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Headlines Italian Journalist Rejects U.S. Account

voiceofreason

Seeker of Truth
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#1
Associated Press

ROME - The Italian journalist wounded by American troops in Iraq after her release by insurgents rejected the U.S. military's account of the shooting and declined Sunday to rule out the possibility she was deliberately targeted. The White House said it was a "horrific accident" and promised a full investigation.

Meanwhile, an autopsy performed on the agent who died trying to save Giuliana Sgrena reportedly showed he was struck in the temple by a single round and died instantly as the car carrying Sgrena sped to the Baghdad airport.

Friday's shooting that wounded the 56-year-old journalist and killed Italian intelligence officer Nicola Calipari as they were celebrating her freedom has fueled anti-American sentiment in a country where people are deeply opposed to U.S. policy in Iraq.

But government officials indicated the shootings would not affect the decision by Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi — a strong U.S. ally — to maintain 3,000 troops in Iraq to help secure peace in the country.

"The military mission must carry on because it consolidates democracy and liberty in Iraq," Communications Minister Maurizio Gasparri was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency. "On the other hand, we must control — but not block — the presence of civilians and journalists, who must observe rules and behavior to reduce the risks."

Sgrena, who works for the communist daily Il Manifesto, did not rule out that she was targeted, saying the United States likely disapproved of Italy's methods to secure her release, although she did not elaborate.

"The fact that the Americans don't want negotiations to free the hostages is known," Sgrena told Sky TG24 television by telephone, her voice hoarse and shaky. "The fact that they do everything to prevent the adoption of this practice to save the lives of people held hostages, everybody knows that. So I don't see why I should rule out that I could have been the target."

Italian officials have not provided details about the negotiations leading to Sgrena's release Friday after a month in captivity, but Agriculture Minister Giovanni Alemanno was quoted as saying it was "very likely" a ransom was paid. U.S. officials object to ransoms, saying it encourages further kidnappings.

White House counselor Dan Bartlett said Sunday the shootings were a "horrific accident" and pointed out that President Bush had called Berlusconi to offer condolences and promise a full investigation.

"As you know, in a situation where there is a live combat zone, particularly this road to the airport, has been a notorious area for car bombs, that people are making split-second decisions, and it's critically important that we get the facts before we make judgments," Bartlett said on CNN's "Late Edition."

The U.S. military has said the car Sgrena was riding in was speeding, and Americans used hand and arm signals, flashing white lights and warning shots to get it to stop at the roadblock.

But in an interview with Italian La 7 TV, Sgrena said, "There was no bright light, no signal." She also said the car was traveling at "regular speed."
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Why would she lie
 

UberSkippy

a.k.a. FuckTheBullShit
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Why wouldn't she lie? She gets a butt ton more press this way, her readership numbers go up and she makes more money.

If you listen to her account of the situation she doesn't really know what was going on. She admits to sitting in the back and chatting and then all of a sudden she was being shot at. Well, it's entirely possible that she wasn't paying attention to what was going on outside of the car so she doesn't actually know what happened.

Why would the US soldiers actually target her? She's a what? Communist nut bag reporter from Itally? She's got no real political power to speak of, she's not a security threat and the world doesn't really know who she is until this happens. There really wasn't anything to be gained from a military or political standpoint from shooting at her. Besides, if the military did intend to kill her they would have.

Sure she was outspoken about the war. So was half of this country.
 

voiceofreason

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UberSkippy said:
Why wouldn't she lie? She gets a butt ton more press this way, her readership numbers go up and she makes more money.

If you listen to her account of the situation she doesn't really know what was going on. She admits to sitting in the back and chatting and then all of a sudden she was being shot at. Well, it's entirely possible that she wasn't paying attention to what was going on outside of the car so she doesn't actually know what happened.

Why would the US soldiers actually target her? She's a what? Communist nut bag reporter from Itally? She's got no real political power to speak of, she's not a security threat and the world doesn't really know who she is until this happens. There really wasn't anything to be gained from a military or political standpoint from shooting at her. Besides, if the military did intend to kill her they would have.

Sure she was outspoken about the war. So was half of this country.
Uber,

You're not using your brain...

She just escaped capture in Iraq, and nearly being killed by the U.S. Army. Do you think she did that for a "butt ton" of publicity?

The U.S. Army on the other hand, shot at and nearly killed a woman Italian journalist (killing an agent in the process). Do ya think that maybe they've got a good reason to make up a story?
 

UberSkippy

a.k.a. FuckTheBullShit
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Well, she was in Iraq for said butt ton wasn't she?

But no, I don't think this all was a setup or anything like that. On the flip side you're right about the military... except that they tend to just say "We'll have to look into it" when they don't want to fess up.

Like I said. If they WANTED to kill her (as she kind of asserts in her statements) they would have. Then there is nobody to say what did or didn't happen.

