Satellite Recorded Checkpoint Shooting

Maybe I’m the only one who missed it, but CBS News aired a report Thursday evening, discussed here by AFP, that the fatal encounter between the vehicle taking Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena to the Baghdad airport and American soldiers at a highway checkpoint was recorded by a satellite. American investigators relied on the recording in exonerating the soldiers who fired on the speeding vehicle.
Ms. Sgrena has said that the vehicle approached the checkpoint at around 30 mph, and the soldiers fired without warning. The satellite recording apparently shows that the car was traveling in excess of 60 mph. The AFP description of the recording is ambiguous, but seems to say that the soldiers saw the vehicle when it was 137 yards away–I haven’t seen any explanation of how one can tell from the recording hwen the soldiers saw the car–and opened fire when it was 46 yards away from the checkpoint. If that is correct, the car would have reached the checkpoint in around a second and a half. So it seems hard to criticize the soldiers for concluding they couldn’t wait any longer for the car to start slowing down.
UPDATE: Patterico notes that the Los Angeles Times apparently wasn’t happy about the satellite evidence exculpating the American soldiers, and excised it from its version of the story.


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