Naomi Klein / Rigorous Institution.blogspot – 2005-03-28 23:39:21
(March 25, 2005) — I mentioned in passing yesterday that US military command in Iraq has prevented Italian police from examining the car in which Giuliana Sgrena was wounded and Nicola Calipari killed. Today, Naomi Klein tells Democracy Now why that might be:
NAOMI KLEIN: One of the things that we keep hearing is that she was fired on on the road to the airport, which is a notoriously dangerous road. In fact, it’s often described as the most dangerous road in the world. So this is treated as a fairly common and understandable incident that there would be a shooting like this on that road. And I was on that road myself, and it is a really treacherous place with explosions going off all the time and a lot of checkpoints.
What Giuliana told me, that I had not realized before, is that she wasn’t on that road at all. She was on a completely different road that I actually didn’t know existed.
It’s a secured road that you can only enter through the Green Zone and is reserved exclusively for ambassadors and top military officials. So, when Calipari, the Italian security intelligence officer, released her from captivity, they drove directly to the Green Zone, went through the elaborate checkpoint process which everyone must go through to enter the Green Zone, which involves checking in obviously with US forces, and then they drove onto this secured road.
And the other thing that Giuliana told me that she’s quite frustrated about is the description of the vehicle that fired on her as being part of a checkpoint. She says it wasn’t a checkpoint at all. It was simply a tank that was parked on the side of the road that opened fire on them. There was no process of trying to stop the car, she said, or any signals. From her perspective, they were just — it was just opening fire by a tank.
The other thing she told me that was surprising to me was that they were fired on from behind. Because I think part of what we’re hearing is that the US soldiers opened fire on their car, because they didn’t know who they were, and they were afraid. It was self-defense, they were afraid.
The fear, of course, is that their car might blow up or that they might come under attack themselves. And what Giuliana Sgrena really stressed with me was that she — the bullet that injured her so badly and that killed Calipari, came from behind, entered the back seat of the car.
And the only person who was not severely injured in the car was the driver, and she said that this is because the shots weren’t coming from the front or even from the side. They were coming from behind, i.e. they were driving away.
So, the idea that this was an act of self-defense, I think, becomes much more questionable. And that detail may explain why there’s some reticence to give up the vehicle for inspection. Because if indeed the majority of the gunfire is coming from behind, then clearly, they were firing from — they were firing at a car that was driving away from them.
Unless she misspoke, Klein says it was a single bullet which injured Sgrena and killed Calipari. If so, then presumably it passed through her shoulder and entered his temple as he was attempting to shield her.
And as we know, the military detail which fired on the car had been assigned to outgoing Ambassador of Death, John Negroponte. But the just a bunch of nervous kids at the checkpoint fiction dies hard.
Bush Ordered Attack on Sgrena and Calipari
Today, German and Italian media — including Corriere della Sera, Der Spiegel and the website of the main Austrian TV station, ORF – have been reporting that the Italian Justice Minister has demanded access to the car, after “US command” had postponed an inspection of the car by Italian police investigators — “for security reasons”. What “security reasons” could those possibly be?
Photos of the Sgrena/Calipari car can be seen here: http://snipurl.com/do9d (#4, galleria di foto).
Sgrena’s interview is up at the following blog: