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Our incredibly incompetent military

I have to say I am absolutely disgusted with our military this afternoon in regards to Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena's treatment at the hands our military. After being held for a month by Iraqi insurgents, she was released to Italian Secret Service officers. But while transporting her to freedom, their car was shot up by U.S. forces manning a checkpoint. One of the agents was killed, and Sgrena was slightly wounded.

According to this account in the Guardian, US forces fired "300 to 400 rounds" into the car.

This is what I am disgusted about. An anti-American "journalist" for a Communist newspaper is allegedly "captured" by insurgents, then released. On her way out, our forces shoot 300 to 400 rounds at their car. And the result of all that firepower? One killed, three injured -- none apparently very seriously. Then they treat them and send them home.

Obviously all that money we've spent on training and equipment has gone to waste if our forces are performing that poorly.


(Hat tip: Little Green Footballs)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Our incredibly incompetent military:

» The Cassandra Page linked with Notes from around the blogosphere

» BIG DOG's WEBLOG linked with Following The Rules Could Have Averted Tragedy

» Conservative Cat linked with The Giuliana Sgrena Story

» A Dusty Life linked with Crazy Kidnappers and Kidnappees

» Joe's Dartblog linked with Let Me Get This Straight...

» small dead animals linked with Giuliana Sgrena And US Military Incompetence

» GOP and the City linked with Italian Communist Journalist is Full of Prosciutto

» JackLewis.net linked with Sgrena's story just doesn't add up

Comments (64)

Do you find it difficult to... (Below threshold)

Do you find it difficult to eat with your tongue in your cheek? Personally, I find the whole Italian version of this story impossible to swallow.

The RAI is broadcasting thi... (Below threshold)

The RAI is broadcasting this like its the Apocalypse.

Damn you had me totally pis... (Below threshold)

Damn you had me totally pissed off for the first couple paragraphs. Glad I read the rest.

Not only that but at $2 a r... (Below threshold)

Not only that but at $2 a round for .50 cal ammo, look at the money wasted. Must be due to the night sights not zeroed.

Rummy's fault -- again

I'm basically gonna repeat ... (Below threshold)

I'm basically gonna repeat a comment I just finished posting on Roger Simon's site; I hope y'all will forgive me.

The thing that amazes me about this story is the utter lack of reporting going on. We've heard accounts that Sgrena was wounded, but we don't know the nature of her injury. Was she shot or grazed? Did she bump her head when the vehicle swerved? We don't know. We've been told that one passenger in the car was killed. What caused his death? We don't know. We've been told, thanks to The Guardian, that 300 or 400 rounds of ammunition were expended at this vehicle, but photos of the bullet-riddled Suburban are conspicuously absent from the news wires.

Instead, all we're getting is the rambling, incoherent account of the Italian reporter juxtaposed with the official statements from CENTCOM and the other branches of the military and government.

I have the gut feeling that a little basic reporting here would clear up so much. Send up a photo of the car with a single high-caliber round to the engine block, showing the unfortunate but relatively minor damage caused by spall penetrating into the passenger cabin. That will put the "they opened fire with a hail of bullets" nonsense to rest. Or, contrariwise, send up a photo of the vehicle with swiss-cheese-like perforations. Whatever. Just give us news, not this he-said, she-said crap!

Like I said on Roger's site, if we'd had a blogger on the scene, we would have had an eyewitness account and a whole roll of photos up on the Web within minutes of the incident.

A ransom was paid for her r... (Below threshold)

A ransom was paid for her release. Her release from people(kidnapper/insurgents) who made the video of her. The video where she begs that Italian troops get out of Iraq. She was in Iraq as a reporter who opposed the invasion/overthrow of the Baathists/Saddam.

Follow the money.

I curious to see the autops... (Below threshold)

I curious to see the autopsy of the Italian agent who was killed. Amazing that out of all that gunfire, only one bullet hit *him*, and directly in the temple no less! Does the guy still have head? If so, then it couldn't have been from a .50 cal. This thing stinks, and it smells like a carefully planned setup. US Forces better damn well dig into this thing.

Hmm, how come foreign, pro-... (Below threshold)

Hmm, how come foreign, pro-Commie reporters are so easily sprung from the clutches of the terrorists?


As I said on my site, if sh... (Below threshold)

As I said on my site, if she was being targeted, we'd have never heard about it and she would be quite dead.

As it stands, I'm firmly convinced she's just pissed that we ruined her Che t-shirt.

