Thursday, May 13, 2004

Deeper Analysis is Demanded; There is a Pattern Here...

A quick analysis of the circumstances including the emails of Nick Berg points to his beheading to be actually a murder by American intelligence agents bent on creating a new faux outrage to inflame Americans at home. The men in hoods are Americans. We do really know that Nick Berg was in the custody of the American military intelligence having been stopped for them by Iraqis at a checkpoint in the far north in the Area of Tal Afar and Mosul. The American intelligence teams placed him under severe interrogation to determine what he knew about the Abu Ghraib and Bucca prison atrocities and to determine what he was planning to do with that knowledge. They knew his history, he carried his resume with him which included working on the Republican Convention in Philadelphia in 2000.

They knew he was a young idealistic Republican brimming with a naive provincial confidence that everything Republican is good and that this war was a noble effort. MI saw a distinct danger in letting him return to the US because his conservative history lent gravitas to anything he might reveal upon his return to the US. They had his emails which hinted that he was harboring a need to expose the disconnect between the propaganda of the Bush Administration which was trading on America's past honor and glory; and the grotesque and twisted applications of Empire's real politique in Iraq. They knew that he had direct knowledge of the abuses and the horrors. They knew that they needed to find a way to prevent him from leaving and spilling the beans while making it into a galvanizing issue for the cause of continuing the war and re-selecting the Devil to the White House.

Why not just put on some hoods, fuzz up the video, and kill Nick Berg in the name of Allah? That's what they did; you can take that to the bank.

Nick Berg became upset and outraged at what he learned just as Mazen Dana, the award-winning photo-journalist who was shot to death by an American tank patrolling the perimeter of the Abu Ghirab Prison nearly a year ago while filming atrocities at the prison from the outside. Remember? The soldier who shot him said that he perceived the Dana's camera to be a shoulder-launched grenade launcher. That was a lie. The stated circumstances of this killing is also a lie.

And it is true that the Daniel Pearle (another journalist!) was finding out information which was running counter to the manufactured information of the Coalition Forces in Afghanistan and ready to go public when he was "kidnapped by Arabs" and decapitated.

Is this a stretch? Consider that the supposed perpetrator, who was purported to have done the deed, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been dead for months, being a victim of the US bombings in Northern Iraq. It might be instructive to look at the data of the journalists killed in Iraq as to where they were killed and what they were working on.

The following information is taken from the IPI Death Watch Site and compiled by Michael Kudlak. In the introduction to the 2003 listing Mr Kudlak makes this observation: "Several killings of journalists by U.S. troops – including the deaths of José Couso of Spain’s Telecinco and Taras Protsyuk of Reuters on 8 April, when a U.S. tank fired a shell at Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel, and the shooting of veteran Reuters journalist Mazen Dana by a U.S. tank crew on 17 August – raised serious questions about the conduct and terms of engagement of coalition troops and the need for timely and transparent investigations into the unexplained killings of journalists working in Iraq.

Mazen Dana, 17 August 2003

Mazen Dana, 41, an award-winning Palestinian journalist for Reuters, was shot dead by a U.S. tank crew as he was filming outside the Abu Ghraib prison in western Baghdad. A U.S. army spokesman said, "Army soldiers engaged an individual they thought was aiming an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher) at them. It turned out to be a Reuters cameraman." However, Reuters soundman Nael al-Shyoukhi, who was with Dana at the time of the shooting, said that the camera team had been operating near the prison with the knowledge of the U.S. military.

Journalist Deaths in 2003 and 2004 in Iraq from IPI Deathwatch by By Michael Kudlak

IRAQ (10)
Jan. 27: DURAID ISA MOHAMMED, 27, a television producer for Cable News Network (CNN), and YASSER KHATAB, 25, his driver, died of multiple gunshot wounds when the two-car convoy they were travelling in came under fire near the southern city of Hillah. The vehicles were headed north toward Baghdad when a car approached from behind and a single gunman with an AK-47, standing through the sunroof, opened fire. Cameraman Scott McWhinnie, who was travelling in the second vehicle, was grazed in the head by a bullet and treated at a nearby military base. According to CNN, the network's vehicles were unmarked and the attackers may not have been aware they were journalists.

