The Execution of Nick Berg


Several sources unfriendly toward the US have said that the execution of Nick Berg was a fake Global Research has posted a translation of "Could N. Berg's execution be fake?" by Pater Havlasa (Pravda, Moscow, 5/14/04). Here is an excerpt: "Given the incomprehensible jungle of information, the very first question, when viewing this video of an American civilian, N. Berg"s execution, should be whether it is even true? There appear to be a few problems with it, casting doubt on its authenticity. If these questions aren't answered, one should be wary of the entire matter and be advised not to give in to the patriotic blindness brought on by the emotional charge this video packs. znsider these inconsistencies with the video before making up your mind:

1) CIA claims it has examined the video and concluded that the hooded figure is Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, a high level al-Qaeda operative. However, anyone who has seen the video will attest to the fact that there is no way to identify anyone from it, including the victim. Second, according to an US military report in April "03, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was killed in the bombing of Falluja. CIA does not elaborate whether Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi has magically sprung back to life or whether the April report was wrong.

2) The US media claimed that Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi lost a leg in 2001. Now, it says that he did not lose his leg after all. This flip flop seems too coincidental as the purported figure in the video doesn't appear handicapped. The US does not elaborate on which intelligence is wrong.

3) The US media says the audio says that N. Berg was executed in retaliation to the US prison abuse. The reaction of the media was far too quick. It moved straight to using it in making a comparison between prison "humiliation" and a "beastly killing" saying to the shocked public "Look, we only humiliated them in the prison and look at what the animals do to us." It was quick to point out that what the terrorists do to Americans is far worse than what the US is doing to the Iraqis. There are several problems with this. First, there have been numerous reported deaths in the US prisons caused by severe beatings so comparing "humiliation" to a death is the wrong comparison. Second, the tortures and abuses have gone on for over a year. If al-Qaeda were in the business of avenging prison abuse, it would have already done it and probably on several occasions. Otherwise, it means that al-Qaeda gets their information from CNN or that it just happened to be a coincidence matching Abu Ghraib prison pictures with this video. It"s very unlikely that al-Qaeda would and could engage in this synchronized US media play. The timing of the video release and the media attempts to whip up an anti-Islamic frenzy suggests a media ruse timed perfectly to deflect the mounting outrage and condemnation of the US military.

4) The voice on the video says that an offer was made to the US military to exchange N. Berg for "some of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib". The US has not commented on this.

5) The Bergs claim their son was detained by the US and are blaming their son's death on the US military, but the US says that N. Berg was never detained and instead was offered a free plane ride from Iraq. It does, however, seem that in order to offer a plane ticket, the US military must have had some dealing with N. Berg. In any case, N. Berg disappeared when in US custody.

6) The victim in the video is wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, the kind seen in pictures of Guantanamo inmates. It's hard to believe that al-Qaeda terrorists would be supplying their victims a regulation outfit. None of the recently kidnapped hostages in Iraq (Japanese and Italian) wore any uniform outfits whatsoever.

7) [WARNING: Reader's discretion advised] A human head contains 1.5 gallons of blood, yet the freshly decapitated head shown in the video is leaking none. Neck artery would squirt a foot long geyser of blood. There is no evidence of that either. Only one answer lends itself here: the video was doctored. Either a portion was clipped out or the beheading never took place as shown, with the possibility of the victim being already dead.

8) The victim never resisted the killing. Even when on the ground, only one person sufficed to completely subdue N. Berg. This article aims at proving or alleging nothing. The point is to provoke doubt and hopefully stave off a few readers from becoming an easy emotional target and a news puppet.

RH: No WAISer is "an easy emotional target and a news puppet". While I keep an open mind, I have not yet seen the allegation that the Nick Berg story was a fake in any source which is not hostile to the Bush administration.

We posted "Could N. Berg's execution be fake?" by Pater Havlasa (Pravda). Daryl DeBell writes: "The inconsistencies referred to pale in comparison to the outright absurdities in the excerpt. e.g. "The human head contains 1.5 gallons of blood." No special knowledge is required to recognize the falsity of this statement. Hold up a gallon jug next to your head and decide". RH: I realized the statement was stupid. Pravda means the truth !!

Randy Black debunks the Pravda story which attempted to debunk the story about the assassination of Nick Berg: "Pravda, as a source of information, is a weak vehicle at best, a non-source in reality. 1) I can find no reports that Zarqawi was killed a year ago. 2) Judging from the video, there is no way to tell if any of the captors have or do not have both of their legs, thus the comment of the writer, Pater Havlasa, is irrelevant. 3) Comments of the writer, Havlasa, are speculation and certainly not a basis for conclusions. 4) Contrary to Havlasa’s assertion, the US made several comments on the offer. 5) In fact, Havlasa’s assertion is fiction. It is clear that Mr. Berg was released from his previous incarceration. 6) The victim is NOT wearing a prison jumpsuit of the type worn in Cuba. But regardless, the US military does not hold a monopoly on such apparel. 7) Pure fiction. A human head cannot not physically hold 1.5 gallons of blood. In fact, an entire human body MAY contain about that volume of blood".

