Update [2005-5-2 0:35:6 by gilgamesh]:

I’ve updated this diary because, on further reflection, I realized I was a bit over-hasty in dismissing out of hand the possibility of deliberate assasination. But I was writing in a hurry.

I still believe it is extremely far-fetched, but the report clearly doesn’t rule it out. Why did the commander responsible for coordinating Negropente’s movements not bother to radio in to the troops on the ground the command to dismantle the improvised check points? We’ll probably never really know.

And therein lies a broader and more fundamental lesson here: If the US really did want to assasinate Sgrena, or anyone other foreign citizen for that matter, who is going to hold them accountable? The ICC? The Italian government? The German? The French? The UN? Tony Blair???

We have some extraordinary new developments in the case of Nicola Calipari, the Italian intelligence agent killed by US military forces on April 4th during an operation to liberate the captive journalist for Il Manifesto Giuliana Sgrena.

According to La Repubblica, the final investigator’s report, which has just been published on the Web, was blackened out in various sections in order to hide some rather important details, but an error in the cancellation process has made it possible to read the unexpurgated version of the report in its entirety:

All of a sudden we know first names and last names.  We know the units from which the soldiers who manned blocking post 541 and shot at the car carrying Giuliana Sgrena, Nicola Calipari and the other SISMI agent who was driving came from. We also know his [the driver’s] name. We know the name of the other agent of Sismi who was in telephone contact with Calipari from Bagdad. We know who the agents were who, that night of April 4th, had one single priority: to protect the convoy of the person who in all of the reports is called VIP, the US ambassador in Iraq John Negroponte. And we know that something, among all of the extraordinary means of communation which the US military had its disposal did not work and that they were unable to make known to the various check points that the VIP had already passed and arrived at destination.

The omissions with which the report of the US commission is interlarded just failed to work. Because of  a technical error. Just get a copy of the pdf format of the document from the website of the command of the multinational forces in Iraq, copy the text and paste it into a normal word-procesing program. Or, change the background color of the pdf and choose white for the text color. Three movements of the mouse and all the secrets fall right out.

And what do the obscured parts of the document reveal that we didn’t know before:

The man who opened fire on the Toyota is Mario Lozano, member of the NY national guard. He was one of the three “specialists” of the check point. The others, all of them of the 69th infantry regiment are a captain and four sergeants.

Drew calculated the velocity of the car and said that it was elevated, so much so that it wouldn’t be able to make the curve. Lozano threw down the mirror which he held and began firing at the car.  

But there’s also much more crucial information which exposes the truth of what really happened that night of April 4th, information which was never exchanged with the Italian members of the so-called “joint” commission.

One of the most important passages regards the communications problems which the Americans experienced that night, intolerable above all in such a delicate moment as that one, with the movements of Negroponte. The report states that communications usually take place through the Voice over Internet Protocol, but that that night there were problems. The commander of the 76th company who coordinated the movements  of the  US ambassador was not able to communicate those movements to the command of the Fourth brigade. Nor did he attempt to do so by radio.

Now pay careful attention here, folks, and repeat after me:

The result was that the order to dismantle the improvised check points, like the one established near the airport never arrived. For this reason the men at the check point of the 69th company remained in a state of total alert.

In other words, had the communications system functioned properly OR had the commander of the 76th company who was responsible for coordinating the movements of Negroponte bothered to try to radio in the orders, this incident would have been avoided and Nicola Calipari would still be alive today.

Therefore, it seems probable that there was no assasination attempt on the one hand, and no carelessness on the part of Nicola Calipari and the other Sismi agents, no reckless driving or other irresponsible conduct on the part of the driver on the other. What we have is simply absolute negligence and reckless disregard for human life which resulted in miscommunication on the American side.


There are also recommendations to improve the procedures of control at the check points in order to avoid a repition of episodes similar to that of Calipari. Among these: take in consideration the use of “ulterior non lethal measures”; do not leave to the same man who is the guardian with the spotlight of recognition the responsibility of opening fire. A sort of recognition of responsibiity or, in any case, an admission that something more could have been done to avoid that tragic death.

Meanhwhile, according to Il Manifesto, the mutual hostility between the CIA and the Pentagon on one side and the agents of SISMI and the Italian governement on the other continue to escalate.

Sources inside the Italian intelligence services explain that they recieved with “shock” the revelations about satellite images of the incident that are allegedly in the possesion of the Pentagon that were reported on CBS. “If these reports were true, it means that evidence fundmantal to the investigation was denied to the joint commision by the Pentago.” “That which strikes one is the scarse consideration of the anomymous origins of the the reports, the underestimation of the consideration that, if there were true, it would mean the substraction of information from an the commision’s investigation.” The subtext is clear: the Italian governement has proof not only that the two Italians on the commision explicity asked for satellite images of the shooting. But that it also has evidence that the US had signed documnts attesting to the fact that no such images existed and that for this reason they coulnìt be ut as the diposition of the Italians.

While Berlusconi continues to maintain the charade of humble Bush sock puppet, unrest and dissatifation with Italy’s war-footing in Iraq is finally beggining to take hold on one member of the right, at least. Roberto Calderoli, minister of riform,  said today, “In the light of the dissonances which emerged in the joiint commision…it’s time for the majority and the governement to undertake a detailed and attentive reflection on the time for withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Well, let’s hope there not playing games this time!!

Well, let’s hope there not playing games this time.

Here’s the report itself without the omissions, so you don’t have to go through the process decsribed above. Here’s the report with the omissions. Compare and contrast. LOL!!! Why so much secrecy, sarge?

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