May 03, 2005

Don't Believe The Hype 

Geez, this Sgrena story is a mess. Now Italy released its report (PDF) on the incident, which gives a slightly different version of the facts. Or better, it focuses on some aspects (ie, the lack of written procedures for some instances) that are treated only in passing in the American report.

The media are already hyping this as a "contradiction" of the American report or "damning evidence of American reticence", "tampering with the incident scene" etc, ad nauseam. Well, don't believe it: the Italian report is produced by a joint investigative effort, and for the main part it agrees with the American report. The only major disagreement regards the speed of the approaching vehicle. But the recommendations regarding re-assesment of the TCP and BP SOP are shared with the American component, so there is no major disagreement. The Italian report presses the point of inadequate set up of the BP that night, due to the facts that the soldiers on the mission only had limited field experience, lack of standardized procedures for such mission and a misunderstanding in the chain of command, that caused a BP supposed to be of short duration to last for almost two hours.

However, I still have to read and compare organically the two reports. But for now I can say, don't believe the sensational headlines. The Italian report does not contradict the American one.


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