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How They Did It, and Why
Right-Wing Bloggers' Fake
Sgrena Car Photo
AP Linked to Disinfo on Shooting
by Fintan Dunne, Editor
BreakForNews.com March 6th, 2005
Right-wing bloggers are circulating a photo purportedly showing the car in which Giuliana Sgrena was wounded and her rescuer Nicola Calipari was fatally shot. The photo is being used to discredit Sgrena's account of the shooting.
It shows a four-door sedan which has only the driver's side window broken and no overt bullet damage to the bodywork. That contradicts the "hail of bullets" described by Sgrena and others. And it boosts the US military's case that the incident was just a "mishap."
At first glance the picture seems legitimate. Captions which accompany the photo on blogs say it's a still frame taken from an Associated Press video about the shooting at Baghdad Airport. These captions also give a source link to versions of the video on Yahoo and on AP Feedroom.
They make comments like:
"Unless this car is made out of thick metal and bullets bounce off of it, I don't think this car was shot at more than 10 times." [source]
"I ask you, does the car above look like it was “riddled with bullets? Either our soldiers are terrible shots or some people are being pretty loose with the facts in this story." [source]
But if you are suspicious that the car seems far too little damaged, you might -as I did- check major search engines for such a high-profile photo. On the Yahoo News Photo site -I quickly found the same vehicle photographed from another angle. This time with an Iraqi man standing beside the vehicle.
The Yahoo photo caption says:
An Iraqi driver stands near his damaged vehicle at the site of the kidnapping of an Italian journalist outside al-Nahrain University in central Baghdad, February 4, 2005.... Gunmen pulled up alongside her vehicle, forced her driver and an Iraqi journalist with her out of the vehicle at gunpoint and then drove off with Sgrena, the sources said. The driver said that the gunmen hit his car as they were rushing away from the scene following the kidnapping. (Akram Saleh/Reuters)
Tracking back the "car photo" story through blogs --which credited each other as the tale passed around, the feeding chain included thepoliticalteen.net, sayanythingblog.com, [also 1 2] and the source of it all littlegreenfootballs.com.
You will gain some insight into the political flavor of littlegreenfootballs.com -the blog which started the fake story- from this comment in a related thread on the blog:
"Journalists writing for commie rags are not impervious to bullets if they disregard the American military in a war zone. One would think Sgrena would bemore cautious having just been released as a hostage."
Here, at even as the story continued to ooze across the blogsphere, littlegreenfootballs.com had already retracted their claim it was Sgrena's car.
And they were blaming Associated Press for it all, because in the AP video, the car clip from the February 5th, kidnapping was misleading synchronized with the voice-over describing the Baghdad airport shooting of Sgrena:
"[The video has] a medium shot of this car, changing to a closeup, as the voice-over says, "Coalition forces fired on a vehicle that was approaching a checkpoint at a high rate of speed." ...So we apparently have a false alarm here, triggered by a highly misleading AP video. This is not a photo of the car that ran the checkpoint. [source]
But even as one piece of disinfo is retracted that last sentence sows another:
"This is not a photo of the car that ran the checkpoint."
There was no checkpoint. Sgrena recounts that a patrol fired on their car within sight of the terminal building at the airport - not on the road to the airport. This is just a continuation of earlier disinformation by the US command in Iraq.
The AP video is disturbingly edited. And the little green footballs have been suspiciously inept. [see below]
But that isn't stopping the popularity of disinformation which serves only to cover-up the likely assassination bid on a journalist --who was at the time of her imminent departure from Iraq, set to beecome a heroine of the anti-war movement in Italy and a considerable obstacle to the
US/UK and Italian political mafia and their proto-imperial objectives in Iraq.
[Note] Littlegreenfootballs kickstarted the "outrage" against Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY). Luckily [ahem], an LGF reader was in a community forum audience to record Hinchley saying the fake CBS memos were planted by Karl Rove to discredit Dan Rather. Thanks 'pia'
See our latest investigation:
The Sgrena Hit :
How They Did It, and Why