(04/24/2007)

By Bob Weaver

The Iraq war continues to roost on George Bush's shoulder.

Wirt County's Jessica Lynch is in Washington to help clear the air about government misinformation fed to the American people about her capture in Iraq.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is conducting a hearing that will feature testimony from Lynch and relatives of NFL star Patrick Tillman turned soldier, who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004.

Top military officers are already making amends to the Tillman family for their supporting government lies.

The House committee "will examine why inaccurate accounts of these two incidents were disseminated, the sources and motivations for the accounts, and whether the appropriate administration officials have been held accountable."

Beyond the false intelligence used by the Bush administration to go to war, there has been a continuing spin described by a military official as "cards with lies," fed to the American people.

Lynch was a private first class with a maintenance company that came under fire in the early days of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Pentagon reported that she was shot and stabbed during a fierce firefight with Iraqi troops in which 11 of her comrades were killed.

Lynch became a celebrity after U.S. troops stormed the hospital where she was being held and rescued her in what American commanders said at the time was a dangerous and daring raid.

Hospital staff said no Iraqi troops were in the hospital at the time of her "rescue."

They said they had unsuccessfully tried to turn Lynch over to American forces.

Lynch later turned out to have suffered broken bones when her vehicle crashed during the battle. Her weapon was jammed with sand and she never fired a shot.

She later told ABC News that she was bothered by the way the military publicized her rescue, which was filmed by the government.

Defense officials blamed news outlets, not the military, for any inaccuracies in her story.

Lynch said she hopes to set the record straight about events surrounding her rescue.

"I didn't want to be portrayed as this Rambo fighting machine when, you know, I knew it wasn't the truth and it was important to me to always come out and tell the truth," Lynch told ABC News.

Lynch's book "I Am A Soldier, Too," minimized her heroics.

Then, there is the Pat Tillman case.

Today, Tillman's brother was outraged that the government would lie to the American public during Tillman's nationally televised memorial service.

The Defense Department announced in March that nine military officers, including four generals, face "corrective action" in connection with lies related to Tillman's death.

The Army posthumously awarded Tillman the Silver Star, the third-highest U.S. combat decoration, announcing that he had been killed leading a counterattack.

Within hours of Pat Tillman's death, the Army went into information-lock-down mode, cutting off phone and Internet connections at a base in Afghanistan where his body was housed.

A sergeant was ordered to burn Tillman's uniform.

The battle, until now, has been between a grieving family and the U.S. military justice system.

Tillman's outraged mother has displayed thousands of pages of documents on her dining room table, saying much of the material represents lies, deception, and cover-ups.

Vigil For Jessica

Jessi Comes Home To Wirt


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