Get Bill of Occam on the line


Occam's razor usually is a good guide when conspiracies are rumored to be afoot. What then to make of the news that Zacarias Moussaoui had Nick Berg's email password and that the FBI questioned Berg about that fact?

The official explanation is coincidence.

That is just a tough sell even though I have no particular theory to offer in its place. All I know is that the official account of the Iraqi police holding Berg in Mosul more or less independently of American control never made any sense and now appears to be utterly false.

Oh for the days when all we had to worry about were interns, thongs, and blowjobs.

NEXT: Your Daily Dose of Torture

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. That Berg was a jewish man who had been to Israel (as idicated on his passport)may have influenced the Iraqi police to detain him. I would think that would have some pull on where the Razor cuts.

  2. I hope for the sake of his family that whatever coincidences/non-coincidences there may be are quickly resolved. They deserve to not have this tragedy live on as one of those mysteries that attract conspiracy theorists.

    That said, if there is more than coincidence here, I hope for their sake that their son’s role in it turns out to be an honorable one. That last thing they need to find out is that he had been knowingly involved in crooked dealings, and that these dealings led to his horrific death.

  3. “My, My; If “we” had been paying attention to what reaaly mattered (Osama et al) maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t be where we are…”

    Indeed. The impeachment hearings turned out to be a major distraction form national security issues.

  4. That’s rich, Frank. If only the Republicans had ignored Clintonian misbehavior, he would have taken care of business? Suuure.

    It seems quite odd that Berg’s father is an ANSWER supporter, that Berg’s father said he couldn’t understand why the terrorists killed Berg since he was their “best friend”, that Berg was wandering Iraq alone without a contract or any paying work, that Moussaoui had Berg’s password, and that Berg wound up in the hands of Moussaoui’s pals. You can make what you want of that pattern.

    Berg is also reported to have been a supporter of the invasion, so who the hell knows?

  5. The impeachment hearings turned out to be a major distraction form national security issues.

    Oh, come on. The only times Clinton ever tried going after Al Qaeda was when he needed to divert attention from the impeachment process. Congressional hearing coming up? Time to launch a few cruise missiles, boys. Let’s go blow up an aspirin factory.

  6. I believe the explanation of M. having B.’s password is B. let M. use his computer. Now, unless M. did some digging and knew what he was doing, M. probably couldn’t have gotten his password unless it was in plain text. Maybe B. had it in a password.txt file on his desktop. Or, maybe he told it to M. thinking there wasn’t a problem. Or, M. saw B. type it in. Or, M. just sent an email from B.’s account, and reports that he had the actual password are mistaken.

    The breaking story here is, of course, the heretofore unknown FreeRepublic death squads.

  7. i would bet he’s either cia or israeli intel.

  8. “Berg is also reported to have been a supporter of the invasion, so who the hell knows?”

    That’s what his father says. But given his father’s politics, that probably means he didn’t think Bush should be dragged through the streets of DC.

  9. I never knew that reading every Philip K. Dick novel I could get my hands on would be just the framework I needed to survive.,1,2642082.story

  10. Hmm, very curious.

    I must admit that conspiracy theories are somewhat of a hobby to me, and this one peaks my interest. Of course, that doesn’t belittle the profound sense of loss the family must be feeling. I saw the video myself, and while I am normally pretty immune (even morbidly fascinated at times?) with such things, that actually made me a little queasy.

    Anyway, could be nothing, but I’m sure we’ll never know.

  11. I think it’s clear that Berg was an agent of somebody. The conflicting stories show that people are being sloppy in covering it up. He either worked for the CIA, the Mossad or Shin-Bet, or the 5th ComIntern. Who the hell knows, but we can say that, whatever he was doing there, what was done to him was a rather heinous war crime.

    I say it’s time to put the pig on. US Soldiers should adopt the Pershing solution and start dipping their bullets in pig fat. Lets see how quickly these nuts quiet down.

