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Iraq: Freed Italian Reporter Says US Forces Tried to Kill Her

A collection of links to this developing story. Bush and his corp. media roll out the damage control.
Freed Italian Reporter Says US Forces Tried to Kill Her
"Everyone knows that the Americans don't want hostages to be freed by negotiations, and for that reason, I don't see why I should rule out that I was their target," ...
 http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2005-03/06/article04.shtml

Napalm Raid on Falluja?
73 charred bodies -- women and children -- were found
GIULIANA SGRENA
23 November 2004
 http://www.ilmanifesto.it/pag/sgrena/en/420dd721e0ff0.html

Life and Death
Gabriele Polo
 http://www.ilmanifesto.it/pag/sgrena/en/

Italian Journalist Wounded in Hostage Drama Recalls Her Ordeal
 http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/030605Z.shtml

UN asked to investigate US shooting of Italian journalist and military intelligence officer
 http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=12761

Reporters Without Borders pays tribute to women journalists under threat worldwide
 http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=12765
----------------------------------------------------
 http://unobserver.com/layout4.php?id=2081&blz=1


Was Giuliana Sgrena deliberately targeted?

"A few facts to consider:
1. The agent who was killed died while shielding Sgrena with his own body, according to Reuters. "He leaned over me, probably to protect me, and then he slumped down, and I saw he was dead," she said. This could mean one of two things: Either the agent was reacting as trained to the gunfire and was protecting his principle, or he saw that she was the target of the fire.
2. Pier Scolari, companion to Sgrena, has stated the attack was deliberate, according to Agence France Presse. "The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming," Scolari said. "They were 700 meters (yards) from the airport, which means that they had passed all checkpoints. Giuliana had information, and the US military did not want her to survive."
3. The chief editor of Sgrena's newspaper Il Manifesto, Gabriele Polo, branded Calipari's death a "murder". "He was hit in the head," he said.
4. For a journalist like Sgrena to be deliberately targeted, a motive would have to exist. An examination of the work she was doing in Iraq, particularly about the annihilation of Fallujah, makes it clear that she was disbursing information the U.S. military and civilian command structure do not want widely known.

A few examples of her reports:
Ten thousand Iraqis in US and British prisons
Napalm Raid on Falluja?
The death throes of Fallujah
Interview with an Iraki woman tortured at Abu Graib

A longer and more detailed examination of these allegations has been written by Luciana Bohne at Online Journal. Give that article a careful read."
Another Journalist Deliberately Targeted? William Pitt, March 6, 2005

Naomi Klein succinctly explains below the intent of the US occupier's policy: "In Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies."

MORE
 http://abutamam.blogspot.com/2005/03/was-giuliana-sgrena-deliberately.html

My Name Is Giuliana Sgrena:
I Write for a Newspaper Which Opposed the Sanctions and the War Against Iraq'
 http://www.onlinejournal.com/Media/021205Bohne/021205bohne.html

My truth By Giuliana Sgrena
 http://www.onlinejournal.com/Media/030605Sgrena/030605sgrena.html

---------------------------

AP Linked to Disinfo on Sgrena's Story of Shooting
Right-Wing Bloggers' Fake Sgrena Car Photo -With Help from AP

March 6th, 2005

Right-wing bloggers are circulating a photo purportedly showing the car in which Sgrena Guiliani was wounded and her rescuer Nicola Calipari was fatally shot. The photo is being used to discredit Sgrena's account of the shooting.

It shows a four-door sedan which has only the driver's side window broken and no overt bullet damage to the bodywork. That contradicts the "hail of bullets" described by Sgrena and others. And it boosts the US military's case that the incident was just a "mishap."

