Natasha Bita over at The Australian has an interesting report:
In an unprecedented move, the White House has agreed to let Italian officials take part in a joint investigation in Baghdad over the coming month. However, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday disputed White House claims that American soldiers had opened fire on the Italians because their car was speeding towards a military checkpoint. He also denied Washington's assertion that the Italian secret service agents had failed to notify US military authorities in Iraq of their movements. Mr Calipari had obtained security passes to travel in Baghdad and even phoned from his car to alert American military authorities of his "immediate re-entry in the airport zone", Mr Berlusconi said. Mr Fini later admitted to RAI television that Calipari had not told American authorities he was in Iraq to rescue a hostage. "He did not advise what he had come to do in Iraq because we are a sovereign country," Mr Fini said. "We have a rapport of absolute loyalty with the US, but not one of subordination." Italy had a moral duty to bring home hostages kidnapped on foreign soil, he said.
Mr. Fini is Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini, and he is apparently saying here that the US was never advised the reason he was there or that there was a rescue operation going. This disputes the Prime Minister's numerous statements. So now we find out that they believed it was wise to not let our military know since if they did then they would be subordinates. Guess the family of Calipari might feel differntly since this simple act would of saved his life. Michelle Malkin makes a good observation about the leftist channel CNN and their reporting on this story:
In an article published Sunday in her communist newspaper, Il Manifesto, Sgrena wrote, "Our car was driving slowly," and "the Americans fired without motive.
Here is Sgrena's Il Manifesto article, as translated by CNN. As I noted before (here and here), her Il Manifesto article doesn't say what CNN says she said. In fact, she seems to say the opposite: "The car kept on the road, going under an underpass full of puddles and almost losing control to avoid them."
It doesn't sound very nice to be critical of a fellow reporter. But Sgrena's attitude is a disgrace for journalism. Or didn't she tell me back in the plane that 'common journalists such as yourself' simply do not support the Iraqi people? 'The Americans are the biggest enemies of mankind,' the three women behind me had told me, for Sgrena travelled to Iraq with two Italian colleagues who hated the Americans as well. 'You don't understand the situation. We are anti-imperialists, anti-capitalists, communists,' they said. The Iraqis only kidnap American sympathizers, the enemies of the Americans have nothing to fear. But they knew better. When we arrived at Baghdad Airport, I was waiting for a jeep from the American army to come pick me up. I saw one of the Italian women walking around crying. An Iraqi had stolen her computer and television equipment. They were standing outside shivering, waiting for a cab to take them to Baghdad. With her bias Sgrena did not only jeopardize herself, but due to her behavior a security officer is now dead, and the Italian government (prime minister Berlusconi included) has had to spend millions of euros to save her life. It is to be hoped that Sgrena will decide to have a career change. Propagandist or MP perhaps. But she should give up journalism immediately.
Even her leftist friends can't stand this bitch. Plus here is a great discription of the dangerous road she was travelling that night from the perspective of a soldier who worked that road (via Austin Bay):
My Army staff section dubbed the dangerous high-speed dash through Baghdad "Route Irish Racing." Route Irish is the military code name for the 8 kilometers of highway linking Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) with the Green Zone. … This brings us to roadblocks. Roadblocks put a crimp in the car bomber's plans. Roadblocks stop vehicles and people, particularly suspicious vehicles and suspicious people. In a war zone featuring auto kamikazes, roadblocks aren't user-friendly places — and any honest adult will admit they aren't supposed to be. Iraqis complain about American roadblockss — they're hassles. Iraqis complain more about terrorist bombs — 2,000 Iraqis demonstrated against terror in Hilla last week to make that point. At Route Irish's Green Zone exit, traffic slows to a crawl as it weaves through concrete barriers. Once stopped, young Americans and young Iraqi National Guardsmen — their automatic rifles ready — quiz drivers and scowl. It's understandable — in late June, an Iraqi Governing Council official was assassinated at the barrier. A bomb-laden car slammed the councilman's vehicle and detonated. Occasionally, temporary roadblocks halt Route Irish traffic. I recall a long wait in July as Iraqi police closed a lane and redirected non-military vehicles. Yes, I felt like a target — it's a war zone, stay alert. Route Irish's approach to BIAP is clearly marked with signs. Heavy trucks await inspection by troops. Concrete barriers divide the lanes. The man driving the car carrying communist writer and newly released terrorist hostage Guiliana Sgrena didn't slow down as he approached a roadblock on the way to the airport. Perhaps he was afraid and fear led to speed, or perhaps he was laughing. Sgrena wrote that her car "kept on the road, going under an underpass full of puddles and almost losing control to avoid them. We all incredibly laughed. It was liberating. Losing control of the car in a street full of water in Baghdad …" Roadblocks have rules. Coalition and Iraqi troops operate roadblocks with Rules of Engagement (ROE). The ROE can change, based on current intelligence and command judgment. But one rule never changes at a roadblock: Even escorted military convoys slow down as they approach a roadblock. As for a single civilian auto approaching at high speed? If a driver doesn't hit the brakes, the troops will shoot.
Amen, Hopefully they will continue to engage any suspicious vehicle approaching their checkpoint that fails to obey their commands.