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March 11, 2005
Italy To Sgrena: You Can Shut Up Any Time Now

After having listened to the reporter from the Communist newspaper Il Manifesto spout contradictory stories and hysterical conspiracy-mongering, even the Italian government has had enough of Giuliana Sgrena. In their first direct criticism of the former hostage, the justice minister publicly scolded Sgrena for her ever-changing accusations:

Italy's justice minister urged former hostage Giuliana Sgrena on Friday to stop making "careless" accusations after being shot by US forces in Baghdad, saying she had already caused enough grief.

Sgrena has repeatedly suggesting US soldiers shot her on purpose and said on Friday she had little faith in a joint investigation by Italy and the United States into the "friendly fire" incident.

"She has created enormous problems for the government and also caused grief that perhaps was better avoided," Justice Minister Roberto Castelli told reporters in Bologna.

Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari was shot dead by U.S. forces as he shielded the newly freed hostage while taking her to the airport.

Sgrena herself said in interviews this week that had she been more cautious in Baghdad, she perhaps would not have been kidnapped in the first place.

This marks the first time that Sgrena has suffered any criticism in the press covering the supposed assassination attempt. After earlier revelations of miscommunication by the Italians, deep skepticism about Sgrena's account after the pictures of her car were published, and the daily changes to her story, even the Italians have lost patience. Or perhaps their support had been overblown from the beginning:

Many Italians have been irked by her descriptions of her kidnappers. She said they were not killers and that she may have over-dramatised her videotaped appeal from captivity for Italy to withdraw its 3,000 troops from Iraq.

She sobbed in the video and begged her family and the government to do something to save her life.

"Sgrena, I think, should perhaps be more careful. She has said a load of nonsense, speaks somewhat carelessly and makes careless comments," Castelli said. ...

"I feel like I'm being accused for being kidnapped and then saved," Sgrena said, speaking from a Rome hospital, where she is undergoing treatment for her injuries.

It doesn't exactly sound like a lovefest going on in Rome for Sgrena, a dynamic missed by the American and world media thus far. Perhaps the Italians knew better than to treat Sgrena with much credibility in the first place. (via CQ reader ERNurse)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 11, 2005 5:15 PM

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