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imperialism & war

Beheaded man's father was targetted by right-wing hate group

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 <a href=&quot; http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1092851/posts&quot;>hit list</a> 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."

"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?"