I keep seeing comments from... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I keep seeing comments from the anti war freaks that she was targeted, now really, do they think there was some giant conspiracy from the top down to the lowest private at that checkpoint to kill her?

Also, if it was a conspiracy to kill her, I agree, our military sucks, because they didn't succeed to well at doing the job.

I find it kind of ironic that her reports that the care wasn't speeding and that the soldiers weren't at a checkpoint are being taken as gospel while CENTCOM is lying-seems to me people are ignoring the fact that she has a stake in the details of this story as much as the army does, and she already came loaded with a bias.

300-400 rounds? I don't bu... (Below threshold)

300-400 rounds? I don't buy that for a second. But then, it's the Grauniad, so I'm not especially surprised either.

Charles is <a href="http://... (Below threshold)

Charles is running a still that supposedly shows the car Sgrena was riding in. (I can't say if it is or isn't, so I'm gonna hide behind the weasel-word "supposedly.")

If that car had 300 rounds fired into it, there's no visible evidence of it in the little picture we have to work with.

The only conclusion to be d... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

The only conclusion to be drawn from this is they were soldiers not Marines!

There's a better (larger) p... (Below threshold)

There's a better (larger) picture of the vehicle in question here -

Most of the damage to the front seems to be from a collision (note the windshield is intact).

If that car had 300 to 400 ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

If that car had 300 to 400 rounds shot at it, our soldiers better get their butts back tot he firing range for some target shooting, that barely looks like 3-4 rounds.

Also all the windows seem to be intact except for the passenger window-you would think 300-400 rounds would have taken out all the glass.

I read that incident is fue... (Below threshold)

I read that incident is fueling anti-American sentiment in Italy. How much pro-American sentiment would have been fueled had 3 or 4 of our soldiers lost their lives in an attempted rescue of this lefty had one taken place? How much more would they like us if some had died trying to rescue her if they discovered she was just hiding out attempting to bolster anti-war support like I believe is the case?

<a href="http://littlegreen... (Below threshold)

Maybe All 400 Bullets Missed?

Assuming this is the vehicle and that is an unretouched photo, then 99% of the 300-400 shots fired were warning shots. Which is the driver's side on this car? Is it the concealed one where the holes were because I sure don't see them? No destroyed windshield? So could this mean that people inside the car were not targeted and that shots were principally fired at the engine alone to stop the vehicle at a safe distance from the military checkpoint?

From Reuters:
Freed Iraq hostage Sgrena back in Rome
Saturday March 5, 01:02 PM

Sgrena, 57, an award-winning war reporter, is highly critical of Italy's role in Iraq. Her partner, Pier Scolari, said he could not blame soldiers who had been sent to war for the killing.

"I have said so many times, war is madness. Probably it was scared boys who fired, it wasn't their fault, it was the fault of those that sent them there," Scolari told Sky Italia TV.


The hostage release and the killing have refocused Italian attention on Iraq where Italy has some 3,000 troops.

The centre-left opposition hopes to win ground on the issue at regional elections next month and a general election next year where it aims to oust Berlusconi, one of Washington's most outspoken supporters on Iraq.

Hmm, highly critical "reporter" from a Leftist newspaper released by terrorists just prior to elections where "soldiers in Iraq" is a major campaign issue to be used as a wedge to oust Berlusconi? Should anyone believe what she "reports"?

What do we know of Sgrena? Well, this was written about her while captive by terrorists:

'My Name Is Giuliana Sgrena: I Write for a Newspaper Which Opposed the Sanctions and the War Against Iraq' *
February 12, 2005


She began early to be concerned about the world in the student movements of the sixties in Milan, which were the strongest in Italy. She faced police clubs at sit-down protests opposing the installation of Pershing and Cruise missiles in US military bases in Italy. She joined Il Manifesto, and reported from some of the most dangerous places on earth, hiding the reality of her personal danger behind words that highlighted the danger that threatened others.

Among Italians of conscience today, in this hour of her ordeal, Giuliana is embraced as "one of our own, the people of peace." Today, the "people of peace" are decking the Colosseum and other prominent sites all over Italy with Giuliana's portrait. Mayor after mayor, regional council after regional council, town after town, are passing resolutions demanding that the government engage all its resources to secure her release, followed by the to pull-out from Iraq of the 3,000 "coalition" troops in "Operation Ancient Babylon" (a grotesque and pompous misnomer—as though the reality and the people of modern Iraq didn't exist or didn't matter!), Berlusconi's feudal tribute to his overlord in DC, George Bush.