  12. Aspirin factory, it actually just made anti-diarhea compounds for kids and veternary medicines for Sadaam which was confused for VX precursors when EMPTA was supposed to be found in soil outside the factory. This also was more likely FONOFAS an agricutural pesticide which ‘could’ be confused when you are getting soil samples of dubious quality and then inferring backwards from degraded by-products.

  13. Pig fat ????

    That only works if they are muzzle loaders and the Iraqi’s have to bite on the bullets and taste the fat.
    Remember the prohibition on pig products is a ‘Dietary’ law .Getting hit by a bullet is bad enough , having it covered in pig fat if possible at all would be just laughable.
    Are you really that ignorant about Muslims ?

  14. This is a weird tale & it makes less sense by the hour.

    If you haven’t previously experienced the joys of — a sort of low-brow, fun-filled version of MetaFilter minus all the nylon-sandal-wearing sincere jackasses — drop on by the following threads, which are chock full of strange wire & newspaper story links about Berg’s alleged death.

    (And, I should add, these threads are also filled with sane, bizarre & insane theories about the curious timing of Berg’s alleged murder and the oddball excuses for it all.)

  15. You said it. The 90s are turning out to be some kind of Golden Age.

  16. To quote Lewis Black, “Life is so wierd now, why would anyone take drugs.” This is so odd, I hae no clue what to think. It could be one massive coincidence, but a very bizzare one nonetheless.

    I wish someone told me the 90s were a golden age when I lived through them. I would’ve had a little more fun.

  17. Awww, that Kerry is a swell guy, calling the Bergs to comfort them in their grief. I’m sure nothing but compassion and righteous indignation led him to do that, and talk about it on national TV… :rolls eyes:

  18. Oh for the days when all we had to worry about were interns, thongs, and blowjobs.

    Posted by Jeff A. Taylor

    My, My; If “we” had been paying attention to what reaaly mattered (Osama et al) maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t be where we are…

  19. From a mathmatical point of view, the chances of that being a coincidence are so close to zero, it makes no difference. Ho Hum

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  20. Sly-

    Pardon my skepticism, but how do you know the profile of a CIA recruit? It seems to me like the sort of thing that wouldn’t be publicly known.

    Also, regardless of whether he worked for the CIA or not, I doubt that the people who made the video knew about it. If they knew they would have bragged about it. “See, infidels, we have killed one of your agents!”

  21. Nick Berg was not made as either an agent or a Jew. The only thing they had was his passport that showed he had been through Israel.

    And I had entertained a CIA internship until I was made a better offer elsewhere. Passed the background, the prelim interview and physical. That was 10 years ago and I doubt they changed much since then. If you know your way around all forms of electronics, you are golden.

  22. Another clue. When Valerie Plame was “made” by Robert Novack, her cover was detailed as a small corporation (he was the blabbermouth, reporters should NEVER release classified intel they pry from ANY source).

    No, I do not watch Alias.

  23. Lets get back to the email. If the email server retained a copy of composed email, allowing a terrorist suspect use would be a very crude method of surveilence. This would assume the password was not changed to allow both users access. Crude but useful. CIA grade, D-.

    Changing schools mid-way though degree program. Smells like CIA as they are known to recruit 3rd and 4th year students. Now explain why a Jew would want to go to Oklahoma. The Christian Bible Belt. Suspicion high. CIA culpability, B+.

    Tower service technician. Very interesting. Since there is no evidence Nick was a adrenaline junkie of BASE jumper, love of heights is not indicated. Electronics was his forte and the 1990’s downplay on HUMINT in favor of SIGNIT puts Nick into deep cover agent planting SIGINT. Where else would be better than a com. tower. But reality. What 26 year old starts an industrial service company in s very tight market? CIA probability A+.

    Practicing Jew found with a Koran AND anti-Jewish literature? Cover. Deep cover. Nick had a relative in Iraq. Cover was needed. But from the nature of his death and the parallel to Daniel Pearle’s one must wonder. I heard nothing substantiating the killer’s hatred Nick was a Jew so this must have remained secret. But there was a time lapse between the speech and the brutal killing.

  24. Actually, I have read books on how they profile CIA recruits in college.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.