"I believe this is not a time for finger pointing. It is time for the truth, the whole truth, versus misinformation and hype," Jessica Lynch told the House Committee on Government Oversight on Tuesday in a hearing on “Misleading Information from the Battlefield."
Lynch said she came "to set the record straight" regarding the heroic tales that circulated of the "little girl Rambo from the hills who went down fighting" after her convoy was ambushed near Nasiriyah on March 25, 2003.
Correcting the public record "is something I have done since 2003 and something I imagine I will have to do for the rest of my life," she told the committee.
The original account of the convoy's ambush and Pvt. Lynch's capture in the Washington Post cited an unnamed "US military official" as reporting that she had "sustained multiple gunshot wounds" and also was stabbed while she "fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers...firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition."
After Lynch was rescued by US forces nine days later, it was learned that she had been knocked out upon impact, had never fired a weapon or been shot, and remembered nothing of the incident until she woke up in the Iraqi hospital, which cared for her wounds and had even tried to return her to Coalition forces.
Lynch said in an interview with CNN that she didn't know where the false story had come from, or why it had been spread, but she told the Committee this morning that:
I have repeatedly said, when asked, that if the stories about me helped inspire our troops and rally a nation, then perhaps there was some good. However, I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary.
For Jessica Lynch's own account of the events of her capture and detention, see the full text of her prepared statement for the hearing.