OpinionMeister

Monday, March 07, 2005

Why Didn't US Forces Know of Journalist's Car

The Washington Times reports that it appears that Italian authorities chose to not inform the US of the negotiated release of the Italian hostage, and her being driven to a waiting airplane. Link.
Italian agents likely withheld information from U.S. counterparts about a cash-for-freedom deal with gunmen holding an Italian hostage for fear that Americans might block the trade, Italian news reports said yesterday.
The decision by operatives of Italy's SISMI military intelligence service to keep the CIA in the dark about the deal for the release of reporter Giuliana Sgrena, might have "short-circuited" communications with U.S. forces controlling the road from Baghdad to the city's airport, the newspaper La Stampa said.

That would help explain why American troops opened fire on a car whisking the released hostage to a waiting airplane, wounding Miss Sgrena and killing the Italian intelligence operative who had just negotiated her release.

They probably were right that the US would have opposed the paying of a reported $6 million for her release. That money is now available to the terrorists for buying more arms and otherwise financing their activities. It also just about guarantees that they will kidnap additional journalists, especially Italian journalists, which pays the best.

This also may explain why the driver did not slow down when told to by the soldiers. He probably thought that all had been arranged with the Americans for his car to proceed with all due haste to the airport. When intelligence services play cute games, people can die.

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