled your TV screen, his forehead tattooed with the Chevron logo?

As it happens, I remember seeing the rescue footage the government released. I TiVod it for the video compilation I was making. No gunfire; no flashbangs; there was a shot of some soldiers going down a stairwell, a grainy green night-vision shot of a waiting room with a portrait of Saddam leaning against the wall, and an outside shot of the stretcher being prepped for extraction. I’ve seen news stories on paintball tourneys that were more dramatic.

So why did anyone believe the BBC story? Why did Robert Scheer take the bait and write an entire column based on an uncritical acceptance of the Beeb’s mad blather?

Unfortunately, here's where Lileks' column breaks down. Poor, sweet Lileks just can't get his mind around the true evil genius of this Administration: the whole thing was obviously a brilliant ploy to sucker Scheer and others into making fools of themselves. This may seem to be a disproportionate use of resources (given the low degree of challenge involved), but that's just because most people don't realize how far they're willing to go!