At first glance the picture seems legitimate. Captions <  http://www.thepoliticalteen.net/archives/2005/03/sgrenaas_ca
r.php > which accompany the photo on blogs say it's a still frame taken from an Associated Press video about the shooting at Baghdad Airport.
These captions also give a source link to versions of the video on Yahoo <  http://dailynews.yahoo.com//p/v?u=/ap_av/20050304/av_ap_wl/3
969bd1456cb711006f784911e5d8c0d&cid=452&f=53746348 ... >
and on AP Feedroom <  http://national.feedroom.com/x/tiles.jsp?rd=1 >

They make comments like:

"Unless this car is made out of thick metal and bullets bounce off of it, I don't think this car was shot at more than 10 times." [  http://www.thepoliticalteen.net/archives/2005/03/sgrenaas_ca
r.php ]

"I ask you, does the car above look like it was ?riddled with bullets? Either our soldiers are terrible shots or some people are being pretty loose with the facts in this story." [  http://sayanythingblog.com/2005/03/06/sgrenas-car/ ]

But if you are suspicious that the car seems far too little damaged, you might -as I did- check major search engines for such a high-profile photo. On the second page <  http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/search?ei=UTF-8&p=Sgrena+v
ehicle&c=images&b=11 > of a Yahoo News Photo search -I quickly found the same vehicle photographed from another angle.

This time with an Iraqi man standing beside the vehicle.<  http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/050205/photos
_wl/mdf847688 >

The Yahoo photo caption says:

An Iraqi driver stands near his damaged vehicle at the site of the kidnapping of an Italian journalist outside al-Nahrain University in central Baghdad, February 4, 2005.... Gunmen pulled up alongside her vehicle, forced her driver and an Iraqi journalist with her out of the vehicle at gunpoint and then drove off with Sgrena, the sources said.

The driver said that the gunmen hit his car as they were rushing away from the scene following the kidnapping. (Akram Saleh/Reuters)
 http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/050205/photos
_wl/mdf847688

Tracking back the "car photo" story through blogs --which credited each other as the tale passed around, the feeding chain included www.thepoliticalteen.net/, sayanythingblog.com,
[also  http://www.e-nough.hmdnsgroup.com/archives/000905.html
 http://sailorinthedesert.blogspot.com/2005_03_01_sailorinthe
desert_archive.html#111015538418742391 ]
and the source of it all littlegreenfootballs.com <  http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=14962_Maybe_Al
l_400_Bullets_Missed&only=yes >

You will gain some insight into the political flavor of littlegreenfootballs.com -the blog which started the fake story- from this comment in a related thread on the blog
<  http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=14954_AP_Slams
_US_Military >:

"Journalists writing for commie rags are not impervious to bullets if they disregard the American military in a war zone. One would think Sgrena would be more cautious having just been released as a hostage."
Here, even as the story continued to ooze across the blogsphere, the source of it all had already retracted their claim it was Sgrena's car.

And they were blaming Associated Press for it all, because in the AP video, the car clip from the February 5th, kidnapping was misleading synchronized with the voice-over describing the Baghdad airport shooting of Sgrena:

"[The video has] a medium shot of this car, changing to a closeup, as the voice-over says, ?Coalition forces fired on a vehicle that was approaching a checkpoint at a high rate of speed.? ...So we apparently have a false alarm here, triggered by a highly misleading AP video. This is not a photo of the car that ran the checkpoint. [  http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=14962_Maybe_Al
l_400_Bullets_Missed&only=yes ]
But even as one piece of disinfo is retracted that last sentence sows another:

"This is not a photo of the car that ran the checkpoint."

There was no checkpoint <  http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/03/giuliana-sgrena-means-mo
tive-and.html >. Sgrena recounts that a patrol fired on their car within sight of the terminal building at the airport - not on the road to airport. This is just a continuation of earlier disinformation by the US command in Iraq.

The AP video is disturbingly edited. The little green footballs have been suspiciously inept.

But that isn't stopping the popularity of disinformation which serves only to cover-up the likely assassination bid on a journalist --who was at the time of her imminent departure from Iraq, set to beecome a heroine of the anti-war movement in Italy and a considerable obstacle to the US/UK and Italian political mafia and their proto-imperial objectives in Iraq.

See our further coverage:

* Giuliana Sgrena : Means, Motive and Murder
 http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/03/italian-reporter-survive
s-likely.html

* US attack on Sgrena was deliberate says companion
 http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/03/us-attack-on-sgrena-was-
deliberate.html

* Reporter survives likely assassination bid by US Special Forces
 http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/03/italian-reporter-survive
s-likely.html

...more to come on www.breakfornews.com/

wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/03/ap-linked-to-disinfo-on-sgrenas-story.html
On the first question 07.Mar.2005 13:11

James

"Was Giuliana Sgrena deliberately targeted?"

