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NYT: Civilian's (Berg's) Ill-Fated Road to Iraq Was Paved With Derring-Do

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:09 PM
Original message
NYT: Civilian's (Berg's) Ill-Fated Road to Iraq Was Paved With Derring-Do
Nicholas E. Berg had a distinctive strategy for soliciting work for his communications tower company: conduct free spot inspections, then offer to fix any problems. Where others went sightseeing, he went climbing and inspecting. Where others wrote postcards, he inventoried towers, from Texas to Africa.

By late last year, Mr. Berg, 26, had turned his sights on Iraq. An adventurous entrepreneur and religious Jew, Mr. Berg had a passionate belief in capitalism's power to transform poor nations. He really believed, friends and relatives said, that he could help rebuild that war-shattered country one radio tower at a time.

It was a vision that almost immediately aroused suspicions. In January, the Iraqi police, thinking Mr. Berg might be an Iranian spy, briefly detained him while he was touring towers near the south-central city of Diwaniya.

"Isn't this starting to read like a mystery novel," he wrote to his friends and family following his Diwaniya adventure.

Two months later, Mr. Berg would not be so lucky. Late on the evening of March 24, the Iraqi police in Mosul, apparently thinking Mr. Berg a spy, a smuggler or a terrorist, detained him while he was traveling to visit two business contacts.

more
http://nytimes.com/2004/05/26/international/middleeast/...
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. How Handy! The Iraqi Police Thought He Was Pro-Iranian
So the NYTimes is dutifully connecting all kinds of dots for Junior here.

But I wonder if they addressed the orange prisonsuit.

I'm not signing in online but will read story tomorrow in hardcopy.

Wonder who wrote it.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. Sounds like a puff-piece
Edited on Wed May-26-04 01:41 AM by daleo
I wonder if there is a new strange detail on this case, that will be explained by his "derring-do".

"Nicholas E. Berg had a distinctive strategy for soliciting work for his communications tower company: conduct free spot inspections, then offer to fix any problems. Where others went sightseeing, he went climbing and inspecting. Where others wrote postcards, he inventoried towers, from Texas to Africa."

I wonder how many places just let foreigners climb around communications towers, doing free spot inspections. This part of the case has always troubled me. From the reports I have read, it seems like he just wandered Iraq inspecting towers, but never actually got a contract. It doesn't seem very cost effective.

On edit - I mean it doesn't seem very cost effective for him, of course i.e. where was the money coming from to wander around Iraq?
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FormerOstrich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I had read quotes from his father saying..
that is how he started his business...out cold calling..and that he had hoped it would work in Iraq.

The article mentions a web site created in his memory: www.nickberg.org . There are e-mails, from Nick, talking about drumming up business.

I read all the things on the site. I found it very interesting. However, I don't know what I think of it all (yet anyway).

For all those concerned about his company not being incorporated his e-mails talk about his company. The e-mails say: Prometheus Methods Tower Service, Inc.
An insured tower company based in the Delaware Valley

All very interesting.......
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. I think Berg died while in U.S. custody and the video was made to
Edited on Wed May-26-04 03:55 AM by Dover
both cover it up, prevent a lawsuit, and make it look like an al Qaeda killing (propaganda tool). In other words, I don't think his alleged release lasted long, if it happened at all.
Someone else could have sent his final email.

...Mr. Berg's family contends that the swift release of Mr. Berg after the filing of the lawsuit proved that the American military had controlled their son's detention all along.

Upon his release, Mr. Berg sent e-mail saying he planned to catch a flight home from Jordan on April 10. He disappeared soon after that.


I think it's possibly that simple and devious. Whether he was killed deliberately or died by mistake from rough handling or at the hands of hostile Iraqis within the prison is still a question in my mind. The fact that the U.S. rushed to create the whole al Qaeda connection and the discrepancies between the Iraqi police and the U.S. military/FBI versions of who was holding him, is what raised my suspicions.....not to mention all the questions that the video, itself, raises.

I read this whole story by NYT and it really doesn't give any new information. It just sets up the timeline of events as they are currently being reported, and gives a little more background on Berg's entrepreneurial and fearless spirit. While these characteristics placed him in Iraq which WAS the wrong place at the wrong time (as the FBI has said) ... I doubt these characteristics caused his actual death..
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yep, Bush is desperate to have people believing Hussein was connected
to Al Queda, even though almost every reputable source has said "far from it."

By the way, I just heard a guest go through the points on the "Coasttocoastam" show (the old Art Bell show) of what leads him to believe the Berg tape is bogus.

He mentioned the lack of blood pressure, no blood flying out, two wildly different time signatures, obvious splicing, problems with the sound, and some other things I couldn't hear in time.

This was the first time I ever heard this mentioned on radio, and it was damned interesting.

I pray the truth will come out about this evil attempt to dupe the American citizens, and to bring fear and suffering to the rest of the world.
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phrenzy Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 04:33 AM
Response to Original message
6. More twisted irony..
From his e-mail from Iraq...

"Tomorrow (Monday) I'll inspect a site in Sinjar
(west of Mosul, towards the Syrian frontier and as close as I'll ever come
to Syria). Then I'm back to Baghdad to hire our local business manager and
hopefully get on two 1000' towers outside of Baghdad at Abu Ghreb (the site
of a notorious prison for Army and political prisoners). "
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nonbelief Donating Member (122 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 04:45 AM
Response to Original message
7. Berg's whole history stinks...
He just "happened" to meet one of the 9/11 hijackers on a bus while he was in college.

The hijacker just "happened" to choose to steal Berg's email account password.

Berg just "happens" to be detained by Iraqi police on suspicion of being an Israeli agent.

Berg just "happens" to be killed by an al Qaida terrorist 3 years later, as he's prancing through an Iraqi war zone ...


Sorry...if it walks like an Israeli agent and talks like an Israeli agent...
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phrenzy Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I don't ...
While I don't subscribe to any of the conspiracy theories (faked video / secret op / whatever) - I have to say that you couldn't have made-up a more conspiracy theory friendly set of events.
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
9. Suspect source: NYT. About equivalent to the Mooney Times at this
point.

The propaganda is so thick there is simply no telling what the hell happened.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. well said. ........................ eom
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