May 11, 2004


Al Qaeida responds to the insulting humiliation of terrorists with barbaric murder of innocent Americans. Who'd o' thunk it...

My condolences to Nick Berg's family and friends.

Nick was a 26 yr old business owner -- in Philidelphia -- who was contracted to Iraq to help rebuild the country's communications infrastructure.
For more on Nick Berg this article, by Sandy Bauers, appeared in the Philidelphia Inquirer on Saturday.

The last time Nick Berg called home, he was OK.
He had been released from the prison where he had been held for 13 days by Iraqi police for reasons he said he did not know.

He had made his way from Mosul to his Baghdad hotel.
He was finished with being an independent civilian contractor and was coming home to West Chester.

That was April 9.

And then nothing.

Now, a month later, Berg's parents, Michael and Suzanne, have gone from concerned to frantic.
And they hope that someone, somewhere, can give them the news they desperately want to hear: that Nick Berg is alive, that it is simply taking him a long time to make his way home.

"Our hopes are that he's still in hiding or en route and traveling in a very slow manner," Michael Berg said yesterday.

A spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq who tracks the number of civilians missing in that country was unavailable for comment yesterday.
But in mid-April, coalition spokesman Dan Senor said during a news briefing in Baghdad that about 40 people from 12 countries were missing and presumed hostages, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Nick Berg, 26, owns a business called Prometheus Methods Tower Service Inc. He climbs communications towers to inspect the antennas, the electrical connections and the structure.

He first went to Iraq on Dec. 21. "It was more of an exploratory mission," Michael Berg said. He stayed until Feb. 1, making contact with a company that indicated there would likely be work for him later.

His parents had not wanted him to go. But they say they think he was lured partly by a sense of adventure, partly because he is a "staunch supporter of the government position in Iraq and he wanted to go over there and help."

But when he returned to Iraq on March 14, the company had no work, so Berg began traveling and networking and found some.

He usually called home once a day and e-mailed several times; Michael Berg is his business manager, and they needed to stay in touch.
They spoke on March 24, and Nick Berg told his parents he was coming home on March 30. He was to be in a friend's wedding that weekend.

Then silence.

Michael Berg went to John F. Kennedy International Airport on March 30 anyway, hoping against hope. His son never got off the plane, and an employee of Royal Jordanian airlines later told him Nick Berg was a no-show.

When FBI agents arrived at the Berg's West Chester home on March 31, they were relieved to know their son was alive - although in jail. The agents questioned them about various details that only they and their son would know about.

Jerri Williams, spokeswoman for the Philadelphia FBI office, said the agency was "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 in Iraq.
The next day, April 6, Nick Berg was released.

He told his parents he had been riding in a taxi on March 24 when he was arrested by Iraqi officials at a checkpoint in Mosul. He told his parents he had not been mistreated.

The Bergs heard from their son on April 6, 7, 8 and 9. He said he would come home through Jordan, Turkey or Kuwait, whatever looked safest and most feasible.

But by then, hostilities in Iraq had escalated, and Michael Berg said they have not heard from their son since.The Bergs have hounded the State Department, the FBI and the International Committee of the Red Cross, seeking any shred of information.
Michael Berg said the State Department sent an official to Nick Berg's hotel, where an employee told the official they had not heard of him.

The Bergs hired a private investigator, who talked to an American hotel guest who said he remembered Nick Berg, his father said.

So now, they are waiting. Sometimes, they tell themselves their son "is a resourceful fellow who can take care of himself," Michael Berg said. Nick's friends call and say the same thing.

"Other times we think perhaps he was dead on April 10," Michael Berg said.

"My worst fear is that I'll never hear anything."

Posted by Tuning Spork at May 11, 2004 06:52 PM

Damn, I know I'm going to sound like some mush-brained DU-conspiracy type, but it struck me while reading your post. Bear with me.

In the 13 days that Berg spent confined by Iraqi police, do you think that militant factions of the police may have in fact been determining his ethnicity and setting up his kidnapping/murder?

I know it sounds far fetched, and perhaps it's simply a matter of too much X-Files, but you know, it's not as "out there" as it may look on the surface.

Posted by: Mamamontezz at May 12, 2004 10:02 PM

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