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News ::
Beheading of American in Iraq
11 May 2004
In our zeal to oppose the war, let none of us forget that there are some Iraqi bad guys out there that are worthy of fighting against - anyone that beheads a civilian in the name of revenge - whether American or Iraqi - is not fit to live in our world. Nothing NOTHING justifies this act. War is complicated, huh?
Video Seems to Show Beheading of American

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By NIKO PRICE, Associated Press Writer

CAIRO, Egypt - A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site showed the beheading of an American civilian in Iraq (news - web sites), and said the execution was carried out by an al-Qaida affiliated group to avenge the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers.

The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit — similar to a prisoner's uniform — who identified himself as Nick Berg, a U.S. contractor whose body was found on a highway overpass in Baghdad on Saturday.


"My name is Nick Berg, my father's name is Michael, my mother's name is Susan," the man said on the video. "I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in ... Philadelphia."


After reading a statement, the men were seen pulling the man to his side and putting a large knife to his neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting "Allahu Akbar!" — "God is great." They then held the head out before the camera.


Berg's family said Tuesday they knew their son had been decapitated, but didn't know the details of the killing. When told of the video by an Associated Press reporter, Berg's father, Michael, and his two siblings hugged and cried.


"I knew he was decapitated before. That manner is preferable to a long and torturous death. But I didn't want it to become public," Michael Berg said.


On the Web site, one of the executioners read a statement:


"For the mothers and wives of American soldiers, we tell you that we offered the U.S. administration to exchange this hostage with some of the detainees in Abu Ghraib and they refused."


"So we tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls. You will not receive anything from us but coffins after coffins ... slaughtered in this way."


The video bore the title "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shown slaughtering an American." It was unclear whether al-Zarqawi — a lieutenant of Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) — was shown in the video, or was claiming responsibility for ordering the execution.


The Web site on which the video was posted is known as a clearing house for al-Qaida and Islamic extremist groups' statements and tapes. An audiotape purportedly from bin Laden — which the CIA (news - web sites) said was probably authentic — appeared on the same Web site last week.


Western officials say al-Zarqawi, whose real name is Ahmad Fadhil al-Khalayleh, is a lieutenant of bin Laden. The United States has offered $10 million for information leading to the capture or killing of al-Zarqawi, saying he is trying to build a network of foreign militants in Iraq to work for al-Qaida.


In the video, the speaker threatened both President Bush (news - web sites) and Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.


"As for you Bush ... expect severe days. You and your soldiers will regret the day you stepped into the land of Iraq," he said. He described Musharraf as "a traitor agent."


The slaying recalled the kidnapping and videotaped beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 in Pakistan. Four Islamic militants have been convicted of kidnapping Pearl, but seven other suspects — including those who allegedly slit his throat — remain at large.


Suzanne Berg, the mother of the 26-year-old Berg, of West Chester, Pa., said her son was in Iraq as an independent businessman to help rebuild communication antennas. He had been missing since April 9, she said.


"He had this idea that he could help rebuild the infrastructure," she said.


The U.S. military Tuesday said an American civilian was found dead in Baghdad, but did not release his identity. State Department spokeswoman Susan Pittman said she couldn't release the name of the dead American, but said she is not aware of more than one civilian found dead in recent days.

The military said there were signs of trauma to the body. Suzanne Berg said she was told her son's death was violent but did not want to discuss details.

Berg, who was in Baghdad from late December to Feb. 1, returned to Iraq in March. He didn't find any work and planned again to return home on March 30, but his daily communications home stopped on March 24. He later told his parents he was jailed by Iraqi officials at a checkpoint in Mosul.

"He was arrested and held without due process," his father, Michael Berg, told the Daily Local News of West Chester recently. "By the time he got out the whole area was inflamed with violence.

The FBI (news - web sites) on March 31 interviewed Berg's parents in West Chester. Jerri Williams, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia FBI office, told The Philadelphia Inquirer the agency had been "asked to interview the parents regarding Mr. Berg's purpose in Iraq."

On April 5, the Bergs filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia, contending that their son was being held illegally by the U.S. military. The next day Berg was released. He told his parents he hadn't been mistreated.

The Bergs last heard from their son April 9, when he said he would come home by way of Jordan, Turkey or Kuwait. But by then, hostilities in Iraq had escalated.

Suzanne Berg on Tuesday said she was told her son's body would be transported to Kuwait and then to Dover, Del. She said the family had been trying for weeks to learn where their son was but that federal officials had not been helpful.

"I went through this with them for weeks," she said. "I basically ended up doing most of the investigating myself."

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Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
11 May 2004
regardless of whether it is justifiable or not, there is a very large difference between a genocidal foreign occupying military regime torturing it's prisoners, and the beheading of a foreign US contractor looking to work for US corporations in a country which has suffered so much for those very corporations.
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
11 May 2004
No Gene, there isn't. You are outright wrong by any moral standard. Murdering civilians is wrong, and there is no excuse for it, no matter what side your on. If you believe otherwise, then you are a bad person - it's as simple as that.
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
11 May 2004
let me ask you this; would you spend your energy condemning the reistance for the beheading of a nazi contractor looking for work with nazi companies in occupied france? or would you spend your time and energy denouncing it, as an equal evil to the nazis?
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
11 May 2004
David had it right, you obviously cannot tell the difference between good and evil, and therefore try to compare the United States to Nazi Germany. You are just a plain old everyday bad person, period.
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
12 May 2004
with 1.5 million (at conservative estimates) dead in iraq because of brutal economic sanctions and aerial bombardment campaigns over the last 14 years, it is a fair comparison.
Parents blame Bush for son's execution
12 May 2004
"That's really what cost my son his life, the fact that the United States government saw fit to keep him in custody for 13 days without any of his due process or civil rights" -- Mr Berg

Parents of a US contractor executed by Islamic militants in Iraq are blaming the Bush administration for his death, saying that US authorities had contributed to the tragedy by unlawfully detaining their son for nearly two weeks before his disappearance.

