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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.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire…

Not that this should be a surprise to anyone, but as I pointed out in our collaborative blog, Giuliani Sgrena lied. (Hat-tip to Captain’s Quarters and PowerLine)

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A US satellite reportedly recorded a checkpoint shooting in Iraq last month, enabling investigators to reconstruct how fast a car carrying a top Italian intelligence official and a freed hostage was traveling when US troops opened fire.

The report, which aired Thursday on CBS News, said US investigators concluded from the recording that the car was traveling at a speed of more than 60 miles (96 km) per hour.

Giuliana Sgrena has said the car was traveling at a normal speed of about 30 miles an hour when the soldiers opened fired, wounding her and killing Nicola Calipari, the Italian agent who had just secured her release from a month's captivity.

US soldiers said at the time of the March 4 incident that the car approached at a high rate of speed and that they fired only after it failed to respond to hand signals, flashing bright lights and warning shots.

The conflicting accounts were among a number of differences that have prevented US and Italian authorities from reaching agreement on what happened.

CBS, citing Pentagon officials, said the satellite recording enabled investigators to reconstruct the event without having to rely on the eyewitness accounts.

It said the soldiers manning the checkpoint first spotted the Italian car when it was 137 yards (meters) away. By the time they opened fire and brought the car to a halt, it was 46 yards (meters) away. CBS said that happened in less than three seconds, which meant the car had to be going over 60 miles an hour.

CBS said Italian investigators refused to accept that the Americans were justified in shooting so quickly, arguing among other things that the checkpoint was not properly marked.

So, the Italians have changed their story again. (Is this a habit for Italians?) We no longer wanted to kill Sgrena for some unknown reason; an idea that her captors offered her before her release. Now, they say the checkpoint was not properly marked. Really? Anyone remember what Sgrena last said about the checkpoint? That it had a tank parked there? How, in the name of God, do you miss a tank?? I guess the barricades—concrete barricades—that our troops put up was not enough of a warning.

The Italians say the car was swerving around cement blocks in the road when a bright light went on and, with no warning, the car was pummeled with automatic weapons fire for 10 to 15 seconds. U.S. military officials say troops made hand and arm signals, flashed white lights and fired warning shots to no avail.

The Italians initially admitted that the car was swerving around cement blocks. That means that the driver should have known he was approaching a checkpoint. Checkpoints in Iraq specifically have the blocks up to avoid a car bomb from terrorists blowing the troops up. But Sgrena lied about the speed after this account—an account she gave—where she clearly states that there was a level of control that the driver did not have over the car.

The car kept on the road, going under an underpass full of puddles and almost losing control to avoid them. We all incredibly laughed. It was liberating. Losing control of the car in a street full of water in Baghdad and maybe wind up in a bad car accident after all I had been through would really be a tale I would not be able to tell. Nicola Calipari sat next to me. The driver twice called the embassy and in Italy that we were heading towards the airport that I knew was heavily patrolled by U.S. troops. They told me that we were less than a kilometer away...when...I only remember fire. At that point, a rain of fire and bullets hit us, shutting up forever the cheerful voices of a few minutes earlier.

Now, I am not a professional driver, but if I am going 30 mph, and I hit a puddle, I can control my car. Going 60 mph might be a bit tricky, and could very well cause someone to lose control of their car. Further, if you are moving as fast as the satellite telemetry shows, and you close a 100 yard gap in three seconds, you are not giving the troops much time to react at all. Hand gestures, flashing lights, and even warning shots, they are all going to be quick; and these troops are trained to react instinctively. If they felt that their lives were in immediate danger, you bet that they are going to stop that car. That is what they did. They should be commended, not reprimanded. They should be praised, not impugned.

And Sgrena should be held up for what she is: a liar. She is a communist, working for the communist newspaper Il Manifesto, and is an ardent protester and detractor of our efforts in the GWOT. And the Italians should take responsibility for the foolish decisions they made. Nicola Calipari entered Iraq under a shroud of secrecy. He and his driver did not inform US commanders they were in country, and why they were there. The only coalition officer informed of their mission was the second-in-command in Iraq, General Marioli—an Italian general, and he was swoon to secrecy. This whole "rescue" operation was a walking cluster-f**k from the beginning.

It is not the fault of the troops that they were not given all the relevant information regarding the rescue of Sgrena. They did not need to be told that a ransom had been paid, but the knowledge that Sgrena was going through the checkpoints might have served Calipari better. He would still be alive today. I know we are not fond of our coalition partners caving into terrorists, or paying ransoms, but to date we have simply lodged our reservations to such practices; we have not denied those partners the ability to recover their people from the hands of these animals.

But the simple fact is that since this incident occurred, this woman has changed her story time and again, she has lied about it, and now her government is still taking her word over all the evidence we have provided that shows she is lying. Our troops have an immensely difficult job in Iraq. When it comes to actually engaging the threats they face, they are given nano-seconds to react. Their training serves them well, and keeps them alive. Had Calipari been a decent intelligence officer, he would not have jeopardized his mission by keeping our commanders out of the loop.

And finally, I think it is time for this woman to just fade into obscurity. She has been exposed, and she will never be satisfied at the outcome of this investigation. The Italians do not like what they are being handed. Oh well. I am not surprised. But I am disappointed in a country that refuses to accept their culpability in this incident. Instead they have chosen to accept the word of a proven liar, and slander our troops. And that, my friends, is unacceptable.

The Bunny ;)


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