June 21, 2003

PRIVATE LYNCH UPDATE: BBC Correspondent John Kampfner's version continues to unravel: and what Kampfner reported as an attempt by Iraqi doctors to return Lynch to American custody in an ambulance turns out, according to Nicholas Kristof's report, to actually have been something rather different indeed. Here's the key bit:

The hospital staff also said that on the night of March 27, military officials prepared to kill Ms. Lynch by putting her in an ambulance and blowing it up with its occupants blaming the atrocity on the Americans. The ambulance drivers balked at that idea. Eventually, the plan was changed so that a military officer would shoot Ms. Lynch and burn the ambulance. So Sabah Khazal, an ambulance driver, loaded her in the vehicle and drove off with a military officer assigned to execute her.

"I asked him not to shoot Jessica," Mr. Khazal said, "and he was afraid of God and didn't kill her." Instead, the executioner ran away and deserted the army, and Mr. Khazal said that he then thought about delivering Ms. Lynch to an American checkpoint. But there were firefights on the streets, so he returned to the hospital. (Ms. Lynch apparently never knew how close she had come to execution.)

Kampfner has never fully explained the many problems with his report, and this only makes it worse.

UPDATE: Wilbur's Blog notes that the usual conspiracists at Indymedia are still peddling the old BBC story.