Michael Berg claimed yesterday that his son, Nick, was held by US authorities without access to a telephone or lawyer because of suspicions that he was an insurgent or terrorist. By the time he was finally released in early April, according to Mr Berg, the security situation had so deteriorated that it was difficult for him to make his way home...

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullSto
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
12 May 2004
Are some of you really twisted enough to think that killing civilians is OK for political reasons? I'm disturbed that the only guy agreeing with me has a screen name involving the NRA - my thought is by no means a radical one. Gene - in response, yes, it'd be wrong to kill a German civilian during WWII to get across some political message. Killing noncombatants is WRONG. In fact, our society has a word for it: murder.

Are you a supporter of murder, Gene? Sure sounds like it. Shame on you.
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
12 May 2004
i never said it was right. i am only pointing out that there is a large large difference between the violence of the oppressed versus the violence of the oppressors, *WHETHER OR NOT I BELIEVE IT TO BE RIGHT OR NOT*.

it is an inevitable aspect of brutally occupying a country that has been all but completely destroyed. my point is not htat i want civilians killed, my point is that what is causing civilians to be killed in this manner is the war and occupation of iraq.

for the anti-slavery effort in the US, who would it have served to spend all of the time and energy of the abolitionists on condemning a rebel slave killing women and children? would it make sense to spend energy condemning violent resistance against nazi citizens in occupied countries? or in any liberation struggle around the world?

this beheading, and this violence against US contractors, is a DIRECT result of the US occupation, and the last 14 years of war against iraq. the US contractors had a choice, and they came to iraq with the FULL knowledge that a bloody, merciless war was being fought against the iraqis. i don't want to see them all killed, but they need to get the fuck out of there.
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
12 May 2004
No Gene, the murder of Nick Berg is the direct result of terrorists holding a knife to his neck and cutting his head off. To trace back the source of the violence to the US is simply silly - there has been violence there for millenia (long before colonial powers ever even knew what oil was). NOTHING justifies murder of civilians except for evil.

The oppressed (notably, members of al Queda who committed this murder are hardly oppressed, but I'll leave that one alone) have ZERO right to kill civilians.

However, using your unique reasoning, I suppose that since it's OK to kill civilians, the 9/11 attacks were OK. The people that murdered Nick Berg are the same group of oppressed people that launched the WTC attack. While I hope none of your loved ones were under that rubble, you can console yourself if they were with knowledge that it was just an oppressed person killing an oppressive civillian.

I don't know what moral code you follow, but justifying murder doesn't fit in any decent moral standard of which I know.
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
12 May 2004
goddamn, how clearly do i need to put this???

I. AM. NOT. JUSTIFYING. THIS. BEHEADING.

I. AM. POINTING. OUT. THAT. THE. VIOLENCE. OF. THE. OPPRESSORS. IS. MUCH. GREATER. AND. FAR. WORSE. THEN. THE. OPPRESSED.

I. AM. NOT. SAYING. THAT. I. THINK. THAT. ACT. WAS. JUSTIFIED.

i know you disagree with me on that point, but do not confuse that point with some kind of support for al qaeda killing non-combatants.
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
12 May 2004
So your sole implication in your statement was that Americans have done bad stuff too and no one is pointing that out?...Hmm, read this message board for 3 seconds flat and you'll see that plenty of people (me included) have pointed out bad stuff the US has done. Even the mainstream media is now reporting American atrocities in Iraq. This is no longer new news.

The clear point of my initial posting was to show that just because some oppose American actions, it doesn't make Iraqis good guys. Iraqis are doing some really, really bad stuff.

Now, please, point out to me one other person that's posted a single think about Iraqi atrocities rather (like you) acting as their apologist, and I'll eat my words. Other than that, I'll just expect your apology for intentionally misreading the clear point of this posting and using it as a springboard to trash the US.
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
13 May 2004
I tried to read the link, but frankly, it was way too long. I didn't see a single recognition of where's the anti-Iraq sentiment there? While I wish I had time to read the boring book-length posting you referenced, I skimmed it. It was about supporting an anti-American protest. That's hardly an article recognizing Iraqi atrocities. SHOW ME A NEWS ARTICLE, GENE, A SINGLE NEWS ARTICLE RECOGNIZING IRAQI ATROCITIES. Look really hard - you'll find one of them. I posted it, and you can find it by simply scrolling up. In this board that celebrates free thought and free media, no one has thought it merited mentioning that a person had his head cut off in the name of allah because he was American and Jewish. Plenty of people (you included), have seen fit to say why it's understandable to do this. As an aside, one of the "free thinkers" on this board did find time to post their thoughts today that the killing/burning/desecration of the bodies of 4 American contractors in Fallujah was OK. Hmmm. None of the free thinkers out there think that's worthy of condemnation?

No one, except me and some dude with NRA in his login name has seen fit to point out that the Berg execution was wrong. After floundering for a while, you eventually said you weren't in favor of AQ killing people, but you explained it just like someone fighting a Nazi. Ya dude, you're hopeless.
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
19 May 2004
How can someone see this video can you please send me the link. Thank you
Re: Beheading of American in Iraq
24 May 2004
I think this whole deal with nick berg is a bunch of bullshit. Why in the hell did he go over thier to help the damn islamic people communicate with us anyway, he knew better than to go their in the first place. All of our soldiers need to get the hell out of their and come home, there not doing anything but causing more pain for their families.