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Wednesday, April 13, 2005
CBS Appeals to Communist
by Bonjo
CBS news will air another shocking piece tonight on "60 Minutes Wednesday". You've heard the story. You know the details. A few weeks ago in Iraq, American troops killed an Italian intelligence officer and injured a communist journalist.

But in order to get an accurate and fair story, CBS understands that the military can't be trusted. So tonight we get to hear it right from the lips of the communist journalist, who claims the U.S. open fired on her vehicle without warning.

As she learned during her captivity, war is hell. Our boys understand that as well, and that's why they fired on a car speeding at them, which did not respond to their warning signals. This is their job, and they do it well.

So to the 10 Americans who will actually watch CBS tonight, keep the following in mind: Sgrena was not driving the car. There were three other officers in the vehicle with her. I can only imagine her anxiety and heightened emotional state after her rescue, not to mention confusion surrounding her evacuation. I am, therefore, not surprised she did not see flashing lights from the American checkpoint or recognize the other warning signs given by the American troops.

Our troops did not hesitate to do their job because they know that war is hell, a lesson that Ms. Sgrena should remember.
6 Comment(s):
I don't believe or wouldn't want to believe that US troops would fire on a journalist, communist or not, unless she was holding a missile launcher in her hand. I am disappointed in CBS for airing more fluff without fact, but I wonder if you have facts to counter the Italian claim. Please post them to disprove the story. Just saying she's "communist" might work for old Cold War Reaganites, but not for most of us.

That being said, this incident raises questions. The US knew about the hostage negotiation, but I guess out of protocol, the troops stationed at the checkpoint still insisted on firing? I've heard conflicting stories about this though, some suggesting that the US did not  know about the negotiations.

I don't blame the troops for following orders, but I do question the chain of command we have in Iraq. Many reports in Fallujah and elsewhere suggest a great amount of disconnection between the ground and brass. 

Posted by theprisoner6
Please posts facts to disprove the story?

I'm not attempting to disprove anything. What I did, quite successfully if I may say so, is cast some doubt upon this America-hater's claim that we open fired on her unidentified vehicle without warning.

But here are some facts. We have several US troops who attempted to flag the car down. The car did not stop. We have several US troops who have watched their comrades get blown up by car bombs, IEDs, RPGs, grenades, gun attacks and other vicious methods. The car didn't stop, and they fired.

On the other hand, we have an America-hating communist journalist who claims that they did not attempt to flag down her car. This woman was just plucked out of the hands of some murderous thugs who wanted to kill her. She had been through a hell that few other people could understand. She was obviously not in her most objective state of mind.

To say the "US knew about the hostage negotiation" does not mean that every US soldier knew about it. Nor does "negotiation" imply "extraction by intelligence officers". It seems to me the Italian government, if anyone, has explaining to do. 

Posted by Bonjo
Not to pile on, but let me put you in the shoes of those who make the ultimate decision as whether or not to open fire.

You are a member of the US Armed Forces. In the past week you have lost several of your buddies to VBIED's. You are faced with a vehicle coming at you, at road speed. Said vehicle does not respond to orders to stop.

You must now make the decision as to whether or not to take the vehicle out. There is not time to 'radio the brass'. If you shoot, and you're wrong, four innocent people die. If you hesistate, and you're wrong, you and your buddies are blown to tiny bits.

Time's up. What do you do?

And, for the record, Mudville Gazette  has pictures of the Italian automobile. If the US had targeted  this journalist for assassination, there would be nothing left of her, or that car. If you agree with nothing else, you have to admit the US military extremely good at blowing stuff up. 

Posted by Cordeiro
"You must now make the decision as to whether or not to take the vehicle out. There is not time to 'radio the brass'. If you shoot, and you're wrong, four innocent people die. If you hesistate, and you're wrong, you and your buddies are blown to tiny bits. "

Very creative... but also entirely non-factual. "Radio the brass"? Do you not know the chain of command?

Here are the major point as I see them (taken from the AP):

AP) U.S. forces in Iraq were only partially informed about last week's Italian intelligence mission to release a hostage, which ended with a shooting on the road to Baghdad airport and the death of secret service agent Nicola Calipari, Italian newspapers said Friday.

While U.S. authorities were informed of the presence of Calipari and a colleague, they did not know that the mission was aimed at freeing journalist Giuliana Sgrena, Italian dailies La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera reported. Sgrena had been kidnapped in Baghdad on Feb. 4.


However, the newspapers had conflicting versions of how much Marioli knew. Corriere said he knew Calipari was working to have the hostage released. La Repubblica said he didn't.

Calipari was killed when U.S. troops opened fire on a vehicle carrying him, the other intelligence officer and Sgrena, who had just been released after being held hostage for a month. Sgrena and the other man were both injured.

Italy — which is one of the largest contributors to the U.S.-led coalition with 3,000 troops in Iraq — has said the shooting was an accident, but has also disputed some elements of the account given by the Americans.

Berlusconi told the Senate this week that Calipari had informed the proper authorities that he was heading to the airport with the freed hostage. He said the car was traveling slowly and stopped immediately when a light was flashed at a checkpoint, before U.S. troops fired on the car.

In a statement released after the shooting, the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which controls Baghdad, said the vehicle was speeding and refused to stop. The statement also said a U.S. patrol tried to warn a driver with hand and arm signals, by flashing white lights and firing shots in front of the car into the car's engine block.

So regardless of who is right, both sides agree it was an accident. Case closed. Why raise the bile over this? Both situations could have occurred and let's face it, we'll never know. 

Posted by theprisoner6
And Prisoner brings us back to my original point.

It was an accident. War is hell, stuff happens.

Why then does CBS feel the need to trot out this America-hating journalist who was shot at by Americans so she can give "her side" of the story?

Do we really feel we're going to get an objective observation from this?

Why "raise the bile", CBS?  

Posted by Bonjo
CBS's "60 minutes" is a garbage show, Bonjo. I wouldn't even dare defend that POS. Their stories have less facts and more skew than an "O'reilly Factor" episode. 

Posted by theprisoner6
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