April 26, 2005

Soldiers Cleared, Sgrena Reacts, Italian Left Cries Murder on Senate Floor

The final report on the shooting of Giuliana Sgrena's car and the killing of Nicola Calipari has cleared U.S. soldiers of wrongdoing. There is little new here, as news of the report had been leaked out before. But liar and propagandist Giuliana Sgrena is not a happyy camper. But because Italians have bought her version of the story hook, line, and sinker, it looks like she may get her wish after all: the total withdrawal of U.S. troops. And the Italian Left is up in arms, with the Communists (Sgrena's party) actually using the Italian Senate floor to call Calipari's death a deliberate murder.

CNN:

A U.S. military investigation has cleared American troops of any wrongdoing in the shooting death last month of an Italian security agent in Baghdad, according to a senior Pentagon official.

The agent's death strained relations between the United States and Italy, two stalwart allies in the Iraq war.

The U.S. soldiers involved will face no disciplinary actions, the Pentagon official said Monday....

The investigators' report also said there appears to have been no attempted coordination on the part of the Italians to clear the U.S. checkpoint, the official said....

Italian media reported that while Italian officials participated in the U.S. investigation, it is unclear whether they would endorse the report. News reports in Italy also said officials there do not agree with the findings.

If the Italians don't endorse the report, its credibility would likely be hurt in Italy.

Italian magistrates are conducting their own unilateral investigation into the shootings and are being given access to the car that carried Calipari and Sgrena in hopes of determining how the soldiers fired on it.

Check out Sgrena's reaction. And yes, she should be charged with purgery. Times Online:
An Italian journalist rescued from hostage-takers in Iraq last month has reacted angrily to a US military investigation absolving American soldiers of responsibility for killing the man who rescued her...

In a front page editorial in her left-wing daily Il Manifesto, Sgrena called on Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister, to respond what she called a "slap in the face for the Italian Government".

Sgrena, a veteran war correspondent who was held hostage for a month in Iraq, wrote: "After the apologies comes the slap in the face."

She said that the Americans had not listened to either her testimony or that of another Italian agent, even though, she said, both had given the same evidence without discussing what had happened.

"Obviously, our two testimonies given to the American commission were useless. Or will I be charged with perjury?" questioned the journalist.

"The greatest disappointment would be if our authorities were to accept this insult without reacting."...

The Americans have offered to release the report, but Italy is blocking its publication while the Government works out its response....

It comes a very bad time for Signor Berlusconi, just when he's reforming his Government after disastrous losses in regional election," Owen said.

"It will also increase pressure on him to withdraw Italian troops as soon as possible."

Meanwhile the Italian political left is using the report to their advantage. Of course the report is unacceptable to them. Nothing short of Bush=Hitler would satisfy the left-wing nutjobs of Europe. Reuters:
Italian opposition parties branded a report that cleared U.S. soldiers of blame for the killing of an Italian agent in Iraq an insult on Tuesday and urged the government to press for a fuller investigation....

Giuseppe Fioroni, a leader of the opposition centre-left Margherita party, urged the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to demand full cooperation from the U.S. authorities to determine who was responsible for Calipari's killing.

"A one-sided conclusion absolving anyone of blame that the Italian side does not accept is an insult to the truth and to the memory of Nicola Calipari apart from being a serious act of arrogance towards Italy," Fioroni said in a statement.

Gigi Malabarba, of the Communist Refoundation Party, alleged in a speech in the Italian Senate that the U.S. ambassador in Iraq at the time, John Negroponte, wanted Calipari killed for negotiating with hostage-takers. He admitted he had no proof.

Greens member of parliament Laura Cima called the findings "a big slap in the face for the Italian government" and said it should press for the truth "if it can find any pride at all".

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:47 AM | Comments |