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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sgrena Round Up

Note: All of this information that isn't clearly my opinion was lifted almost exclusively from The Jawa Report, here, and related Jawa links that take far too long for me to load from his archives on dial-up.

It also is from my radio commentary...and so dated that they almost didn't run it.

Giuliana Sgrena would have you believe that she was an innocent victim of a terrorist kidnapping who was intentionally fired upon by US troops in an attempt to silence her ‘true knowledge of what the U.S. is doing in Iraq’. What should we think?

First, the facts as we know them. Ms. Sgrena was kidnapped while on the phone with another journalist. Exactly two weeks later a video was published featuring Ms. Sgrena begging the Italians to pull out of Iraq. Exactly one month after she was taken hostage, she was released for a payment of $6 million dollars. The night of her release her vehicle was fired upon by US troops and a bodyguard was killed.

A tragic story, to be certain. It may be useful, however, to look at some background to Ms. Sgrena. Giuliana Sgrena is a journalist for the Italian Communist daily newspaper Il Manifesto. In her writings, she has accused the US of complicity in mass murder, the use of napalm on civilians, the intentional targeting of civilians, and the torture of children. She called the US attack on the terrorist stronghold of Fallujah a ‘massacre’, while never writing about the horrible atrocities committed by the terrorists in Iraq against their own people. She implied the U.S. used nuclear weapons on Baghdad Airport. She refers to the U.S. Marines as ‘terrorists’ while calling those terrorists who behead, shoot or viciously maim their civilian victims ‘the resistance’.

It is interesting to note that the words that Sgrena used in the ‘hostage’ video are no different from what she had been saying before she was taken hostage. Her reports about her ‘captors’ are very positive. She told them to take American troops hostage instead of those who are against the war,. She was able to describe the satellite dish on the roof of her prison and watch TV. If you watch the video, it even appears that Sgrena is actually directing it!

Equally damaging are the discrepancies in Sgrena’s story about the shooting, which she claims was deliberate. She claimed that 300 to 400 shots were fired, but photos of the car show only two bullet holes, and there was only one person killed. That is roughly the same number of bullets fired at Bonnie and Clyde’s car, and they both had 50 bullets in each of their bodies – and those were not high powered military machine guns. Sgrena offers several different accounts of what happened. Her speed was claimed to be under 25 miles per hour, but so fast that they almost lost control of the car well before the gunfire. She said that they didn’t know there was a checkpoint, then later said that they did. She claimed first that no signal was ever given, then that it was, then that it was, but after the shooting.

Meanwhile, the US military story has been rock steady form the start – the car was traveling at a high rate of speed, visual signals were given to slow down, warning shots were fired, and then the troops attempted to shoot the engine block to stop the car.

When there is a discrepancy in the account of an incident between a U.S. soldier and a communist reporter who has a detailed history of anti-Americanism and a story full of holes, I will trust the soldier every time. We’ll never know why the driver didn’t stop when he was signaled to. What we can reasonably expect, is that if he believed Sgrena’s lies about the U.S. military, that he was afraid to stop. After all, if U.S. soldiers shoot journalists, you don’t stop. Since soldiers do shoot speeding oncoming vehicles that won’t stop, the vehicle with journalists was shot, thus completing the self-fulfilling prophecy. Did Sgrena plan to have her countryman shot? I don’t think so – but it sure helped the cause she was fighting for all along.


  • Maybe it's because of my surroundings for the last couple of years but as soon as I read her story I knew it was bogus. I loved the one where she said she was blindfolded so she couldn't see anything but then later said she knew they had shone lights on the car so she knew they knew she was in the car. Lovely little story.

    By Blogger anna, at 4/13/2005 10:41:00 AM  

  • Right on the money. Interesting post.

    By Blogger Gindy, at 4/13/2005 05:17:00 PM  

  • good to see your head is on straight. What moron in that environment wouldn't stop when they saw troops. Like anna, I knew she was embellishing (can't spell tonight, sorry) as soon as she opened her mouth.

    By Anonymous james' mom, at 4/18/2005 07:06:00 PM  

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