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The Killing of Nicola Calipari and U.S. Military Deception


Late Friday evening, March 4th, 2005, news reports began circulating concerning the death in Iraq of an Italian secret service agent and the wounding of the hostage whose release he had just help secure. It transpired that the vehicle, in which they were travelling, en route to Baghdad Airport, came under fire from a platoon of U.S. soldiers (...) Almost three months later, Major General Calipari’s death and the wounding of Ms Sgrena and Major Carpani are the few concrete facts of the attack. The U.S. military insists that this was an 'unfortunate incident’, the result, they argue, of the driver approaching a road-block with reckless speed, causing the platoon’s machine-gunner to take defensive action (...) These are grounds for subjecting the U.S. Report to a comprehensive and systematic critique. This is my aim in this document...

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The Killing of Nicola Calipari and U.S. Military Deception

Dr. Richard Marsden, The Business of Emotions

June 09, 2005

Background

Late Friday evening, March 4th, 2005, news reports began circulating concerning the death in Iraq of an Italian secret service agent and the wounding of the hostage whose release he had just help secure.

It transpired that the vehicle, in which they were travelling, en route to Baghdad Airport, came under fire from a platoon of U.S. soldiers.

Major General Nicola Calipari, International Operations Chief of Italy’s military intelligence service (SISML), was shot in the head and killed. Guiliana Sgrena, a journalist just released by her kidnappers, was seriously wounded in her left shoulder and lung. The driver, Major Andrea Carpani, also an officer of the Italian secret service, was wounded in his left arm.

Almost three months later, Major General Calipari’s death and the wounding of Ms Sgrena and Major Carpani are the few concrete facts of the attack.

The U.S. military insists that this was an 'unfortunate incident’, the result, they argue, of the driver approaching a road-block with reckless speed, causing the platoon’s machine-gunner to take defensive action.

This cut no ice in Italy where the attack brought forth an emotional wave of opposition towards the Bush administration and against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who, in defiance of public opinion, had committed Italian troops in support of the Anglo-American occupation of Iraq.

Ms Segrena spoke of how Major General Calipari shielded her from the bullets with his body. He returned home a hero. His body arrived at Rome’s Ciampino airport, in a C-130 military plane. His casket was draped in an Italian flag and was carried by a guard of honour.

The entire country seemed to mourn his death. His body lay in state at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where visitors paid their respects. Major General Calipari was honoured with a state funeral, Monday, March 7th, and buried 'a heroic servant of the Republic’, in the words of Prime Minister Berlusconi.

Immediately following the attack, Major General William G. Webster Jr., the Commanding General of the 3rd Infantry Division, began a preliminary inquiry into the incident. This was completed by Monday, March 7th.

On that basis, LTG John R. Vines, Commander, Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I) decided to conduct a more extensive inquiry, called a '15/6’ after the Army regulation that authorizes it. The commission of enquiry was to have two Italian participants.

Army Brigadier-General Peter Vangjel, the 18th Airborne Corps Artillery Commander, was chosen to head this commission of enquiry.

The Commission’s Report was published Friday April 29th. It found no fault with the soldiers and recommended that non be disciplined. It placed responsibility for the incident on the driver and the Italian authorities’ alleged failure to inform the U.S. about the recovery of the hostage.

The two Italian participants could not agree with its findings and so the Italians wrote their own, dissenting (52 page) Report, which was published, by the Italian intelligence services, on Monday May 2nd, 2005.

The Italian Report attributes the cause of the incident to soldier fatigue, lack of training and inexperience in setting up the roadblock. It accepts, however, the Americans’ contention that this attack was not an ambush. It also says that the immediate removal of the vehicles involved, and the destruction of the U.S. soldiers’ duty logs, made 'objective conclusions’ impossible.

Meanwhile Italian authorities are also conducting a criminal investigation of the incident.

That is pretty much how things stand at the moment (June 9th, 2005).

Three months later, why does any of this matter?

It matters because there is too much casual slaughter in Iraq and when we have the chance to investigate even one death we should seize it in the name of all. Nicola Calipari was, by all accounts, a decent, kind and humble person, and his death, like all such deaths, must be morally accounted for.

It matters because there are reasonable grounds for believing that Major General Calipari intercepted a bullet aimed at the head of Ms Segrena, a journalist who had reported on Iraq and was believed to have incriminating evidence of U.S. atrocities in Iraq. If this proves to be so, then this case is about the right to have independent witnesses in war zones, especially to monitor the actions of those who wage war in our name.

It matters because the U.S. Report into the attack continues to define the terms within which the 'incident’ is understood. Even those who disagree and profess scepticism, do so within the framework of the Report. It defines that over which we disagree. Even the Italian Report accepts much of the American account as true and differs principally in its interpretation and recommendations.

These are grounds for subjecting the U.S. Report to a comprehensive and systematic critique. This is my aim in this document. It is best read alongside the U.S. Report.

It begins with the Report’s terms of reference and literary characteristics. Then the key elements of its explanation—the military units and soldiers—are identified.

On this basis, the Report’s account of the events of that evening is reconstructed. I strip the Report of its rhetorical devices, to reveal the bare bones of its explanation of this attack, so that we may see and evaluate them more clearly.

I conclude that the Report is a work of military deception that aims to conceal a botched assassination as a road-block accident. On this basis, I reveal what really happened to those Italians that Friday evening in March.

This document consists of these sections:

1. The Report: A Description
2. The Sequence of Events
3. The Report: A Critique
4. The Italian 'Incident’ as Military Deception
5. What Really Happened

The entire document 'The Killing of Nicoloa Calipari and U.S. Military Deception' is available here:

Download the_killing_of_nicola_calipari.doc (Word):
http://businessofemotions.typepad.com/drrm/files/the_killing
_of_nicola_calipari.doc


Download the_killing_of_nicola_calipari.pdf (PDF):
http://businessofemotions.typepad.com/drrm/files/the_killing
_of_nicola_calipari.pdf


Related Links

The U.S. Report: censored: http://www.corriere.it/Media/Documenti/Classified.pdf
and uncensored: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2005/1
5-6_calipari-sgrena.htm

All my references are to the uncensored Report. Unless otherwise stated, all page references are to the Report.
An alternate site for the uncensored Report: >i>Soldiers for the Truth:
http://sftt.us/FTR05022005a.html

Courtesy of Dr. Richard Marsden


:: Article nr. 12454 sent on 11-jun-2005 01:56 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=12454

Link: businessofemotions.typepad.com/drrm/political_emotions/index.html



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