Monday, March 07, 2005

WHAT HAPPENED TO GIULIANA SRGENA? Danny Schechter has rounded up every bit of reportage and commentary he can find on the bizarre shooting of Italian journalist Giuliana Srgena by US troops and the killing of the Italian intelligence officer who'd rescued her.

I wish Schechter wouldn't hang so much on Eason Jordan, a spineless little man who lacks the courage of his own convictions - that is, if we can even figure out what his convictions are. (According to Schechter, Jordan's current silence is bought and paid for. Very nice.)

But this is a weird and disturbing story, and it bears watching.

7 comments:

Steve said...

To see some truly weird and disturbing takes on this weird and disturbing story, take a peek at what some of the resident flamers of Little Green Footballs are saying. (Scroll down for many, many stories about this - some hastily reported, then retracted.)

You might want to take a shower afterwards though. These are (loudly) self-proclaimed "Real Americans". Oy.

Anonymous said...

Dan:

Do you believe Mustard Gas, etc. was used in Falluja? (see Schecter link). Remember: there were several embedded reporters, including the NYTimes' Dexter Filkins. And none of them reported this. More nutty conspiracy theories. There is something else you miss here: journalists tend to feel "privileged" when doing their work, and expect to be treated differently than Iraqis. I guess you could say US troops treated her with the same respect they treat other the civilians.

Anonymous said...

No question this whole thing doesn't pass the smell test but MUSTARD GAS? Does anyone really think that would not be rocketing around the globe right now if true? For my money, we have learned a lot more about D.Shechter than about the roadblock incident.

AnthonyG said...

The Calipari-Srgena incident raises several questions in addition to US culpability, such as the controversial practice of paying-off people in Iraq.

The US & UK have greased a lot of palms in Iraq --to pay informants, purchase key allies and compensate victims. Paying ransom is supposedly prohibted because it creates an incentive for more kidnapping.

France allegedly paid a ransom for two French hostages, but since France opposed the invasion and has no troops in Iraq they are less bound by concerns about incentive-izing more kidnapping. Italy, however, decided to break with official practice to free a single journalist who wasn't exactly telling folks at home how lucky Italy is to be part of the occupation... Why?

Probably the widespread sympathy for Srgena across Italy was becoming too much of a political liability for Berlusconi, and he (or someone in his administration) wanted to end the problem --especially before another Italian was horribly murdered.

If the Italian government paid a ransom, they either knowingly defied the US to help Berlusconi politically, or got advance US approval --a waiver of sorts-- for the same purpose.

Reporters should ask Berlusconi if he told the US beforehand that his people were paying a ransom to free Srgena.

Kevin said...

Dan,

Are you going to correct the record and make clear that this journalist is a lying piece of garbage? Or would you prefer to just leave it out there as a possibility that our troops would do the outrageous things she was claiming.

Which side are you on?

Dan Kennedy said...

Good grief. I'm on the side of truth. I am interested in what really happened in the shooting of Calipari and Srgena, which has not been adequately explained. I am not particularly interested in What Srgena was writing during her time in Iraq. If she did indeed report that US troops used gas, it strikes me as pretty unlikely, given that no one else has reported such a thing, and there were plenty of embedded reporters. But I have no interest in getting dragged into that issue.

Steve said...

Here's a letter worth reading from a Major serving in Iraq to Alterman about checkpoint duty.

The letter has a ring of truth about what might have happened. I want to believe that Srgena's story is implausible. I want to believe what our government is saying now and what they'll say after an investigation.

The trouble is, we've been lied to so much by this administration - how we got into this war, the torture story, the conditions on the ground - and I'm at the point where I don't believe much of what the administration says anymore.