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23 maggio 2004

Blog Trotter, curato da Leonardo Coen sul sito repubblica.it, un blog anomalo

Dopo l'ennesima pubblicazione sui Commenti a Blog Trotter, curato da Leonardo Coen di informazioni relative ai bloggers ed a terze persone citate su siti da loro segnalati, e gli ennesimi insulti ai medesimi, ho inviato il seguente post: Se questa è l'immagine che La Repubblica ama dare di sè ai frequentatori dei suoi blog, proseguano pure. Chi sa, poi qualcuno (lo stesso Coen?) scriverà un bel saggio, ben pagato, sui bloggers... Di riffa o di raffa, la pagnotta arriva sempre Ci sto pensando anch'io, devo dire: potrei centrare meglio il tiro su questo blog e mostrarlo come esempio di comunicazione interumana in rete, mediata dai Media, come repubblica.it (i blog autogestiti sono a ben altro livello, anche quelli scritti da semi analfabeti sia della lingua italiana che del web) "vabbè siamo al teatrino, non avete niente di meglio da fare in redazione?" scrive un blogger in un post inviato il 23.05.2004 21:21:01" inviato il 23.05.2004 21:37:08 Visto che ilcannocchiale.it esce pure in versione cartacea... e la cosa si presenta... intrigante... se qualcuno qui è interessato ci potremmo mettere d'accordo di temi ce ne sono più d'uno! 1. come vengono affrontate la questione medio-orientale e la guerra in Iraq (torture comprese) sul blog del sito repubblica.it, che ne tratta quasi quotidianamente 2. intrighi di palazzo all'interno della Redazione di repubblica.it 3. sport e politica, come un quotidiano a diffusione nazionale adesca bloggers per fingere un blog a disposizione di tutti, ma in realtà esclusivamente autoreferenziale 4. personaggi della blog-area: come un quotidiano a diffusione nazionale incita all'emergere del Mr Hide dei malcapitati bloggers 5. i Media mediatori della comunicazione tra utenti della rete mediante blog 'civetta', anomali sotto ogni aspetto rispetto a quelli così denominati nel resto della rete 6. sbatti il blogger in prima pagina, ovvero: tipi da blog. Blog Trotter Monitor ... che ne dite... come titolo... ?!




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14 maggio 2004

Vero? Falso ? Arte-fatto ? - 3 - I quesiti attorno al caso Berg

Washington,14 mag 2004 -10:30 Iraq, Cnn: Berg in contatto con attentatore 11/9 Il padre di Nicholas Berg, il giovane americano decapitato in Iraq da estremisti islamici, in un'intervista rilasciata alla Cnn, ha affermato che il figlio avrebbe incontrato in un'occasione Zacaria Moussaoui, l'unico imputato per la strage dell'11 settembre. Michael Berg ha raccontato che il figlio, quando era ancora studente presso l'Università dell'Oklahoma, aveva autorizzato alcune persone a servirsi del suo computer e della password per usare la posta elettronica, e tra questi individui, poi identificati come presunti terroristi, vi sarebbe stato Moussaoui. Moussaoui, secondo Michael Berg, stava prendendo lezioni di pilotaggio presso l'aeroporto di Oklahoma City. Secondo la Cnn, che ha citato funzionari americani, la password del computer di Berg, sarebbe stata trovata tra le cose personali di Moussaoui. Questi è stato arrestato negli Usa tre settimane prima dell'11 settembre, proprio mentre prendeva lezioni di pilotaggio. Stando alla Cnn questo episodio spiegherebbe perchè in Iraq l'Fbi si e' vista costretta a interrogare Nicholas Berg in tre riprese prima di rilasciarlo. (L'Espresso Online) Inviato a BlogTrotter, Commenti, il 14.05.2004 12:09:52 ... quello