Larry Flynt protects nude photos of Jessica Lynch


US Porn king Mr Larry Flynt, casting himself in the unlikely role of white knight to US Army Private Jessica Lynch, says he has bought semi-nude photos of the former POW "to keep them out of circulation."

The Hustlerpublisher and free speech crusader said he acquired the snapshots of Ms Lynch from two soldiers who served with her. The slight blond became a national hero after she was wounded and taken prisoner during the US-led invasion of Iraq in March.

"I purchased them at first with the intention of publishing them, however, I quickly changed my mind and decided simply to keep them out of circulation," Mr Flynt said in a statement. "If Jessica Lynch wants to join the army and see the world, and if she wants to have a good time while she's at it, I'm not here to judge her."

Mr Flynt, a vocal critic of the Iraq conflict, described Lynch as a pawn in the US government's "cynical attempt to create a 'hero' who can 'sell' the war to the American people."

"But Jessica Lynch is not a hypocrite," he said. "She's a victim of the media and the Government, co-conspirators desperate to justify the war in Iraq."

The photos reportedly feature a topless Lynch romping with two men at Fort Bliss, Texas, where she was stationed before shipping off to Iraq earlier this year.