Thursday, April 28, 2005
Sgrena interview on Democracy Now
AMY GOODMAN: Did you get permission, did Calipari get permission to drive on the road to the airport?
GIULIANA SGRENA: Of course, I was there when they called. They called the Italian, because there is an official that is linked to the Americans. And this Italian general spoke to the Captain Green, that is the American one, telling him that we were on this road and that they were aware that we were on that road. And this happened at least 20-25 minutes before the shooting.
AMY GOODMAN: This road…
GIULIANA SGRENA: They knew that we were on this road.
AMY GOODMAN: How do you know that they knew?
GIULIANA SGRENA: I know because I was there when the agent called the Italian one, the general that is in charge for the communication with the Americans, and this general did a testifying, telling that he was there with the Captain Green, and Captain Green was immediately informed about our traveling to the airport. And the Captain Green didn’t say no, so I think that he’s right. And he’s a general. I don’t think that this general made a wrong, false testifying.
AMY GOODMAN: So you’re saying Calipari spoke to -- this was an Italian or US general?
GIULIANA SGRENA: The Italians, they can’t speak to the Americans directly. There is a man, a special man, a general that is in charge for the communication with the American commanders. It’s impossible for an agent, an Italian agent, to speak with the Americans directly. I knew the rules because I was there many times. And I know that every time always in Iraq there is an Italian that is in charge for the communication with the Americans. And in this time, in this moment, was a general that was there speaking with the Commander Green that was the correspondent, American one. So I knew about that. And in all the newspaper, Italian newspaper, was published that. So there is no problem of communication. Commander Green knew about our presence on that road. If he didn’t inform the mobile patrol, we don’t know. But he knew, the commander, the American commander knew about it.
AMY GOODMAN: President Bush. Do you have a demand of the US President, the American President?
GIULIANA SGRENA: No. I want only the truth. But they don’t seem to be interested to find the truth about what happened in Baghdad that night.
AMY GOODMAN: Will you go back to Iraq?
GIULIANA SGRENA: No.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you feel like there is a cover-up? Do you feel that the investigation has been covered up?
GIULIANA SGRENA: Yes, of course. They don’t want the truth. They don’t want to tell the truth.
AMY GOODMAN: What would make them tell the truth?
GIULIANA SGRENA: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t really know. Maybe if the Americans, they press the American government to tell the truth. Because, if the Americans, they don’t mind; we are small, we are Italians, we are few Italians, what we can do? I think that it is important that the Americans, they press their government to tell the truth, because it’s in the interest also of Americans, the truth. Not only of Italians, I think. So if you make actions with press on the government, you, maybe you can do something for us.
AMY GOODMAN: And when you were in Iraq, as a reporter, before you were captured, what do you think was the most important story for us all to understand?
GIULIANA SGRENA: I was looking around to see what the people were thinking about. And overall, I was interested in Fallujah. But when I went to interview some people from Fallujah, I was kidnapped. Some people were not interested in my story about Fallujah, I think.
AMY GOODMAN: What did you have to say about Fallujah? What did you discover?
GIULIANA SGRENA: Just stories. I have not a scoop about Fallujah, just stories.
AMY GOODMAN: Why did you go to Iraq to begin with? It was a dangerous place. You knew that.
GIULIANA SGRENA: Yes, I knew. But I am a journalist. I went to Somalia. I went to Afghanistan. I went to Algeria. I went every places. And I went to Iraq also. I can’t go only where the places are not dangerous. It is our work that is dangerous.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you regret having gone to Iraq?
GIULIANA SGRENA: No, I don’t regret.