che si deve ancora dimostrare è SE qualcuno ha tagliato la testa a Nick Berg VIVO, quando (se) è stato ucciso chi l'ha (se) ucciso chi e quando ha montato il video come dove e quando è stato montato il video INOLTRE se Nick Berg dava le sue password a un attentatore dell'11 settembre, quanti altri oltre a lui lo facevano? quanti oltre a lui sapevano cosa stava per succedere (sempre che lo sapesse lui) The New York Times, May 14, 2004: Nicholas Berg's Death It's easy to say he should not have been in Iraq, but Nicholas Berg was a type familiar to all danger zones: an adventurous and naïve young man who was perhaps keen to do a bit of business, but keener yet to test himself; old enough to understand the danger, but young enough to defy it. It is impossible not to feel grief, and horror, at his terrible end. The claim of this young American's murderers that they were retaliating for the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners is a cruel ruse. They killed him out of the same madness that drove their comrades in Al Qaeda to slaughter thousands on Sept. 11, 2001. But this manipulative attempt to establish a moral equivalence between the gruesome execution of Mr. Berg and the torture of Iraqi prisoners is now being mimicked by some hard-core supporters of the American war in Iraq. They are cynically trying to use the images of Mr. Berg to wipe away the images of Abu Ghraib, turning the abhorrence for the murderers into an excuse for demonizing Arabs and Muslims, or for sanctioning their torture. Mr. Berg's parents have legitimate questions for the United States government about how he came to be in Iraqi police custody immediately before his kidnapping, what happened to him there and what knowledge American officials had about his situation. The occupation authority needs to stop passing off those questions to the Iraqi police force, which does not exist other than as an agent of American power. The Berg family deserves answers so they can grieve for their son's death in peace. Beheading of Nicholas Berg: Unanswered Questions, by CONSPIRACY PLANET The death of Nicholas Berg. How convenient it is for the Bush Regime -- already taking flak for the abuse and torture of Iraqis under US occupation and being compared with the abuse and torture of Iraqis under Saddam Hussein at the same Abu Ghraib prison. A beheading will get anybody's attention. But enquiring minds want to know... * Why was Nick Berg wearing a orange jumpsuit like those issued to US prisoners? * Why was Nick Berg arrested and held captive in Iraq for 13 days? * Why was Nick Berg, a Jew, dumped in the middle of hostile Arab territory? * Why did Michael Berg have to sue the US Government to get his son released? * Did Michael Berg's vocal opposition to the US Patriot Act have anything to do with Nick Berg being sacrificed on the altar of world media? * Was the gruesome beheading of Nick Berg a convenient distraction for Bush Regime media problems? * Why does the Bush Regime deny that Berg was under detention which later led to his capture and death? * Why did the FBI visit Nick Berg 3 times during his detention in Iraq? * Why do Nick Berg's parents blame the Bush Regime for the death of their son by holding him "without due process or civil rights" rather than the so-called "terrorists" who beheaded him? * Is Nick Berg's beheading part of a Pentagon psy-ops (psychological operation) designed to muddy the waters about the failed War on Iraq? Enquiring minds want to know.




