Saturday, March 05, 2005

Giuliana Sgrena : Means, Motive and Murder

"The Americans don't want negotiations to free the hostages," Ms. Sgrena said. "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." [source]

The official US cover-story of the events at Baghdad airport, when their forces fired at a car carrying Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena is now completely discredited.

There was no incident at a checkpoint on the road from Baghdad center to the airport.

For the record, Sgrena says there were, in fact no checkpoints on that road at all when she and her fellow Italians were making their way to the airport. Instead it was when the group was in sight of the terminal building that a US forces patrol opened fire on their car.

There was no limited gunfire aimed at the car's engine to disable it.

Instead there was a hail of hundreds of shots, which left the vehicle so peppered with holes that the US command in Iraq is too embarassed to admit where the car is now.

An AGI report 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]
There were no warning shouts and flashing lights to warn a speeding car to slow down.

The BBC reports:
> "Ms Sgrena told Italian radio of the "rain of fire" on her car,
which she said was not going particularly fast."
And the only lights -were those used to illuminate the interior while firing at the occupants.

This goes way beyond a security lapse.

Now that we know more, the incident at the airport looks at least as consistent with an ambush as it is with a "mishap." Don't expect the corporate media to pursue that line of inquiry.

In the mainstream media world the lies by the US remain mere anomalies. In the war-spun media world nobody questions if say, Donal Rumsfeld would have been left to make his own way to the airport? Would Paul Wolfowitz?

In the real world, a vital VIP such as Sgrena would have been meet by a US patrol already alerted to meet them and guarantee their safety while preparing to board a plane to leave Iraq. But instead of 'meet and greet,' the Italians were dealt 'maim and murder.'

Unless of course that was the whole idea.

Sgrena, was abducted while waiting outside a Baghdad mosque to interview refugees from the US-led assault on the city of Fallujah in November. She has worked for leftist Italian newspaper Il Manifesto since 1988. The paper is opposed to the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Some suspect that Sgrena has specific information on US war crimes in Fallujah which could be damming if known internationally. Even without such further confirmation there is already clear evidence that banned weapons were used by US forces. [Details in our article Fallujah's 9/11]

The blitz featured weapons of mass destruction: banned napalm-type munitions, and at least two types of chemical poison gas. If these reports prove true, the US military commanders and their political superiors, who ordered the atrocities could be tried these and other war crimes.

That's plenty of motivation to keep the truth from coming out. As a result, aid agencies in Iraq have felt the heat of US intimidation designed to keep them quiet. Most are afraid to publicly air their evidence. The reports filter out through humanitarian groups' headquarters staff --based outside Iraq, and through independent journalists.

But there is more to this than a cover-up of Fallujah. This kidnapping fits a pattern of previous suspicious hostage-taking.

Take the recent case of Margaret Hassan, another real friend of the Iraqi people. She was taken by a large force -some of whom wore suits and others Iraq National Guard uniforms. Hardly a jihadist rabble.

Or take the spectacular publicity surrounding the beheading of Nick Berg. The US media pretended that nothing was amiss. But internet sleuths uncovered over 50 anomalies in the beheading video. Some of these were clearly deliberate errors. This indicated the video was artfully designed to keep controversy running and ensure widespread viewing of the grotesque event.

The video was a deviously clever construction which had significant psychological effects on those who viewed the material. The same psychological impact is ensured by the relentless public angst induced by mass media coverage of high profile Iraq hostage-taking.

All of which is fully consistent with a black operation: a psychological warfare program in support of US war objectives in Iraq.

The objectives: prevent western public sympathy for the Iraqi resisance to the invasion; maintain a climate of fear; traumatise by shock of exposure to gruesome scenes and scenarios; and emotionally involve ordinary American, Britons and Italians in support of the war, by enmeshing ordinary middle-class citizens in the war - as victims.

This is a modern version of the dirty game the US played in South America. Well studied psyops tactics for a communications era where the information war for western public opinion is as povital as the ground war in Iraq.

It is a campaign sanctioned at the highest levels of the US political and military command. A US leadership which does not hesitate to order torture; sanction chemical weapons and wage unequal war with radioactive weapons would not hesitate to sacrifice a few westerners.

Especially "communist" ones.

And are the media pointing out this uncomfortable, but entirely predictable reality behind the gut-wrenching tragedy?

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

This BBC article 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":
> "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."
It was clear from early on in this invasion the attitude towards unembedded reporters.[more]
> "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 fighting the US-led forces"
Perhaps it did. Because who is to say who took this woman hostage?

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

  • Exactly who held her hostage?
  • What was the motive?

  • Why was such a high profile, newly released hostage,
    not 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 further coverage:

See Also:

IraqAtrix :
The S&M PsyOp

...more to come on


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the "hostage takers" plan for the ransome paid?
The paid ransome or extortion money trail needs explored.

2:46 pm  
Blogger TallDave said...

This was either monumental stupidity on the part of the driver or an equally monumentally stupid plan to get publicity.

How the hell do you NOT STOP when there are WARNING SHOTS chipping up pavement in front of your car??

4:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"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."

5:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that I am not shocked OR surprised by this attack on a reporter taken hostage and coming home...

6:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If US Special Forces wanted her dead, why is she alive? It's not as if they had to hunt her down. She came to them. They certainly have the means to take care of a small sedan within seconds. Something doesn't add up here.

10:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US soldiers sure are incompetent! First they fire hundreds of bullets into a slow-travelling car and only manage to kill one of the occupants! Then, instead of finishing off the woman they were trying to assassinate, they take her to the hospital!

12:15 am  
Blogger J.H.Gustafson said...

There are many discrepancies in the stories of the kidnapped. Why on earth would the Iraqi people kidnap someone who was very much on their side? Who had the motive? Israeli commandos, Kurdish separatists, CIA "contractors." Why is she not dead after all this? I guess they figured they'd finish her (them) as they were caught fleeing. But they missed. A miracle she did not die among all the volleys of fire.

2:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord ! Protect guard me from my friends. My enenies I can take care!

1:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, do you pay attention to the news? Everything you just wrote has either been asked already (when you said that it hasn't) or is the exact opposite of what you're reporting.

In short: you're a dishonest fool.


10:18 pm  

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