Michael Berg described himself as fervently anti-war, but said his son disagreed. "He was a Bush supporter," Berg said. "He looked at it as bringing democracy to a country that didn't have it."Why was Nick Berg -- an American businessman who owned a communications equipment company and was helping rebuild antennas in Iraq, exactly the sort of man whom Washington should want in Iraq -- detained by the US officials for thirteen days, the detention that his father believes may have led to his death? We have yet to get to the bottom of the matter.
Michael Berg lashed out at the U.S. military and Bush administration, saying his son might still be alive if he had been allowed to leave the country on March 30, as he had originally planned.
"I think a lot of people are fed up with the lack of civil rights this thing has caused," he said. "I don't think this administration is committed to democracy."
Nick Berg spoke to his parents on March 24 and said he would return home March 30. But he was detained by Iraqi police at a checkpoint in Mosul on March 24. At some point during his 13-day detention, U.S. officials took custody of him, his father said, and he was not allowed to make phone calls or contact a lawyer.
FBI agents visited Berg's parents in West Chester on March 31 and told the family they were trying to confirm their son's identity. On April 5, the Bergs sued the government in federal court in Philadelphia, contending that their son was being held illegally by the U.S. military.
Berg was released the next day, and he told his parents he had not been mistreated. They did not hear from him after April 9.
Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. ("Pa. Man's Family Learns of Beheading Video," USA Today May 11, 2004)
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Beheaded Man Nick Berg's Father Lashes Out against Bush's War
After I posted an entry "All Quiet on the Right-Wing Front," I learned of news of a grisly beheading of a young American man Nick Berg, whose videotaped execution was reported to have been posted on the website of an Islamist group linked to Al-Qaida. Still, the right has little to say about it, perhaps because of the slain man's father Michael Berg's opposition to the war and criticism of the Geroge W. Bush administration: