Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Murder of an Italian Journalist

Expand Messages
  • World View
    US attack against Italians in Baghdad was deliberate: companion AFP www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=38029 ROME, March 5, 2005 - The companion of freed Italian
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      US attack against Italians in Baghdad was deliberate: companion
      AFP
      www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=38029

      ROME, March 5, 2005 - The companion of freed Italian journalist
      Giuliana Sgrena on Saturday leveled serious accusations at US troops
      who fired at her convoy as it was nearing Baghdad airport, saying
      the shooting had been deliberate.

      "The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming," Pier
      Scolari said on leaving Rome's Celio military hospital where Sgrena
      is to undergo surgery following her return home.

      "They were 700 meters (yards) from the airport, which means that
      they had passed all checkpoints."

      The shooting late Friday was witnessed by Prime Minister Silvio
      Berlusconi's office which was on the phone with one of the secret
      service agents, said Scolari. "Then the US military silenced the
      cellphones," he charged.

      "Giuliana had information, and the US military did not want her to
      survive," he added.

      When Sgrena was kidnapped on February 4 she was writing an article
      on refugees from Fallujah seeking shelter at a Baghdad mosque after
      US forces bombed the former Sunni rebel stronghold.

      Sgrena told RaiNews24 television Saturday a "hail of bullets" rained
      down on the car taking her to safety at Baghdad airport, along with
      three secret service agents, killing one of them.

      "I was speaking to (agent) Nicola Calipari (...) when he leant on
      me, probably to protect me, and then collapsed and I realized he was
      dead," said Sgrena, who was being questioned on Saturday by two
      Italian magistrates.

      "They continued shooting and the driver couldn't even explain that
      we were Italians. It was really horrible," she added.

      Sgrena, who was hospitalized with serious wounds to her left
      shoulder and lung after arriving back in Rome Saturday before noon,
      said she was "exhausted because of what happened above all in the
      last 24 hours".

      "After all the risks I have been running I can say that I'm fine,"
      she said.

      "I thought that after I was handed over to the Italians danger was
      over, but then this shooting broke out and we were hit by a hail of
      bullets."

      The chief editor of Sgrena's left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto
      Gabriele Polo meanwhile branded Calipari's death a "murder".

      "He was hit in the head," he said.

      Calipari will be given a state funeral Monday.


      ===

      What does Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena know and why did the
      U.S. want to kill her?
      Special Report, Axis of Logic
      Mar 5, 2005, 14:16
      www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_16096.shtml


      Editors Note: Kevin Thomson, a reader of Axis of Logic publications
      sent this note and article in today regarding the release of Italian
      journalist Giuliana Sgrena, followed by an attack on her car,
      wounding her and others and killing Nicola Calipari, the Italian
      agent who was accompanying her. We ask, "What does Giuliana Sgrena
      know and why did the U.S. military want to silence her?"

      Ever since the kidnappings and beheadings of non-military personnel
      in Iraq began nearly 2 years ago, many observers, readers and
      analysts have asked why the Iraqi resistance would commit these
      crimes, knowing they would turn world opinion against them. Many ask
      the same questions about the mass killings of Shiites with bombs.
      The Iraqi resistance has nothing to gain from these atrocities and
      the invader/occupiers have everything to gain in the propaganda war.
      We know that the CIA and Mossad have been very busy in Iraq but what
      kind of "work" are they doing? Many readers write to us with their
      suspicions that these killings and kidnappings are the work of Black
      Ops in Iraq. "The jury is out." - Les Blough, Editor

      Axis Reader Kevin Thomson writes: "All the American media said the
      Italian car, which was carrying the former hostage and Italian
      intelligence officers, was speeding at checkpoint and thus fired
      upon by American troops. However, foreign news reports it
      differently. This is from AFP (French media) and published on a
      Turkish web site."



      US attack against Italians in Baghdad was deliberate: companion


      Published: 3/5/2005

      ROME - The companion of freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena on
      Saturday leveled serious accusations at US troops who fired at her
      convoy as it was nearing Baghdad airport, saying the shooting had
      been deliberate.

      "The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming," Pier
      Scolari said on leaving Rome's Celio military hospital where Sgrena
      is to undergo surgery following her return home.

      "They were 700 meters (yards) from the airport, which means that
      they had passed all checkpoints."

      The shooting late Friday was witnessed by Prime Minister Silvio
      Berlusconi's office which was on the phone with one of the secret
      service agents, said Scolari. "Then the US military silenced the
      cellphones," he charged.

      "Giuliana had information, and the US military did not want her to
      survive," he added.

      When Sgrena was kidnapped on February 4 she was writing an article
      on refugees from Fallujah seeking shelter at a Baghdad mosque after
      US forces bombed the former Sunni rebel stronghold.

      Sgrena told RaiNews24 television Saturday a "hail of bullets" rained
      down on the car taking her to safety at Baghdad airport, along with
      three secret service agents, killing one of them.

      "I was speaking to (agent) Nicola Calipari (...) when he leant on
      me, probably to protect me, and then collapsed and I realized he was
      dead," said Sgrena, who was being questioned on Saturday by two
      Italian magistrates.

      "They continued shooting and the driver couldn't even explain that
      we were Italians. It was really horrible," she added.

      Sgrena, who was hospitalized with serious wounds to her left
      shoulder and lung after arriving back in Rome Saturday before noon,
      said she was "exhausted because of what happened above all in the
      last 24 hours".

      "After all the risks I have been running I can say that I'm fine,"
      she said.

      "I thought that after I was handed over to the Italians danger was
      over, but then this shooting broke out and we were hit by a hail of
      bullets."

      The chief editor of Sgrena's left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto
      Gabriele Polo meanwhile branded Calipari's death a "murder".

      "He was hit in the head," he said.

      Calipari will be given a state funeral Monday.

      03/05/2005 13:43 GMT

      http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=38029

      ===

      Giuliana Sgrena Nearly Killed by Yahoo Soldiers
      Kurt Nimmo
      March 05, 2005
      kurtnimmo.com/blog/index.php?p=597


      It was oh so considerate of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi
      to "greet" Giuliana Sgrena at Rome's Ciampino airport following her
      release from weeks of captivity in the hellhole of Iraq. Sgrena
      almost didn't make it. She was nearly killed by trigger-happy
      American GIs. Nicola Calipari, the Italian intelligence officer who
      helped secure Sgrena's release, wasn't so fortunate—he was shot to
      death by Americans, suffering the fate of thousands upon thousands
      of Iraqis. Calipari shielded Sgrena with his body as the yahoo
      Americans opened fire on the car taking the journalist to Baghdad
      airport for the flight back to Italy. If not for Calipari's action,
      no doubt Giuliana Sgrena would be dead.

      Sgrena told Rai News 24 <
      http://www.poteaudailynews.com/articles/2005/03/05/ap/headlines/d88ks
      h8g0.txt > by telephone that "we thought the danger was over after
      my rescue… And instead, suddenly there was this shooting. We were
      hit by a spray of fire. I was talking to Nicola… when he leaned over
      me, probably to defend me, and then he slumped over. That was a
      truly terrible thing." Pier Scolari, the journalist's boyfriend,
      said she told him: "The most difficult moment was when I saw the
      person who had saved me die in my arms," according to the ANSA news
      agency.

      Bush disingenuously said he would investigate the shooting. Like the
      so-called "investigations" into other shootings and the torture at
      Abu Ghraib, the result of this investigation will be predictable—at
      most some private will slapped on the hand. Meanwhile, the daily
      carnage in Iraq will continue sans investigation.

      Maria Sanminatatelli notes: "The shooting came as a blow to
      Berlusconi, who has kept 3,000 troops in Iraq, and was likely to set
      off new protests in Italy, where tens of thousands have regularly
      demonstrated against the Iraq war. Sgrena's left-leaning newspaper
      vigorously opposed the conflict." Sanminatatelli neglected to
      mention that the vast majority of Italians also oppose
      the "conflict" and Berlusconi sent Italian troops regardless.

      Silvio Berlusconi—the richest man in Italy, whose empire includes
      one of the most valuable soccer franchises in the world, the largest
      private TV network company in Italy, a publishing conglomerate, a
      bank, insurance companies, and department stores—is simply doing
      what rich people do all over the world: lending a hand for imperial
      adventures in a country where there is a whole lot of oil. In order
      to keep up appearances, however, Berlusconi summoned the U.S.
      ambassador to Rome, Mel Sembler. "The United States will continue to
      provide all necessary assistance," Sembler told the media. "And we
      are working with our Italian allies as we fully investigate the
      circumstances of this tragedy." ABC News characterized the incident
      thus, "The United States and its staunch Iraq war ally Italy face
      their worst falling out in years after U.S. troops killed an Italian
      secret service agent and uounded (sic) an Italian reporter." In
      other words, shooting journalists looks bad—especially after they
      are abducted by a shadowy "terrorist" organization nobody has ever
      heard of and will probably never hear from again.

      Of course, there would be no "tragedy" or "falling out" if the
      United States, with the Italian government's assistance, had not
      invaded and occupied Iraq in the first place. In a few days the
      whole sordid affair will blow over and the media will concentrate on
      the Blake murder trial and the new photos of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi <
      http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/03/05/zarqawi.pics/index.html >,
      terrorist hobgoblin.

