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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I Hoped She Had Taken The Hint

Wednesday is usually a night of fun for us. It’s "Alias" night for both of us, and we truly do enjoy the escapist entertainment it provides. But, this Wednesday—last night—CBS decided to stick their foot in it. And unlike those that poo-pooed Dan Rather, this time, I am giving no quarter. I hoped that this idiot would simply pass into the annals of history, and disappear. I see that she will not, and that CBS is enabling her to spread more lies about our troops. The woman’s name? Giuliani Sgrena.

That is correct. The same Sgrena that impugned the honor and integrity of our troops. 60 Minutes: Wednesday decided to do a piece on her, and her ordeal. And it was rather Rather-esque in it’s deceptions. Hat-tip to LGF for picking up the story.

The death of Nicola Calipari carried the weight of a national tragedy in Italy. But most Italians had never heard of him before he was killed. They didn't know he was a secret agent who, over the months, had rescued a total of five kidnapped Italians in Iraq.

Giuliana Sgrena was Calipari’s last assignment. In a video that Sgrena's captors forced her to make, the 56-year-old war reporter is seen begging, saying she would be killed if Italy didn’t pull its troops out of Iraq. She told 60 Minutes Wednesday that she feared beheading the most. She hoped they’d just shoot her instead. "I thought I am a woman, so they will kill me with a shot. Not cut me, the throat," says Sgrena.

60 Minutes Wednesday met with Sgrena and her husband on the balcony of their Rome apartment days after she left the hospital. She's recovering from a gunshot wound to her shoulder. Sgrena, a veteran reporter for a communist newspaper, is against the war and has said so in her reporting. Her ordeal began when armed men yanked her out of her car in Baghdad. She ended up in a house, trying to show her captors she was tougher than they thought.

"Sometimes, they told me, 'Why you don’t you cry?' Normally, I cry for everything when I am at home,'" says Sgrena. "And so my kidnappers told me, 'Cry. It will be better for you. Think of your family. So maybe you can cry.'"

But she says she didn't do it. The only time she says she cried was when the kidnappers ordered her to beg her husband, Pier, for help. Her capture was a national obsession. Sgrena’s face draped Rome’s city hall, and the players on the city’s leading soccer team wore "Liberate Giuliana" jerseys, which her kidnappers saw on TV, to their amazement.

The kidnappers were demanding that Italy pull its troops out of Iraq, but Sgrena told her captors what she thought of their chances. "I told them,'If you want me to ask to Berlusconi that we withdraw our troops, if not, you kill me. So, do it now,'" says Sgrena. "'Kill me now.'" Instead of pulling his men out of Iraq, Berlusconi sent one more. In March, Calipari went to the Middle East to bargain with representatives of the men holding Sgrena.

Her captors came to her to tell her the results. "They told me, 'You are going to Rome,'" says Sgrena. "I am going to Rome? I couldn’t believe." We don’t know what Calipari offered in exchange for Sgrena. There have been reports of a ransom that the Italians deny. But whatever it was, the kidnappers turned her over by leaving her in a parked car with cotton over her eyes, sunglasses and a headscarf.

The next thing she says she heard was Calipari’s voice in her ear: "'Giuliana, Giuliana, I’m Nicola. I am a friend of Gabriele, of Pier. Now you are free. Come, don’t be afraid. You are free. You are free.'" "'You are free. You are free.' Yes, and this was really a very, very, it was just so happy, so really for me, it was a new life," says Sgrena.

Calipari took Sgrena to a car with another Italian agent at the wheel. They headed for the airport and the plane home. Back in Rome, there were cameras in the newsroom as celebration erupted at Sgrena’s paper. Her boss, Gabriele Polo, was summoned to Berlusconi's office, where the prime minister and Sgrena’s husband were monitoring her rescue.

Sgrena says she was less than a half-mile from the airport, when the shooting began: "Seven hundred meters more, and we are in the airport, and we will be safe and we will be in the airport. And in the same moment, started the shooting."

Funny how she can remember vividly the car trip back for CBS, but her story, over the course of a few days, changed five different times. (Anyone who read my previous blogs over this, on the previous site can see how upfront I was about this. Go to the March Archives of my orignial site, and read my posts on this woman.)

This woman should not have been given a microphone to defame our troops. This woman should have been shunned by the press; an inept fool that failed to take precautions necessary to avoid being a kidnap victim. She did not. She had "faith" in the insurgents in Iraq that she would be spared such a situation. She thought wrong.

And Calipari, her "friend" that obtained her release, should have known better. I have it on good authority of people involved in the intelligence business that should such an extraction be necessary, they are to tell people concerned with it—such as the Italian general who is second-in-command of coalition forces in Iraq—only as much as they need to know. Should he not have been informed of their route out of Iraq? Should the troops at the check-points not been warned of their arrival?

For this incident, for the death of Calipari, Giuliani Sgrena has no one to blame but herself. It was her stupidity that put her in insurgent hands. And as for the ransom that Italy denies, our intelligence people have already tracked the money. The six million dollar ransom was paid, and frozen as quickly as we could locate it. I have this information on very good authority.

Had the driver simply slowed own for the checkpoint, this might have gone much better. But instead, he drove like a maniac. He was swerving around barricades. He ignored the lights being flashed at him—lights that even Sgrena acknowledges, in subsequent interviews. They ignored the warning shots, the shouts, everything that our troops did to warn them of an impending checkpoint. They ignored it, and faced dire consequences for their stupidity. That stupidity led to the death of an Italian intelligence officer, and the wounding of an Italian journalist.

But for her to accuse the US of lying is an insult I would just as soon slap her in the face over. The incident would not have occurred if the woman had taken the precautions offered. This incident would not have occurred had they just followed the rules in a combat zone. They did not. People died. It is their fault. And shame on CBS for pulling this kind of a stunt, again. This story is beyond a non-issue. It’s as non an issue as Abu Ghraib. But CBS, obviously, has not learned from the false reporting of the
Dan Rather memos. So, once again, this lesson needs to be taught.

The Bunny ;)


Anonymous RepJ said...

Wow! On VERY good authority! Awesome

6:36 PM  

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