Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, March 07, 2005

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.


Blogger ninme said...

If the road was "heavily patrolled" by american troops, why didn't any of them shoot at her? Why wait for the big obvious tank standing in the middle of the road, which seems to have inexplicably missed? What, were all the american snipers at a team-building weekend retreat?

3/07/2005 11:23 AM

Blogger MrTorrance said...

This is so obviously an accident it makes me sick to think people believe it was intentional. I'm no ballistics expert, but usually when you open fire on the interior of a vehicle people get riddled with bullets. (Sgrena was slightly wounded in the shoulder and underwent treatment at a U.S. hospital in Baghdad. AND Nicola Calipari...killed by a single shot to the head and died instantly.)
From what I've read on the incedent it sounds like this:
Friday night a vehicle approached a US military checkpoint, and after some warning was fired apon until it stopped. During the gunfire there was one wounded and another casualty.

So you got a car that will not stop driving at a high rate of speed, at night, under wartime conditions. You're scared of all the sick dress wearin militants that try to kill you every day, so you fire on the vehicle hoping to stop it before it reaches it's destination.
If bubblehead's info on the 300-400 rounds is accurate then it's absoulutly impossible that the intention was to kill the cars occupants. This is just another casualty of a very necessary, but messy war.

3/07/2005 1:28 PM

Blogger ninme said...

And I hate to criticize anyone in the service, especially an intelligence agent and especially an italian (mm, italians), but if they were driving, as you say, in a war zone, on a road that was apparently being IED'd, and approaching a checkpoint, and this is how Guiliana describes the mood:

"The car kept on the road, going under an underpass full of puddles and almost losing control to avoid them. We all incredibly laughed. It was liberating. Losing control of the car in a street full of water in Baghdad and maybe wind up in a bad car accident after all I had been through would really be a tale I would not be able to tell."

Where is these guys' professionalism? They're not in Rome yet, and they're driving around Baghdad after JUST rescuing a hostage giggling like schoolgirls? I mean, come on. We're supposed to swallow the idea that this is OUR fault?

3/07/2005 1:41 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

The 300-400 round info comes only from the MSM reports, which seem to come only from Sgrena's account, as well as her drivers. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to have been much fewer -- in their defense, though, I think that if I were under fire from .50 cal machine guns, I might overestimate the number as well.

3/07/2005 2:55 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/07/2005 2:55 PM

Blogger MrTorrance said...

found this article about Iraq's checkpoints...a good look at both sides.

3/07/2005 3:38 PM

Blogger bubbleheadfl said...

This is a golden opportunity for the leftwing media to play down our troops. After a quick bit of research, I found all the validation I need. You are stationed at a TCP on one of the roughest roads in Baghdad. You spot a car heading for the TCP at a high rate of speed. You have less than 4 seconds to determine the threat and to take action or not. FOUR SECONDS! It takes 5 to 10 seconds to take drink. Yet you have to determine if this vehicle is a threat to you and your men in less than 4. bubblehead should know of the feeling of having to make a decison in that amount of time as to whether or not he has to info necessary to fire on that enemy target. That goes for anyboody that has had to play war games or have actually been in a combat situation. I do not and will not buy this being our fault. You are in a war zone, whether you an active participant or not, there is ever-present danger and you at risk constantly. I really cannot believe that any red-blooded American could believe the spin that trying to be placed on this story.

3/07/2005 7:03 PM


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