Sunday, May 16, 2004

Get Zarqawi On The Phone

Fred Kaplan makes the case in his Friday, May 14th Slate article that the Deserter bears some responsibility for the prison abuse scandal and Zarqawi's murder of Nick Berg.

Kaplan recalls Jim Miklaszewski's March 2nd report regarding the National Security Council's spiking of three different proposals by the military to strike at Zarqawi and his operation in Iraq. "Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam," according to Miklaszewski. (You really have to wonder why this story didn't get more play in March).

There's been something very suspicious about this Berg story from the very beginning. You have the Berg family claiming that Nick told them he was being held by U.S. military authorities, and that they have written confirmation of this from the State Dept. The State Dept. concedes that they did in fact confirm this to the Berg family, but states that the confirmation was "incorrect," attributing the error to the Coalition Provisional Authority. Is anyone aware of whether the CPA confirms or denies the State Dept. claim that it was the source of the "incorrect" claim that Nick was held by U.S. military authorities?

The CPA confirms that the FBI visited Nick Berg on three different occasions, but claims Berg was never in U.S. military custody. Is it plausible that the CPA and U.S. military are permitting Iraqi police in Mosul to make decisions regarding the detention of U.S. citizens in Iraqi prisons? Meanwhile, the Iraqi Mosul police chief denies that Iraqi police arrested Berg and claims to have no knowledge of the matter.

After nearly two weeks in custody, Nick Berg is released on April 5th, one day after his family filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Government contending that their son is being held illegally by the U.S. military.

Ashcroft has claimed that FBI agents and CPA representatives offerred Berg safe passage by air out of Iraq, but that Berg declined the offer. "He also refused government offers to advise his family and friends of his status," according to the FBI. So the story from the FBI and Justice Dept. is that Berg in effect said "no thanks, I'd rather find my own way to Jordan to catch a flight to the States rather than accept your offer of a flight directly out of Iraq, and oh, by the way, don't let my parents know I'm safe." Hmmm. This despite the fact that it was common knowledge that in the few days preceding Berg's scheduled date of departure from Iraq the main road to Jordan had been the site of more than a dozen kidnappings of foreigners.

Suddenly, Nick disappears on April 9th. His body is found on a bridge a month later, and then this horrific video appears showing Berg, still clothed in orange prison garb, seated before our friend Zarqawi, still on the loose thanks to the NSC's beneficence. You know the rest. The video appears at the very moment the beseiged administration is realizing that the Abu Ghraib scandal is beyond its control. Like clockwork, administration lackeys on the Hill like Jim Inhofe, right-wing screamers on talk radio and cable news, and wingnuts across the nation are seizing on the Berg atrocity to divert attention from, and in some cases justify, the Abu Ghraib abuses. How convenient.

There are many questions regarding Berg that need to be answered by our government, some of which are set forth here.

Go ahead wingnuts, call me paranoid, call me a conspiracy theorist, call me crazy. But let's compare the evidence underlying my paranoid fantasy against the gossamer threads of your Vince Foster fantasy, and let's see who's crazy.


Blogger Yaz said...

Well, the White House can't escape from their war or provide a cogent justification for why we're there in the first place, so why not hope to distract folks? The wingnuts want to talk about what Kerry did or didn't do with his ribbons (and whether or not they're "medals") rather than address the disaster their president has created. Or maybe, you'll just get interested in Dubya's dog ( instead of Dubya's ineptitude. They don't know what they're doing in Iraq (besides beating up the locals), but they can get a dog his own internet domain and update the site every day.

12:14 PM  

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