Censored portions of a Pentagon report of the investigation into the circumstances under which U.S. troops shot and killed Italian agent Nicola Calipari at a checkpoint in Iraq have been uncovered by readers of an Italian newspaper.

Parts of the report, which was released on the Internet Friday, had been blacked out ([PDF][1]). But readers of La Repubblica have discovered that by simply copying the text of the 45-page PDF document into Microsoft Word, they were able to read the blacked-out portions of the text (MS Word document).

Before publishing the document on the Internet, its authors forgot to click the option in Adobe Acrobat that prevents readers from copying and editing the resulting PDF document.

The omitted parts of the report, which have now been revealed, included the names of the National Guardsmen in the units that fired the fatal shots — and the names of their superiors in the U.S. chain of command.

Also blacked out in the report was name of the other Italian intelligence agent who was driving the car in which Calipari was riding at the time he was killed. His name is now in the public domain.

At the time of his death on 4 March, Calipari was protecting the journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who had just been released by insurgents after being held hostage for one month.

The report into Calipari’s death has been controvertial in Italy because it cleared U.S. forces of any wrongdoing.

Update: Details have been added in several updates to this post since it was initially uploaded.

Update 2: The editable version of the PDF is no longer available from the web site of the Multi-National Force in Iraq. But La Repubblica still has it (PDF).

Update 3 (19:00): Blogger Robert Jubb has provided some translations of the Italian newspaper reports and Kevin Drum also has the story. The Slashdot discussion is worth reading. But as far as I am aware, the mainstream Anglophone media have not picked this up. The Italian government will release its version of the incident tomorrow.

Update 4 (23:30): Tick, tick, tick. Hurry up, Guardian. You’re not going to let a blogger beat you by 24 full hours, are you? The BBC has the story now.