In the Italian Parliament a crucial vote to authorize funds for the venture in Iraq has been delayed in order to insure a united effort on behalf of Sgrena's release. The center-left coalition will oppose the neo-fascist right's coalition vote.

Giuliana Sgrena's life is in peril in Iraq, where the horror has ceased to be horrible because it has been so barbarically and unnecessarily normalized. The illegal invasion of Iraq has indeed turned out to be that ultimate Nuremberg-tribunal crime: the crime against the peace. From this original crime, all others have derived. Well might we reflect on Sgrena's prophecy at the beginning of the war: "This is the most absurd of wars and it will be a bloodbath." If only she hadn't been so damned right!

* Quoted from the video produced by Il Manifesto and seen by the Arab-Muslim world via Al Jezeera and Al Arabyia TV in an appeal for the liberation of Italian journalist, Giuliana Sgrena, reportedly abducted by the Organization of Islamic Jihad on 4 February 2005 after her three-hour interview with Fallujah refugees at the University of Baghdad's refugee camp.

So as we parse the propaganda, we find out (not new to some) that she is a Communist in the mold of her father and anti-American to the core. She has every motivation in the world to spin her recollection to further her cause. The revelations and reportage from the Il Manifesto crowd and Sgrena's allies should not be a surprise. No one will be foolish enough to take her word for much. Targeted? Ha! Had she been personally targeted as she spins it, she'd be quite dead... and as full of holes as her stories.

According to some at LGF th... (Below threshold)

According to some at LGF that is the car she was kidnapped from, not the car in question.

Why they chose to show that picture in the report is hard to understand.

We need to see the real car.

Someone help me out here. ... (Below threshold)

Someone help me out here. A couple of months back some blog site (don't remember which)reported that Sgrena was going to Iraq to report from the "insurgents" side.

My comment was "Apparently she has not heard of Margaret Hassan."

If anyone knows whom reported her planned trip to Iraq, let me know.

"According to some at LGF t... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"According to some at LGF that is the car she was kidnapped from, not the car in question."

Well that changes things some, although I would still like to see the car she was in, when the shots were fired.

I am not much of a conspiracy theorist, but shoot the conspiracy coming from her side seems more plausible, than conspiracy from the US side.

It is in her best interest and towards her own ideological goals to milk this story for all it is worth, but she has to remain the absolute victim.

Geez, Bonnie and Clyde were... (Below threshold)

Geez, Bonnie and Clyde were killed by12 guage shotguns, .30-30 lever action rifles and a Tommy gun, in a 1934 Modle A Ford. There were only about 150 rounds fired at them. These cars had twice the steel in them than that car did. If that car was hit by 300-400 rounds of .50 at the range that they say it was, it would be mangled and there would be no survivrors to tell the story.

Well, that Eason Jordan clo... (Below threshold)

Well, that Eason Jordan clown from CNN warned us that journalists were being targeted.

RE: LargeBill's post (March... (Below threshold)

RE: LargeBill's post (March 6, 2005 07:06 PM)
Well, that Eason Jordan clown from CNN warned us that journalists were being targeted.

I gather Jordan is updating his resumé about now and is reapplying at CNN... or maybe Il Manifesto. He may need to embrace Communism for one of those jobs.

<a href="http://www.csmonit... (Below threshold)

What Iraq's checkpoints are like
March 07, 2005 edition
Annia Ciezadlo

A thoughtful, "insider's" view of checkpoints and the context as viewed by Iraqis. Makes sense.

When the initial reports of... (Below threshold)

When the initial reports of this came out a retired US General commented on Cable. He said that this hostage's departure should have be "coordinated" with US/Coalition forces. Those involved should have had a military escort to the airport. The Gen. thought that the Italians "may have" foolishly tried to garner all of the "rescuer" PR by operating without Coalition assistance.

Catch 222; Italy is an ally in the war and that comes from the top as most Italians were against supporting the Coalition with Italian troops. Now they have to mourn a fallen soldier and also rebuff the outcry from the constituents. The US may be inclined to give them a wide berth in this endeavor.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't, damned well better prepare yourself.

Re: AnonymousDrivel (7:14PM... (Below threshold)

Re: AnonymousDrivel (7:14PM)

Eason Jordan is over his bout of male PMS and was last seen in Central Park with Dan Rather, both of them wearing martyr's bandanas and trying to pickup 72 or 73 virgins.

A thoughtful, "insider's... (Below threshold)

A thoughtful, "insider's" view of checkpoints and the context as viewed by Iraqis.

