Talk:Giuliana Sgrena

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Time and date[edit]

We need to get the times and dates right: UTC, Baghdad time, U.S. East/West Coast time, Rome time ... . -- Toytoy 03:04, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

It wasn't Calderoli who said that...[edit]

80.202.223.175, in [1] Do you happen to know who made this statement then ? This information (citing Calderoli) was on Le Monde, which usually don't say things without some care, so if you know better I'll trust you of course, but if you just edited it because it sounded too much like Pier Scolari, it might have been actually correct initially. Rama 15:10, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think the part about "it was not fate that killed" was said by Piero Fassino, answering Gianfranco Fini's early comment that this was a "tragic fatality". Calderoli stated that the event "proved the necessity of enforcing democracy in that area", in other words he did not criticize the Americans. However I can't be sure of any, so I did not edit this part, just removed what I was sure was wrong. Orzetto 17:46, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Oh, OK; I think that I put it back into the article while organising the various declarations of Italian personalities, so perhaps you might want to give it another edit -- obviously better you do it than me, my Italian is not fluent. Thanks very much ! Rama 17:56, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

400 Shots and Assassination[edit]

Is it me or is this just a bit too much to believe.

First of all, how is it that the troops at the checkpoint fired 400 rounds and only one person died? It seems a bit far fetched to me. 400 rounds would have the car a piece of swiss cheese and killed everyone inside. Secondly, if this really was an "assassination" attempt, why were the wounded, including Sgrena medevaced by chopper to a field hospital and treated?

This does not sound like much of an assassination attempt and I find it a bit ludicrous that this bullshit is getting so much space. TDC 20:47, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

400 is the number that the people shot on reported, I suppose they were busy doing other things than counting the bullets. However, there was a picture on the website of newspaper La Repubblica, that I cannot find anymore, and the car looked really like swiss cheese. Quite impressive that anybody came out alive. However, I'm not sure it was that car, but pictures will probably be available soon as the car is already in Italian custody. Orzetto 17:46, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Also interesting that Sgrena keep repeating that tey were not speeding and were driving very slowly, but then says this:

The car kept on the road, going under an underpass full of puddles and almost losing control to avoid them. We all incredibly laughed. It was liberating. Losing control of the car in a street full of water in Baghdad and maybe wind up in a bad car accident after all I had been through would really be a tale I would not be able to tell.

Tell me, how does and experienced driver almost lose control if he is not driving fast? TDC 03:27, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)

