Do US Soldiers Need Better Weapons Training?

Italian communist Giuliana Sgrena claimed to have been specifically targeted by US troops, and had hundreds, perhaps thousands of rounds shot at her oncoming vehicle from a US checkpoint.  She even claims to have been shot at by a tank.  We mourn the loss of and the needless death of her translator, but must observe that, based on her story, US soldiers don't seem to be able to hit the broadside of a barn.  Courtesy of LGF, here's her car:

Sgrenacarap1lgclick to enlarge image

Note that the front end, which should have taken the brunt, looks almost pristine.  One hit in the windshield, one in the left-front tire, and one or more in the drivers side window.  More pictures here.  More too at Captains Quarters.

Further, Ms Sgrena

said her car was hit by 300 to 400 bullets from an armored vehicle. She said she
was picking up handfuls of spent rounds from the seats.

OK, maybe I was wrong.  If hundreds of rounds went into the car, they must have all gone through that same single hole on the windshield.  That's GREAT shooting.  So I guess what is really needed is better weapons penetration.  Its a pretty pathetic bullet from an armored vehicle that would enter a car and have so little energy left that it would just land on the seats in piles.

Look, here is some advice.  Take it from the CBS memo forgers.  If you are going to make something up, know your subject.  If you are going to forge a memo from a typewriter, make sure you know how typewriters worked.  And if you are going to exaggerate a story about military weapons, make sure you understand weapons.  Rounds entering the car would not build up in a pile on the seat so that she could scoop them up - they would have embedded in things.  And, if enough rounds were fired that they started building up on the seats, then no one would be alive to scoop them up. 

I have no doubt that this was a harrowing experience for all concerned, especially in the midst of their exhilaration at being released.  It was a tragedy that neither the drivers nor the Italian government knew enough about the rules of engagement on that road to recognize that speeding toward a checkpoint might be dangerous.  But it is also clear that Ms. Sgrena is exploiting the death of her comrade for personal and political gain, just as the Italian government is exploiting the incident to take attention away from the fact that they basically just established a bounty for kidnapping westerners.

 

  • http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/070580.php The Jawa Report

    Images of Sgrena's Car (Updated)

    UPDATE: Clearer images via AP (hat tip: House of Wheels) Italian television station Tg1 is running images of a car purported to be the one used by Giuliana Sgrena. If this is the car then it would contradict earlier reports...

  • http://luca9200.typepad.com Luca

    There's another side to this coin. The U.S. command claims that they waved at the car, then fired shots in the air, then fired shots in front of the car, and then finally fired directly at the car. The car was driven by an officer of the Italian military police with a lot of experience in Iraq, and the Italian secret service agent who died shielding Ms. Sgrena with his own body had already negotiated the release of other hostages in Iraq.

    Who broke the "rules of engagement" here? Were the two Italian officers crazy and suicidal, not stopping after so many warnings? Or is this a case of coverup of utter disregard for human life and lack of preparedness, with some U.S. kid in uniform getting a little over-excited?

    Accidents happen. People make mistakes - especially when under the pressure of risking their lives every day. But a coverup like this is stupid and insulting - for the people who died or got wounded, for our allies, for the citizens of this country.

  • http://www.lindasog.com/mt/archives/2005/03/seeing_is_belie.html Something... and Half of Something

    Seeing is Believing

    Below are the AP pictures of Giuliana Sgrena's car, the very same car that she claims was shot at "300 or 400 times." Jeepers! Three or four hundred shots by the elite and expert 3rd Infantry Division, and you have...

  • bsp

    Laurence Simon offers a proposed additional question for the driver’s licensing exam in Italy:

    You are approaching a checkpoint where there are armed troops waving flashlights and firing warning shots over your vehicle. You:

    a) Stop
    b) Speed up
    c) Immediately make a U-turn and head for the nearest cafe for expresso and gelato
    d) Crap your pants

    to which I add:

    e) Scream and waive like an Arab terrorist to further get the Americans’ attention
    f) Proceed upwind from checkpoint, throw up hands to surrender and wait for U.S. troops to pass out
    g) Surrender to anyone on road prior to hitting checkpoint, explaining that Italy has a fine tradition of surrendering in modern times commencing with Ethiopia in 1896
    h) Play “My Way” by Frank Sinatra on car horn as you approach
    i) Put on sunglasses to cut down the glare from the flashlights

    …..you are free to add to the list

  • http://www.lindasog.com/mt/archives/2005/03/seeing_is_belie_1.html Something... and Half of Something

    Seeing is Believing

    Below are the AP pictures of Giuliana Sgrena's car, the very same car that she claims was shot at "300 or 400 times." Jeepers! Three or four hundred shots by the elite and expert 3rd Infantry Division, and you have...

  • http://www.lindasog.com/mt/archives/2005/03/seeing_is_belie_1.html Something... and Half of Something

    Seeing is Believing

    March 9, 2005 Update: The Jawa Report Below are the AP pictures of Giuliana Sgrena's car, the very same car that she claims was shot at "300 or 400 times." Jeepers! Three or four hundred shots by the elite and...

  • http://www.lindasog.com/mt/archives/2005/03/seeing_is_belie_1.html Something... and Half of Something

    Seeing is Believing

    March 9, 2005 Update: The Jawa Report Below are the AP pictures of Giuliana Sgrena's car, the very same car that she claims was shot at "300 or 400 times." Jeepers! Three or four hundred shots by the elite and...

  • http://refernet.typepad.com/jdragon jdragon

    I heard they even used an apache on this commi. Some how, the hellfire missiles missed!!!

  • karl

    Might I dare suggest that Sgrena didn't really view her "rescuer" as a comrade. After all, he was a military intelligence officer, hardly someone that a proper Communist could consider a comrade. Certainly not! Clearly he was nothing more than a useful idiot, but then of course isn't that the case with all fellow travellers and those dumb enough to involve themselves in a multi-million dollar ransom? So spare me the crocodile tears please.