I just posted that article over at Jawa Rep. This situation makes a lot more sense having read it. Confused Iraqi drivers + cautious U.S. soldiers = occasional innocent deaths. Seems to me there's not much that can be done about it.

Good point about arranging ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Good point about arranging to have the hostage release coordinated with coalition forces.

Anyone know if other hostage releases were coordinated with the coalition, or did th hostages leave in a similar fashion to this journalist?

RE: mantis's post (March 6,... (Below threshold)

RE: mantis's post (March 6, 2005 08:00 PM)

Crap. We may have some points of agreement, or at least mutual consideration. In view of this aberration, I need correct the record:

Sgrena was insidiously and purposefully targeted and assassinated by imperialist sand dogs who sought to silence her exposés of western treachery and the foraging of oil for Chimpy McBushitlerburtenron's infidel cronies.

That aside, I'd say mypetjawa is all over this and predicted some of it. Kudos to mypetjawa for the insight.

Seriously, I question with jaundiced eye every aspect of Sgrena's captivity and timely release. Ultimately, an unfortunate and fatal exchange ended an episode that seems entirely accidental. If there's an underlying conspiracy, I'd lay it at the feet of Sgrena before I'd lay it on those frontline grunts. Remember, according to the far Left, the troops aren't bright enough to conjure such a scheme - they only follow orders from Rumsfeld. Ah, but those enlightened Leftists? They're clever enough to scheme their way to Communism. You think a simple little election ploy (not the antagonizing of troops and not the desire to be on the receiving end of live fire) even challenges such well-connected minds?

Jeff,Great points,... (Below threshold)


Great points, but it has been reported she had a piece of shrapnel (called a splinter in one report) in her shoulder. Now where this exactly came from is anyone's guess.

Oops, the mypetjawa link di... (Below threshold)

Oops, the mypetjawa link didn't take. I'll try again:

The Great Giuliana Sgrena Hostage Hoax

The Benefit of the Dumb<br... (Below threshold)

The Benefit of the Dumb
"It can't be just said that it was just an accident.
We can't accept this, it is not possible." - Giuliana Sgrena.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Blessed is the state that hides its most egregious crimes behind the smokescreen of incompetance.

Consider the attempted assassination of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena.

Pier Scolari, Sgrena's partner, said yesterday "either this was an ambush, as I think, or we are dealing with imbeciles or terrorized kids who shoot at anyone." Since the latter has already been tragically demonstrated many times over in Iraq (graphically evidenced here), it makes an almost plausible explanation of what befell Sgrena's car, and a consoling fable to those who still balk at the notion that the United States has deliberately targetted journalists in Iraq. Which may very well be why the attempt on her life was made in this fashion.

Much of the world, and certainly much of Italy, has no qualms about assessing the contrary claims and evidence, and finding for intention. Most Americans, who lack a curious press in all but the most regrettable sense, will swallow their military's explanation, priding themselves on the fact that President Bush has promised an investigation, and presume the Italians were barrelling through a checkpoint. What did they expect, for Pete's sake? They had it coming.

The official line says that Sgrena's car ran a checkpoint at high speed. But "it wasn't a checkpoint," says Sgrena, and they weren't shot by sentries. It was "a patrol that started shooting after pointing some lights in our direction...we didn't understand where the shots came from.'' The car was only 700 metres from the airport, "which means that they had passed all checkpoints," adds Scolari.

The military contends it was uninformed about the progress of the negotions for her release, and was unaware Sgrena was on her way. But "the Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming," Scolari says.

The US has the troops first firing warning shots, then shooting into the engine block to stop the vehicle. The Italians say they were hit by hundreds of bullets. The Observer reports up to 400 rounds struck their car "from an armoured vehicle. Rather than calling immediately for assistance for the wounded Italians, the soldiers' first move was to confiscate their weapons and mobile phones and they were prevented from resuming contact with Rome for more than an hour." Sgrena's car, the US claims, is now "lost," and cannot be inspected.)

And what should we think of this: if the US forces regarded the vehicle as a threat, why did its driver escape unscathed? The only fatality was secret service agent Nicola Calipari, who "was killed as he threw his body across Sgrena." He died instantly, struck in the temple.

Before the invasion began, Kate Adie, then of the BBC, reported she had been told by a Pentagon official that any [satellite] uplinks by journalists would be fired on" by US aircraft. The message couldn't be clearer: Embed or die.

