Friday, April 29, 2005
On this day:

We're Always the Bad Guys / Giuliana Sgrena, Liar

UPDATE: CBS: US satellite recorded checkpoint shooting, shows speed of Italian car
A US satellite reportedly recorded a checkpoint shooting in Iraq last month, enabling investigators to reconstruct how fast a car carrying a top Italian intelligence official and a freed hostage was traveling when US troops opened fire. The report, which aired Thursday on CBS News, said US investigators concluded from the recording that the car was traveling at a speed of more than 60 miles (96 km) per hour. Giuliana Sgrena has said the car was traveling at a normal speed of about 30 miles an hour when the soldiers opened fired, wounding her and killing Nicola Calipari, the Italian agent who had just secured her release from a month's captivity. US soldiers said at the time of the March 4 incident that the car approached at a high rate of speed and that they fired only after it failed to respond to hand signals, flashing bright lights and warning shots.
[Emphasis mine.] International Herald Tribune: Italy furious as report is said to clear GIs on agent By Elisabeth Rosenthal
Tensions between the United States and Italy surged on Tuesday as Italian opposition politicians and citizens reacted furiously to leaked reports in the Italian media that a joint investigation into the shooting death of an Italian agent in Baghdad would absolve U.S. soldiers of guilt in the incident. On Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to Rome, Mel Sembler, met with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his top aides twice at the government headquarters to try to avert a crisis that could cost Washington one of its staunchest European allies in the Iraq conflict. Berlusconi has kept 3,000 troops in Iraq, even though Italy's involvement is wildly unpopular here. The news that the investigation might absolve the United States of all guilt comes at a vulnerable moment for the beleaguered Berlusconi, who was forced to resign last week and has since formed a tenuous coalition government.
[Emphasis mine.] Erik at No Pasaran! writes:
What this means is that the villain is already designated here — Uncle Sam. When Uncle Sam is involved, judgment and condemnation have been passed already, and nothing less than total oppobrium is deserved. The idea that the absolution might have been entirely appropriate, at least in this particular case, is an option that simply cannot be true. Needless to say, if any other country's nationals had been involved, it is unlikely that (unless perhaps they were allies of America) there would have been such an outbreak of "fury".
Italy, U.S. Disagree on Agent's Iraq Death By NICOLE WINFIELD Thanks to Little Green Footballs.