Monday, March 7, 2005

Italian secrets

Whatever you think of Giuliana Sgrena (the rabidly communist, anti-war reporter for the Italian Communist journal Il Manifesto), the fact that American forces fired on the car carrying her to freedom is a tragedy. But why would it happen? Surely Sgrena isn't accurate when she claims that American troops "targeted" her (gee, thanks, Eason Jordan, for putting that thought into her head)?

Personally, I don't believe she was targeted at all. The story coming from the American side — that her car was fired on simply because it didn't stop at a checkpoint, despite warnings — is much more plausible than her story. But here is some additional information that might further explain how this could have happened:

Italian agents likely withheld information from U.S. counterparts about a cash-for-freedom deal with gunmen holding an Italian hostage for fear that Americans might block the trade, Italian news reports said yesterday.

The decision by operatives of Italy's SISMI military intelligence service to keep the CIA in the dark about the deal for the release of reporter Giuliana Sgrena, might have "short-circuited" communications with U.S. forces controlling the road from Baghdad to the city's airport, the newspaper La Stampa said.

This is from an excelent article in the Washington Post, with other interesting details.

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