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13 maggio 2004

Vero? Falso ? Arte-fatto ? - 2 - I quesiti attorno al caso Berg

l'ostaggio americano decapitato in Iraq Baghdad, 13 maggio - Emergono numerosi interrogativi a proposito di Nick Berg, l'ostaggio americano decapitato dai suoi rapitori in Iraq. Anzitutto, si chiede chi lo abbia tenuto per oltre due settimane in carcere a Mosul. L'arresto è avvenuto il 23 o il 24 di marzo. Ufficialmente è stata opera della polizia irachena, ma il capo della polizia locale, stando all'Ap, ha negato che Berg fosse mai stato fermato dai suoi uomini. Il giovane americano avrebbe comunicato al padre con una Email , dopo il suo rilascio, avvenuto il 6 aprile, che dopo la polizia irachena, era finito in custodia americana, interrogato da agenti dell'Fbi, i quali gli avevano vietato di chiamare chiunque, parenti e avvocato compresi. Berg diceva nel suo messaggio che voleva rientrare negli Usa appena possibile. Il suo rilascio avvenne 24 ore dopo che la famiglia aveva depositato una richiesta presso la Corte federale di Philadelphia, sostenendo che il figlio era tenuto prigioniero dai militari statunitensi in Iraq. Un portavoce del Dipartimento di Stato ha detto che un funzionario americano di stanza a Baghdad aveva offerto a Berg un posto sul volo per Amman il 10 aprile, dicendogli che era rischioso rimanere nel Paese e spostarsi da soli, come Berg pare che facesse. L'uomo rifiutò, affermando che era intenzionato a recarsi nel Kuwait. Berg è stato visto l'ultima volta proprio il 10 aprile. Quel giorno lasciò l'albergo al Fanar di Baghdad, dove alloggiava. Quando il 14 aprile un funzionario statunitense si recò all'hotel per verificare che fine avesse fatto, in albergo nessuno se lo ricordava più. Un giornalista dell'Upi, che era ospite dello stesso albergo, e aveva chiacchierato con Berg, ha raccontato che l'americano aveva spiegato le ragioni del suo arresto con il fatto che pensavano che fosse una spia israeliana, visto che aveva anche un timbro israeliano sul passaporto. Aljazeera.net sostiene che l'uomo che nel video uccide Nick Berg non abbia l'accento né giordano, né iracheno. Come potrebbe quindi essere Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, il giordano affiliato ad al Qaeda, come sostenuto anche oggi dal comandante delle forze Usa in Iraq generale Ricardo Sanchez e dalla Cia ? Del resto, esiste un'immagine di al-Zarqawi, perché coprirsi allora il viso, come è avvenuto nel video ? Altri quesiti che pone Aljazeera.net a riguardo del filmato relativo all'esecuzione sono il corpo dell'ostaggio privo di qualsiasi movimento, anche quando avviene la decapitazione, e l'irrisoria fuoriuscita di sangue. Il sospetto è che l'assassinio sia stato compiuto in un altro luogo e poi c'è stata la messinscena per la registrazione del video. Il corpo di Nick Berg sarebbe stato trovato sabato, 8 maggio, appeso a un cavalcavia a Baghdad. La testa era depositata accanto, come ha riferito una fonte ufficiale americana. Arab Monitor New York, 21:33 Iraq, ostaggio decapitato; il padre: morto per peccati di Bush Nick Berg, il padre dell'ostaggio decapitato in Iraq, ha detto il figlio è morto "per i peccati di George Bush e di Donald Rumsfeld". "Mio figlio è morto per i peccati di Bush e di Rumsfeld. L'amministrazione ha provocato tutto questo", ha detto Berg, un pacifista, parlando ai microfoni di radio Kyw-Am, della Pennsylvania. La Repubblica, Ultim'ora, 13 Maggio 2004 Vi è un aspetto oscuro della presenza in Iraq di Nicholas Berg, l'ebreo americano di 26 anni decapitato da Al Qaeda. Prima che Berg fosse rapito, la sua famiglia aveva denunciato il ministro della difesa Donald Rumsfeld. Come altri americani, Nicholas Berg credeva che l'intervento del suo paese contro il regime di Saddam Hussein avrebbe portato agli iracheni libertà e benessere. Come altri piccoli imprenditori, era andato a Baghdad in cerca di occasioni. Non ne aveva trovate e per ragioni ancora poco chiare era stato arrestato dalla polizia irachena che lo aveva consegnato agli americani. Il 5 aprile suo padre, Michael Berg, aveva presentato una denuncia al tribunale federale di Filadelfia. Sosteneva che Nicholas era detenuto illegalmente dai militari. Il giorno dopo il giovane era stato scarcerato. Il 9 aprile aveva telefonato ai genitori: «L'Iraq mi ha deluso, tornerò al più presto e vi spiegherò». Da quel giorno la famiglia non ha più saputo nulla di lui, fino al momento in cui è stato diffuso su Internet