A few nights ago I saw a preview of Saving Jessica Lynch. It was all I could do to contain the gray matter.
I was extremely busy and without access to a computer during the "rescue." A week after Pfc. Lynch was returned to American custody, I heard incredulous stories of a heroic young soldier, Rambo-style shooting at the enemy until out of bullets, and who endured stab wounds and torture until she was dramatically rescued in perfect made-for TV fashion.
And then the BBC aired the infamous documentary, essentially labeling the Pentagon's version of events as a work of fiction. I trust the BBC over the Pentagon.
Sure enough, Pfc Lynch has selective amnesia and cannot remember the events of her capture and rescue, though that hasn't stopped her from a million dollar book deal with the NY Times most recent plagiarist du jour, Rick Bragg.
When the Department of Defense insisted on keeping up their official version of the rescue, I knew that inevitably some of Lynch's rescuers would be hushed. After all, here is a woman who endured a few broken limbs from a vehicle accident and is rewarded with a million bucks, while her rescuers continue to live without toilets and running water in a Depleted Uranium wasteland. Her Bronze Star has outraged many veterans. At some point even the threat of an untimely demise will not keep some disgruntled military folks from talking.
Eerily enough, four of Pfc. Lynch's rescuers and colleagues have met an early demise.
Petty Officer First Class David M. Tapper died of wounds received in Afghanistan. He took part in the rescue.
Lance Cpl. Sok Khak Ung was killed in a drive-by shooting. He was also part of the rescue team.
Spc Josh Daniel Speer died when his car crashed into some trees for no apparent reason. He was part of the rescue team.
Kyle Edward Williams, who worked in the same company as Lynch, died of "suicide".
"A Tucson man was shot to death outside a West Side hotel Wednesday after breaking into a vehicle and being confronted by its owner, an Army soldier, who shot him in the back and fled, police said Friday.
The soldier, Spc. Kyle Edward Williams, 21, was found dead outside San Diego on Thursday and officials believe he committed suicide with one of the seven firearms he had been carrying with him.
He left no note to explain the suicide or why he fired six shots at Noah P. Gamez, also 21, after spotting the man stealing an ice chest from his Jeep.
Williams spent seven months in the Middle East as part of the 507th Maintenance Company, the same unit as Pfc. Jessica Lynch, Army officials said.
He didn't have any disciplinary or mental health problems before he left Fort Bliss, Texas, at the end of September for 20 days of leave before moving to a new military job, the officials said."
But this statistically improbable occurrence is just a coincidence.
NOTE: This site was updated on 10/29/2003 to include the links to the soldiers' deaths. One line in the article was amended to reflect that Spc Speer crashed into trees rather than driving over an emabankment. Initial reports indicated the embankment scenerio, but the hometown newspaper of Spc Speer mentions his drove his car into some trees. Either way, he died prematurely and without witnesses. It is not known how or why his car veered off the road.
I posted a lengthy update on this called "Anatomy of a Rumor" at . When I first wrote down my suspicions, I had no idea that it would circulate to thousands of people. The updtae is a clarification of some of the reasons I suspect these deaths were not all coincidental.