March 18: ALI ABDEL AZIZ, 35, an Iraqi cameraman for the Dubai-based satellite news channel, Al-Arabiya, was killed instantly when U.S. troops at a military checkpoint in central Baghdad opened fire after a vehicle tried to race through the roadblock. Al-Arabiya reporter ALI AL-KHATIB, 32, also an Iraqi national, died of his wounds hours later. The TV crew had gone to cover a rocket attack on the Burj al-Hayat Hotel when U.S. soldiers opened fire, the driver travelling with the journalists said.
March 18: NADIA NASRAT, MAJID RACHID and MOHAMAD AHMAD of the U.S.-funded regional television station, Diyala TV, were killed in an attack by armed men east of the town of Baaquba. The TV crew was travelling to work in a minibus when gunmen pulled up in a car and opened fire. Ten other staff members were reportedly injured in the attack.

, a freelance Iraqi cameraman working for the U.S. television station ABC, was killed in the city of Fallujah, west of the capital, Baghdad. According to news reports, 15 Iraqis were killed in Fallujah during fighting as U.S. Marines conducted house-to-house searches in the city. According to ABC News, Mazhour was struck in the head by a single bullet and later died in a hospital. ABC News asked the U.S. military to conduct an investigation into the incident.
April 19: ASSAD KADHEM, a correspondent, and HUSSEIN SALEH, his driver, who both worked for the coalition-funded television channel, Al-Iraqiya TV, were killed by U.S. military fire. Cameraman Jaassem Kamel, who was hit in the back during the incident, was taken to hospital in Samarra. The exact circumstances of the incident were not immediately clear.

