Monday, March 07, 2005

Part III: Targeting the Media the American Way

Does the American military kill journalists? Yes -- that has occured over a dozen times in the past two years. The only question has been do they deliberately target journalists? You'll remember our previous bloggence {toward the end under comments} regarding the forced resignation of Eason Jordan from CNN because he dared to opine that the US military had targeted journalists.

Since then the US military again "accidentally" targeted another journalist, firing hundreds of rounds into a car and killing an Italian agent. Again, the group Reporters Without Borders is calling attention to the need for a real investigation into the unexplained violence. The journalist claims that the Americans opened fire without warning, that "there was no bright light, no signal". More troubling is that she remembers that as her captors released her, they warned her "to be careful because the Americans don't want you to return." Like the rest of Italy, she doesnt support the US occupation of Iraq.

Two related articles:

Italian Journalist Wounded in Hostage Drama Recalls Her Ordeal

t r u t h o u t - TO INVESTIGATION: Steve Weissman | Part III: Targeting the Media the American Way
Caption: Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, killed by the U.S. Army in Iraq on August 17, 2003.


At 5:24 PM, Blogger E. Heroux said...

Here's what the Italians are saying about the U.S. shooting:
US Attack Against Italians in Baghdad Was Deliberate, Companion Says
Agence France Press

Rome — Pressure has increased on the United States to explain its troops firing on a convoy carrying freed Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena, that wounded her and left one of her rescuers dead.

The companion of freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena on Saturday leveled serious accusations at US troops who fired at her convoy as it was nearing Baghdad airport, saying the shooting had been deliberate.

"The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming," Pier Scolari said on leaving Rome's Celio military hospital where Sgrena is to undergo surgery following her return home.

"They were 700 meters (yards) from the airport, which means that they had passed all checkpoints."

The shooting late Friday was witnessed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's office which was on the phone with one of the secret service agents, said Scolari. "Then the US military silenced the cellphones," he charged.

"Giuliana had information, and the US military did not want her to survive," he added.

When Sgrena was kidnapped on February 4 she was writing an article on refugees from Fallujah seeking shelter at a Baghdad mosque after US forces bombed the former Sunni rebel stronghold.

Sgrena told RaiNews24 television Saturday a "hail of bullets" rained down on the car taking her to safety at Baghdad airport, along with three secret service agents, killing one of them.

"I was speaking to (agent) Nicola Calipari (...) when he leant on me, probably to protect me, and then collapsed and I realized he was dead," said Sgrena, who was being questioned on Saturday by two Italian magistrates.

"They continued shooting and the driver couldn't even explain that we were Italians. It was really horrible," she added.

Sgrena, who was hospitalized with serious wounds to her left shoulder and lung after arriving back in Rome Saturday before noon, said she was "exhausted because of what happened above all in the last 24 hours".

"After all the risks I have been running I can say that I'm fine," she said.

"I thought that after I was handed over to the Italians danger was over, but then this shooting broke out and we were hit by a hail of bullets."

The chief editor of Sgrena's left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto Gabriele Polo meanwhile branded Calipari's death a "murder".

"He was hit in the head," he said.

Calipari will be given a state funeral Monday.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger E. Heroux said...

White House responds:

"I think it's absurd to make any such suggestion that our men and women in uniform deliberately targeted innocent civilians. That's just absurd," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

Mr. McClellan mustn't get out and about much. Apparently he doesn't read newspapers either.


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