Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, May 31, 2004

On tonight's Marr's Media Sermon, David Marr reviews the history of reports of abuses in Iraqi prisons (since the liberation, you dill), and concludes that the media were slow to take an interest until the pictures came out. Not that Media Watch noticed at the time.

He did not notice Henny Herald's current beat-up. Nor did he comment on the space Henny gave to the conspiracy ravings of 60s throw-back, Richard Neville, in last Saturday's Henny.

Iraq in flames, Washington an object of disgust. What to do? At this pivotal moment, CNN and Fox News are tipped off to a clip of an American citizen being beheaded. The victim is a 26-year-old idealist from Pennsylvania, Nick Berg. Despite the perpetrators being masked, the vile deed is deemed the work of al-Qaeda.

The timing of the video was brilliant for the West. Media pundits judged the crime a deeper evil than the systemic torture of innocent Iraqis. But some people sensed a rat. But if it was not al-Qaeda, who? Surely not Uncle Sam. That's too dark, even for the CIA.

But not too dark for our dope-headed anti-Westerner, Richard Neville.

What's your evidence, petal?

The issue of custody is significant; in his final moments on screen Berg is wearing an orange jumpsuit of the kind familiar from Guantanamo Bay

Berg's father had signed an anti-war petition, unless Neville's mind is wandering, and the dark forces were after him, but Nick was a Bushie. Where does that get us? Ummmmm.

Don't forget that killer detail.


The first few seconds of the video shows Berg sitting on a white plastic chair in an orange jumpsuit.

They have white plastic chairs in Abu Ghraib, too.

Hey, and I've got a white plastic chair just like that. Perhaps it came here from Iraq by telekinesis because I was sitting on it thinking about Iraq just when I was on my third glass and there was this strange buzzing noise might have been the doorbell but you never know what'g going on in the astral plane if you're a special soul like me and then there's these facts you just can't get round
 They are well-fed, fidgety, and reveal glimpses of white skin.

 Their Arabic is heavily accented (Russian, Jordanian, Egyptian).

 An aside in Russian had been translated as "do it quickly".

 One character wears wears bulky white tennis shoes.

 The man on the far left stands in the familiar "at ease" military posture.

 The men's scarves are worn and tied by people who "haven't a clue", says conspiracy theorist Hector Carreon, like actors in Hollywood movies

 There is even a voice at the end that seems to ask in English, "How will it be done?" .

Scary, scary stuff.

Neville concludes
The use of FBI footage in the opening sequence, if confirmed, suggests the involvement of high-level US Government operatives.

I do not know who killed Nick Berg, or how he died. But there's something fishy about this video.

There is something even fishier about a broadsheet that runs piffle like this.

When David Marr goes back from his Auntie-funded excursion, we know he'll feel right at home.