March 04, 2005

Italian Hostage Released, Shot by US Forces (DU says Eason Jordan vindicated)

Giuliana Sgrena, the female Italian hostage held in Iraq since Feb. 4th, has been freed. The Communist daily Il Manifesto has reported that the Italian secret-service had notified them of their employee's release. Update: Sgrena was wounded as her driver sped toward a US checkpoint near the Baghdad airport. Do not believe MSM reports on this as they are all being fed information through the Communist Il Manifesto.

Sgrena's vehicle was warned to stop but continued speeding toward a US checkpoint on a road which has been the scene of frequent terrorist attacks. US soldiers signaled for the car to stop, flashed lights at it, and then fired warning shots at the vehicle before opening fire on the car. The troops then shot the car's engine block, not the passengers. The car spun out of control. It was the car accident which killed one occupant and wounded Sgrena. UPDATE: Apprently Sgena did suffer a shrapenal wound, but this is consistent with the soldier's version of the story that the engine block was shot which would cause metal debris.
Reuters reports that an Italian Foreign Ministry spokesperson says, "I can confirm it 100 percent. She should board a plane in the coming hours and should be back in Rome later tonight."

Scroll down for updates and world reaction....(Update: be sure to scroll down and see DU reaction--Eason Jordan vindicated!)

The Jawa Report has been assuring readers from the beginning that Sgrena would be releaed unharmed. Sgrena was an anti-American reporter in Iraq to bolster the terrorist insurgency. She was abducted while interviewing refugees from the battle of Fallujah who were camped outside a Sunni mosque near Baghdad University. Il Manifesto has reported in the past that Sgrena was close to radical anti-occupation clerics. Update: Not that we're questioning the timing (as Ace implies) but Chad Evans just e-mailed me noting that Sgrena had been released exactly one month after being captured.

Update: Leftist media already blaming US of interfering with hostage release, as if stopping at US checkpoint was more dangerous than, say, her time with the alleged terrorists. London Times:

Ms Sgrena was wounded when US troops opened fire on a convoy carrying her to safety, and an Italian negotiator who help negotiate her release was killed, her newspaper Il Manifesto said.
What Il Manifesto forgets to mention is that Sgrena was taken by the evil American forces to a US Army hospital for treatment. Right, very unafe.

UPDATE: "I've driven that road to [Baghdad International Airport] many times and everyone knows that Big Army does not tolerate being ridden up on suddenly or at a high rate of speed." *


"Multinational forces fired on a vehicle that was approaching a coalition checkpoint in Baghdad at a high rate of speed," Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

"The recently freed Italian journalist was an occupant in the vehicle and was apparently injured. Though details are unclear at this point, it appears that a second person in the automobile was killed," Whitman added.

The incident is under investigation, he said.

In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called on the United States to explain how U.S. forces in Iraq (news - web sites) had killed an Italian agent and someone had to take responsibility for the shooting.

Responsibility? How about placing it on the idiot trying to speed passed a roadblock set up by the Coalition and manned by soldiers with 50 caliber guns on their humvees!! Eason Jordan, eat your heart out.

Another VERY CRITICAL Update within an UPDATE 3:57 P.M: The early reports left out some very critical information out of the military press release:

U.S. troops "attempted to warn the driver to stop by hand and arm signals, flashing white lights, and firing warning shots in front of the car," the statement said. "When the driver didn't stop, the soldiers shot into the engine block, which stopped the vehicle, killing one and wounding two others."
Read--US forces shot the car, but it was the speed of the car which crashed which killed one passenger and wounded Sgrena!

Developing......updates are continious.

Update: Al Reuters, in a move sure to make al Jazeera rethink its wording, blames lawlessness [read: blame US] for Sgrena's and the other hostages plight. No culpability is placed on the terrorists:

More than 150 foreigners, including several Western journalists, have been seized by insurgents over the past year. Most have been freed but many have been killed -- sometimes in beheadings that were filmed and posted on the Internet.

The kidnappings have highlighted the lawlessness gripping large areas of Iraq where insurgents mount frequent attacks, crime is rife and Iraqi forces have little control.

Al Jazeera, not to be undone by Leftist European media, now headlining that Sgrena was shot by US forces. The story features an image of Sgrena holding a pie. You heard me right, a freaking pie!!!

Update within an update: Al Reuters, in a race with al Jazeera to see which publication can be the most blatently anti-American now runs with this headline: US forces kill Italian agent after reporter freed and reporting Il Manifesto as saying:

"An Italian agent has been killed by an American bullet. A tragic demonstration which we never wanted that everything that's happening in Iraq is completely senseless and mad," he added, struggling to fight back his tears."
It has begun. Seriously, it is scary just how predictable the media reaction would be.

UPDATE: A word of caution. All reports about Sgrena to date have been carefully routed through her Communist newspaper, Il Manifesto. If you check the media reports you will notice that each is receiving its information from a single source, the anti-American editor of Il Manifesto.

Al Jazeera:

Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who was abducted in Baghdad on 4 February, has been freed, Aljazeera has reported....

Il Manifesto strongly opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq and has fiercely criticised Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's support and his decision to deploy 3000 troops in Iraq.

Sgrena reported from Baghdad during the bombardment of the city in March 2003 (for which she was awarded the title of merit Cavaliere del Lavoro by Italy's president) and returned many times to describe the daily lives of Iraqis under living occupation.

The Jawa Report has speculated in the past the Sgrena was either the victim of her own close ties with terrorist forces, or had staged her own abduction to convince the Italian people of their folly for supporting the US led occupation.

A video plea was released last month from Sgrena urging Italy to withdraw from Iraq one day before a key vote was scheduled on whether or not Italian troops would stay in Italy. At times in the video, Sgrena seemed to be directing the alleged terrorist cameraman.

UPDATE: Overheard at the Democratic 'we support our troos, just not the invasion' Underground (via Confederate Yankee):

--Do you think Eason Jordan will be asking for his job back?

--Looks as if Eason Jordan has just been vindicated.

--Why weren't we informed of the Italian attempt? Why are we just shooting randomly at autos? The "US forces shoot at" angle of this story is even more important than the fact that the reporter was (thankfully) released.

--Is anyone tracking the journalists that are "mistakenly" being shot down?

--This probably happens all the time to Iraqi citizens but it never gets reported...

-- (actual avatar) Well, they were told to shoot at "independent journalists" How are they supposed to tell the difference between "independent" and "freed" journalists?

--Makes sense: A car full of dark-skinned Foreigners, headed for the airport? Light'em up!

and the money quote:
--journalists safer in the hands of insurgents than they are at large in Iraq. News organizations will be advising captive journalists to stay put, for their own safety.

UPDATE 3/07:
New post is up on Giuliana Sgrena's Blood Libel Against the US which explores Sgrena's past anti-American utterances; including the accusation that the US was targetting journalists (said long before she was taken hostage), had used mustard gas on civilians, and tortured women in Iraq, and was complicit in the massacre of thousands in Afghanistan.

Related stories from The Jawa Report:
Italian Woman Taken Hostage in Iraq (Updated)
Italian Hostage: Hoax or the Fruits of anti-American Activism?
Italian Hostage Hoax: Terrorists to Release Giuliana Sgrena
Giuliana Sgrena Alive and Well
Italian Hostage Video Released (UPDATE)
Italians Lobby for Release of Hostage by Calling for End to Occupation
Iraqi Minister Claims Italian Hostage Release Imminent

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:12 PM | Comments |