il video della testa mozzata. La madre, Suzanne, crede che Nicholas abbia pagato con la vita il suo desiderio di dare un contributo alla ricostruzione dell'Iraq. «Mio figlio - ha raccontato - non aveva paura di frequentare ambienti da cui la maggior parte degli americani si sarebbe tenuta lontana. Probabilmente è stata questa la causa della sua morte. La presenza di un americano in certi quartieri era come un pugno negli occhi». Nicholas Berg era un ebreo praticante e spesso portava la kippah, il copricapo ebraico. «Con ogni probabilità - aggiunge il padre - i rapitori sapevano che era ebreo. Se mai sono stati in dubbio se ucciderlo o no, credo che questo sia stato il fattore determinante». Al governo americano, i genitori di Nicholas chiedono spiegazioni e non soltanto condoglianze. Jim Gerlach, il deputato in parlamento del sobborgo di Filadelfia in cui vive la famiglia, li aveva assistiti nella causa contro il ministro della difesa. «Vogliamo scoprire - annuncia adesso - che cosa è successo dal momento in cui Nicholas è stato scarcerato fino a quello in cui è stato rapito». Nicholas Berg era titolare di una piccola impresa che installava antenne radio e pensava che la ricostruzione dell'Iraq gli avrebbe offerto buone occasioni di guadagno. Era partito in dicembre, con la speranza di avere lavoro da un appaltatore americano con il quale aveva fatto affari in passato. In febbraio era tornato deluso: la sicurezza precipitava e i cantieri erano fermi. Tuttavia non si era arreso, e in marzo era ripartito. Quali prospettive avesse questa volta non si sa. In ogni modo nessuno dei suoi progetti era andato in porto. Il 24 marzo Nicholas aveva telefonato al padre per annunciare che sarebbe tornato il 30. Invece la stessa sera del 24 marzo era stato fermato dalla polizia irachena a un posto di blocco a Mosul. Dopo qualche giorno un agente dell'Fbi si era presentato in casa di Michael e Suzanne Berg. Aveva detto che il loro figlio era stato consegnato dagli iracheni alle autorità militari americane. Da questo punto in poi ci sono due versioni. La famiglia Berg sostiene di non avere avuto spiegazioni dall'Fbi. «Mio figlio - accusa il padre Michael - è stato detenuto dai militari americani per 13 giorni, senza un capo di accusa. Gli è stato rifiutato il permesso di telefonare o di consultare un avvocato. Il 5 aprile abbiamo denunciato il ministro Rumsfeld e il giorno dopo, sempre senza spiegazioni, Nicholas è stato liberato. La scarcerazione è stata annunciata al giudice, che ha lasciato cadere la causa». Dan Senor, il portavoce civile americano a Baghdad, ha replicato che Berg non è mai stato detenuto dalle forze della coalizione. «Le autorità americane - ha detto - sono state avvertite del suo arresto dalla polizia irachena, che lo sospettava di attività illegali. Agenti dell'Fbi lo hanno visitato tre volte mentre era detenuto e hanno accertato che non era coinvolto in attività terroriste». Il portavoce militare, generale Kimmitt, ha aggiunto che agenti della polizia militare hanno visitato Berg in carcere «per accertarsi che fosse nutrito e trattato bene». Il 9 aprile, dopo aver telefonato a casa, Nicholas Berg è scomparso. In quello stesso giorno sono stati rapiti sette americani che lavoravano in Iraq per la Halliburton, e due militari di scorta a un convoglio di questa impresa, presso Baghdad. Quattro tra i dipendenti della Halliburton sono stati trovati morti, uno è sfuggito ai rapitori ed è tornato a casa il 2 maggio, e gli altri due sono tuttora dispersi. Uno dei due soldati è stato trovato morto e il secondo, Keith Maupin, è tuttora in ostaggio. l'Unità, 12 Maggio 2004, Il padre di Nicholas Berg: «Decapitato perché ebreo», di Bruno Marolo




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13 maggio 2004

Vero? Falso? Arte-fatto ? Nicholas Berg's Murder: The Unanswered Questions

