May 21, 2003

"But after a few days, she began to relax. And she really bonded with Khalida. She told me, `I'm going to take her back to America with me."

Not likely now Khalida, your ticket to Disneyland was punched when you told a reporter what you saw.

What troubles the staff in Nasiriya most are reports that Lynch was abused while in their case. All vehemently deny it.

Told of the allegation through an interpreter, nurse Shinah wells up with tears. Gathering herself, she responds quietly: "This is a lie. But why ask me? Why don't you ask Jessica what kind of treatment she received?"

But that is easier said than done. At the Pentagon last week, U.S. Army spokesman Lt.-Col. Ryan Yantis said the door to Lynch remains closed as she continues her recovery at Washington's Walter Reed Army Medical Centre.

"Until such time as she wants to talk — and that's going to be no time soon, and it may be never at all — the press is simply going to have to wait."

Whomever is in charge of any charitable donations made to Ms. Lynch should consider buying that hospital a new bed, at least.


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