Saturday, May 15, 2004

WHEN THE TAIL WAGS THE DOG

The Soviets used to call it Disinformatsiya, the Pentagon calls it PsyOps, in Canada we call it "disaster management." It could be effectively used to divert attention away from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal if necessary, or save a President from public disintergration.

This morning I watched the video taped beheading of Nicholas Berg. I can tell you it was not what I expected. I was troubled by many parts of it, but what bothered me wasn’t what I thought would. It seemed rigged, rehearsed, not quite right. It raised more questions for me than it answered. I decided to find out more, but again, I have found more questions than answers.

At a time when pictures of British soldiers appear to have been declared fakes (taken in order to take the heat off of american’s, perhaps?) we are now presented with the "beheading video".

There are lots of different opinions out there regarding this video. Debate rages. My post today aims at proving or alleging nothing, you decide.

1. We actually don't know if the beheading was filmed in Iraq or elsewhere.

2. The nature of Berg's business in Iraq is unclear, although we know that he was not there in any official capacity as a contractor.

3. Why would Bergs father be quoted as saying "… I am sure that he only saw the good in his captors until the last second of his life. They did not know what they were doing. They killed their best friend."

4. The event itself did not follow any of the proper practices for beheading in Islam; method, delivery, prayers, etc.

5. It turns out Berg has a history with the FBI well previous to his recent visit to Iraq. He was interviewed by the FBI in an effort to determine the nature of his relationship with Zacarias Moussaoui, as well as certain groups he was a member of.

6. Why was Berg picked up by coalition forces in Iraq and imprisoned – and held long enough that his family had to file a lawsuit against Berg’s illegal detention, and yet he was released without question the very next day?

7. Why did the US deny detaining Berg even though his family claims to have proof they did?

8. Why would he supposedly refuse safe passage to Jordan after being released?

9. Why didn’t anyone at the hotel Berg was allegedly registered at know of him?

10. Why was Berg in an american issue orange prisoner jump suit when he was photographed and killed? None of the other recently kidnapped hostages in Iraq (Japanese, Canadian, Italian) wore any uniformed outfits whatsoever.

11. Is it peculiar that Bergs body was found by an american military patrol along a roadside? Is it more peculiar that if the body was found on Monday (May 10th), or previously "over the weekend" (as priorily reported), how could the execution and video be taped on May 11th?

12. Since the killers were hooded and identities hidden in the video, why would the footage sign off with Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi's name?

13. Could the americans have been too quick to blame Zarqawi with the death of Berg? Besides reports that the accent is all wrong for the real Zarqawi, there is the tiny matter of the able bodied person in the video having two legs, especially after Zarqawi’s unfortunate accident where he lost his leg in 2001. Of course that’s assuming that the April 2003 reports of his death in Falluja were wrong.

14. Weapons experts have suggested that the AK-47 carried by one man in the as the "Gilal," the Israeli-made variant of that weapon.

15. Some analysts around the world are challenging the official translation of the arab in which the word al qaed (the one sitting, doing nothing) is replaced with al Qaeda, which means "the base," and further why a natural arab speaker would make this mistake. Also in question is the awkward way with which the "Allahu Ahkbar" was delivered, why it was strained, and not a natural voicing of a phrase all Muslims say from the beginning of their lives.

16. Is it logically conceivable that al-Qaeda didn't have a motive for this killing? The torture at Abu Ghraib have gone on for a year. If al-Qaeda were in the business of avenging prison abuse, wouldn’t it already have done so? Is it reasonable to assume that al-Qaeda gets their information and news from CNN? And even so, what do they possibly have to gain by releasing this video now, at a time when the most damaging political heat is on their enemy?

17. Isn’t the timing even just a little bit suspicious? Is it a coincidence that the video was released at a time when Private England was telling americans that her superiors gave her specific instructions on how to pose for photos showing her with naked Iraqi prisoners? Or when Rumsfeld was showing the american lawmakers hundreds of new images depicting sexual humiliation and physical abuse of Iraqi prisoners?

18. There are some apparent discrepancies in the time stamping, the times in the video make it appear edited, and why is the video time stamping not shown in Arabic? Do Arabs use western military time too?

19. When was Berg killed, or found, or what? Why did everything happen perfectly in the matter of a few short hours? Was he found on the weekend, or killed on the Monday?


So, Who killed Nicholas Berg? Plausible list of suspects: Al-Qaeda terrorists, Arabs, Muslims, Israelis or american counter-insurgency operatives? Or mercenaries who work for companies like Halliburton, Brown & Root or Bechtel or Blackwater Security?

The only thing not in doubt is that Nicholas Berg actually was beheaded and killed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Semper Fi!

Bill Adams