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:
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.