>The story is pretty consistently reported as the wounding of the
>journalist being the bigger story than the death of the Italian
>Secret Service Agent.
>Imagine if an Italian MP shot and killed an American Secret Service
First, let me just say that I was greatly moved by Nicola Calipari's
action above all. He put his assignment, which is to bring Giuliana
Sgrena home safely, before his own life; he threw himself over Sgrena
as soon as he became aware of the bullets coming at her.
Second, it is necessarily the case that the mission was about saving
Sgrena, even at the expense of one or more Italian government agents.
That was the nature of the mission.
So, not surprisingly, the greater tragedy got less recognition in the
news, even though it was the tragedy of a great hero, Nicola Calipari.
Third, some of us who read the story have immediately recognised that
Sgrena might have actually been targeted and would have been dead had
Calipari didn't throw himself over her to save her, as there has been
rampant rumors that some journalists in this war are targeted by the
Eason Jordan resigned . . . as CNN's chief news executive in an
effort to quell a burgeoning controversy over his remarks about
U.S. soldiers killing journalists in Iraq.
Il Manifesto, for which Sgrena has worked, is news organizations with
a record opposing the Iraq war and Sgrena's pacifist stand has been
widely publicized since her ***ping.
So Pietro Carena is probably right in saying
``But I do not think it was a matter of speed limit....''
[The rest of Carena's message:
You get the point.
Something different has to be happened, in Baghdad, tonight.
May be Italians didn't have the Americans' permission to perform their
May something different, even worse.
In the early reports, several US military sources were asked to
comment and they were remarkably reticent. The excuse given if it was
given at all was that the Italian car was speeding, ignoring
checkpoint soldiers' warnings. So, at least officially, the US
military is blaming the car speed.
Some poster assumes that the Italians didn't notify the Americans.
Since there are other secret agents in the car who were only wounded,
maybe they can eventually tell the whole story. For now, since we
know that Berlusconi, his foreign minister, Sregna's family in Italy,
and il Manifesto have all known of and celebrated the release before
the incident, and since Berlusconi is such a steadfast ally of Bush,
it is quite extraordinary if the US military at those checkpoint on
the road to the Baghdad International Airport didn't know of the
release well in advance. The fact that good pal Berlusconi would call
in the US Ambassador for questioning suggests that things just didn't
add up to the Italians.
Finally, if Calipari threw himself over Sgrena to protect her and got
the killing bullet instead, it is highly probable that he saw where
the gun was aiming. It wasn't just the car that was targeted; it was
a certain passenger which was aimed at.
I see this war as extremely dirty. I can't see how Berlusconi could
support it unless Bush has some dirt on him to make him do his
Yahoo! News Fri, Mar 04, 2005
By PATRICK QUINN, Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S.-led coalition forces fired on a car carrying a
freed Italian hostage as it approached a checkpoint in Baghdad Friday,
wounding the former captive and killing another person in her car, a
U.S. military spokesman said.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, an ally of the United States
who has kept troops in Iraq (news - web sites) despite public
opposition at home, said an Italian intelligence officer was killed.
He asked the U.S. ambassador for an explanation of the shooting.
"Given that the fire came from an American source I called in the
American ambassador," Berlusconi told reporters before the U.S.
statement acknowledging that coalition forces shot at the vehicle. "I
believe we must have an explanation for such a serious incident, for
which someone must take the responsibility."
The freed hostage, journalist Giuliana Sgrena, was being treated by
"coalition force medical personnel," an U.S. announcement said. The
shooting came shortly after her release was confirmed. She had been
held hostage for about a month.
"At approximately 8:55 p.m. tonight, coalition forces assigned to the
multinational force Iraq fired on a vehicle that was approaching a
coalition checkpoint in Baghdad at a high rate of speed," the U.S.
announcement said. "The recently freed Italian journalist Giuliana
Sgrena was an occupant in the vehicle and was apparently injured."
The statement, given to The Associated Press in Baghdad by telephone,
said that details of the incident were "unclear."
