Apparently the US and Italian governments are still wrangling over the wording in the report into the Sgrena car incident. According to a UPI story in the Washington Times:
Unusually, Washington agreed on March 10 to a joint investigation led by U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Peter Vangjel and Italian diplomat Cesare Ragaglini, and the Bush administration promised results in three to four weeks.
No findings have so far been published, but on Thursday the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera said the joint investigation was deadlocked over wording in the final report that exonerated the U.S. soldiers of responsibility for the shooting. It said the Italians are insisting on the removal of a sentence from the draft report saying: “As things stand the American soldiers do not seem to be responsible (for killing Calipari.)”
You and I aren’t privy to the investigation’s results, so this deadlock could be the result of irrationality on the part of either party. Maybe the Italians don’t want that passage in there because it’s not true. Or maybe they don’t want that passage in there because, although it is true, they’ve backed themselves into a corner where guilty US soldiers are the only acceptable outcome.
On Thursday an official from U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., which is responsible for operations in Iraq, said the investigation has not wrapped up its work. The official was commenting on an NBC news report that preliminary findings had exculpated the American soldiers of all responsibility for the incident. In addition, an Italian Foreign Ministry source in Rome told United Press International the joint investigation was continuing and it was premature to talk about a final report. On Wednesday, Italian Deputy Prime Minister (and Foreign Minister) Gianfranco Fini, who is visiting the United States, suggested stories about the investigation exonerating U.S. troops were both premature and “political polemics.” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the investigation was not yet complete and “attempts early on to try and prejudge or guess about what is going to come of this investigation is simply not helpful.”
Given this, I’ll back off on my questions of media coverage. For now.
And here’s some of the “analysis”:
There is no question that an acquittal of the American soldiers who fired on the car would enrage Italians and sour relations between Rome and Washington.
I guess I don’t understand how there can be “no question” that Italians would be outraged. Unless the writer means they’ll be outraged at the decision not to inform US forces of the plans or route that the negotiators would use. In any event, if the car didn’t slow down and stop (regardless of how fast it was going) the US troops did the only thing they could.
That’s all been said a million times, though, so I’ll simply back off a bit for the time being and wait for more info.
UPDATE: In an earlier post I was chastised by a reader for mentioning (though specifically not discussing) the theories that Sgrena may not have even been kidnapped at all but that the whole thing was a staged event. While looking for news on this event, I noted a Mediachannel.org post which includes:
Other reports based on earlier interviews and another eyewitness account insisted: They lied about the checkpoint, speeding, hand and arm signals, warning shots, etc. There was no “checkpoint” where the shooting incident took place. The car was not “speeding”, there were no “hand and arm signals”, there were no “warning shots”, and there were no “engine block” shots. The shooters ambushed the car from behind. There were earlier reports that an “elite combat unit,” a CIA contingency of personal body guards for new national intelligence chief John Negroponte, may have been involved.
Media Channel is asking its readers to protest the “cover-up”.