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Another tragic case of "friendly" fire
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Le Saigonnais



Joined: 04 Mar 2005
Posts: 894
Location: Saigon, Sud Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hitler had a great sense of humour too. How else could he charm the Germans into voting for him in 1933?

I bet Seed laughs at Cheney's or Rumsfeld's joke everyday. They are funny to him. How sad.
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Le Saigonnais



Joined: 04 Mar 2005
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Location: Saigon, Sud Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That shows your knowledge and my ignorance on the porn industry. Good of you to point that out.
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X



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 856
Location: Lala Land

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Le Saigonnais wrote:
That shows your knowledge and my ignorance on the porn industry.


And the whole time I was under the impression that you were familiar with the french. shameless grin
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Le Saigonnais



Joined: 04 Mar 2005
Posts: 894
Location: Saigon, Sud Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

X wrote:
Le Saigonnais wrote:
That shows your knowledge and my ignorance on the porn industry.


And the whole time I was under the impression that you were familiar with the french. shameless grin


Not as familiar as I should be. I spend most of my life in the US. I was in France for a year in 1973.
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Seed



Joined: 04 Mar 2005
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently the Italians have the same internal problem the US have - the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. The Italian Military in Iraq did not know about the rescue effort by the Italian Intelligence. The Italian Secret Service did not communicate with their military counterpart. I guess governments are inefficient and bureaucratic eveywhere.

BBC wrote:
But the press quotes an Italian general who liaised between US forces and Italian intelligence as saying he did not know Calipari was on a rescue bid...

.... Gen Marioli's version, as reported by the papers, also contradicts a reconstruction by the Italian government and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who said the US military had been advised that Ms Sgrena was on board the car


But this is still very early. I do not think the Italian government is lying. They must have assumed that the information was passed not knowing the disconnect between their two entities of their government. I guess they need reform as much as we do. I just hope they do not create a intelligence czar, like the one in the US. That just add more layer to the bureaucracy and make it worse.

I cannot believe that I have to clarify and explain myself on the above paragraph. I just want to preempt an unfunny extremist in this forum accuse me of something I did not mean to say. But I think he is going come up with something crazy to accuse me of anyway. Yes, you!! You know who you are. Go get yourself a sense of humour.

A full investigation will take much longer to completed. One thing I do notice in this forum, people have no patience whatsoever. The presses are all over this, just wait and everything will be revealed.

Here is the rest of the article
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4341387.stm
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Pols_R_Us



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 2606
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 11:16 pm    Post subject: Transparency Reply with quote

Seed wrote:
One thing I do notice in this forum, people have no patience whatsoever. The presses are all over this, just wait and everything will be revealed.


You have more trust than I do in the power of the press and the willingness of governments to admit to mistakes, and the "truth" eventually coming out.

As to somebody's sense of humor or lack thereof, you may be right. For the moment I reserve judgment until I get more data to go on super grin
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Pols_R_Us



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:17 pm    Post subject: The plot thickens Reply with quote

The following comment is from the friend who sent me the article: "Perhaps, the investigation is to find ways to cover up ??? The plot
thickens
and the excuses and stories continue to change !!!"

U.S. Troops Who Fired on Freed Italian Journalist Were Security for
Negroponte

Published: March 10, 2005 10:40 AM ET

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) U.S. troops who mistakenly killed an Italian
intelligence agent last week on the road to Baghdad's international
airport were part of extra security provided by the U.S. Army to
protect
U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte, a U.S. official said Thursday.

Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari was killed Friday when U.S.
troops opened fire on a car carrying him and Italian journalist
Giuliana
Sgrena, who had just been freed from insurgents.

"The mobile patrol was there to enhance security because Ambassador
Negroponte was expected through," U.S. Embassy spokesman Robert
Callahan
said, confirming reports in Italian media. The newspaper La Repubblica
reported Wednesday that the checkpoint had been "set up to protect the
passage of Ambassador Negroponte."

It was not known if Negroponte, who was nominated last month by
President
Bush to be the new director of national intelligence, had already
passed
through the checkpoint.

Senior U.S. officials such as the ambassador, who is by far seen as the
most important American in Iraq, normally travel by helicopter to avoid
roadside bombs and insurgent attacks along the airport road, which are
frequent. But U.S. officials in Iraq often vary travel routes and
methods
so as not to be predictable.

The shooting took place about 8:55 p.m., about two hours before
Baghdad's
11 p.m. curfew.

The U.S. Army has launched an investigation into the shooting, which
has
become a point of contention between the United States and Italy.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has questioned the U.S. Army's
version of events, including a claim that the car was speeding and
ignored
signals to stop.

The Army has acknowledged the checkpoint was temporary but has provided
no
details about why it was set up.

The day after the March 4 shooting, a spokesman for the 3rd Infantry
Division in Baghdad, U.S. Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, said the checkpoint
where the shooting occurred had been set up temporarily and wasn't
permanent.

Asked at the time about how easy it would be to see American troops at
such a checkpoint at night, he said: "Depending on where it is, that
could
be difficult. But if you're seeing soldiers in military uniform with
military equipment, if you know it's a dangerous area, then ... you
need
to maintain your awareness."
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Pols_R_Us



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:24 pm    Post subject: Another comment Reply with quote

Another friend in the group made the following comment on the Negroponte article:

"So the Italian convoy was perfect for target practice" Very Mad
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Pols_R_Us



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:29 pm    Post subject: The Italian Version Reply with quote

This article came with the following comment: "What can we say ??? The Italian communists have the reputation of not
being
very credible in their accounts of happenings....ditto for the US
administration. "He said, she said"......etc. ad infinitum !!! I wonder
if
there were video tapes..... and if so, would the public ever get to see
them."

