Hey, they were speeding, so we shot them
Another victim of poor US discipline and marksmanship
Outrage as US soldiers kill hostage rescue hero
Bush promises Italian leader a full investigation
The US Army claimed the Italians' vehicle had been seen as a threat because it was travelling at speed and failed to stop at the checkpoint despite warning shots being fired by the soldiers. A State Department official in Washington said the Italians had failed to inform the military of Sgrena's release.
Italian reconstruction of the incident is significantly different. Sgrena told colleagues the vehicle was not travelling fast and had already passed several checkpoints on its way to the airport. The Americans shone a flashlight at the car and then fired between 300 and 400 bullets at if from an armoured vehicle. Rather than calling immediately for assistance for the wounded Italians, the soldiers' first move was to confiscate their weapons and mobile phones and they were prevented from resuming contact with Rome for more than an hour.
Enzo Bianco, the opposition head of the parliamentary committee that oversees Italy's secret services, described the American account as unbelievable. 'They talk of a car travelling at high speed, and that is not possible because there was heavy rain in Baghdad and you can't travel at speed on that road,' Bianco said. 'They speak of an order to stop, but we're not sure that happened.'
Pier Scolari, Sgrena's partner who flew to Baghdad to collect her, put an even more sinister construction on the events, suggesting in a television interview that Sgrena was the victim of a deliberate ambush. 'Giuliana may have received information which led to the soldiers not wanting her to leave Iraq alive,' he claimed.
Look, US troops in Iraq shoot first and ask questions much, much later. This wasn't an assassination attempt, because every US unit has AT4 rockets which would have blown that car sky high. It was probably a National Guard unit surprised by the car and then lighting it up, because that is what they do every day. Why Guard? Because they have even less training than the RA units.
The freaking 82nd Airborne lit up a hospital last year. And they are supposed to be compenent. Instead, they turned Fallujah against the US.
Some kid with a SAW in a Humvee could easily have gotten nervous and shot that car up as a potential car bomb. Then the people go to collect the weapons, because, after all, they think they just blew a car bomber away. And once one kid starts shooting, everyone does until someone says stop.
This is from US training, which stresses fire and protection first and foremost. Car doesn't stop, blow it away. That's what happened in Tal Afar when the troopers from the 25th ID blew away a family. Speeding? Be a kid with a machine gun waiting for a car bomb and donkeys speed. Instead of conspiracy theories. one should be asking how many times do US troops kill Iraqis just like this. I thought driving while black was bad, now driving while Iraqi can be a death sentence.
posted by Steve @ 9:31:00 AM