This Is Getting Ridiculous
Maybe it's the weekend news cycle, but the U.S. government is pretty slow at answering the ridiculous charges appearing in the Italian media, and parroted in the U.S. media, about the shooting of the freed Italian hostage (background over at Ninme's place). Notwithstanding the caterwauling from the moonbats, the U.S. policy of "actually investigating what happened before making statements" seems to be causing the news to be monopolized by the anti-American version. Here's what someone who wasn't even in Baghdad had to say:
" Saturday, the left-leaning Il Manifesto accused U.S. forces of "assassinating" Calipari.
Sgrena's partner, Pierre Scolari, also blamed the shooting on the U.S. government, suggesting the incident was intentional.
"I hope the Italian government does something because either this was an ambush, as I think, or we are dealing with imbeciles or terrorized kids who shoot at anyone," he said, according to Reuters."
Let's look through the charge that the U.S. was attempting to "assassinate" the reporter, and did assassinate the Italian officer. Apparently, the car carrying the freed hostage, Giuliana Sgrena, was driving towards BIAP (Baghdad International Airport). At some point, a group of Americans opened fire on the car, apparently firing 300-400 rounds. The driver and Sgrena were wounded, and the Italian officer, Nicola Calipari, was killed by a single bullet to the head. Sgrena says that they weren't at a checkpoint, but:
"In an interview with Sky TV, Sgrena said "feeling yourself covered with avalanche of gunfire from a tank that is beside you, that did not give you any warning that it was about to attack if we did not stop -- this is absolutely inconceivable even in normal situations, even if they hadn't known that we were there, that we were supposed to come through.' "
So, it's not a checkpoint, but there's a "tank" beside them... sounds like a checkpoint to me. That's not the important part. All of the conspiracy theories claim that the Americans wanted to kill Sgrena because of some vital information that she would share with the world upon her release -- something along the lines of the use of napalm in Fallujah or something. At this point, let's bring in the words of guest moonbat Kurt Nimmo to continue the conspiracy. (Kurt, by the way, doesn't think we tried to kill Sgrena; he thinks we only wanted to wound her to send a message to progressive journalists.)
Note the “driver twice called the embassy” and Sgrena’s description of the road as one “heavily patrolled by U.S. troops,” negating the probability of a resistance attack. As for the calls to the embassy, these were obviously monitored by the U.S. military as it can be assumed all calls, especially from cells phones, are monitored in Iraq.
Yes, the invincibility of the U.S. military. Not only does the U.S. military monitor all cell phone calls in Iraq, but they also disseminate all information about them out to all patrols instantaneously. Also, his description of the road being completely safe is somewhat at odds with this LA Times report attempting to describe what a quagmire we'd fallen into.
Here's the truth. The U.S. military does do a better job at communicating information than any similarly-sized organization in the world. That being said, not everything is immediately passed to everyone. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that all of the checkpoints had been informed that the car was coming through. Suppose this was a random patrol. Let's assume that they had passed the information over the general radio frequency that this car was coming. Yes, everyone is supposed to be listening at all times, but trust me, sometimes important radio messages get missed. Is this more likely, or is it more likely that the U.S. attempted to kill Sgrena, but when they didn't kill her in the first attack, decided to take her to an American military hospital? Why leave a witness? Why not put a bullet in her head then, or have her "die" on the operating table? Those who argue any other way are simply grasping at straws in trying to prove that America is to blame for all the world's ills.
Staying at PD...
Update 1711 07 Mar: Blackfive has much, much more on this from an Army perspective. Also, from the comments, here's an informative article on TCPs (traffic control points) in Iraq.