Obviously not, because she's alive and back in Italy. Had she been deliberately targeted, she'd be dead. I mean, this is just common sense. Why would the American forces stop shooting? If everyone were dead, there'd be no one to contradict the story of a vehicle speeding towards a check point.

There's really no getting past that.

She probably wasn't targeted, but... 07.Mar.2005 13:40

Scotty B.

This incident shows the extent of war crimes in Iraq that are being carried out by U.S. troops. How many hundreds of Iraqis have died in incidents like this one? If they were careless enough to fire at a car that was rescuing a hostage, then how trigger-happy are they under normal circumstances?

And once again, the media is completely falsifying the story. I'm beginning to wonder...if there was a My Lai-type massacre in Iraq now, or if there has been one, would it even be reported?

Yes, good point 07.Mar.2005 13:59

James

This was a very interesting article:  http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0307/p01s04-woiq.html

This Christian Science Monitor reporter has had a few close-calls with U.S. checkpoints, and he does a great job explaining how confusing they can be, and other factors which contribute to the frequent shootings.

was Sgrena deliberately targeted? 07.Mar.2005 14:02

obviously not...or not so obvious

to rebuff James' comment: 'obviously she was not targeted by US forces, because had she been, she would not have survived'. His comment, in short. However, if you are targeting a civilian and you are part of the US military and are trying to keep this operation "clandestine", then you cannot afford to be brazen. You simply can't storm the reporter's vehicle with marked military vehicles in the open, or troops for that matter. We are dealing with the most cunning, twisted form of american military occupation and leadership since Vietnam.

US FORCES, especially SPECIAL OPS, don't operate like Al Capone's drive-bys: they operate in a clandestine manner. It's not so obvious at all. And yes, they can miss, depending on the distance of the target, speed of the target and the number of shooters. Especially if these were snipers in covered and concealed positions, which is the most likely scenario for targeting a moving vehicle in secret.

You can't just deduce that she was not targeted simply because she is still alive. Sorry.

Let's just be happy she made it and can give us some real insight as to what is really happening there.

Ex-military paratrooper

Here is what she has to say about that 07.Mar.2005 14:19

Blog Jockey

Could it be that soldiers, being the grunts they are, are only given the information they need to know.

"terrorists are coming, shoot on sight"

"holy shit, they're italians, hold your fire"

"Damn those bad apples, they were not trained, sorry world, we promise we won't do it in Iran and they will be reprimanded"

"but, but, we were told to fire at the terrorists...we were just following..."

-----------------------------------------------------
transcript of interview from the BBC
[snip]
Tell us about the car journey you shared with him.

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.

When did you become aware that your car was being fired at?

We had no signal. We were just on the way to the airport. They started to shoot at us without any light or signal. There was no block, there was nothing. It was so immediate. I didn't know how I was alive after all that attack.

Why do you think the Americans opened fire?

We were not a hidden car. We were just a car on the road with lights and we were not running without any signal. So you have to ask the Americans because we don't know what happened.


Nicola Calipari died protecting Ms Sgrena
Did the Americans continue to fire when your car had come to a halt?

OUR CAR WAS DESTROYED. And then the driver got out and was shouting "we're Italian, we're Italian". So they came and they saw what happened. But I was badly injured so I can't explain exactly what happened after because I was waiting for 20 minutes on the road for a military car to bring me to the hospital.

I don't know if they knew what they were doing or not but it's a big responsibility so they have to respond to what happened because it's impossible to shoot a car on a road to the airport without giving any signal, any stop or any check.

Do you think it was deliberate?

I can't say it was deliberate because we can't say if there was a lack of information. But also a lack of information in this case is [their] responsibility because you are in a war field and you have the responsibility to pass immediately any information.

The information was given to the Italians to tell the Americans that we were on the road. Now, I can't say why they shot at us in this way but it's a very big responsibility and we ask for a response on what happened.

So what did this security agent do when he heard the firing?

