January 01, 2004

Piestewa Family Slams NBC for Airing Video of Soldier As POW in Iraqi Hospital Before Her Death


Piestewa Family, Associated Press: Let us make sure that both President Bush, his father and each of his aides and advisers get a copy of Lori dying in agony so that they realize, from the comfort of their homes, that war should be the last option," the family said in the statement.

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Piestewa Family Slams Airing of POW Video
Piestewa Family Slams NBC for Airing Video of Soldier As POW in Iraqi Hospital Before Her Death

The Associated Press

PHOENIX Jan. 1 ó The family of a soldier killed in
Iraq had harsh words Wednesday for the network that
aired footage of her, bloody and bruised, in an Iraqi
hospital bed shortly before she died.
The footage, aired Tuesday on "NBC Nightly News,"
shows Lori Piestewa and Jessica Lynch Army privates
and best friends at a hospital where they were taken
after a March 23 ambush. Lynch was rescued April 1.




Airing the tape which NBC said was filmed but never
broadcast by Iraqi television created a sense of fear,
anxiety and hurt, Piestewa's family said in a
statement.

"This terrorism was not from any foreign group wishing
to harm the United States, but from our own people
wanting to make a quick buck off the misfortune of two
beautiful young women," the family said.

Wayland Piestewa, brother of the fallen soldier,
released the statement but declined to answer
questions.

NBC spokeswoman Barbara Levin said the network
contacted the Pentagon so the families of Piestewa and
Lynch would know about the footage.

"Undeniably there's news value in it," Levin said,
because it bolsters Lynch's statements that she did
not remember what happened after her unit was
attacked, and because it shows Piestewa was alive for
a time after the ambush.

"It gave some clarity to the situation," Levin said.

On the tape, Piestewa's face is swollen, bloody and
bruised and her head loosely bandaged. Her lip is
shown curling back in an apparent grimace.

Lynch, 20, is also shown bandaged, her lip cut.
Neither appears awake or alert.

The footage was somewhat comforting for fellow former
POW Spc. Shoshana Johnson, who verified Lynch's and
Piestewa's identities for NBC.

"It was a little shocking to see Lori, but it also
gave me a little peace to know that they tried, they
did their best for her," Johnson, 30, told the
network. "I mean, it was obvious they tried to bandage
her up and give her medical care."

Iraqi doctors have previously said the women were
brought to a private clinic after the ambush, and that
Piestewa, a 23-year-old mother of two from Tuba City,
Ariz., died half an hour later of severe head
injuries.

Although they disagreed with NBC's decision to air the
footage, Piestewa's family said some people definitely
should see it.

"Let us make sure that both President Bush, his father
and each of his aides and advisers get a copy of Lori
dying in agony so that they realize, from the comfort
of their homes, that war should be the last option,"
the family said in the statement.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



Posted by richard at January 1, 2004 09:22 AM