Saturday, March 19, 2005

Sgrena and what you have to believe

The Pentagon is investigating itself again, this time on the Sgrena attempted assassination, and, as always, will find itself to be all good. In order for the rest of us to accept the checkpoint accident theory, however, we would have to accept the following:

  1. that Sgrena and the surviving Italian secret service agents in the car managed to agree on a consistent package of lies in the moments between the shooting and the arrival of the Americans at the car;

  2. that the consistent stories of the Italians, who had no reason to lie, were lies, and the story of the Pentagon, which had a big reason to lie, was the truth;

  3. that the car in which the Italians were travelling was subject to a barrage of American fire by panicking American soldiers but suffered only minimal strategic hits (click on the row of pictures to see the car), with the main one to Nicola Calipari, as he threw himself in front of Sgrena;

  4. that the Americans were unaware of the nature of the car despite the fact that the car had already passed through American checkpoints, despite the fact that Italian authorities insist the Americans were notified, and despite the fact that it would just be common sense for an secret service agent of an American ally with a valuable cargo to notify the Americans that he was delivering the cargo to the airport (although he may have failed to explain the full nature of his passenger for fear [or here] of another American assassination of a journalist);

  5. that the checkpoint - which was just around a blind corner so that an unsuspecting driver, even driving slowly, would come upon it quickly - just happened to be set up at the last possible point the Italian car would be passing before Sgrena was on an airplane for Italy, where she would be free to tell her tales of Falluja;

  6. that John Negroponte, who couldn't take the usual helicopter because of a storm, decided to take a car ride through the extemely dangerous streets of Baghdad in order to attend a meeting at Baghdad airport, rather than cancel or postpone the meeting; and

  7. that of all the American soldiers in Baghdad available to shoot at Sgrena's car, the ones at ther airport just happened to be John Negroponte's bodyguards, lingering at a 'temporary' checkpoint long after his car had passed.

If you're ready to believe all that, I'd advise you to go out and buy a lottery ticket right now, as this must be your lucky day. The Italians, immediately on finishing their preliminary investigation, rather pointedly announced the withdrawal of Italian troops from Iraq, so we know what they think. This withdrawal, since rescinded by Berlusconi under direct pressure from Bush, is the best indication of the truth. Berlusconi is desperate to remain Bush's poodle, and is willing to piss on the grave of Nicola Calipari in order to stay in the doghouse. John Negroponte, stone-cold killer, is leaving Iraq to take up his new post as Bush's new national intelligence director. Americans, not to mention everybody else, should be very afraid.