2003 Journalist Deaths in Iraq from IPI Deathwatch By Michael Kudlak
Iraq (19)
Paul Moran, 22 March
Paul Moran, 39, a freelance cameraman on assignment for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), was killed when a car bomb exploded next to him near the village of Khurmal in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. Kurdish officials blamed the apparent suicide attack on a militant group, Ansar al-Islam, which has been accused of links with Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network. A fellow Australian journalist, Eric Campbell, suffered minor shrapnel wounds in the blast.
Terry Lloyd, 22 March
Terry Lloyd, 50, a veteran correspondent for the British TV broadcaster ITN, was killed by "friendly fire" near Basra in southern Iraq. Two members of his news crew, French cameraman Fred Nerac and Jordanian translator Hussein Osman, were reported missing. The fourth member of the team, cameraman Daniel Demoustier, who escaped with injuries, said the crew’s two vehicles were hit by "friendly fire" from U.S. or British forces aiming at two nearby vehicles carrying about a dozen Iraqi soldiers.
Gaby Rado, 30 March
Gaby Rado, 48, foreign correspondent for "Channel 4 News", London, UK, was found dead at a hotel in Suleimaniya, northern Iraq. It is believed that he fell from the roof of the Abu Sanaa hotel into the car park below, where his body was found, and that there was no direct connection with any military action.
Kaveh Golestan, 2 April
Kaveh Golestan, 52, an Iranian freelance cameraman on assignment for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), was killed in northern Iraq when he stepped on a land mine as he climbed out of his car near the town of Kifri. He was travelling as part of a four-person BBC crew that included producer Stuart Hughes, Tehran bureau chief Jim Muir, and a local translator. Hughes injured his foot and was later treated by U.S. military medics. Muir and the translator suffered light cuts.
Michael Kelly, 4 April
Michael Kelly, 46, editor-at-large of The Atlantic Monthly and a columnist for The Washington Post, was killed in a Humvee accident while riding with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division south of Baghdad airport. Kelly, who had also served as editor of The New Republic and The National Review, was the first American journalist killed while covering the war.
David Bloom, 6 April
David Bloom, 39, a correspondent for NBC News, died of a pulmonary embolism while travelling with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division outside Baghdad. Bloom, who had no apparent health problems, had been co-anchor of the weekend edition of the "Today" programme since March 2000. Dehydration and sleeping in confined quarters may have been risk factors, doctors said.
Kamaran Abdurazaq Muhamed, 6 April
Kamaran Abdurazaq Muhamed, a Kurdish translator working for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), was killed by "friendly fire" after a U.S. F15 fighter jet dropped a bomb on a convoy of Kurdish troops and U.S. special forces who were travelling near the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. Two BBC journalists, world affairs editor John Simpson and producer Tom Giles, were also injured. At least 18 people were reportedly killed in the incident.
Julio Anguita Parrado and Christian Liebig, 7 April
Julio Anguita Parrado, 32, a correspondent for the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo, and Christian Liebig, 35, a correspondent for the German news magazine FOCUS, were killed during a rocket attack on the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division outside Baghdad.
Tarek Ayoub, 8 April
Tarek Ayoub, a cameraman and correspondent for the Qatar-based satellite television network Al-Jazeera, was killed during a U.S. air raid on Baghdad. Ayoub, a Jordanian citizen, died in hospital after he was wounded in the strike, which set ablaze al-Jazeera’s office near the Information Ministry, the network said. Another member of al-Jazeera’s Baghdad crew, Zohair al-Iraqi, was wounded in the attack.
Taras Protsyuk and José Couso, 8 April
Taras Protsyuk, 35, a Reuters cameraman, and José Couso, 37, a cameraman for the Spanish television channel Tele 5, were killed when a U.S. tank fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel, the base for many foreign media in Baghdad. Protsyuk, a Ukrainian citizen based in Warsaw, was killed immediately; Couso was wounded and later died in hospital. Three other members of the Reuters team in Baghdad were hurt in the tank shell blast.
Mario Podestá, 14 April
Mario Podestá, 51, an Argentine freelance correspondent on assignment for the television station America TV, was killed in a car accident on the highway between Amman and Baghdad. Podestá was travelling to Baghdad in a convoy of press vehicles when a tire on his car exploded, causing the crash. The veteran war correspondent died instantly. Argentine camerawoman Veronica Cabrera, who was travelling with Podestá, was taken to a Baghdad hospital, where she died from her injuries the next day. Witnesses said they heard gunfire just before the accident happened.
Veronica Cabrera, 15 April
Veronica Cabrera, 28, an Argentine freelance camerawoman, died of injuries sustained on April 14 in a car accident some 50 kilometres from Baghdad. Her colleague, Argentine war correspondent Mario Podestá, was killed instantly in the crash.
Elizabeth Neuffer, 8 May
Elizabeth Neuffer, 46, an award-winning reporter for the Boston Globe, was killed in an automobile accident while returning to Baghdad from an overnight trip to Tikrit, where she was writing about efforts to rid Iraq of the influence of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party. The accident, which occurred when Neuffer’s car struck a guardrail near the town of Samarra, also killed her translator, Waleed Khalifa Hassan Al-Dulami.
Richard Wild, 5 July
Richard Wild, 24, a British freelance cameraman, died after an unidentified assailant shot him in the head at close range in a crowded street near Baghdad’s Natural History Museum. Some press reports said Wild was not carrying a camera or wearing any clothing that would have identified him as a journalist.
Jeremy Little, 6 July
Jeremy Little, 27, an Australian freelance television soundman, died of complications from injuries sustained during a grenade attack in the central Iraqi town of Fallujah. Little, who was embedded with the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division for NBC News, had been receiving treatment at a military hospital in Germany.

Ahmed Shawkat, 28 October
Ahmed Shawkat, editor of the weekly Bilah Ittijah, was shot dead by two unidentified men in Mosul. Sources said he had recently received death threats ordering him to close his newspaper.

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