Ed Morrissey has been following the story of the Guiliana Sgrena incident closely and finds more evidence that the release of Sgrena was badly botched:
U.S. forces in Iraq were only partially informed about last week’s Italian intelligence mission to release a hostage, which ended with a shooting on the road to Baghdad airport and the death of secret service agent Nicola Calipari, Italian newspapers said Friday. …
Both newspapers cited a report by Gen. Mario Marioli, an Italian who is the coalition forces’ second-in-command. The report has been given to Rome prosecutors investigating the killing.
According to the newspapers, Marioli informed U.S. officials that Calipari and the other Italian officer were there, but not that the mission was aimed at releasing Sgrena.
The papers had conflicting versions over how much Marioli knew: Corriere (Della Sera) said he knew the Calipari was working to have the hostage released, La Repubblica said he didn’t.
It’s clear that the release of Guiliana Sgrena was an absolute farce. Had the US known that an Italian hostage was to be released, had they known the details of the release, and had that information gotten to the field in time, Nicola Calipari would be alive today. In war, incidents like this can and do occur — however, this was an entirely preventable tragedy, and the Italian government should spend more time trying to fix the system than trying to point fingers.