Robert Fisk, had this to say in April, 2003, about the deaths of several colleagues:

First the Americans killed the correspondent of al-Jazeera yesterday and wounded his cameraman. Then, within four hours, they attacked the Reuters television bureau in Baghdad, killing one of its cameramen and a cameraman for Spain's Tele 5 channel and wounding four other members of the Reuters staff.
Back in 2001, the United States fired a cruise missile at al-Jazeera's office in Kabul – from which tapes of Osama bin Laden had been broadcast around the world. No explanation was ever given for this extraordinary attack on the night before the city's "liberation"; the Kabul correspondent, Taiseer Alouni, was unhurt. By the strange coincidence of journalism, Mr Alouni was in the Baghdad office yesterday to endure the USAF's second attack on al-Jazeera.

Far more disturbing, however, is the fact that the al-Jazeera network – the freest Arab television station, which has incurred the fury of both the Americans and the Iraqi authorities for its live coverage of the war – gave the Pentagon the co-ordinates of its Baghdad office two months ago and received assurances that the bureau would not be attacked.

The year 2004 was the bloodiest on record for journalists, with much thanks to US forces in Iraq. How many of those deaths can incompetence explain? And when does Eason Jordan get back his job?

George W Bush makes the perfect empty suit to shoulder the case for ineptitude. Since such a man is titular Commander in Chief, it's no great stretch to imbue the US military with his characteristic imbecility. But that would be to presume a couple of things true, which I think are not: that Bush truly commands, and that chaos and ruin are never the intended result of US policy.

It may feel good to call Bush and his team miserable failures, yet they've stolen two presidential elections and a midterm, have dug into Iraq and the Caspian basin, and are looting the Treasury without obstruction. They may be failures in our eyes, but we're judging them on the terms of our values, while theirs can appear to us upside down. And we need to regard more than the surface of things, to make sense of their actions, and how they judge success.

For instance, the Bush White House is clearly bankrupting America: is that by accident, or design? Does it demonstrate incompent management, or is it the intentional manufacture of a crisis, to crash the system and create a larcenous Year Zero?

What makes us feel better, and which is more likely true: that they don't know what they're doing, or they do?

Here are two excerpts from Sgrena's work, which may speak to motive. First, a July, 2004 interview with a woman tortured in Abu Ghraib:

I asked her if she was held on her own all the time. 'No. It was then that they put me in a cell with other women, two women per cell. There were thirteen women, mainly wives of men belonging to the previous regime, and seven children. There was even the wife of Sabah Merza, one of Saddam's guards in the 1970s, who kept her hands plunged in ice to soothe the pain caused by the torture that had been inflicted on her. Another woman was in really bad shape: they'd kept hurling her against the wall. Another had been locked in a tiny cage for six days and couldn't even move. One of the prisoners had been forced to walk on all fours and her knees and elbows were in a terrible state. Another woman had been forced to separate faeces from urine, using her own hands. The soldiers frequently forced us to drink water from the toilet bowl. A woman of sixty, who had said she was a virgin, was continually threatened with rape.'

Did you know of cases of rape? 'Yes, but I'm not going to go into that. In our society, it's something you don't talk about.' How old were the women prisoners? 'Between forty and sixty years of age.' And what about children, how were they treated? 'We heard them screaming. They were tortured too. Mostly dogs were set on them.'

And last November, in Fallujah:

"We buried them, but we could not identify them because they were charred from the napalm bombs used by the Americans." People from Saqlawiya village, near Falluja, told al Jazeera television, based in Qatar, that they helped bury 73 bodies of women and children completely charred, all in the same grave. The sad story of common graves, which started at Saddam’s times, is not yet finished. Nobody could confirm if napalm bombs have been used in Falluja, but other bodies found last year after the fierce battle at Baghdad airport were also completely charred and some thought of nuclear bombs. No independent source could verify the facts, since all the news arrived until now are those spread by journalists embedded with the American troops, who would only allow British and American media to enrol with them. But the villagers who fled in the last few days spoke of many bodies which had not been buried: it was too dangerous to collect the corpses during the battle.

As she was released, Sgrena's captors - whoever they were - warned her to take care, because "there are Americans who don't want you to go back."

An independent foreign journalist, witness to numerous war crimes, writing for a communist paper. Would the killers and heirs of killers of nuns, Kennedys and Kings blink an eye at targetting such a person?

Sgrena's ambush was a colossal mistake, only because she survived it.

posted by Jeff at 5:10 PM

I am tired of the outrage a... (Below threshold)

I am tired of the outrage against us. Maybe the US accidentally killed an Italian. Why are they not outraged at the insurgents who "kidnapped" her in the first place? That is the reason they were in the situation in the first place!