My honest opinion is that the Itallians didn't respond exactly as they were supposed to and some scared kid with a gun opened fire. My guess is that nobody really knows exactly what happened.

I doubt that her driver ignored warnings or tried to run the roadblock (or whatever it really was) and I doubt that the US soldiers were really trying to kill her. Basically everyone was twitchy and things got way out of hand way fast.

Frankly, it was probably all a huge mistake on both sides. But now it would seem that she's using it to her advantage. You had to admit, she is making pretty public accusations through her own paper only days after the incident and before any real investigation has been done.
 

edub1371

nervous tic, dull knife
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voiceofreason said:
Associated Press



"The fact that the Americans don't want negotiations to free the hostages is known," Sgrena told Sky TG24 television by telephone, her voice hoarse and shaky. "The fact that they do everything to prevent the adoption of this practice to save the lives of people held hostages, everybody knows that. So I don't see why I should rule out that I could have been the target."

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Why would she lie

First off, let me say that it is good to be back... Secondly, Is this bitch crazy?? Does she HONESTLY think that the U.S. Army, or the government for that matter, actually targeted her? Singled her monkey ass out of all of the other people over there that may pose an actual threat? WOW, sounds like she is either delusional, self-obsessed or is desperately seeking some attention. Let's get back to reality folks.
 

voiceofreason

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edub1371 said:
First off, let me say that it is good to be back... Secondly, Is this bitch crazy?? Does she HONESTLY think that the U.S. Army, or the government for that matter, actually targeted her? Singled her monkey ass out of all of the other people over there that may pose an actual threat? WOW, sounds like she is either delusional, self-obsessed or is desperately seeking some attention. Let's get back to reality folks.
Yeah, I'm sure they were aiming for the agent the killed...
 

DanGeo23

Resident Conservative
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there will be an investigation to determine what happened...
I don't think the Army is going to try to assassinate someone that was just released/rescued from captors... no matter how she was freed... she must have some dilusions of grandure... cause she isn't that important..
were the Army to start targeting journalists .. I think AlJezeera would have a "butt ton" less reporters...
 

RageAgainst

Chaotic Neutral
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Well in my opinion it wasn't on purpose. It was fucking moronic though. And it's not the first time (a fucktard pilot bombed and killed 4 canadians in afghanistan in a secured zone). The US probably has the most effective intelligence agency in the world, they have spies everywhere, fucked up technology, billions of tech research, but they can't figure out that an hostage have just got freed, they can't figure out who's who in the battlefield, what a bunch of douchebags. You got a car coming towards you, it might be a friend it might be an enemy, and the smartest thing you think of doing is kill everyone in the god damn car, unload ask questions later, well you fucking morons learn to fucking KNOW WHO YOU'RE SHOOTING AT before you take their lives away

seriously the fucking morons just took one more friendly life away....Think about it. They can shoot you in the face from a mile away but, are they fucking retarded?

PS when I say they, I mean the US soldiers and the officers who give dumb orders
 

edub1371

nervous tic, dull knife
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Assessment of whether a car is a bomb or not at full speed or at twenty miles an hour is rather difficult. I agree that mistakes do happen but you kind of accept that risk when you go into a combat zone. If you fail to realize that when you get there, then you have no business being there.

*Edit: Typo*
 

UberSkippy

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#10
Rage against said:
PS when I say they, I mean the US soldiers and the officers who give dumb orders
Whoa there fella. You got it just a LITTLE bit backed up. The officers don't go out there and give the orders. That's the seargent's job. See, in the US infantry the officers stay more or less in the back and keep their asses comfy while the non-coms go out into the front and do all the work.

So you got a seargent out there who's probably not even been briefed on the hostage who's all of a sudden got some lunatic driving at him like a bat out of hell and he's got to decide if this is a friendly lunatic or a gonna-blow-his-ass-up-and-kill-me lunatic. He made a call, a dude got dead and now people are bitching.

The US Airforce (and part of the Navy) has got it right: Send all the officers out into harms way.
 

Skitch0o0

Put it in MY butt...
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voiceofreason said:
Uber,

You're not using your brain...

She just escaped capture in Iraq, and nearly being killed by the U.S. Army. Do you think she did that for a "butt ton" of publicity?

The U.S. Army on the other hand, shot at and nearly killed a woman Italian journalist (killing an agent in the process). Do ya think that maybe they've got a good reason to make up a story?
Heheh... "butt ton"...
 

Skitch0o0

Put it in MY butt...
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#13
Apparently even the Italian government disagrees with us on this one.

