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Beheaded Man's Firm Was On Right-Wing FREEPER 'Enemies' List

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, often fanatical Republican 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.
Beheaded Man's Firm Was On Right-Wing 'Enemies' List

 http://www.BreakForNews.com/NickBergEnemiesList.htm

by Fintan Dunne, Editor
BreakForNews.com EXCLUSIVE
Research by Kathy McMahon
12th May, 2004 10amET

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, often fanatical Republican 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  http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/sports/horse_racing/kentucky_derby/8638882.htm on the occupation --though you would never know that from reading the New York Times.  http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/sports/horse_racing/kentucky_derby/8638882.htm on the occupation --though you would never know that from reading the New York Times.  link to www.nytimes.com

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

homepage: homepage: http://www.breakfornews.com/NickBergEnemiesList.htm
address: address: Copyright © 2004 BreakForNews.com Attribute for Fair Use.


Beheaded man's father was targetted by right-wing hate group 13.May.2004 14:56

Sandwichman

An Internet hate group called "Free Republic" targeted Nick Berg's father and company on an enemies list two weeks before the son was detained by Iraqi police. The son was subsequently kidnapped and beheaded, allegedly by Islamic terrorists.

Two weeks before Nicolaus Berg, the American beheaded in Iraq, was picked up by Iraqi police, a right-wing hate group calling itself Free Republic published an internet a  http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1092851/posts";>hit list of "enemies" with the avowed purpose of harassing and harming individuals on the list. The list was copied from an online petition supporting a March 20, 2004 demonstration sponsored by the anti-war group ANSWER. It included the name of Michael S. Berg and listed his affiliation as Prometheus Methods Tower Services, Inc.

Tactics discussed by the right-wingers included circulating the names to employers, the FBI and the military in anticipation of causing them "serious grief." One participant stated, "I sure do hope to see a round of hangings soon." The larger Free Republic site abounds with apocalyptic imagery, frequent calls for genocide against Muslims and Arabs and expressions of adoration for US President George W. Bush.

"Here you are, FReepers." wrote 'doug from upland,' the instigator of the enemies list, , "Here is the enemy. Working in conjunction with A.N.S.W.E.R., they have given us their names. How about this one --- Jameel Rashid, U.S. Coast Guard, Portsmouth, VA. Well, sailor. I guess it is time for me to call your commanding officer and see what he thinks about this."
The discussion topic is identified on the site by the "keywords": APPEASENIKS; DAMNCOMMIES; ENEMYWITHIN; LEFTISTS; PEACENIKS; RATS; SCUMBAGS; TRAITORS; TREASONOUSSCUM; USEFULIDIOTS; WARONTERROR

"Less [sic] we forget," replied 'bmwcycle,' "Everyone send this to Rush, Sean, Fox, and everyone you can e-mail this list. Don't stop until everyone has a copy."

The tone of discussion on the topic, which initially continued from March 7 to March 12 2004, may be summarized by the following comments:

"The poor moron is not going to know what hit him."

"2000 piles of puke on the floor, representing the who's who of the world of stench."

"Ah, too bad we don't have some pictures so we could make up a rogues gallery of some of the individuals."


"Turn on the full volume idiot alert with red strob [sic] light. This is priceless ---"

"I only wish this putz worked for me. I can assure you, he would rue the day his mother delivered him."

Discussion on the list had played itself out by March 12, totalling 269 messages. Then on May 11 it resumed with the message, "The guy who was beheaded was on this list. He was also arrested by Iraqi police and held in an Iraqi prison for a few weeks before he was kidnapped. I think they treated him better in the prison than the kidnappers did." This was followed by a correction, "Michael S. Berg, Teacher, Prometheus Methods Tower Service, Inc.," I believe this is the father of Nick Berg - I wonder what he thinks about his Muslim buddies now..."

One respondent to the message, "'He won't blame the Islamofascist bastards. He will blame the president'... and he has," expressed a desire to "spit in the face" of Michael Berg. It was deleted by the list moderator, (comment #275).

Another relayed the information that the FReeper enemies list was being mentioned in connection with Nick Berg's murder.

"Did you know FreeRepublic is being partially blamed for Nick Bergs beheading?" Asked one participant.

A subsequent message sought to disown any possible culpability, "FR just copied a list. Whoever put the list together in the first place is in the mix too." Two messages, their senders apparently struck by conscience or public relations savvy, quickly offered obligatory, if mixed, expressions of magnanimity: "My heart and prayers go out to the Berg family, and Mr. Berg's friends. My prayers also go, daily, to our fightig [sic] men and women, and that God will strike our enemies senseless." "My prayers are for the Berg family and friends also. Regardless of their politics they are parents and I have sympathy for what they must be going through. It has to be heart wrenching.

The last comment on the list, as of 4:10 am on May 13 complained, "Now we at Freerepublic are responsible for Berg's death-because of this thread?" But perhaps the answer to that had already appeared, two messages earlier with presumably unintentional irony: "When is the last time you saw someone on the political right do property damage or deliberately injure someone? When do we call for the death of anyone other than our enemies?"


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