2005/03/06

The Case of Giuliana Sgrena

A toughened war correspondent, the former left-wing militant has often been described as an advocate of the dispossessed and the have-nots.

She once said war correspondents "make known the reality which otherwise would just be described in official war bulletins and propaganda pamphlets".

She has worked for leftist Italian newspaper Il Manifesto since 1988. The paper is opposed to the US-led invasion of Iraq. Before joining Il Manifesto, she worked for the daily Guerra e Pace (War and Peace), but she made her name at the communist newspaper mainly through her avowed affinity with the Arab world.

The daughter of a World War II veteran, Sgrena was one of the founders of the peace movement in the 1980s.

"For my whole life, I have fought and written on behalf of the weakest,".

With this in mind, she refused to become embedded with the US military during the war - choosing, instead, to remain in Iraq on her own during the major hostilities of the spring of 2003. BBC

The US account of events is that a speeding car -which would not stop, had to be fired open to halt it. But this account of the slain intelligence officer does not paint a picture of someone so inexperienced and inept as to attempt to run through a US checkpoint:

"Nicola Calipari was a veteran Italian secret service agent and practiced negotiator who had helped return two hostages kidnapped in Iraq home to their loved ones in Italy... Calipari, ...was a 20-year veteran of the police force, and before moving on to Italy’s secret services he had headed the immigration office for Rome’s police." MSNBC

Another account paints a similar picture. Calipari was an experienced professional:

One Italian source said he was an officer in the Italian special forces, but the Washington embassy spokesman affirmed that Calipari was what Berlusconi had said he was, a member of SISMI, the Italian military intelligence service. Last September Calipari was behind the freeing of the two social workers Simona Pari and Simona Torretta. In June he was at the center of another negotiation that resulted in three Italian workers in Iraq being set free by their Islamic captors. Sgrena was kidnapped outside a mosque on Feb 4.

As in the earlier cases, the Italians appear to have secured the freedom of their nationals without using force, and sources said this was the result of having built a wide network of contacts that included people on the fringes of the Iraq insurgency.
UPI and Wagnews

In her first interview from hospital, Ms Sgrena said that the car "was not travelling particularly fast, given the circumstances".

She said that it was "while I was talking to Nicola Calipari and he was relating to me all the phases of the abduction, we were struck by a rain of fire". Calipari had immediately hurled himself on top of her, saving her life. The worst moment of the entire experience, she said, was "the man who had freed me dying in my arms". Piero Colari, Ms Sgrena's partner, told reporters angrily: "There are only two explanations, either it was an ambush or those soldiers were complete idiots." Independent

Suddenly, she said, she remembered her captors' words, when they warned her "to be careful because the Americans don't want you to return."

The U.S. military said the Americans used hand and arm signals, flashing white lights and fired warning shots to get the car to stop. But in an interview with Italian La 7 TV, Sgrena said "there was no bright light, no signal."

In her article, Sgrena wrote that her captors warned her as she was about to be released not to signal her presence to anyone, because "the Americans might intervene."

"What happened yesterday in Baghdad was a homicide," Gabriele Polo told Apcom.

"The Americans must be firmly reminded to respect human and civil rules," the ANSA news agency quoted Mirko Tremaglia, minister for Italians abroad, as saying. ABC

The more than 300 bullets shots by US soldiers on the vehicle taking Italian Journalist Giuliana Sgrena "to a safe" journey home, was a deliberate attempt to silence her, denounced her partner Piero Scolari.

"Giuliana had information the US military did not want her to leave alive".

He went to Irak to get her back to Italy 24 hours before her departure to this capital. At the time of the February 4 abduction Giuliana was working on a report on the people that sought refuge ata mosque in Faluja past the Pentagon air raid against the Sunny bastion and Sgrena had questioned the invasion of the Middle East country by the US-British coalition. Prensa

Read Means, Motive and Murder

8 Comments:

Why do I get this feeling that Giulina was deliberately shot because 1) she worked for a comminist newspaper, 2) she refused to be a journalist embedded in the US military and had the hide of wanting to report independantly, 3) spoke loud and clear against the US invasion of Iraq, 4) relentlessly fought for the cause of Palestine and generally speaking of the the underdog on this planet?

I can just hear the replies in advance: "Conspiracy theory yet again, you traitor!"

Yeah, well, I and a good part of this world a getting mightlily tired and fucked off with conspiracy *theories* that look so much like *real* conspiracies that I wouldn't know a *fake* conspiracy if one hit me in the face.

But no doubt the US administration will demonstrate and prove (LOL) yet again that there was no conspiracy at all, oh no Sir. No conspiracy, just collateral damages. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/06/2005 01:29:00 pm  
why am i not suprised???? Why is there no one to keep this administration in check?? 

Posted by angiekruger
3/06/2005 01:49:00 pm  
Quit kidding yourselves.

If Sgrena had been targetted, she'd be dead. Period.

The tragedy of this incident is unquestionable. Not because some communist reporter was wounded, but because the man killed was apparently a hero by any account. 

Posted by Jonathan
3/07/2005 12:29:00 am  
"Quit kidding yourselves "

LOL, how I wish.

"If Sgrena had been targetted, she'd be dead. Period"

You mean, as in: if the US troops had really tortured prisoners there would be no photos? Period? 

Posted by WhyNot
3/07/2005 02:37:00 am  
"If Sgrena had been targetted, she'd be dead. Period "

It's unblievable that you don't see the ignorance of your statement. She would be dead if a truly brave and dedicated man had not put his life on the line to save her.

"some communist reporter"

Before I make a statement regarding this perhaps you will share with us what her being a 'communist reporter' has to do with anything?  

Posted by Dianne
3/07/2005 09:01:00 am  
I'm amazing to see how much americans are lured by their administration !

Dont you look in your recent history from wwii to now.
Just go through it and you'll see ! 

Posted by A Frustrated
3/07/2005 08:13:00 pm  
The Jesse Factor has an excellent article on Giuliana Sgrena here . 

Posted by John
3/10/2005 04:48:00 am  
"The Jesse Factor  " ....

Quote from there:

When the car refused to stop, troops fired into the engine block which forced the car to stop.

I didn't realize Nicola and Giuliana were traveling in the engine block. Silly me, NOW we know how they got shot!

Thanks for confirming it looks more and more like an assassination plot. The US administration can't even get its own cover up bullshit story straight. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/10/2005 05:10:00 am  

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