Sgrena Lied?

Via Mudville, a Reuters story summarizes the current Italian-American brouhaha:

A U.S. Army official earlier this week said Italy was disputing two factual issues in the report: the car’s speed as it approached the checkpoint and the nature of communications between the Italians and U.S. forces before the incident.

The Army official said one of the “trip wires” in the incident was that “there was, in fact, poor communications between the Italians and the Americans.”

Italy’s government has said the Italians had been driving slowly, received no warning and had advised U.S. authorities of their mission to evacuate Sgrena from Iraq.

The U.S. Army said the car was “speeding” toward the checkpoint, that U.S. soldiers tried to get it to stop by using hand and arm signals, flashing white lights and firing warning shots then shot into its engine block when it did not stop.

CBS news has reported that a U.S. satellite had filmed the shooting and that it had been established the car carrying Calipari was traveling at more than 60 mph per hour as it approached the U.S. checkpoint in Baghdad.

It’s just not a good idea to charge military checkpoints in a war zone. Sgrena is amazingly lucky to have survived in the first place. Some background may explain the baffling Italian decision not to coordinate a hostage rescue operation with the American military, but there has been no explanation as to how, if the U.S. Army soldiers manning the chcckpoint are firing so heavily, why the car sustained so little damage.

A soldier’s account of how suicide car bombs are handled in Iraq. Here’s a post clarifying Sgrena’s hostage status.

Clearly, technology is a major factor in our fight to complete the democratization of Iraq. Technology is a well-known force multiplier- and central to Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi’s strategy as seen in the beheading videos plastered to terror websites. I suppose it is too much to hope that all human conflicts take place in cyberspace, but that would be the ideal…


Michelle Malkin reports that a .pdf of the official findings retained supposedly redacted operational security information. Worse, it’s being reported worldwide from the Italian press and various left-wing blogs, including, sadly, Kevin Drum. So what’s the big deal? The security information reportedly reveals checkpoint procedures, the name of the soldier believed to have killed Nicola Calipari (the Italian secret agent), and analysis of ‘Route Irish’, the road leading to the Baghdad airport.

Technology and will, not ideology alone will win the war on terror. Al-Qaeda has made numerous tech blunders in the past, leading to key advancements (rolling up the Pakistani computer network last year, for example). Now the idiocy is on the American side - and accountability must be enforced. An error of this magnitude is nearly as bad as having an Al-Qaeda spy in the DOD nets.

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