Somehow the jihadis get a pass every time. And I read the checkpoint article and it seems like although checkpoints might be hard to understand for ordinary folks, the Italian agent that was driving should've gotten it.

jeff132What the f ... (Below threshold)


What the f are you talking about?
Our troops are not scared little boys. They are practical and well trained.
Sgrena was a communist. She was sympathetic to the terrorists (or insurgents if you insist) She belongs to the same antiwar group that the other 2 Italians released in Iraq were in. The only other Italians kidnapped were beheaded. hmmm...
Oh and her captors said that the US didn't want her to go back. And that is compelling to you? What would you expect them to say? Sgrena has given contradictory stories to the press and seems to be embellishing more and more.
Even the Italian gov't has said there is no evidence for her story.
She was far from independent, there have been no war crimes reported even with reporters crawling all over dying to break that story. Take your nonsense back to Kos.

This sounds a lot like the ... (Below threshold)

This sounds a lot like the wedding party story from last year. Remember they said that we killed a whole wedding party, but that turned out to be a lie. Bet this one turns out the same way.

Sgrena was insidiously a... (Below threshold)

Sgrena was insidiously and purposefully targeted and assassinated by imperialist sand dogs who sought to silence her exposés of western treachery and the foraging of oil for Chimpy McBushitlerburtenron's infidel cronies.

Dirty commies should die! Every liberal secretly wants to be her, just like those human shields Gibbons talked about! Screw France! er, ahem. Excuse me.

Anyway, I do agree her abduction looks a bit odd compared to others that have occured. That may be due to the fact that she was Italian and they've been willing to shell out the cash in the past. But her chumminess with the "insurgents" is enough to raise some eyebrows. As far as some assassination conspiracy involving the soldiers, I don't buy it for a second. If you haven't watched Frontline's A Company of Soldiers I would highly recommend it. In one section a very similar situation occurs where an Iraqi driver does not stop for the company after repeated warnings and is fired upon. These guys are just trying to do their jobs and stay alive in a very hostile place. Bad things happen.

This story is a mess. Bad r... (Below threshold)

This story is a mess. Bad reporting. I am the only one to find out on the internet that the wounded reporter was a communist? I know the networks and cable news channels didn't mention that little tidbit. And the story of 300-440 rounds doesn't sound plausible. And in an industry obsessed with visuals in the print and broadcast media, how come no still shots or video of the vehicle in question? And what caliber was the slug that hit the security guy?

The above post should read:... (Below threshold)

The above post should read:

Am I the only one or are there other who found out on the internet that she is a communist?

Mantis I agree with you, th... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Mantis I agree with you, there may not be any conspiracies on either side, and it may just end up being the tragedy that it is, but honestly a conspiracy from her side is the much more likely one, and easier to accomplish as it wouldn't require nearly as many players as some kind of conspiracy among the soldiers.

Also, there are aspects to the Italians story that just seem weird.

RE: Jeff132's post (March 6... (Below threshold)

RE: Jeff132's post (March 6, 2005 09:52 PM)

There might be a blade of grass or two among all of the weeds and fertilizer in that post, but I have neither the patience nor boots high enough to harvest them.

RE: mantis's post (March 6, 2005 10:33 PM)
Dirty commies should die! Every liberal secretly wants to be her... Screw France!...

Now you're talkin'! It's about time you got with the program. ;)

I think I've seen the Frontline you mentioned, but I've seen so many shows on Iraq that they start running together. I sympathize with the soldiers tasked to perform that duty as well as the real journalists tasked to do theirs. Sgrena does not strike me as a typical reporter but rather more than a disinterested party bent on acquiring truth. That she is a Communist in a democratic Italy screams partisan shill.

[quote]"We buried them, but... (Below threshold)

[quote]"We buried them, but we could not identify them because they were charred from the napalm bombs used by the Americans."[/quote]

As far as I know, American Forces in Fallujah did not use napalm. There is also the fact that Fallujah was 99% cleared of civilians before the cleanout of the terrortist began. Official military records state that there was no use of napalm in the entire Iraqi Theater of Operations for the last two years. Why should they use napalm? They did not need it to begin with. The terrorists were already whipped when the Marines moved into Fallujah.

I had heard that story before and thought that it was a left wing conspiarcy theory. The MSM is gleefuly reporting this load of male bovine excrement as fact. Kind like the Rathergate thing.