Si continua a sorvolare sul fatto che quello che i media ci propinano (foto, video) sia 'montato' (all'origine e tecnicamente) si continuano a leggere e sentire commenti come se di FATTI si stesse parlando, mentre nessuno pare in grado nemmeno più di controllare cosa è autentico e cosa no >>> 1. Bloggers doubt Berg execution video By Lawrence Smallman Thursday 13 May 2004, 17:18 Makka Time, 14:18 GMT Was this really Nick Berg's last moment or was he killed earlier? Revolting millions around the world, the video footage of an American citizen's execution has also raised numerous questions concerning its authenticity. Even at first glance, internet bloggers were asking on Thursday why Nick Berg was wearing an orange jumpsuit – just like US prisoners wear. Other net-surfers point to the unlikely timing of the executioner's dubbed announcement that Berg was to die for "Iraqi prisoner abuse". Berg was last seen alive on 10 April, when his father Michael Berg believes he was killed - two weeks before the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal broke in the world's media. Some discussions focus on the timing of the video's release - guaranteed to divert attention from the outrage regarding US torture of Iraqis. >>> 2. Friend: Berg said he was in U.S. custody Thursday, May 13, 2004 Posted: 10:40 AM EDT (1440 GMT) BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Slain American Nicholas Berg told a friend that he had been arrested by Iraqi police, detained briefly, and then handed over to U.S. troops who held him in a coalition facility for almost two weeks, the friend said. Chilean freelance journalist Hugo Infante told CNN that weeks before the videotape of Berg's grisly death emerged on the Internet, "Nick told me, 'Iraqi police caught me one night, they saw my passport and my Jewish last name and my Israeli stamp. This guy thought I was a spy so they put me with American soldiers and American soldiers put me in a jail for two weeks.'" ... "I still hold (Rumsfeld) responsible because if they had let him go after a more reasonable amount of time or if they had given him access to lawyers we could have gotten him out of there before the hostilities escalated," the father told Boston's WBUR radio station. "That's really what cost my son his life was the fact that the U.S. government saw fit to keep him in custody for 13 days without any of his due process or civil rights." ... The next he heard of Berg was when he heard news of his death. "I thought he was back in the States. And I thought, my God, this is the guy. A different guy. More skinny, more pallid," Infante said. >>> 3. Nicholas Berg's Murder: The Unanswered Questions May 13, 2004, Iraq The savage murder and decapitation of 26-year-old Nicholas Berg in Iraq has been rightly condemned by observers around the world, Muslim and non-Muslim. There is a strong possibility that this killing was committed by an Islamist organization--there are certainly many Muslims willing to lend the name of Islam to their criminal machinations, and that number continues to grow every day with each war crime committed by the leaders of the Anglo-American occupation force in Iraq. However, there are many unanswered questions. Although much of this is being reported through disparate dispatches in the corporate media, few have bothered to put it all together lest they be accused of fomenting a dreaded conspiracy theory. But since, as we've previously pointed out, the Bush Administration has made a business of fanning its own "with us or with the terrorists" conspiracies, it might be worth testing their reasoning and wondering, if it's not the terrorists who may have killed Nick Berg, then who else could it have been? Here's a preliminary list of questions. 1. Will the real Abu Musab al-Zarqawi please stand up. I couldn't help but wonder why the notorious Al-Zarqawi, the supposed one-legged Jordanian Al Qaeda mastermind, was simultaneously proudly identifying himself as the perpetrator of the atrocity, and hiding himself by wearing a hood. What gives? In fact, since February of last year, when Colin Powell suggested Al-Zarqawi was Saddam's link with Al Qaeda in his infamous presentation to the UN Security Council, it seems that Al-Zarqawi's reputation was more a result of it being manufactured by Bush administration officials than any reality. Al-Zarqawi turned up again when the US military released a letter he allegedly authored earlier this year. Now he's back on the decapitation video. 2. The official Al Qaeda Website: click to see advertising rates. The video was suddenly discovered on the Ansar al-Islam website, a reportedly Al-Qaeda-connected website that was being hosted by a Malaysian company. Now, after the years of close cooperation between US intelligence and Malaysian authorities in the "War on Terror," how was this website allowed to operate in the first place? 