Italy’s Foreign Minister politely points to the fact that U.S. military authorities are liars.
Italy’s foreign minister said Tuesday that the car carrying an intelligence officer killed by U.S. fire in Iraq (news – web sites) last week was not speeding up and did not receive signals to stop, countering suggestions by American authorities.
Fini was the first Italian official to openly dispute the U.S. account, and his comments put fresh pressure on Washington to get to the bottom of the matter. President Bush (news – web sites) has promised a full investigation.
“The car was traveling at a velocity that couldn’t have been more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) per hour,” Fini said. There were no attempts to stop the car, as indicated by the U.S. military, he added.
Sgrena has said the shooting might have been intentional because the United States opposes Italy’s policy of negotiating with kidnappers. Fini dismissed that hypothesis as “groundless.”
“It was an accident,” he told lawmakers. “This does not prevent, in fact it makes it a duty for the government to demand that light be shed on the murky issues, that responsibilities be pinpointed, and, where found, that the culprits be punished.”
He said [martyred Italian hero Nicola] Calipari, an experienced officer who had negotiated the release of other hostages in Iraq in the past, “made all the necessary contacts with the U.S. authorities,” both with those in charge of airport security and with the forces patrolling areas next to the airport.
Who was driving this car? It is apparent that neither Sgrena nor the late Nicola Calipari was driving. Why haven’t we heard from the driver, certainly he could shed some light on how fast the car was traveling and whether or not there was a warning.