Italy had made all necessary contacts with U.S. authorities for safe passage, advising military at the airport as Sgrena was en route, Berlusconi said.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7138553/
This wouls even account for why they didn´t stop at a check point. Why would they stop if the US already said they had a clear shot to the airport?
 

edub1371

nervous tic, dull knife
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#14
Because the gates aren't just standing wide open. Because they have to go through a "serpentine" of barriers before they got to the gate. Because there are people pointing guns at them from the front of thier vehicle. Because there are signs that tell you to stop in both english and arabic. Because im sure that as a journalist it wasn't the first gate that she had been to going onto a military held compound in that area. Even if it was her first time, don't you think that the other people in the vehicle might have known?

Apparently Italy didn't make as good of an arrangement as they had thought. I would think that something of that high of a profile, they would have someone at the inside of the gate waiting for them. I know that the contractors do it every morning for their local employees and their third country national employees. I.E. mess hall workers.

So, now I redirect the question. Why didn't they stop? Especially with all of the car bombings that have been happening lately. If the Soldiers said that they were waving their arms, yelling and pointing their guns, I would think that if I saw that , I would definately stop. Would you wait for the car to blow up before you started shooting?

Come on, now. You have to know what you are getting yourself into. It's not like all hostilities have ended over there. They really should have stopped. The gates aren't standing wide open with welcome signs. In the end all signs point to either:
1.) Not paying attention in a WAR ZONE.
2.) Ignoring the guy behind the large caliber machine gun.
3.) Being a dumbass
4.) Not paying attention in a WAR ZONE.

Everything that I have read or heard(which is all that any of us know) Just states that they got caught up for not payin attention.

Personally, I would've shot the car too.

EDIT---> If the guy killed was an intelligence officer, he damn well knew the deal on getting through the gate going on to a military held area...what a choad.
 

Skitch0o0

Put it in MY butt...
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#15
edub1371 said:
Because the gates aren't just standing wide open. Because they have to go through a "serpentine" of barriers before they got to the gate.
Then could they really have been traveling at "excessive speeds" without rolling the car while maneuver the "serpent"?


edub1371 said:
Because there are people pointing guns at them from the front of thier vehicle. Because there are signs that tell you to stop in both english and arabic.
Crazy thing, Italians speak Italian, not English or Arabic.
 

UberSkippy

a.k.a. FuckTheBullShit
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#16
Skitch0o0 said:
Then could they really have been traveling at "excessive speeds" without rolling the car while maneuver the "serpent"?
Excessive speeds in a war zone at night pretty much includes 20 miles an hour. Remember the guy driving the car is an Itallian Secret Service agent who's taken advanced driving cources and could probably roll a fucking Van through the serpentine roads at 45 miles an hour.


Skitch0o0 said:
Crazy thing, Italians speak Italian, not English or Arabic.
Crazy thing, "STOP" signs are pretty universal. The word might be different but a Red octagonal sign generally means stop.

And oddly enough, most European military forces (or Secret Service) types understand enough English that a stop sign is still pretty damn clear.
 

edub1371

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#17
Skitch0o0 said:
Then could they really have been traveling at "excessive speeds" without rolling the car while maneuver the "serpent"?
Yes they could have. The serpentine obstacle is set up to allow vehicles through it. Additionally it must be designed to let the larger vehicle types (tractor trailers and such) through it. They also have a pretty good distance between the serpentine and the gate itself between them. Like I said in a previous post, it is hard to determine the intent of a vehicle until it stops.


Skitch0o0 said:
Crazy thing, Italians speak Italian, not English or Arabic.
I would think that most intelligence officers know what some key words look like. If not then surely they have some idea of what a Soldier waving his hands at a gate may mean. If all else fails is there any real way to mistake what a gun pointed at you means?

Even if you have a really good smart assed reply to that, there is no denying the probability that this wasnt the first time that the particular Italian intelligence (using the term loosely) officer in question had been on a U.S. military insallation in that area. I highly doubt that he flew into a remote Iraqi field where the Italian Government had a car waiting for him to pick up and then go get her and finally driving through the country to BIAP.


The entire thing sounds like a really bad error in judgement for the Italians in the car. I think that it absolutely sucks that it happened. The bad thing is, if someone does get punished for it, it will be the guy that pulled the trigger, thinking that he was doing the right thing. Not the guy who was responsible for not dissemenating the information to the appropriate people. I will guarantee that even if the Soldiers guarding the gate didn't know, you can damn well believe that some fucking pogue assed officer working in the headquarters building knew about the fact that those people were coming in.
 

edub1371

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#18
Funny thing uber, We wrote pretty much the same shit and posted it at the same time.....Something about great minds in there somewhere.
 

UberSkippy

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#19
I think that's probably the first time I've ever been accused of having a "great mind". ;)
 

Skitch0o0

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#20
UberSkippy said:
Excessive speeds in a war zone at night pretty much includes 20 miles an hour.
Bah, what a bunch of pussies! That´s too slow.


UberSkippy said:
Crazy thing, "STOP" signs are pretty universal. The word might be different but a Red octagonal sign generally means stop.
A red octa--what?