Simply, they drive fast when running away from the kidnappers, and when approaching the airport, given all the security measures, they slow down. Reasonable behaviour I say. Orzetto 17:46, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
One significant group of people is saying the car was going fast, another significant group of people is saying the car went slow. IMO the article should describe what both groups are saying with attributions where necessary. It should not state whether the car was actually going fast or slow; that's not Wikipedia's place. Bryan 05:30, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
As I understood it, the roads to which they refer are not necesserly the same, and 40 km/h is a rather high speed if you have to avoid an unexpected obstacle. In any case, we certainly want to leave the investigation to the experts who have both access to material evidences, and the specific knowledge to sort the matter out. Rama 08:12, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
As I understand it they are the same roads. The scene I quoted above came directly before Sgrena's descrition of the initial moments of the attack. No one drives Baghdad’s airport road slowly. It has been a shooting gallery for terrorists since shortly after the invasion. At night time traffic in Baghdad is pretty tame and there would have been no reason for them to drive slowly, especially with an experienced driver at the wheel. Where did the 40kph come from? I find it hard to believe that they would be getting thrown around like Sgrena claimed they were if they were only traveling at 40kph.
Anyone else find it interesting that Sgrena claims they took fire from a tank? Even if it was not a “tank” and just an IFV, ever see what 30mm cannon rounds will do to a car? Even if it was just the 50, ever see what a 50 will do to a car? TDC 14:07, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)
I have not heard "tank" (carro armato) in the Italian news yet, maybe you saw a bad translation of blindato, i.e. armoured vehicle. A Hummer is definitely a huge vehicle for European eyes and might be called that. Orzetto 17:46, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Just to play with the conjecture, you could very well imagine an armoured car receiving fire from a 12 or 14mm machine gun... but more likely, just incompetant gun servants explain it all rather well. But again, worthless conjectures. Rama 15:19, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, as long as we are conjecturing ……. armored cars (I would assume you mean a passenger car that is armored) are fine and dandy for protection against rifle, pistol, assault rifle, small concussive, and fragmentation damage, but offer little to no protection against .50 caliber or larger, and there is no indication that the Sgrena’s car was armored at all. Secondly, as to your “incompetent gun servant” comment, if it had been an AFV’s cannon firing at Sgrena’s car it would not miss as it can automatically track and correct for targets much smaller, faster and at greater ranges, and if it had been “incompetent gun servant” firing rifles or machine guns, it would be good of me to inform you that the 10th Mountain is one of the most highly trained, professional, and effective units the US Army fields (as those schmucks the Taliban discovered), and would have turned the car and its occupants into Swiss cheese if they had fired 300-400 rounds into it.
And as long as we are conjecturing, in the event that the barrage of gunfire managed not to kill its intended target, those dastardly “incompetent gun servants” could just have easily finished our “heroine” off execution style, instead of calling for a medivac chopper.
But again, as you previously pointed out, worthless conjectures.
Thankfully, I do not need to speculate on this subject, as I already know with a high level of certainty what happened, and it is not as sexy or as shocking as our “heroine” lil miss Sgrena or her comrades down at Il Manifesto would have us believe.
Something that could end this conjecture would be a picture of the car. TDC 15:50, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)
I was actually more thinking about someone who would have tried to stop the car by firing around it and into the motor, and whose fire would also have hit the passager section. This would also match some declarations of the U.S. Army. Rama 16:28, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
So perhaps you could find a picture or some other such hard evidence, if you wish to back your certainty up? Until then all we can do is report what various prominent people have claimed or speculated, since that's all we've got to go on. Bryan 16:36, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, when they release some more information, specifically on the car, I will be happy to put it up, but currently no information is available. Unfortunately this entire article is comprised of so much speculation that it is beginning to look more and more like something Giuliana Sgrena would write for her commie rag “Il Manifesto”.
I suppose the point I am trying to make is that in general and specifically with this article, Wiki users are so quick to rush to judgment on a situation that the initial article looks like complete horse shit, made up of 100% speculatory information and no hard facts, and in several weeks time will bear no similarities with the future article.
Perhaps if this is all we have to go on, we should wait to contribute anything at all (what a novel idea)!
My own personal belief is that this was all a matter of poor communication coupled with poor information. The fact that the Italian government failed to inform the US of the timetable or existence of this operation put it in great danger in the first place. The fact that although there exist many fixed checkpoints, there also exist many more transient checkpoints so as to not allow insurgents and terrorists the ability to plan around them. Some are set up and removed within a matter of 12 hours. The driver had no idea he was speeding to a checkpoint, reinforced by his belief that it was a patrol that fired at the car, because the Italians would have never found this information out unless their itinerary for the operation was never released to the US. The American soldiers had no idea that a hostage rescue was underway, or to be on the lookout for the Italian agents, so they reacted the way they always react when in a similar situation: warning, shoot to disable, shoot to kill (I suspect a photo of the car would tell us a great deal more about the situation). It was a tragic accident caused by poor planning. TDC 17:28, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure that it is not interesting to be able to write the article while the information is leaking; we now have access to all declarations of everybody (which might be hard to find in a few weeks), and also a picture of the way the information is coming through, which is quite interesting in itself. And for what I see, there are not so much conjectures in the article itself, apart from those made by the parties involved, and I see them appropriately quoted. Rama 18:05, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)


well, we have a picture

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/050308/481/rom17003082010

TDC 23:52, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)

Speculations[edit]

There are speculations that she knew too much about "illegal" activities by US forces and was targeted for assasination. URL: http://www.peakoil.com/fortopic5576.html

"Illegal" activities may include the use of

  • napalm

"I lived in an enclave in which I had no more certainties. I found myself profoundly weak. I failed in my certainties; I said that we had to tell about that dirty war. And I found myself in the alternative either to stay in the hotel and wait or to end up kidnapped because of my work. We don't want anyone else anymore. The kidnappers would tell me. But I wanted to tell about the bloodbath in Fallujah from the words of the refugees." 'My truth' By Giuliana Sgrena

The activities may not be illegal, so I put them in quotations 203.47.84.40 23:53, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You could write "activities by US forces considered illegal under international law" if you wanted to add something like this to the article (I think it should be added, but reworded to be more neutral, "knew too much" is a POVish.). The law being the United Nations Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects . [2] The US is not a state party to the Convention and as such is neither legally bound via international law or domestic law. --Ben 20:28, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Boy, now that she's escaped the dastardly assassination attempt by those evil American soldiers, I hope she can share that information they were going to kill her for. Really. I'm all a-tingle with anticipation. Can't wait. grendel|khan 14:06, 2005 May 1 (UTC)
Some papers in Europe are claiming that Italian version of the story also have some wholes "In this context, it does not seem too unlikely that the US military command might have been kept - at least partly - in the dark, according to Italian commentators." [3]

