More on Sgrena Giuliana

From Danny Schechter, “the News Dissector”.  I don’t generally post such long quotes, however this is absolutely worth reading.

I kept thinking of Giuliana last night. I didn’t sleep well. The Italian journalist had finally been freed with the help of her government after literally MILLIONS of Italians expressed solidarity and demanded her release with written appeals and marches in the streets.

During my recent visit to Rome, I was struck by how people of every political background–from Berlusconi to his harshest critics–had shared this sentiment and pushed for the release of one of THEIR journalists even as she worked for a left-wing newspaper and opposed the war. Their media mattered to them as did their national pride in her courage and tenacity.

And then, finally, and amazingly, a government agent negotiated her release. Would the Bush Administration have negotiated anything similar if it had been an American? I doubt it. Here, you probably would have had some bloggers blaming her for being kidnapped, if not assassinating her character if the kidnappers didn’t kill her.

From a comment: 

“What you may not have heard is that the “Body guard/negotiator” killed just happened to be the head of the Italian Secret service in Iraq just not some thug dressed up like a bodyguard.

From the News Dissector listserv

Laura Flanders of Air America was on the air with a special correspondent in Rome last night who said Italy is on fire with concern from moments of silence at football games to thousands flocking into the street. 10,000 people passed by Rome’s Victor Emmanuel monument yesterday to pay respects to Mr Calipari, whose body lay in state. He says that the American military version of what happened is being criticized across the political spectrum.

Many are saying that there was military antipathy to Giuliana’s stories which reported in the use of napalm and prohibited weapons by US troops in Fallujah last November. At the time, no US outlets even reported on this. Last week, Dr ash-Shaykhli of Iraq’s Health Ministry confirmed that US troops used internationally banned weapons including mustard gas, nerve gas and other burning chemicals. Sounds like the kinds of prohibited weapons that Saddam was accused of having.