My own note on the comment: Berlusconi is not a communist, he's far right, the diametrical opposite side of the political spectrum. Not that that makes him any more credible than any of the other parties.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/03/09/italy.sgrena/index.html

U.S. 'knew agent going to airport'
CNN
Wednesday, March 9, 2005

ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says the
intelligence agent shot dead by the U.S. military told them he would be
escorting a newly released hostage to the airport -- contrary to U.S.
claims.


Another Italian attache, who was at the Baghdad airport, also told U.S.
military personnel the car carrying agent Nicola Calipari and
journalist
Giuliana Sgrena was on its way to the airport March 4 before the
shooting
occurred, Berlusconi told the Italian senate on Wednesday.

Differing accounts have emerged about Friday's shooting at a checkpoint
on
the road to the Baghdad airport, in which Calipari was shot and killed
and
Sgrena was wounded in the shoulder.

The U.S. military has said the car the two were in rapidly approached a
checkpoint and ignored repeated warnings to stop.

On Tuesday, the top U.S. general in Iraq, Army Gen. George Casey, said
he
had no indication that Italian officials gave advance notice of the
route
the car was traveling.

Troops used arm signals and flashing white lights, fired warning shots
in
front of the car, and shot into the engine block when the driver did
not
stop, a U.S. military news release said.

Berlusconi said that according to information from the person driving
the
car, the vehicle was traveling at a low speed and braked very swiftly
when
a light shone on it.

In an article published Sunday in her communist newspaper, Il
Manifesto,
Sgrena wrote, "Our car was driving slowly," and "the Americans fired
without motive."

In a letter received by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
Wednesday,
U.S. President George Bush promised a "fast and exhaustive"
investigation
into the shooting.

Berlusconi, who has taken heat in his country for his staunch support
of
Bush and the war in Iraq, said Italian officials would take part in the
probe.

"The death of Calipari is so difficult for us to accept because it
comes
from an ally," he told the senate.

But the investigation and the letter from Bush "demonstrates that our
allies want to find out the truth," he added.

On Tuesday, U.S. forces in Iraq announced the establishment of a team
to
investigate the incident.

Brig. Gen. Peter Vangjel was named to head the follow-up probe,
expected
to take three to four weeks. The investigators plan to "work closely
with
the U.S. Embassy and Italian officials have been invited to
participate."

'Rain of fire' Sgrena, an anti-war journalist, had just been freed by
kidnappers after a month in captivity and was being escorted by Italian
security agents to safety.

Calipari threw his body across Sgrena when U.S. troops opened fire, she
said.

In her article published Sunday Sgrena described a "rain of fire and
bullets" in the incident. (Ex-hostage disputes U.S. account)

CNN's Rome Bureau Chief Alessio Vinci said Sgrena was not ruling out
the
possibility that the Americans may have targeted her on purpose because
the U.S. opposed negotiating with kidnappers.

The White House on Monday rejected the suggestion, as did Italy's
foreign
minister.

"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,"
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday. (Full story)

Italian media suggest a ransom was paid for her release, but government
officials are not commenting on the reports. The Italian government has
paid ransoms to free other hostages in the past.

An autopsy found Calipari was killed by a single shot to the head and
died
instantly. A state funeral was held for him on Monday. (Profile)

Berlusconi reminded members of the senate the shooting never would have
happened if there had been no kidnapping, and said there had been more
than 195 kidnappings in Iraq of people from several countries.

"The logic of the kidnappers is to sow fear amongst the people with the
illusion that these feelings will ensure that the international
community
will abandon Iraq to the hands of the kidnappers," the prime minister
said.

Berlusconi said Italy has rejected the political blackmail of the
kidnappers, who have demanded that all Italian troops leave the
country,
and warned Italians not with the military to leave Iraq because of the
dangers.

There are close to 3,000 Italian troops in Iraq.

Several other Italians have been abducted in Iraq, including two women
who
worked for a humanitarian organization in Baghdad -- an abduction that
gripped the nation until their safe release in late September.

In addition, an Iraqi man who had lived in Italy since 1980, but had
returned to Iraq to work, was killed in early October by his captives.
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Seed



Joined: 04 Mar 2005
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pol_R_Us,

The Italian General said that he did not know about the convoy. That was reported yesterday the 11th of March. Your other articles are older and less relevant. Of course, people with Anti-American sentiment will have their opinion, regardless of the evidence. There is no point in convincing them.

There is a habit among Intelligence and Secret Service, regardless of country, to be too secretive, sometime to the detriment of the mission. Obviously the Italian Secret Service deem their military counterpart not to be trust worthy of the information. The same problem with the US too. The CIA never informed us of anything they do. Fortunately no CIA agents have been shot by US soldiers.

Here is my speculation. Yes, it is only a speculation, you unfunny extremist. The Italian vehicle approaching the checkpoint assumed that the US military know about their status and did not slow down soon enough. The US soldiers saw unidentified people with weapons and open fire.

The blame can be spread to everyone. The Italian Secret Service did not inform their Italian military counterpart. The CIA, if they knew, did not inform the US military. The US military putting inexperienced soldiers at a checkpoint. Placing blame does not bring the dead agent back. But reform the system would. There was talk about improving communication and dissemination of information before I left Iraq but everyone was procastinating. Hopefully this will speed up the process and avoid further misfortune in the future.
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