Jessica Lynch: The Symbol Clashes

In her first significant public interview, Private Jessica Lynch has debunked many of the official stories told by the U.S. military about her personal heroics, abuse at the hands of Iraqis, and rescue. "It hurt in a way that people would make up stories that they had no truth about," Lynch said, adding that it bothered her that "they used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff. Yeah, it's wrong." Meanwhile, an NBC docudrama about Lynch's rescue is taking as many liberties with the truth as the Pentagon. Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaief, the Iraqi who led the Americans to Lynch, is the focus of the NBC documentary and was reportedly an advisor to NBC on the film that lionizes his heroism. After the rescue he was granted asylum in the US and given a job at the powerful DC lobby shop run by Republican Bob Livingston and Democrat Toby Moffet. Livingston has personally lobbied in the past for GE, the parent company of NBC. The movie is likely to spur sales of Mohammed's book which is being promoted by his lobbyist co-worker Lauri Fitz-Pegado. She was, in 1990, the account supervisor for the Hill & Knowlton PR firm's lucrative work with the front group "Citizens for a Free Kuwait" which featured the phony and now infamous "Nayirah" claims about Iraqi soldiers killing babies in hospitals.