3. Berg's mysterious disappearance. Then there is the issue of Nick Berg's mysterious detention by authorities in Iraq shortly before being captured by "Al Qaeda." Berg's family had been working unsuccessfully to gain his release from what they believed was US custody. On April 5th, the family filed suit in federal court claiming that their son was being held illegally by the US military. He was released on April 6th. Berg then told his family that he was held by US authorities for 13 days. But the US military denied any of this, claiming that he was detained by Iraqi police in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Coalition spokesman Dan Senor said yesterday that "he [Berg] was at no time under the jurisdiction or detention of coalition forces." But Major General Mohammed Khair al-Barhawi, Iraqi police chief in Mosul, denies that categorically: The Iraqi police never arrested the slain American. Take it from me ... that such reports are baseless. Will Nick Berg's family ever get some answers from our government? We're waiting, along with the September 11th families. >>> 4. Mosul police chief denies detaining slain American By Scheherezade Faramarzi, Associated Press, 5/13/2004 11:06 BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) An American who was beheaded by militants had told friends he was arrested by Iraqi police in Mosul because he had an Israeli stamp in his passport. The Mosul police chief Thursday denied having arrested him. >>> 5. Berg's Father and Firm Were On A 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. Nick Berg, 26 disappeared into incommunicado detention after his arrest by Iraqi police in March, 2004. He vanished again after his release 13 days later. His body was found last Saturday in Baghdad, and a video of his beheading --supposedly by a radical Islamic group-- was posted on the Internet on Tuesday. The official story of his gruesome murder has many dubious aspects, not least the real reason why Iraqi police detained the young man at a checkpoint. New research by BreakForNews has uncovered a plausible explanation. The FreeRepublic.com web site and forum has a reputation for right-wing views, fanatical Republicanism and relentless pro-war activism. 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." That's Nick Berg's father, Michael who acts as business manager for his son in their family radio communications firm, Prometheus Methods Tower Service. Both father and son cared deeply about Iraq. But they were on opposite sides of opinion on the occupation --though you would never know that from reading the New York Times. Michael was ardently antiwar, whereas his Bush-supporting son was in favor of the war to the extent that he had already visited Iraq seeking to help with rebuilding efforts. Just seven days after "Michael Berg" and "Prometheus Methods Tower Service" had come up on that Iraq war 'enemies' list, his son Nick Berg returned to Iraq under the business name of Prometheus Methods Tower Service. The scene was set for tragically mistaken suspicions --which were to end in the horrifying death of an honorable and blameless American. A humanitarian who had traveled several times to Third World countries --such as Ghana, to teach villagers construction techniques. The web traffic to the Free Republic forum --and it's forum membership-- include significant numbers of serving and former US military. Many members take their online activism very seriously. Some delight in causing mischief for those they think are identified as "enemies." 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!" Another was already investigating a member of the Coast Guard on the list: "I took a look at his yahoo and he has a site which is not real fond of the war on drugs OR the war on terrorism.... That particular coastie needs some serious trouble to come his way...." " I spoke on the phone to a senior chief yesterday in Virginia.... [who] could not believe what the guy was doing. He was both astounded and angry. I think [he] is in for some big, big trouble." If that list could end up on an Internet forum, then it could just as readily end up with the FBI, and eventually in the hands of those in Iraq who are keen to track or harass antiwar activists entering the country. Alternatively, the enthusiasts on Free Republic have the contacts and the clear determination to have ensured the list quickly got to the right places. At the time the list was posted, Nick Berg had just come back from an Iraq trip lasting from late December to Feb. 1. He had reported no problems whatsoever with Iraqi police during that visit. 