Thursday, May 13, 2004

Mr. Berg Speaks Up

I'm not at all sure Mr. Berg isn't speaking through the pain of losing his son so extraordinarily gruesomely and publicly, at least a little, but his words strike me as important in a time when Mr. Rumsfeld can make a surprise visit to Abu Ghraib hot on denying we violated the Geneva Conventions. These pictures in the mind of Berg and Rumsfeld, on both ends of a lawsuit just a month ago, are starkingly, achingly incongruent. While I am not necessarily a pacificist, I respect a man such as Berg. Rumsfeld, on the other hand, seemingly would give him the back of his hand.

The following are all from a story found on
"My son died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. This administration did this," Berg said in an interview with radio station KYW-AM.

That's either the most bald accusation I've seen in a long time, or an enraged father mouthing off. I'll not blame the man if he is either, but the details, especially of Mr. Berg's son not being released until the lawsuit against Rumsfeld were filed, calls the lie on the government assertions that American forces never held Nick Berg. This is looking more and more like a cover-up.

Evidently, Rumsfeld and company can't get the Iraqi security forces to back up their story.

Michael Berg rejected U.S. government claims that his son had never been held by American authorities in Iraq. The Iraqi police chief in the city of Mosul has also contradicted statements by the U.S.-led coalition concerning the younger Berg's detention.

Mr. Berg testifies again:

"I have a written statement from the State Department in Baghdad ... saying that my son was being held by the military," Berg said. "I can also assure you that the FBI came to my house on March 31 and told me that the FBI had him in Mosul in an Iraqi prison."

What does it earn Mr. Berg to make the story up, or the Iraqi police chief in Mosul? How could they possibly have concocted this conspuiracy together in order to refute the official Bush/Rumsfeld line? No, there is neither motive or opportunity here. But there is plenty of motive for the military authorities to concoct lies, coming as they are off a horrific scandal and not wanting one whiff of responsibility for Berg's death. Then again, when have they taken responsibility in this whole bloody war and occupation in Iraq?

If you are finished grinding your teeth, you may now rinse and spit.