Birthplace[edit]

Do we have a birthplace or an ethnicity? "Sgrena" doesn't strike me as a particularly Italian name, but of course I could be wrong. I'm just curious, that's all. --Golbez 08:24, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

"Sgrena" /zgre'na/ is a perfectly normal Italian name, she is from Masera, in the province of Verbania, region Piedmont of northwestern Italy. Not that far from where I used to live either. Furthermore, people in northern Italy can have German surnames as a legacy of Austro-Hungaric domination or Walser descent (Vittorio Gassman, Dario Hübner, the Falck family...), so this is definitely normal. Orzetto 14:28, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thanks! --Golbez 18:28, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)
besides I see that you're American, so I presume that you know Italian names from Italian-American names but while, for example, many people from Veneto, my region, emigrated to South America (Brasil, Argentina, Uruguay), most Italian-Americans came from regions in southern Italy, so their names are not fully representatives. Check this page: http://gens.labo.net/it/cognomi/genera.html?cognome=SGRENA&t=cognomi
Also consider that in '50 and '60 there was a strong internal emigration, so there are many southern names in north-western regions, at that time the most industrialized.

fannal[edit]

What's a fannal? 66.60.159.190 20:14, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

probably "projector", badly translated. Feel free to change if it's not a direct quotation of an English-speaking personality (which it seems not to be...) Rama 20:25, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Contradictions in the present wording[edit]

The current article says that the Italians are claiming that more than 300 shots were fired, but only one hit the man who was killed, and further down it says "The identity of the soldier who fired remains unknown.". Are we to believe that only one soldier fired 300 to 400 rounds, and that, of the 300 to 400 rounds, only one hit the man who was killed? 66.60.159.190 20:16, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

the sentence "The identity of the soldier who fired remains unknown." seems to be less precise than the others. Yet, Fini, after hearing the testimony of the surviving agent, said that the shooting had lasted between 12 and 15 seconds (you can easily send hundreds of bullets in the air in such a time); also, I read somewhere that about a dozen impacts were on the car. It's highly probable that most of the firing was supposed to be warning shots, but I'll leave the conjectures to the experts who have the evidences and knowledge... Rama 20:23, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The photo of the car, at least from the one angle, doesn't show that there were that many rounds which hit the car. RickK 22:02, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

For what I have read, the car bears a dozen impacts. If this is the car, they are only visible from the other side (with makes this photograph moderatly informative, I hope that most illustrative ones will be available) Rama 22:27, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Sgrena vs the Tank[edit]

We were on our way to the airport, and we thought we were finally safe, because the area where we were was under the control of the United States. We therefore thought we had escaped the gravest area and entered into a more friendly area, although I was still nervous as my hostage takers had warned me to be careful, because it was the Americans who did not want me to be free and returned to Italy alive. I just took that as a last threat from my hostage takers and did not really take it seriously. But then suddenly we found ourselves under an immense amount of bullets, something terrible, without any warning, and we realized that nearby there was an American tank which was shooting at us.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/07/1449232

Boom Chaka Laka! TDC 20:28, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

There is a "GIULIANA SGRENA: [Translated from Italian]" on top of that, mind you. And Sgrena nowhere says "small arms and tank ammunition"; this wording is a little bit problematic, because it sounds like Sgrena said that munitions of the main weapon of a first rank battle tank (105 or 120 mm shells, typically) were shot, which I have not seen quoted anywhere. There was some progress on the "400 rounds", but I think that the "tank" quotation might have to be taken carefully, and I really think that the "small arms and tank ammunition" is very misleading and inaccurate. Rama 20:35, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
UPDATE: Oh, I see that we share that last opinion. Thanks for the rewording ! Rama 20:39, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hey, I will grant you that there has to be a better way to say this, but it still has to be said. Also, all US MBT’s in Iraq fire 120’s. She did say she saw a tank firing at her vehicle. I realize that this is ridiculous, especially when one sees the damage to the car, but she still said it. TDC 20:47, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)
If she really said it (which is tricky to say for certain because of the translation), we cannot know for certain what she exactly meant by "tank" (in an imprecise wording, it could mean any armoured caterpillared vehicle...); at least she didn't say "a M1A1 Abrahams main battle tank". Also, though I'd intuitively expect a smaller vehicle (in the range of a Warrior, perhaps...) to be used, I haven't seen any comment about the exact type of vehicle; main battle tanks have co-axial machine guns and anti-aircraft machine guns, after all... Rama 20:56, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The checkpoints on this particular strip of road, more commonly referred to as “Route Irish”, are manned by everything from Hummers mounted with an M40 and or M2, to LAV’s, Bradleys, and Abrams. Pretty much anything that is available and can withstand an RPG round or large concussion, will be found at the checkpoints. The coax on the Bradley, LAV and the Abrams is the M240, or .30 caliber machine gun (not to be confused with assault rifle). Although you would expect a smaller vehicle, larger vehicles are more often chosen for intimidation and the fact that it takes quite a bit to nock out a MBT. Either way though, any weapon (the coax, the mounted 50 or the main gun) would rip an automobile to pieces. TDC 21:28, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)
That's more or less true of 5,56mm assault rifles. Let us not forget that, in spite of all the odds, we know for certainty that the vehicle was fired upon. Also, only a dozen projectiles actually did hit the car, for what I have seen. The pattern of firing (a majority of projectiles hitting the road, in comformity with the statements of the U.S. soldiers that they wanted to stop the car) and a few of them hitting it, could be consistant with a manual weapon whose servant made a mistake (or, of course, with people faking this, but that's going a little bit far, in my opinion). Rama 22:24, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"US forces confiscated cell and satellite phones from the car's occupants in the immediate aftermath of the shooting."[edit]