From the UK. John Heelan discusses the charge that the execution of Nick Berg was faked: "The facts are that Nick Berg is dead and was decapitated- very difficult to fake that. The questions "Who did the outrage?" and "Why?" are worthy of discussion. One way of looking at the problem is to examine who benefits from the assassination. What would be the optimum outcomes of the Iraq situation from the different points of view and what would hinder achieving those outcomes?

From the US/Israel point of view the optimum outcome would to install a puppet government whose policies are controlled by Washington (and Jerusalem via Washington), maintain a large military presence in the region without being subject to local law, maintain control over the earning and disbursement of oil revenues, maintain control over the award and operation of reconstruction contracts, pose a permanent threat to Syria , Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Caspian Sea countries from that forward military base, guarantee supply of oil to the US and deny access to other potential superpowers (China, India and perhaps Europe).

From an Al Qua'ida point of view, the optimum outcome would be for the longer term for the Iraqi population to send the US packing with its tail between its legs (as in Vietnam). However, in the shorter and medium term, it would prefer to keep the US in Iraq. Their very presence (and apparent inability to operate in a peace-keeping mode) serves as a rallying point for a broader spread world-wide of jihad and fundamentalist Muslim uprisings in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Philippines and South East Asia generally.

What would prevent the interested parties achieving their objectives? The US/Israeli objectives would be stymied by a truly independent Iraqi government being installed that had complete control over the military, the earning and use of oil revenues and the award of oil-field operating and general reconstruction projects. A further major obstacle to achieving US/Israeli objectives would be the withdrawal of US military from Iraq forced by US public pressure (as in the Vietnam war). The US electorate is already starting to deny support for continuance of the Iraq venture.

Bush, Al Qua'ida and Israel need the US troops to stay in Iraq as long as possible, each for different reasons. This can be ensured by creating regular outrages that infuriate the US public and renew support for Bush- remember the slaying and mutilation of the four US mercenaries graphically portrayed in the news media? The Berg killing is another in that series. Each one refreshes US' need for revenge and punishment of Iraqis; each punishment raid infuriates the Iraqis who respond with more attacks, each time weakening the US hold on the country.

As I have suggested previously, In addition to being named the perpetrator of the Berg murder Al Zarqawi is also being given credit (if that is the right word) for the assassination of Ezzedin Salim, the rota President of the Iraqi Council of Government. Perhaps in the eyes of the US Administration in trouble over Iraq, the US public should be given a new "international public enemy Number 1" given the current low visibility of Osama bin Laden and the nullifying by capture of Saddam Hussein. Of course it also helps cement, in election year, the preferred myth prolonged by US psy-ops that Saddam Hussein had links with Al Qua'ida (via Al-Zarqawi) and thus was responsible for 9/11. All of which helps counter the weakening support of the US public for Bush's Iraq venture and provide a more stable platform for Bush's re-election campaign. Further, perhaps Al-Qua'ida also needs a new figurehead, al-Zarqawi, to rally the Muslim world, especially discontented Iraqis?


So, the Berg killing satisfies the implicit needs of Bush, Al Qua'ida and Israel to continue the chaos in Iraq. Any one of those bodies could have carried out the assassination, although I personally do not believe the Bush Administration would sanction such an operation (not at the top anyway).

The assassins could have been Al Qua'ida, as claimed, or agents provocateurs on behalf of Israeli intelligence"

John Heelan writes: "In addition to being named the perpetrator of the Berg atrocity. Al Zarqawi is also being given credit (if that is the right word) for the assassination of Ezzedin Salim, the rota President of the Iraqi Council of Government. Perhaps in the eyes of the US Administration in trouble over Iraq, the US public should be given a new "international public enemy Number 1" given the current low visibility of Osama bin Laden and the nullifying by capture of Saddam Hussein. Of course it also helps cement the preferred myth prolonged by US psy-ops that Saddam Hussein had links with Al Qua'ida (via Al-Zarqawi) and thus was responsible for 9/11. All of which helps counter the weakening support of the US public for Bush's Iraq venture and provide a more stable platform for Bush's re-election campaign. Further, perhaps Al-Qua'ida also needed a new figurehead, al-Zarqawi, to rally the Muslim world, especially discontented Iraqis? If so, what has happened to Osama bin Laden and Mulla Omar?" RH: My understanding is that documents now show that Saddam Hussein did have ties to Al Qua'ida.

 

Ronald Hilton -


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