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The curious case of Nick Berg

By Carol Devine-Molin
web posted May 17, 2004

An image made from a video posted on May 11 on an Islamic militant Web site affiliated with al-Qaida showing a group of five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit, identified as Nick Berg
An image made from a video posted on May 11 on an Islamic militant Web site affiliated with al-Qaida showing a group of five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit, identified as Nick Berg

The entire nation continues to mourn the horrific murder of Nick Berg at the hands of al-Qaida terrorists who were ostensibly avenging abuses at Abu Ghraib. Nothing justifies what they did to Nick Berg -- nothing. However, even a cursory glance at emerging information tells us that there is much more to this story.

Are we to believe that it was just a "coincidence" that terrorist Zacarias Moussaui used Nick Berg's email account? Oh yes – we're being fed the notion that Berg's "email account info" was just floating among a bunch of college students and miraculously found its way to Moussaui who utilized it for contacting other terrorist thugs. Sorry, something's not right here -- I'm not buying this "coincidence" drivel being bandied about the media, especially since other provocative tidbits are now all over the radar screen.

Apparently, the FBI was not buying Berg's rendition of events either, as they reportedly interviewed Berg post-9/11 in the US, and subsequently in recent weeks when he was held in custody for a short period by Iraqi police. According to an Associated Press article, "The young American, who was decapitated on a videotape posted by an al-Qaida-linked Website, was never under U.S. custody despite what his family says, coalition spokesman Dan Senor said Wednesday. Senor told reporters that Berg, 26, from West Chester, Pennsylvania, was detained by Iraqi police in Mosul. The Iraqis informed the Americans, and the FBI met with Berg three times to determine what he was doing in Iraq".

That begs the question -- What exactly was Berg doing in Iraq as he traveled to some of the most dangerous sectors by local taxis, and without private security escort? We know that he was not a "private contractor" -- just an electronics expert and entrepreneur who reportedly wanted to help the Iraqi people. And what are we to make of the following? Reportedly, Berg was in possession of the Koran and anti-Semitic materials in Iraq, which is thoroughly incongruent with being a "good Jew." And, he was wearing an Islamic-style beard at the time of is death. None of these factoids provide definitive truth, but together they convey some intriguing clues about Nick Berg.

Let's ponder the following – Is it possible that Berg was a spy for another nation, or just an adventurous spy-wannabee? I'm inclined to believe the latter. It's not inconceivable that Berg was living-out some type of personal fantasy. One might even extrapolate that Berg was a terrorist sympathizer attempting to make contact with al-Qaida in order to collaborate with the organization and provide it with information acquired during his Mid-East travels. However, al-Qaida had its own agenda and decided to make a cogent worldwide statement with Berg's brutal death, even having one of al-Qaida's head-honchos, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, carry out the beheading. In the opinion of many, Nick Berg was caught totally off-guard by his gruesome ending. It appears Berg was made to believe that he was aiding al-Qaida by cooperating with some type of ransom video.

Moreover, it's also revealing that Nick Berg's father, Michael Berg, is an outspoken radical Leftist that is reportedly associated with the international A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition and the George Soros Moveon.org group. Michael Berg has made the rather bizarre public statement, "My son died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld", when in fact government officials attempted to ship Nick Berg back to the US in order to get him out of harm's way. Michael Berg also indicated that his son's killers, the terrorists, "killed their best friend". Who better to know Nick Berg than his own father?

Ironically, the Nick Berg tragedy bolsters some pivotal contentions of the Bush administration regarding al-Qaida: 1) the Iraq/al-Qaida nexus during the Saddam Hussein era has now been firmly established, much to the consternation of the Left-leaning crowd. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, Berg's murderer, was indeed a key member of the al-Qaida organization that operated in Iraq prior to 2003 and the Iraq War -- al-Zarqawi was permitted to traveled from Iran to Baghdad, and then on to northern Iraq, where he worked with the al-Qaida affiliate Ansar al-Islam, and 2) Despite the limited abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib that was quickly addressed, there is no moral equivalence between the actions of US soldiers and those of al-Qaida terrorists, as some have tried to suggest. Clearly, the heinous slaying of Nick Berg has significantly deflected from the Iraqi prison problem, placing it in perspective and underscoring the true monstrous nature of al-Qaida.

Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.

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