Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sgrena : US Clears Troops, Still Hiding Death Car

A preliminary report from a joint U.S.-Italian investigation has cleared American soldiers who wounded Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena and killed intelligence agent Nicola Calipari:
The investigation found the car was about 130 yards from the checkpoint when the soldiers flashed their lights as a warning to stop. But the car kept coming and, at 90 yards, warning shots were fired. At 65 yards, when the car failed to stop, the soldiers used lethal force — a machine gun burst that killed Calipari and wounded Sgrena and the driver. [NBC News]
Senior U.S. military officials insist the soldiers acted properly under the current rules of engagement. But earlier Thursday the reluctance of Italian members of the investigation team to accept the Americans’ conclusions was reported holding up the joint report. American authorities’ have refused to allow Italian investigators to examine the car in which Sgrena was shot. [Scotsman]

Sgrena says that as the car rounded a turn, driving no faster than 30 miles an hour, it was hit by gunfire and at the same time, a bright light. She told CBS News the car was not speeding, nor was there any warning:
"I think that is a lie," says Sgrena.

"Let's take this piece by piece," says Pelley. "Vehicle was speeding."
"No," says Sgrena.

"Attempted to warn the driver by hand signals," says Pelley.
"No," says Sgrena.

"Arm signals. Flashing white lights," says Pelley. "Firing warning shots."
"Nothing at all," says Sgrena.

"What you’re saying in this interview is that none of those things happened?" asks Pelley.
"Nothing. No," says Sgrena. "I'm sure."
Despite the 'dispute' over this issue, at this point the Italians are accepting it was all an 'accident.' For the real story of what happened, see our investigations:

Part 1: The Sgrena Hit: How They Did It, and Why
Part 2: 'Fall of the Icons' : A Wartime Psyop


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