"It appears a second person in the automobile was killed," and that
"Sgrena is being treated by coalition force medical personnel."
Sgrena was wounded by shrapnel, Berlusconi said.
U.S. troops took her to an American military hospital, where she had a
minor operation on her left shoulder to remove a piece of shrapnel,
the Italian prime minister said.
Sgrena, 56, who worked for the left-week Il Manifesto, was abducted
Feb. 4 by gunmen who blocked her car outside Baghdad University. Last
month, she was shown in a video pleading for her life and demanding
that all foreign troops -- including Italian forces -- leave Iraq.
Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said a shooting incident
occurred as the Italian woman was being brought into U.S. military
control at Camp Victory, the U.S. military base near Baghdad
He offered no other details, including whether anyone was killed or
who did the shooting.
The editor of Il Manifesto, Gabriele Polo, said the Italian agent was
killed when he threw himself over the freed hostage to protect her
from U.S. fire, according to Apcom.
The press office of the U.S.-led coalition in Baghdad said they had no
information about the incident.
The Italian government earlier had announced that Sgrena had been
freed, prompting expressions of joy and relief from officials and her
Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini expressed "great joy and enormous
satisfaction," the ANSA news agency said.
The reporter's father was so overwhelmed by the news that he needed
assistance from a doctor, ANSA said. "This is an exceptional day,"
Franco Sgrena was quoted as saying.
At Il Manifesto's offices, reporters toasted the release with
Il Manifesto has fiercely criticized the war and Berlusconi's decision
to deploy 3,000 troops after the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
On Feb. 19, tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through Rome
waving rainbow peace flags to press for Sgrena's release. Il Manifesto
and Sgrena's companion, Pier Scolari, organized the march. Scolari
actively has highlighted Sgrena's pacifist conviction in hopes of
aiding her release.
About 200 foreigners have been abducted in Iraq in the past year, and
more than 30 of the hostages were killed.
Another European reporter, Florence Aubenas, a veteran war
correspondent for France's leftist daily Liberation, is still being
held in Iraq. Aubenas and her interpreter, Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi,
disappeared nearly two months ago.
2) U.S. forces shoot just-freed Italian hostage, kill guard
Last Updated Fri, 04 Mar 2005 16:47:42 EST
ROME - Joy turned to horror in Italy on Friday when an Italian
journalist who had been held hostage in Iraq was released, only to be
shot by U.S. military forces at a checkpoint in Baghdad.
Journalist Giuliana Sgrena underwent shoulder surgery in Baghdad
Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena suffered a shrapnel wound to her
shoulder when an American armoured car fired on her vehicle, while an
Italian intelligence officer accompanying her was killed.
Grena's editor said the dead officer, Nicola Calipari, had thrown his
body over Sgrena's in order to protect her. He had been heavily
involved in the negotiations to free her, the Italian government
Two other intelligence agents in the car were also injured.
Berlusconi demands explanation
Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, has asked the American
ambassador to explain the incident.
In Washington, the Pentagon confirmed that a shooting occurred as the
Italian woman was being brought to an American base near Baghdad's
"At approximately 8:55 p.m. tonight, coalition forces assigned to the
multinational force in Iraq fired on a vehicle that was approaching a
coalition checkpoint in Baghdad at a high rate of speed," the military
said in a statement.
The Italians' car made no move to slow down, so the forces fired into
its engine block, according to some reports.
Sgrena, a 56-year-old reporter for the communist daily newspaper Il
Manifesto, had been held captive in Iraq since Feb. 4.
Thousands of demonstrators marched through downtown Rome last month
demanding that Italy pull its troops out of Iraq, after a video was
released of a tearful Sgrena warning that she would be killed if the
country didn't withdraw.
Shortly after the video was released, the Italian senate voted to
extend the country's 3,000-troop mission in Iraq to June.
The ANSA news agency said Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini expressed
"great joy and enormous satisfaction" early Friday about the
She was at least the eighth Italian citizen seized
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