Debra J. Saunders

 Sgrena wrote that her captors warned her to beware of the Americans, who "don't want you to go back." In a later interview, Sgrena said she could not rule out that she was the U.S. troops' real target.

 Sgrena also wrote that she spent her early days in captivity "simply furious" and confronting her kidnappers because they snatched her even though she opposed the war. "It's easy to kidnap a weak woman like me. Why don't you try with the American military?"

 A Department of Defense source later told The Washington Times: "We had (counter-terrorism) people looking for her. They were willing to risk their lives, and all you hear from her is criticism of American troops."

 With Calipari's corpse still warm, Sgrena couldn't find it in herself to criticize the men whose actions triggered the events that led to Calipari's death -- other than to berate their choice of hostages and note that "sometimes they made fun of me." Her Truth takes no notice of the brutality of Iraq's terrorists, of their many victims. If America isn't to blame, then it is not an outrage.

 Nor did it seem to bother her that her kidnappers may have emerged millions richer. Eight million dollars, $10 million or niente, as the Italian government says? -- a nice reward that can only encourage more kidnappings.

 You've heard the reports of how Italians are skeptical of the initial U.S. version of events. I, too, have trouble believing that the checkpoint guards gave sufficient warning to the Italians, who oddly chose to ignore them and speed toward the checkpoint. Besides, no matter what the details turn out to be, there can be no satisfactory explanation for fuoco amico.

 Italians also are skeptical of Giuliana Sgrena. Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini dismissed her talk of being the target of an ambush as "groundless," while other officials suggested she was mistaken due to the stress of being kidnapped.

 I think this Eric Hoffer quote sums her up best: "People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them." Worse, when she licked her captors' boots, she called it Truth.


 Clarification: Debra J. Saunders' March 6 column on Border Patrol funding may have left readers with the misimpression that Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., supports funding cuts proposed by the Bush administration. He does not.

Debra J. Saunders

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