Can this allegation be substantiated? RickK 07:48, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

If you mean whether references can be found, there is one in The Observer, for instance (though I have seen this in numerous places). Our article on Wikinews also mentions this, they probably have references as well (I find it difficult to reach Wikinews at the moment). Rama 08:52, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Doornbos quotation[edit]

It seems the quotation by Doornbos as of current version might be a misrepresentation, here is what he actually said, according to [4]:

'You don't understand the situation. We are anti-imperialists, anti-capitalists, communists,' they said. The Iraqis only kidnap American sympathizers, the enemies of the Americans have nothing to fear. (he is referring to a group of people he was talking to, not anyone specifically)

Not sure how close this version is to the original (supposedly published in Dutch Dagblad). Comments are welcome. --213.54.198.54 17:28, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Going to remove it now, someone put it on disinfopedia or whatever. --213.54.221.188 12:28, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand... doesn't the link which is refered to rather confirm the story ? Rama 12:47, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Not in my reading. As long as there´s no original source which says it was her who said it I´m afraid we can´t put it in the article. I might add that I do find it an interesting story but then you would have to really quote (Doornbos) in context, which would quickly become too cumbersome for the article. --213.54.221.188 13:02, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
And what exactly would an original source be? We have a translation in which Doornbos is very explicit about who he was talking to? We could link the original in Dutch. TDC 03:02, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
Original would be the Dagblad article, unfortunately it is by registration only. You say he is "very explicit" - just read the above: he isn´t explicit at all. It doesn´t really help that the quote has been (deliberately?) changed to match your version. Even so, either get the wording right and link the source or scrap. --213.54.220.77 12:07, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC) -> link is dead, use this link instead. --213.54.209.191 07:26, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I still do not understand where in [5] lies a doubt that Sgrena said something at least very similar to the quotation (or paraphrase) meantioned in this article. The newspaper article says :
'The Americans are the biggest enemies of mankind,' the three women behind me had told me, for Sgrena travelled to Iraq with two Italian colleagues who hated the Americans as well.
(Doornbos goes on to explain how the women demeaned him for travelling as an embedded reporter with the US military, for security reasons. They didn't want to hear about any safety concerns.)
'You don't understand the situation. We are anti-imperialists, anti-capitalists, communists,' they said. The Iraqis only kidnap American sympathizers, the enemies of the Americans have nothing to fear.
from there, it seems that the "they" refers to "the three women behind me had told me, for Sgrena travelled to Iraq with two Italian colleagues who hated the Americans as well" (so Sgrena herself would be included in the "they").
I don't mean to presume of the exactitude of this newspaper article, but for now, I still have to see clues that Sgrena did not say this. Rama 21:58, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I guess it´s not about what we think or would like to think, but about what we can represent as given and what we can´t. Which here means we will have to go by the sources we have. --213.54.212.4 12:53, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This quote needs to go. The link does not work and it's not verifable. Pull the quote. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.97.145.2 (talk) 18:10, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Logic problems[edit]

I think there is a problem in this sentence. "Fini asserted that photographs taken of the car established that it was shot at from the front (or into the engine block) as one would expect if it was approaching a checkpoint, but rather that it was shot at from the right side, with the bullets entering through that side." Was it supposed to be like this