      The kidnapping of Giuliana Sgrena was in essence a mission
      accomplished—it prevented her from reporting on the criminal
      invasion of Fallujah. Moments after Sgrena interviewed survivors of
      the invasion at a mosque on the Baghdad University campus, she was
      kidnapped by a Sunni group nobody has ever heard of, a news cycle
      bonanza for the corporate media in its ceaseless effort to make the
      Iraqi resistance out to be nothing more than terrorists and
      criminals. "It is people like Sgrena who give terrorists the
      intellectual fuel that feeds their anti-Americanism. She is on their
      side and you don't kill an ally," wrote the blogger Jawa <
      http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/066825.php >.

      Of course, there is no reason to kidnap "people like Sgrena" either,
      especially when they have damaging reports about Fallujah, but then
      maybe Jawa neglected to take his medication on the particular day he
      wrote the above. In fact, it would appear Jawa had neglected to take
      a month's worth of medication. "Could her own sympathies with
      the `resistance' lead her to stage her own abduction?" Nothing like
      blaming the victim. Author, blogger, and concentration camp
      apologist Michelle Malkin apparently agrees with Jawa's delusional
      explanation < http://michellemalkin.com/archives/001451.htm >.

      It is, however, a mystery why Sgrena was released. It will be
      interesting to read her comments on the abduction and her treatment
      at the hands of an alleged Sunni resistance group. However, it makes
      absolutely no sense for the resistance to kidnap Sgrena. If they did
      indeed abduct her, especially at the precise moment she was about to
      release information to the world about the criminal invasion of
      Fallujah, they are the stupidest resistance group in recent memory.

      ===

      Italy Rejects U.S. Version of Shooting at Freed Italian Journalist
      Giuliana Sgrena
      By Robin Pomeroy ROME (Reuters) -
      Sun Mar 6, 2005
      www.aljazeerah.info

      Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena, shot and wounded after being freed
      in Iraq, said Sunday U.S. forces may have deliberately targeted her
      because Washington opposed Italy's policy of dealing with kidnappers.

      She offered no evidence for her claim, but the sentiment reflected
      growing anger in Italy over the conduct of the war, which has
      claimed more than 20 Italian lives, including the secret agent who
      rescued her moments before being killed.

      Friday evening's killing of the agent and wounding of the
      journalist, who worked for a communist daily, has sparked tension
      with Italy's U.S. allies and put pressure on Prime Minister Silvio
      Berlusconi to take a hard line with President Bush.

      The United States has promised a full investigation into incident,
      in which soldiers fired on the Italians' car as it approached
      Baghdad airport Friday evening.

      The U.S. military says the car was speeding toward a checkpoint and
      ignored warning shots, an explanation denied by government ministers
      and the driver of the car.

      Speaking from her hospital bed where she is being treated, Sgrena
      told Sky Italia TV it was possible the soldiers had targeted her
      because Washington opposes Italy's dealings with kidnappers that may
      include ransom payments.

      "The United States doesn't approve of this (ransom) policy and so
      they try to stop it in any way possible."

      According to Italy's leading daily Corriere della Sera, the driver,
      an unidentified Italian agent, said: "We were driving slowly, about
      40-50 km/h (25-30 mph)."

      In a harrowing account of her ordeal, Sgrena wrote in Sunday's Il
      Manifesto newspaper that the secret agent, Nicola Calipari, saved
      her life by shielding her with his body.

      "Nicola threw himself on to protect me and then suddenly I heard his
      last breath as he died on top of me," she wrote.

      ===

      Giuliana Sgrena: Means, Motive and Murder
      WagNews
      March 5, 2005
      wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/03/giuliana-sgrena-means-motive-and.html


      A quick browse through mainstream news to see what they are saying
      about the shooting of freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena
      leaves one wondering what planet most mainstream journalists are
      living on -or what colour blinkers are they wearing.

      This BBC article < http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4321173.stm >
      focuses on the people who held her hostage, saying that "Sgrena
      never thought she would be taken hostage telling the story of the
      people she deeply cared for."

      But how sure are we that it was the people she cared for who took
      her hostage?

      If anything this article highlights, without intending to, the
      reasons why US forces might target her and then claim it was
      an "unfortunate incident":


      * "her reports filter the impact of conflict through the lives of
      ordinary people"
      Something which the US has tried to avoid in their invasion of Iraq

      * "Sgrena was one of the founders of the peace movement in the 1980s"
      Being a peace activist makes you an opponent of what the US military
      are doing in Iraq.

