Tuesday, April 26, 2005

US-Italy barrier shooting report update

The Pentagon issued a report that matched the insider preview that MSNBC obtained and we reported on here regarding the shooting of a car carrying Giuliana Sgrena and the Italian spy sent to obtain her release from the Iraqi terrorists with whom she sympathizes. The shooting resulted in the death of the spy, Nicola Calipari, when the car failed to stop at a US checkpoint on the road to the Baghdad Airport.

The Pentagon investigation:
. . . has cleared American troops of any wrongdoing in the shooting death last month of an Italian security agent in Baghdad, according to a senior Pentagon official.

* * *
The U.S. soldiers involved will face no disciplinary actions, the Pentagon official said Monday.

Naturally Giuliana Sgrena, who was shielded by the Italian spy sent to retrieve her from the Iraqi terrorists who captured her, disagrees. But her story doesn't wash, as we noted here. Descriptions of the vehicle's speed as it approached the roadblock seem to match the 33-44 mph we noted here.

Here's the latest description of the incident from MSNBC:
The investigation found the car was about 130 yards from the checkpoint when the soldiers flashed their lights as a warning to stop. But the car kept coming and, at 90 yards, warning shots were fired. At 65 yards, when the car failed to stop, the soldiers used lethal force — a machine gun burst that killed Calipari and wounded Sgrena and the driver.

Senior U.S. military officials say it took only about four seconds from the first warning to the fatal shots, but insist the soldiers acted properly under the current rules of engagement.

The Italian Left, which heretofore never met a spy it liked, is up in arms.

HT: Jawa owner

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