On Sunday a Greek student in Italy discovered that a “blacked-out” PDF document detailing the US Military’s investigation into the killing of an Italian intelligence agent could be “uncovered”. He told a few newspapers and before we knew it, the previously “classified” report was open for full viewing.
This was a technological Oops by some poor lacky in the Pentagon… but as they say, their loss, is our gain.
He posted links to download both documents.
I’ve downloaded both the original, blacked out version and the uncovered version. I will make them available to you.
The report is interesting not only because it details the incident, but also because it details the procedures and recent statistics in Iraq.
Not the least of which, right at the beginnning the report states that “The U.S. considers all of Iraq a combat zone“.
And goes on to state: “From 1 November 2004 to 12 March 2005 there were a total of 3306 attacks in the Baghdad area. Of these, 2400 were directed against Coalition Forces”
There are plenty of nuggets there for people to see.
As for the investigation. It’s clear the US Military is taking the angle that their soldiers did everything “by the book” and that they cannot be faulted, even if the gunner, who had only just come on duty, at the checkpoint did obviously “miss” the engine block by a fair amount and instead strafed the side of the car. Killing the agent and wounding Ms. Sgrena. If it were all truly “by the book” there should have been only bullets in the engine block and through the windshield at the driver. Yet the driver survived without any gunshot wounds.
To an extent, I agree that the soldiers did their best… but the Italians aren’t quite so diplomatic. Today, they released their own report.
Italy makes all necessary contacts with the US for safe passage
The driver stops immediately when a light flashes 10m away
At the same time, shots are fired into car for 10-15 seconds
I guess we’ll see what effect this has on Italy-US relations and whether it leads to the Italian people finally forcing their government to comply with their original wish… which was to Not participate in the Coalition.