      * "She refused to become embedded with the US military during the
      war."
      I think it became clear early on in this invasion the attitude
      towards unembedded reporters. See HERE:
      http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/2003/03/000469.html

      * "she interviewed an Iraqi woman who said she was held at
      Abu Ghraib prison for 80 days by US forces"
      Interviewing a woman, who was held in the notorious prison where
      torture abounded would not go down very well with the US military.

      * "Sgrena's outspoken anti-war stance should have endeared her to
      Iraqi insurgents
      (ie RESISTANCE fighters) fighting the US-led forces"
      Perhaps it did. because who is to say who took this woman hostage?

      In another BBC article <
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4321181.stm >:

      * "Ms Sgrena told Italian radio of the "rain of fire" on her car,
      which she said was not going particularly fast."
      * "The reporter told her colleagues that her captors "never treated
      me badly",

      Today AGI confirms the severity of the gunfire by US forces:

      Gabriele Polo, editor of the newspaper il Manifesto, confirmed the
      violent gunfight and the fact that US soldiers shot hundreds of
      shots against the car in which they were travelling, saying
      that "this is what they said to us yesterday at the Prime minister's
      office while it was actually happening." [AGI]

      And so, to the pertinent questions.
      The ones largely unasked by the media:

      * Exactly who held her hostage? And what was the motive?
      * Why was such a high profile, newly released hostage, not given a
      military escort to the airport?
      * Or was she, in fact given a military escort to the airport?
      * In any event, why was there no radio contact to the US checkpoint
      warning of her passage?
      * Are such radio contacts part of normal protocol for routine VIP
      traffic between the airport and central Baghdad?

      See our companion article:
      Reporter survives likely assassination bid by US Special Forces:
      http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/03/italian-reporter-survives-
      likely.html

      ===

      No One Safe on Baghdad's Roads, Iraqis Say
      Elizabeth Piper,Reuters
      iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=41893


      BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Jawdat Abd al-KadhUm was not surprised that U.S.
      troops opened fire at a car carrying a freed Italian hostage to
      safety. He lost a leg to an American bullet fired from a convoy
      traveling ahead of him.

      The 23-year-old says fear, confusion and misunderstandings on all
      sides have made roads in Iraq's capital perilous. Now he says he
      makes sure that any car he is in stops when a U.S. military convoy
      transporting soldiers or equipment nears.

      "There is no safety on the roads. Everyone should expect anything to
      happen on these roads. Foreigners, Iraqis we are all exposed to the
      same risks," said al-Kadhum, his left tracksuit trousdr leg tied
      around the stump of his leg.

      "Now if I 3ee an American convoy, I stop until it has gone."

      Many have a tale to tell of someone they know that has been shot at,
      killed or harassed by U.S. forces in convoys or at checkpoints
      dotted across the country.

      Security contractors, whose numbers have risen as relentless and
      often indiscriminate violence grips Iraq, are accused of being
      trigger-happy.

      But the killing of secret service agent Nicola Calipari, who was
      instrumental in gaining Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena's release
      from kidnappers, has underlined what was already known to many —
      U.S. checkpoints or convoys should be avoided.

      STAY CLEAR

      The U.S. military says it cannot discuss the rules of engagement —
      procedure for dealing with threats from suicide bombers or car
      bombs — due to "operational security issues."

      But ex-army officers say cars should be at least 50 meters away from
      any convoy, never overtake and that if a car speeds toward a
      checkpoint soldiers will shoot at the engine block to make sure the
      vehicle comes to a standstill.

      They say unnecessary shootings happen when hand signals — a fist to
      stay back — or linguistic misunderstandings take place. Cultural
      differences can also prompt panic — driving slowly for an Iraqi is
      not necessarily the same as for an American.
      Al-Kadhum thought he knew the rules.
      He was taking his uncle, who suffers from kidney disease, to
      hospital just miles away from their home in al-Ghazaliyah in west
      Baghdad. He says they were a safe distance from the convoy.

      "I cannot remember the exact distance, but we were first behind the
      convoy about 500 meters behind," he says. "But then there was an
      explosion on the convoy and they started shooting. Shooting
      everywhere."

      His car was shot. A bullet went through his knee. He tried to press
      the hole to stop the bleeding but then lost consciousness.

      In hospital, his leg was amputated just above th% knee.

      "I believe the Americans were confused when they attacked us. But
      this confusion causes tragedies," he says, complaining that he
      cannot find work and has been told he cannot claim compensation
      before the formation of Iraq's new government.

      "But yes I blame them. We were not guilty. What have I done to
      deserve losing my leg?"

      *********************************************************************

      WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE

      To subscribe to this group, send an email to:
      wvns-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

      NEWS ARCHIVE IS OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEW
      http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/wvns/
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.