Jay, you can't be disgusted... (Below threshold)

Jay, you can't be disgusted with our military or the Iraqi police and their military. This car that was speeding through the checkpoint could have been anyone with a car filled of bombs. No matter what was done, the car did not slow down, nor did anyone in the car slow down enough to say who they were. They should have stopped; they certainly had enough time - free time - to stop and show their credentials but instead kept going without slowing down. What our military did and the Iraqi military did was the right thing. If you were there, how would you react?


Jay know your facts before ... (Below threshold)

Jay know your facts before you make comments like this - and this happened days ago. AND YOU ARE WRONG. YOU OWE OUR MILITARY, THE IP AND ING AN APOLOGY.


Cindy, did you happen to re... (Below threshold)

Cindy, did you happen to read all of the way through the post? And see the first comment?

lol Cindy, he was being fac... (Below threshold)

lol Cindy, he was being facetious. He is saying that if we WERE targeting that communist italian broad, SHE SHOULD BE DEAD, but instead with "300-400" rounds, end up missing the board entirely.

If you can't catch the sarcasm, you've been away from here for too long ;)

Its just like the "war for oil" bit. If we REALLY were having a war for oil, trust me, we'd have tons of low-priced oil ready to go.

Oh man, that was great.... (Below threshold)

Oh man, that was great.

Emily Litella strikes again... (Below threshold)

Emily Litella strikes again!

I'm not a trained professio... (Below threshold)

I'm not a trained professional. I have only shot 2 guns in my entire life. My Grandfathers .22 single bolt action rifle, and his 12 guage pump action shotgun.

I shot the shotgun once. Hit a pine tree dead center from 20 yards away with buckshot.

I expended over 100 rounds of .22 ammo with the rifle, shooting at a piece of plywood(1 foot wide, 3 feet tall, 1 inch think) with a paper target taped to it, from 100 yards away. I hit the plywood with every single shot. Even though I may not have hit the paper target with any degree of accuracy, I did hit the plywood support every time.

There is absolutely no possible way our boys could dump three to four hundred rounds of ammo into a vehicle and not kill every single person in the car. It is simply NOT possible. Between the sheer volume of that kind of fire, and the tendency of bullets to richochet and bounce around after hitting metal objects, only one person died? Sorry, I don't believe that for one instant.

Monster Garage... A Discovery channel TV show about taking everyday cars, or mechanical things and making them do something else, nifty show might I add, once destroyed a failed project with a .50 caliber machine gun. Let me tell you, the car did absolutely nothing to slow down those bullets. The engine block did absolutely nothing to slow down those bullets. The car was Swiss cheese afterwards. I don't recall how many rounds they fired into it, when you're talking a machine gun like that, one that fires so many rounds so quickly. It chews up anything that gets in its way.

So the moral of this story is? This story is bogus, it's a setup, it's bullcrap, and most importantly it is NOT possible.

The real tragedy here is no... (Below threshold)

The real tragedy here is not the event itself, or the negative light it puts on our troops, but all of those in our own country who believe it: Americans who think our troops are out trying to kill people, civilians and journalists. It is truly a sad day. Perhaps Iraq is like Viet Nam; spitting in our soldiers' faces has already begun.

Because she was a Communist, and considering the situation surrounding her kidnapping, I would say with 98% certainty that she set this thing up, or was doing something "commie reporter-esque", and it backfired. Commies in Italy, commiesin the U.S. Same problem all over the world.

I think we are closing in o... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

I think we are closing in on the truth here. Like a lot of people, I'm starting to think the whole thing was a setup from start to finish. We know that the "reporter" is a card-carrying Communist, literally, and highly motivated to try to manufacture an incident to stir up anti-American sentiment just prior to an election at home. And we know that the Italian agents involved deliberately withheld knowledge of their operating from the U.S. because they knew they were violating coalition policy by paying a ransom. So, to summarize:

* The reporter was probably never really held against her will.
* Bad actors in the Italian intelligence services found a way to funnel a bunch of Italian taxpayer money to the terrorists.
* The driver deliberately blew the checkpoint in order to create an incident that they knew would play right into the biases of the MSM. It succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

Do we have any way of knowing that the intelligence agent wasn't dead before the car approached the checkpoint? Where is the body? Where is the autopsy report?

Cousin Dave, apparently the... (Below threshold)

Cousin Dave, apparently the intelligence agent was killed by a CLEAN SHOT TO THE TEMPLE. Now tell me, For some reason that was the only bullet to hit him, and for some odd reason, with a .50 cal machine gun, his brains weren't splattered all over the car and that communist bitch. This is according to the autopsy report that the Italians gave us.

Stinks like a bleeding communist pussy.