When the driver said "they're attacking us", one of the [agents] tried to say we're Italians but it was impossible to get out of the car because the car was under this rain of fire.

And the other one tried to protect me and he died. I was pushing down to avoid the bullets and after I don't know how long, I found that he was dead.

He died in your arms?

Yes.

How do you feel about the man who saved your life?

I am very, very sad and feel pain for him. I'm sorry not to be able to go to the funeral because I am in hospital.

He was a brave man.

Yes.

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4324251.stm
------------------------------------------

Maybe if we could see the car we would know just how damaged it is, could she be lying?

Sgrena's Car Disappears From U.S. Military Custody
 http://mparent7777.blog-city.com/read/1117104.htm

I wonder what this Iraqi in fallujah means when he smiles.

"I need to have some photos!" I told the driver. "Not now!" was his abrupt reply. He moved the car few meters back ward "now, and make it very quick". He did not stop the car. I had two shots for a school and a mosque, and he drove quickly. There were 4 or 5 American snipers around, as he explained later. Many American vehicles were driving along one of the roads. The driver decided to take a side road. "You do not have to do that" I objected. "We are not doing anything wrong". He did not reply, just smiled.

 http://www.brusselstribunal.org/Articles.htm#iloja

Think fox news will interview Giuliana? Think any of our corporate media will have an interview? Think they'll talk about fallujah, think they'll even talk about Iraq? Let's see, who do I want to believe...people who have lied to me over and over for 5 years or someone who has been reporting against the US led occupation that was based on lies and was just kidnapped and released by her captors because she was reporting on the crimes being committed by our government. Hmmmm.

Does this mean they did it deliberately? A grunt is on a need to know basis.

Truth is the first casualty of war, the fact that Dahr Jamail has had reports on just this type of topic, the head of an american corp. news outfit in europe "misspoke" saying similar, the people of Iraq think journalists are all CIA and joke about being gunned down by US forces because they're "free", makes one wonder doesn't it?

It's a sinking ship, no matter how fast the corp. media is willing to fall on their swords, dubya just keeps sticking them with more lies. The funniest part, is that the corp media still thinks we buy the bullshit they push through television. "Everything is great in Iraq" they tell us, yet support keeps diminishing and more bodies come home. Maybe they are believing their own bullshit to the point where they don't know what the truth is anymore.

Could that be the reason they hate the power of the internet...naaah, that's just tin foil talk.

Who was this victim? 07.Mar.2005 17:04

query

The man killed was the target, that is why the others lived. Her rescuer, the negotiator, was privy to much inside information. Couldn't let that story get out. Much easier to spin the mistake now move on BS end of story.

I hope more background information on the victim becomes available so that a better news analysis can be presented.

The so-called checkpoint 07.Mar.2005 20:16

JR

I caught the Lehrer Newshour tonight, and they had a piece on the killing--what's being labeled a checkpoint, whatever it was had been there for 90 minutes, according to Margaret Warner, the interviewer. One of the comments above points out that there may have been no checkpoint at all, but that these were tanks or humvees that went out to stop the car. I think the term she (Margaret Warner) used was "mobile checkpoint." This is the kind of fog that really needs to be cleaned up, before an actual investigation can begin, and not just a trial by media.

Sgrena, I think, claims that she was targeted because of her anti-war stance, and because she has material on the assault of Fallujah that the U.S. military doesn't want widely known. The media is towing the line that this is all about the practice of paying "insurgent" hostage-takers a ransom in exchange for hostages--the U.S. strictly prohibits it, and Europeans (I guess this means Britain and Italy) are more apt to pay for hostages. You see, it's geopolitical, not just about some journalist (according to big media). That line of reporting tends to denigrate Sgrena's statements on the incident, especially when they don't mention those statements at all.

If she does have some critical information on Fallujah, it will be interesting to see what it is, and of course to go back and see what she's written thus far. It must be good.

Italians not targeted 08.Mar.2005 09:05

Andy from Beaverton

If the Italians were targeted, where were the bullet holes? He was killed from the shrapnel from the engine being targeted.

where are the bullet holes? 09.Mar.2005 06:02

Sheepdog

I guess that vehicle will never be seen again.
What bullet holes?