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Wednesday, May 12, 2004
 
Blood on Their Hands?

The beheading of Nick Berg is a tragedy. Al Qaida has taken responsibility. But what isn't clear is how Nick Berg ended up in Terrorist hands... or why.

Let me be clear... the following is tin-foil-hat, too much time on my hands, rumor mongering speculation:

Freerepublic.com is a right wing internet community that prides itself on being more patriotic and God fearing than you and I. Many over there claim to know the one and only true way to be an American, and should you disagree with them, you are worthy of scorn... or worse. (These are the same folks who stood outside the White House waving mayonnaise stained blue dresses during impeachment.)

There are many activists within FreeRepublic. Some claim to be members of the military, active and retired, and law enforcement.

This morning I was lurking around their sight and I came across this thread: Nick Berg's Father and International A.N.S.W.E.R

In it, there is some speculation that Michael Berg, Nick's father was a petition signer of the socialist anti-war group International A.N.S.W.E.R. It seems that someone with the same name and listing the same company of the late Nick Berg, Prometheus Methods Tower Service Inc., has signed petitions with that group.

The discussion thread goes on in disgusting fashion, suggesting that Nick's father got what he deserved and that 'maybe the liberals will "get it", now that their children are being killed'.

Then, this evening I came across this:
Beheaded Man's Firm Was On Right-Wing 'Enemies' List

The family firm of beheaded American Nick Berg, was named by a conservative website in a list of 'enemies' of the Iraq occupation. That could explain his arrest by Iraqi police --a detention which fatally delayed his planned return from Iraq and may have led directly to his death.
[snip]
On 7th March, 2004, just three weeks before the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, an 'enemies' list of anti-war groups and individuals was posted on the Free Republic forum.

It began: "Here you are, Freepers. Here is the enemy."

The list had been copied from publicly available endorsements of a call to action for an imminent anniversary antiwar protest on 20th March, 2004. The protest was being organized under the banner of the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism).

Among those listed as having endorsed the call to action was this entry: "Michael S. Berg, Teacher, Prometheus Methods Tower Service, Inc."
[snip]
Within minutes of getting their hands on the antiwar names, one was boasting of having contacted the military about active service personnel who were on the list:
"I forwarded the list to the ISC (the command you listed), the district officer... the district legal office and the investigative services office."

The response:
"The poor moron is not going to know what hit him. Is this being mean-spirited? NO! Someone against our military does not belong in the military!"
Yet, within two weeks of the list being posted, Nick Berg --back in Iraq on his final fatal trip-- was reportedly detained in Mosul at an Iraqi police checkpoint. The official explanation is that authorities thought his identification might have been forged and were checking his authenticity.

But a more likely reason is that by then authorities in Iraq had discovered that a 'Berg' of Prometheus Methods Tower Service was in the country, and issued a detention instruction to Iraqi police because they misidentified Nick Berg as an antiwar activist entering Iraq to work for the 'enemy'.

That could explain why he was held incommunicado for 13 days, without recourse to a lawyer; why US officialdom was singularly unheeding of his mother's pleas; why the FBI visited his family to question them; why it took a US court order secured by the family to pressure his release.
If this list caused Nick Berg to be detained by Iraqi police and/or the US military...
If that detention made it impossible for Nick to leave Iraq as planned...
If there is any truth to the speculation that the Iraqi police handed Berg over to militants...

Then the Freepers may just have Nick Berg's blood on their hands.
 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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