Patterico Exposes Critical Errors in L.A Times Reporting

Patterico has the Los Angeles Times (free registration required) dead to rights in his expose on the March 4 shooting by U.S. soldiers of a car bearing Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena:

It is truly astounding that the paper’s editors now see fit to hide from their readers the fact that satellite footage proves the car was speeding. The paper in the past understood that this is a critical issue in the controversy. What possible justification is there for the suppression of proof resolving that issue?

Times editors? What do you have to say?

Read about it here.

Well, Times Editors?

Update #1

Michelle Malkin has a great revisit of the entire SGRENA AFFAIR. Read it here:

There have been several new developments in the probe of the Iraqi checkpoint shooting involving Italian anti-war Communist writer Giuliana Sgrena. On Saturday night, the U.S. military released its official investigative report of the incident (details of which were leaked earlier in the week). Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, the ground commander in Iraq, has approved a recommendation that soldiers who participated in the shooting not be disciplined. The Sunday New York Times reports:

According to the report, 11 bullets fired by one American soldier hit the Italians’ car, killing [Italian agent Nicola] Calipari, after the car failed to heed the warnings. The car was traveling about 50 miles per hour – faster than other cars that night – as it approached the checkpoint and did not slow until struck by the bullets, the report said.

The driver “was dealing with multiple distractions including talking on the phone while driving, the conversation in the back seat, trying to listen for threats, driving on a wet road, focusing on tasks to be accomplished, the need to get to the airport, and the excited and tense atmosphere in the car,” the report found. He shouted, “They are attacking us” into his phone when the firing began, the report said, adding that it was “highly unlikely” that any shots were fired after the car stopped. The fusillade lasted four seconds, it said.

The soldier who fired the shots complied with the military’s rules of engagement, the report concluded. “After operating the spotlight, and perceiving the oncoming vehicle as a threat, he fired to disable it and did not intend to harm anyone,” it said.

The timeline reconstructed by the U.S. military can be viewed here.

According to a CBS News report on Thursday, a US satellite reportedly recorded the Sgrena incident–and was used by investigators to reconstruct how fast her car was traveling when U.S. troops opened fire. CBS News reported that US investigators concluded from the recording that the car was traveling at a speed of more than 60 miles (96 km) per hour.

As noted by LGF, Captain Ed and others, the military satellite evidence torpedoes Sgrena’s claim that her car was going no faster than 30 miles an hour. (The Jawa Report, it should be noted, expresses some skepticism about CBS News’ reportage.)

Strangely, as Patterico notes, the information about the satellite data was edited out of a Reuters story published by the LA Times–which had repeatedly emphasized Sgrena’s claim that the car was traveling at low speed. LGF notes a similar omission in the latest CBS coverage of the incident–even though it was CBS that broke news of the satellite evidence.

No surprise. We’ve seen this selective editing and MSM whitewashing of key details in the Sgrena case before: See here and here.

Meanwhile, the Italians are having a hissy fit over the U.S. report and Sgrena’s newspaper, Il Manifesto, is clamoring for a pullout of 3,000 Italian troops stationed in Iraq. Beleaguered PM Silvio Berlusconi has signaled withdrawal by September. Al Jazeera is playing up the bad blood. Rome prosecutors are continuing their own investigation and 18 police scientists will begin forensic examination of the Toyota Corolla car in which Sgrena and slain Italian agent Nicola Calipari were traveling.

We’ll see what the Italians come up with, but Sgrena’s tale seems to be melting faster than butter on a hot plate of linguini.


And the MSM complains about the blogosphere?