Thursday, May 13, 2004

Lets look at this set of Nick Berg facts-

288 million American citizens.

One citizen's email password and email account end up being used by Zacarias Moussaoui, and the same citizen later is beheaded by Musab al-Zarqawi. From

U.S. officials say the FBI questioned Berg in 2002 after a computer password Berg used in college turned up in the possession of Zacarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda operative arrested shortly before 9/11 for his suspicious activity at a flight school in Minnesota.

The bureau had already dismissed the connection between Berg and Moussaoui as nothing more than a college student who had been careless about protecting his password.

But in the wake of Berg's gruesome murder, it becomes a stranger than fiction coincidence -- an American who inadvertently gave away his computer password to one notorious al Qaeda operative is later murdered by another notorious al Qaeda operative.

What are the odds that is a coincidence? 1 in 100? 1 in 1000? Total number of American contractors in Iraq odds- 1 in 20,000? Lottery odds- 1 in 16 Million? DNA odds- 1 in 30 Million? Total American population odds- 1 in 288 million? Longer odds than that? I don't know how to figure the odds, but whatever the odds that the Berg/Moussaoui/Zarqawi connection was coincidence, they are certainly sky-high. If the Berg/Moussaoui/Zarqawi connection was coincidence, it is one of the amazing coincidences in all history.

Was Berg a spy working for either Al Qaeda or the Americans- or even a third party(Israelis)?

If he was a spy, he had a perfect cover- American entrepreneur working on Communications Towers. The job required (solo?) travel to various far-flung parts of Iraq. From

Two e-mails he sent to his family and friends show he traveled widely and unguarded throughout Iraq, an unsafe practice rarely done by Westerners.

Also, think about this- Berg allegedly worked atop Communications Towers. He was in perfect position to plant communications listening devices. Who knows if that happened, but suddenly the scenario doesn't seem ridiculous. From CBS-

Berg wrote about his experiences in trying to track down and later meet an in-law in the Mosul area.

Lets run through this list again-

--Berg/Mousaoui/Zarqawi connection.
--American traveling widely and unguarded throughout Iraq.
--Berg's family hates American military action ("Nicholas Berg died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld."- Michael Berg)


--Alleged "in-law"(!!) in Mosul?!

Boiler plate spy novel cover story! And, if it's true, it raises a whole new set of questions.

These coincidences are starting to add up! Add this final bit to the story, again from

Officials said the U.S. government warned Berg to leave Iraq, and offered him a flight out of the country, a month before his grisly death. On April 10, four days after Berg was released from an Iraqi prison, an American diplomat offered to put him on a flight to Jordan, State Department spokeswoman Kelly Shannon said. But Berg told the diplomat he "planned to travel overland to Kuwait and would call (his) family from there," Shannon said.

Michael Berg, said that although his son wanted to leave Iraq, he refused the flight offer because he thought the travel to the airport would be too dangerous.

This last bit is completely nonsensical. Berg was warned to get out, and was offered a flight out. He declined, telling his parents

"travel to the airport is too dangerous(?!)."

Instead, he proposed travel to Kuwait?! Solo?! For the purpose of "safety?!" Roll eyes here. There's discrepant reporting as to whether Berg was in Mosul or Baghdad when the flight offer was made. Either way, it's nonsensical that he would travel to Kuwait for "safety" purposes.

Note this detail for future reference- Berg allegedly told the American Diplomat he would call his parents once he got to Kuwait. He apparently did call his parents, as his father gives a detail about why Berg didn't want to go to the airport. Was Berg abducted in Kuwait? How would you get a kidnap victim back across the Iraqi border? Bribe? Subterfuge? Or, maybe the "victim" was a willing travel companion?

It all might be a big series of coincidences. Maybe mitigating facts will come out. Maybe has some of their facts wrong. But it doesn't look good for our old friend "coincidence." Vincent Bugliosi used to argue against coincidence alibis in this fashion-

The law doesn't say "beyond all doubt," it says "beyond a reasonable doubt." Maybe somewhere on some distant planet in some distant galaxy this set of coincidences could've occurred. But here on the Earth I live on, with brown dirt and green grass and Little Leaguers tossing the ball around, these types of coincidences just do not happen. Here in the real world, it simply does not happen that- on the very day your wife disappears- you go fishing in the ocean within a mile of where her body eventually washes up. That does not happen in the world you and I live in.

PS- This is off the cuff, but-

Fox News reports that Nick Berg and Zaccharias Mousaoui both attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. Mousaoui used Berg's email account while he was in Norman.

Nick Berg was from Philadelphia. If I'm a high school student in Philadelphia, what are the odds that I scan the nation for place to matriculate, and my gaze falls upon Norman, Oklahoma? Again, the odds seem steep. There's probably a legitimate reason this Pennsylvania kid went to college in Norman, but, at first glance, it doesn't look right.

I should say that I've been on the OU campus, and I'm confident OU is a both a fun school and a solid scholastic institution. I'm equally confidant OU is not the first choice of most Philadelphia teenagers.

Berg family spokeperson says Berg encountered Mousaoui on a bus(OU Shuttle Bus?) while at school in Norman. The Berg family spokesperson speculates that Berg helped Mousaoui out of kindness.

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