Fini asserted that photographs taken of the car established that it was NOT shot at from the front (or into the engine block) as one would expect if it was approaching a checkpoint, but rather that it was shot at from the right side, with the bullets entering through that side.

uncensored report available[edit]

This article may help expand the article, as it highlights the US side of the story, without those goggles. [6] or [7]


US report officially rejected by italian government[edit]

Italian government published a report [8] (pdf, in italian) that disputes conlusions of US report and many speculations and news published in these days; for examples, it denies the existence of satellite pictures, and it affirms that there are discordances on the car speed between us soldiers. also, it blames that scene of the killing has been altered before the investigations. I'll check for a english translation. GhePeU 21:43, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

US Army's forensic examination[edit]

  • (U) A forensic examination of the car was performed after its removal from the scene. This analysis disclosed 11 entrance bullet holes. They are consistent with 7.62 mm bullets. Three bullets perforated the front section of the car at the bumper, right head light, and right fender. Two bullets perforated the windshield. Six bullets perforated the right side, right door, right front and rear passenger windows. No bullet holes or ricochet damage was noted on the car’s undercarriage. (Annex 1I).
  • (U) The trajectory analysis demonstrated that all 11 bullets came from one point of origin. The actual distance from the car to the machine gun could not be conclusively determined because of several variables: the grade of the curve and curvature of the roadway; depressions or elevations of the terrain; the lateral movement of the car; human reaction time, modulation of speed and braking by the driver; a flat tire; and lateral and vertical movement of the machine gun. The security situation at the incident site prevented examiners from visiting the scene. (Annex 1I).

If the car was traveling towards a stationary vehicle along a curving road, i.e. not parked in parallel vector of the car's movement, then you would not expect all the shots to have gone through the dead front of the vehicle. There is not evidence that the car was shot from the side, the rear side, or the rear. TDC 21:54, May 2, 2005 (UTC)

I would also add the part about the "crime scene disturbance":

  • (U) Ideally, the scene of the incident would have been preserved as it existed immediately after the shooting was over and the car had stopped. Doing so would have allowed the initial investigators to get precise measurements on the distances and locations of the significant objects involved in the event. An initial on-site investigation was conducted, but a number of circumstances that occurred on the site prevented the incident site from being treated as a sterile site. Both HMMWVs involved in the blocking position were moved to transport Ms. Sgrena to the Combat Support Hospital in the International Zone. Further, the scene was not deemed to be a crime scene, and efforts were made to clear the roadway. As a result, the car was moved from its position, per the unit’s Standing Operating Procedure on Consequence Management, before a location using a global positioning system could be obtained. At the direction of the Commander, 2d Brigade, 10th Mountain Division the car was placed back in the position that was thought to be its actual stopping point based on eyewitness testimony and digital photographs taken of the car before its initial removal from the scene.

This shows that there are no accusations of tempering with the scene in the US Army report (it says nothing about other sources). Rama 22:14, 2 May 2005 (UTC)


Injuries[edit]

Would be nice to have some info on her injuries which were quite severe, if anyone has this information please write something about it.


Knowledge of Enzo Baldoni's case[edit]

I register that TDC seems not to agree that Sgrena had knowledge of Enzo Baldoni's death at the hands of terrorists. I personally thought it obvious. Coverage of Baldoni's death was extensive in Italy, as he was the first Italian civilian to be killed by the insurgents (the Carabinieri in Nassirya were just that, military, and Fabrizio Quattrocchi was a security guard, in Iraq illegally BTW, so some looked at him with mixed feelings). The friendly neighbourhood google search tells me there are thousands of articles about Baldoni's death. How a left-wing journalist leaving for Iraq could ignore Baldoni's fate is beyond me. --Orzetto 18:52, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Its not a question of whether or not it is obvious, but it is speculative and cannot be sourced. TDC 21:15, September 9, 2005 (UTC)
"Non basta più essere francesi - per la posizione della Francia verso la guerra e l'occupazione - per avere un trattamento diverso. Del resto, quando si spaccia un intervento militare per «missione di pace» (come ha fatto il governo italiano), non si può pretendere che dall'altra parte si facciano distinzioni sottili. E purtroppo in questa spirale perversa Enzo Baldoni ha pagato di persona."[9]
Quick-and-dirty translation: "Being French - despite France's attitude against war and occupation - is not enough to gain a different treatment [the article is about the kidnapping of French journalist Florence Aubenas]. Moreover, when you pass off a military intervention as a «peace mission» (as the Italian government did), you can't expect that the other side makes subtle distinctions. And Enzo Baldoni paid in person a high price in this wicked spiral." GhePeU 21:27, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

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