Information Warfare: May 20, 2003

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The British media have been promoting a story that claims the U.S. commando raid to rescue wounded American soldier Jessica Lynch was staged. Part of their proof is the assertion that the troops participating in the raid were firing blank rounds. But anyone familiar with how military weapons use blanks knows that for a weapon to fire blanks it must have a large orange metal device fitted on the barrel. This "blank adaptor" restricts the amount of hot gas leaving the barrel when the weapon is fired. This provides enough hot gas in the barrel to operate the reloading system. The blank adaptor, in addition to being very obvious, takes several minutes to put on or take off. Now the Brits may fall back on the assertion that the troops had movie prop weapons. These also fire blanks, but have the "blank adaptor" built into the barrel via a metal plug with a narrow exit hole to keep the hot gas in (and prevent anyone from using real bullets in the gun, unless the metal plug is removed.) As for the rest of the story, some of the Iraqi hospital staff assert that the Iraqi irregulars had fled before the American commandos showed up. Earlier, other hospital staff had said quite the opposite. The British press are rather infamous for their creative use of sources and story angles to snag a valuable hot headline. Their story that American troops would go behind enemy lines equipped with blanks is in itself remarkable. What's not remarkable is that this story, and many equally off the wall (and later discredited) scoops should emerge from the London media. 

 


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