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. And why he was cruelly murdered soon after that release, like many others around the world who suffer such a fate at the hands of state-condoned death squads --sometimes just hours after their release from official detention. That's the final sordid twist in this grisly story. If the world was an uncomplicated place, then this tale would end with the mistaken arrest of Nick Berg. We could finish by noting that Nick's father is reportedly accusing the US government of contributing to his son's death. Unable to find work in Iraq, Nick Berg's last trip was set to be a short one. He planned to return to the US on the 30th of March. Michael Berg charges that his son's detention until 5th April, was a violation of civil rights which fatally delayed his exit from Iraq and instead left him dangerously stranded in the middle of the explosion of violence which erupted in early April, 2004. But there are much graver aspects to all this. Another chilling perspective is best summarized by the wry cynicism of Michael Rivero at WhatReallyHappened.com In a commentary on the beheading of Nick Berg, Rivero writes: "How wonderfully lucky for Bush and the NeoCons that such a great piece of pro-war distract-from-the-torture-scandal event happens at this particular moment." Rivero's world-weary realism strikes a chord with his popular website's visitors, but will undoubtedly shock unseasoned observers. However he is far from alone in questioning the official line. Others have noted the too-white hands and military at-ease stance of the hooded captors in the video. The killing has certainly eased the international discomfiture of the US. The problem with assumptions that al-Queda is responsible for Berg's beheading, is that Musab al-Zarqawi is mentioned in a caption on the videotape of the killing. Al-Zarqawi came to our attention in January, 2004 when the US military claimed to have intercepted a letter of his written to the al-Queda leadership. But the content of the letter read like a US military propaganda statement on the situation in Iraq. In the letter al-Zarqawi wrote of Iraqis coming to welcome the US presence in Iraq, and about how al-Queda was loosing ground in it's war against the US. In February, 2004 an article "The Zarqawi Gambit," by Greg Weiher on Counterpunch was deeply skeptical of the letter: "..if you were Karl Rove, you couldn't design a better scenario to validate the administration's slant on the war than this. That's a good reason to maintain a healthy skepticism. In fact, there are a number of good reasons to take this story with a grain of salt (maybe a three- or four-pounder)." The US has been keen to paint the opposition to the occupation as composed of many foreign fighters tied to al-Queda. The letter was clearly fabricated for propaganda purposes, with al-Zarqawi as it's new al-Queda star. But if al-Zarqawi is merely a flimsy propaganda creation, then what confidence can we have in the official line that al-Zarqawi and al-Queda murdered Berg. The only plausible alternative is a covert, black operation orchestrated as part of the seedier arm of US foreign policy --which generally only come to light when candid photographs, for example, reach the public domain. But that's an explanation which many would reject on the grounds that no force allied to the US --no matter how black its operations-- would have members so callous as to even countenance the cold-blooded beheading of a US citizen. However, there is a mindset amplified by war passions and found among the gung-ho brutes who beat Iraqis to death; found among the thuggish mercenary death squads who roam to slay at will; and found among the cold-blooded sociopaths who have planted bombs for political strategic reasons. It's war. And war begets a wartime mindset. Nick Berg's detention indicates that authorities regarded him an an antiwar activist and possibly also as an 'enemy.' That original post on Free Republic contains a telling indication of a mindset, which in the heat of war could well kill an American it regards as the "enemy." A mindset which has now reacted to Michael Berg's loss of his son like this: "I wonder what he thinks about his Muslim buddies now... " A mindset displayed by the search keywords used on Free Republic to categorize the list of antiwar supporters. The keywords are: APPEASENIKS; DAMNCOMMIES; ENEMYWITHIN; LEFTISTS; PEACENIKS; RATS; SCUMBAGS; TRAITORS; TREASONOUSSCUM; USEFULIDIOTS; WARONTERROR




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