In what is looking to be a big fat egg on the face of the Pentagon, Jessica Lynch is lashing out at the U.S. military for filming her rescue in Iraq amid blazing gunfire and exploiting her as propaganda tool for the war.
“They used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff,” Pvt. Lynch, 20, tells Diane Sawyer in an interview scheduled to be broadcast Tuesday, Veterans Day, the Associated Press reports.
Lynch calls her being labeled a female Rambo “wrong, (and) I don’t know why they filmed it, or why they say the things” they said.
The former Army supply clerk suffered broken bones and other injuries when her maintenance convoy was attacked in the Iraqi town of Nasiriyah on March 23. U.S. forces rescued Lynch at a Nasiriyah hospital April 1.
After her rescue, Lynch became the emblem of the Iraqi War. But she says the ones who truly deserve credit are those who came for her.
“They’re the ones that came in to rescue me,” she said. “I’m so thankful that they did what they did; they risked their lives. … They are my heroes.”
She also refutes the Pentagon’s early version of her capture by Iraqis, which suggested she had bravely stood up to the enemy only to go down after firing all her ammo. In fact, says Lynch, her M-16 jammed and she never fired a single shot.
“My weapon did jam and I did not shoot, not a round, nothing,” she says.
There was no immediate response from the Pentagon regarding the comments by Lynch, who was awarded a Purple Heart for her injuries.
On Thursday, New York’s Daily News revealed that Lynch had been raped during her capture. The assault is chronicled in Lynch’s authorized biography “I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story,” also to be released on Tuesday.
Lynch, who appears in her TV interview on crutches, tells Sawyer she has no recollection of the attack. “Even just the thinking about that, that’s too painful,” she said.