Where'd you get that info, ... (Below threshold)

Where'd you get that info, Henry? I have NOT been riding this story like I should have, so if that's common knowledge, 'scuse me for being ignorant.

I demand an investigation i... (Below threshold)

I demand an investigation into this unconscionable waste of taxpayer bullets!!

lol Talldave-maybe Teddy Ke... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

lol Talldave-maybe Teddy Kennedy will order one right up for you.

Henry I am also interested in where you go the information on how the agent was shot. All I have seen is that he was killed, and that she had a wound from some kind of shrapnel. No other details about anyone else, injuries or how they got them.

I remember seeing it I'm tr... (Below threshold)

I remember seeing it I'm trying to find where I found it...

Jeff, Just me:<a hre... (Below threshold) Just to let you know its at... (Below threshold)

Just to let you know its at the VERY end of the story so you have to scroll all the way down.

What, if anything, do we kn... (Below threshold)

What, if anything, do we know about this ANSA outfit? Is this report reliable? (Yes, I know I could Google it and find out for myself, but it's way easier to get people to do stuff like that for me.)

Jeff Harrell, they "quoted"... (Below threshold)

Jeff Harrell, they "quoted" doctors, so the doctors are the ones who said it.

I think you're missing my p... (Below threshold)

I think you're missing my point, Henry. This agency, ANSA, said that they quoted somebody else. Can they be relied upon to get stuff like that right? Are they accurate, or do they get things wrong? Is there a translation issue here? Through careless translation, "an injury to the scalp" can become "a bullet to the skull."

You're taking this report at face value. I don't know that that's a reasonable thing to do at this point. That's why I asked what we (you know, collectively) know about ANSA.

jeff, They are an italian n... (Below threshold)

jeff, They are an italian news service...
ANSA translated to English via Yahoo

ah now I see what you're sa... (Below threshold)

ah now I see what you're saying. But if they are a standardized news service, one could assume that they don't misquote (how often does CNN, Foxnews, BBC misquote? probably not very often, who knows) Anyways, I can understand where you're coming from. I just barely found that at the bottom of a single story. That very fact should be publisized. Also the caliber of round that hit his head is VERY important.

We need the facts. And we aren't getting them.

Uhh? I have many questions ... (Below threshold)

Uhh? I have many questions and comments.

1. What's a "standardized news service?"

2. Reporters misquote all the time. Statements are taken out of context, words are misinterpreted, and in this case we have a language issue to consider, which makes it even more likely that the report is incorrect.

3. Have these alleged doctors been quoted anywhere else independent of ANSA? Do we even know they exist, for instance? Remember Jayson Blair. Anything you hear only once is just a rumor.

4. At this point, we have zero actual information about the cause of death of the person who died. We have a rumor, passed hand to hand in a game of transatlantic "telephone," said to have originated with a doctor who may or may not even exist.

Which just goes to support what I started out saying: The complete lack of actual reporting on this story is astounding. In a day and age where you can download an original copy of the police report fired after Hunter S. Thompson's suicide, the fact that we don't even have the first fact in this story amazes me.

RE: Jeff Harrell's post (Ma... (Below threshold)

RE: Jeff Harrell's post (March 7, 2005 07:51 PM)
The complete lack of actual reporting on this story is astounding. In a day and age where you can download an original copy of the police report fired after Hunter S. Thompson's suicide, the fact that we don't even have the first fact in this story amazes me.

To some extent, this is true. However, consider that this has turned into a political story (by Sgrena) with lots of spin to be spun. Thompson's death didn't have interested parties looking to capitalize on it, at least as far as I've seen it. I admit that I didn't follow Thompson in life or in death.

Consider also that the U.S. military has a very structured process to handle such battlefield investigations and they are less likely to shoot from the hip, as it were, to report the story. What superficially may seem evasive may just be a quest to get the facts. Can the facts be tweaked? Sure, but I have more confidence now in the military's coverage (forthright, that is) than many years ago. I might add further that my judgement of such historical military reporting has been through the eyes of a biased media that has not proven itself to be wholly trustworthy or necessarily fair. Considering this, even my potential bias questioning military reporting may be unfair.

Sgrena has proven herself to be untrustworthy and entirely partisan and will exploit this situation as best she can. Her reportage and that of her allies, along with the U.S. caution, will ensure that minimal or bad reporting will persist for some time. Hopefully, subsequent follow-up to this event will receive the same attention as it is receivng now and not be like some unproven accusation thrown out just prior to an election and then promptly ignored.






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