Opinionator – A Gathering of Opinion From Around the Web
May 5, 2011, 8:30 pm
Let’s Clear the Fog of War
By TIMOTHY EGAN
Birthed in a big lie about weapons of mass destruction, the war in Iraq was in desperate need of a hero in 2003 when Jessica Lynch wrecked her Humvee and was knocked unconscious in enemy territory. Nine days later, the 19-year-old Army clerk was rescued by American soldiers from an Iraqi hospital.
That much was true. From there — in newspaper articles, countless talk-radio fabrications and a book — Lynch was transformed from a nameless casualty to “the little girl Rambo from the hills of West Virginia who went down fighting,” as she said in later testimony.
Give her credit: for her service, and for her fierce honesty in the face of myth-making, official and for-profit. It’s more than the defense brass did in her case, or that of the other poster boy for military mendacity, the Army Ranger Pat Tillman. He was killed by his own troops in Afghanistan — a truth the Pentagon thought we couldn’t handle, so they spun a tale of heroism in the face of hostile fire.
Now, with the extraordinary raid that netted Osama bin Laden, the fog of war makes it tempting to exaggerate. The story of what happened in the darkened residence of a coward who sent others to blow themselves up has changed, understandably, over the last few days. Of late, the White House says it will not give out any more operational details.
But they owe us a complete story, an honest story, one for the record.
Read the full article here: Clearing the Fog of War in Abbottabad – NYTimes.com.