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April 14, 2005
Sgrena Story Still Falling Apart

A joint Italian-American investigation into the death of Italian commando Nicola Calipari and wounding of freed hostage and journalist Giuliana Sgrena has exonerated the American servicemen working the checkpoint at which they were killed. The New York Post reports that the actions taken by the soldiers at the car's approach were normal, justified, and within the rules of engagement:

U.S. soldiers reportedly have been cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting of an Italian journalist and an intelligence agent last month in Baghdad.

U.S. military officials told NBC News that a joint American-Italian investigation found the soldiers acted properly in firing on a car bearing a just-freed hostage, journalist Giuliana Sgrena, and an intelligence officer, Nicola Calipari.

The car was about 130 yards from a checkpoint when the soldiers flashed their lights to get it to stop. They fired warning shots when the car was within 90 yards of the checkpoint, but at 65 yards, they used deadly force. Calipari was killed and Sgrena wounded.

Let's lay that out as Sgrena has told the story, as late as this week to CBS:

Sgrena says that as the car rounded a turn, driving no faster than 30 miles an hour, it was hit by gunfire and at the same time, a bright light. She and Calipari were in the back seat. "He [Calipari] pushed me down and with this, the body, covered me," says Sgrena. "He pushed me down in the car. And I was asking, 'Why?' Nicola doesnt say, he doesnt speak it, doesnt say nothing."

She claimed that the car slowed down for the checkpoint to somewhere around 30 MPH or so, which would equal around 44 feet per second. If the Americans flashed their warning lights at 390 feet, the driver had almost three seconds to recognize and heed the signal before the soldiers fired their warning shots. After the warning shots, the driver had another two seconds to stop the car before the soldiers applied lethal force. Overall, the driver had almost six full seconds to stop the car from the time of the first warning signal to when they fired directly into the vehicle. That sounds like plenty of time, especially for a driver who knew that he was using a highway that American troops regularly patrolled and one which led directly to the strategic Baghdad International Airport.

Of course, these numbers get smaller if the vehicle was going faster -- but that would imply that the driver stupidly tried to ram his way through a military checkpoint.

Sgrena and her Communist newspaper, Il Manifesto, will have been thoroughly discredited by this report. CBS doesn't fare much better. It couldn't wait until the report came out this week to run with the Sgrena interview? (via Shot In The Dark)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 14, 2005 12:52 PM

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» Italian Idiots - Update XIII from Flopping Aces
I find it very humerous that CBS does this sympathitic interview with the communist idiot and then news comes out that the investigation clears our soldiers. Guess it's another failed attempt at fact checking by Dan Rather. [Read More]

Tracked on April 14, 2005 4:36 PM

» So Where are They Now? from Cranial Cavity
Where's the NYT, WaPo, the Guardian or the AP stories about Giuliana Sgrena now? Now that the US Military has been cleared of being a Bushitler/Rovian hit squad why aren't the same media outlets covering the "acquittal" with the same ferver as the the... [Read More]

Tracked on April 14, 2005 7:26 PM

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