Fuck up number 2,456,893 (Updated 2)

March 4, 2005

We are so good at building up our international image. I wonder how the administration will spin this.

Officials: Freed hostage’s driver ignored warnings

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — U.S. soldiers attempted to warn the occupants of a car carrying a freed Italian journalist before troops opened fire, killing a bodyguard and wounding the reporter, multinational officials said Friday night.

Giuliana Sgrena, a 56-year-old reporter for the leftist Italian newspaper Il Manifesto, and three Italian security officers were in a car headed to Baghdad International Airport when they approached a checkpoint, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said. (Full story)


Sgrena was kidnapped February 4 outside a mosque in Baghdad. Italian officials did not say how she was freed Friday.

Berlusconi said the two other people in the car contacted his office after the incident.

“They were in disbelief at the fatality at the end of a brilliantly concluded operation,” he said.

Berlusconi said though that effort was “concluded positively,” the death of Calipari, who was married with two children, brings grief.

“Something that was a joy for all of us … that I believe brought us all happiness, had to be transformed to a profound sadness for the loss of a person that had behaved … with valor,” he said.

I don’t care what the fuck the Italians did. They were leaving what surely was a dangerous situation with a freed Italian national, and our troops opened fire on them. This is bad no matter what anyone says. Christ in hell, what the fuck are we even doing there anymore?

Update-And the story gets worse.

Freed hostage: US firing not justified

Sgrena, the 56-year-old correspondent of the daily ll Manifesto, told Italian investigators the US troops’ intense fire had been in no way justified by the speed of her car, ANSA news agency said.

“Our vehicle was running at normal speed which could not be misunderstood,” she said, rejecting US fears of a possible suicide attack.

“It wasn’t a checkpoint but a patrol which immediately opened fire after they trained their light on us,” Sgrena said on her return from Iraq .


“The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming,” Pier Scolari said on leaving Celio hospital.

“They were 700 metres from the airport, which means that they had passed all checkpoints.”


Update 2- And of course the story continues…

Fury at death on freedom road

Despite her injuries, Sgrena went straight back to work for Il Manifesto, Italy’s communist newspaper. In a front-page article published last night, she suggested the Americans might have wanted her dead.

“My kidnappers told me to be careful, ‘because there are the Americans who don’t want you to return’,” she wrote.

The warning, which she had dismissed as “ideological”, flashed through her mind as troops opened fire on her car.


But the veteran reporter said her kidnappers had treated her well and had assured her they did not plan to kill her.

“The kidnappers seemed to me to be a very religious group, praying continually from the Koran,” she wrote. “One of the guards came up to me, surprised that the television was showing posters of me in cities across Europe and that (Francesco) Totti, his favorite soccer player, had gone on to the field with ‘Free Giuliana’ written on his shirt.”

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported yesterday that the Italian Government had paid a ransom of between E6-8million ($10-13.4million) to buy Sgrena’s freedom. It also claimed the car’s injured driver told Italian investigators the Americans “knew everything about our mission”.

Hmm, I don’t want to speculate about our troops trying to kill her, but anything is possible in Iraq. Of course there will be no real investigation, and this story will slip away like so many others.


6 Responses to “Fuck up number 2,456,893 (Updated 2)”

  1. materia3 Says:

    Originally posted by Jocko
    I don’t know if it would be possible to pull off, but a rescued hostage killed by US troops would be quite a media coup for the insurgents.

    I think it is entirely possible and a highly plausible scenario given the situation. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that the Italian agents had a contact with whom they were negoitiating who, for money paid, promised to deliver the hostage. When they delivered her their credibility went way up. At that point all it took them was to convince the Italians to speed on the airport road because of remotely detonated bombs and to run the checkpoint as it could be manned by opposition insurgents. According to Sgrena, who yes, is a reporter for an anti-American communist paper, they were not speeding past the checkpoint. Of course if she was lying on the floor in the back seat she doesn’t know how far away from the checkpoint they were when they were speeding and anything she says, even as a trained journalistic observer, is tainted by the heat of the moment and her inherent biases.

    Also unless or until Al Jazeera tells everyone how it got the Italian agent’s picture out on the street so fast and where it got it from, they too appear to have been used in this plot.

  2. lefty Says:

    Christ in hell, what the fuck are we even doing there anymore?

    What are we doing? We are liberating:

    a. the Iraqis from their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers
    b. Marines from their arms and legs
    c. the U.S. Treasury of $2 billion a week

  3. monkey Says:

    materia3- interesting theory. I found another story where the italian reporter said the Americans wanted her dead.
    Don’t know what to believe right now, but something smells fishy for sure….

    lefty- ouch. I was about to laugh when I realized how sad and true it was.

  4. Sorry monkey, by my count it is only fuck up number 2,456,891 – what are you some kind of commie-loving pinko islamo-terrarist?

    Anyways, good post monkey, but I’m wondering if anyone else had this same reaction (after feeling sorry for the journalist and everyone involved): Tough luck, Italians, you asked for it, so suck it up!

    Here’s what I thought when I saw the prime minister Berlusconi faux crying on TV – ‘you’ve got to be fucking kidding me, this guy overuled his whole country and sent troops to Iraq, he doesn’t care…why is he faking grief on tv?’

    And here’s what I thought when I saw Italians with their outrage – ‘You fucking idiots, didn’t you re-elect Berlusconi like 6 months ago?!? You asked for it and you got it…now stop crying’

    Anybody else think that? or just me?

  5. monkey Says:

    I think you are correct Bloogeynam in that Berlusconi is full of it. He is playing the election emotion card. What pissed me off is that I sit here and read bad headlines all day and this story just pushed me a little to close to the edge. I am tired of hearing about the shit our troops get stuck doing because the asshole in the whitehouse sent them into an illegal war. Fucker.

  6. Heather in SFBay Says:

    Bloogyman, Italy deserves it the same way the US does, right?

    Clearly…the shitheads running this killing game could care less and are only playing by the rules…look like you really care about the human loss.

    But then they don’t even do that, now do they?

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