Tuesday, March 08, 2005
More On Giuliana Sgrena
Italian agents likely withheld information from U.S. counterparts about a cash-for-freedom deal with gunmen holding an Italian hostage for fear that Americans might block the trade, Italian news reports said yesterday.
The decision by operatives of Italy's SISMI military intelligence service to keep the CIA in the dark about the deal for the release of reporter Giuliana Sgrena, might have "short-circuited" communications with U.S. forces controlling the road from Baghdad to the city's airport, the newspaper La Stampa said.
According to the US Military, the main factor contributing to the shooting was the Italians' refusal to tell the U.S. they were coming:
A U.S. military source said yesterday that the "main contributing factor" in the shooting death of Italian agent Nicola Calipari at an American roadblock in Baghdad, Iraq, was Italy's failure to inform U.S. soldiers that it would be bringing a newly released Italian hostage along the road to the airport.
Some of my readers took issue with my criticism of the SAEN on the report yesterday. Fair enough, but take a look at a couple of sentences from the same article as above, and notice the words I highlight in bold:
Meanwhile, the hostage, journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who was injured in the Friday-night shooting, said she could not rule out that the Americans intentionally shot at her. She gave no evidence, however.
How hard would it have been for the SAEN to include the qualifier "She gave no evidence" in their report? But it does not matter now. The Commando was right again and the story has disappeared from the SAEN.
Update: In a claim that can't help but further erode her credibility, if she has any, is Comrade Sgrena's claim the her vehicle came under fire from U.S. tanks:
We were on our way to the airport when the tanks started to strike against us and he tried to cover me and he was shot. He died and, me, I was safe but he was dead.
And yet, somehow she survived..."That's Incredible!"