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Moore interviewed Berg for "Fahrenheit" [index to thread at reply #1859] ^ | May 27, 2004 | Rebecca Traister

Posted on 05/27/2004 9:26:51 PM PDT by Rennes Templar

May 27, 2004 | Filmmaker Michael Moore filmed an interview with American Nicholas Berg in the course of producing his documentary film "Fahrenheit 9/11" before Berg left for Iraq, where he was taken hostage and killed, Moore confirmed to Salon in a statement Thursday. The 20 minutes of footage does not appear in the final version of "Fahrenheit 911," according to the statement.

Word of the footage reached Salon through a source unaffiliated with Moore or his film "Fahrenheit 9/11," which is reported to feature stark images of U.S. civilians and soldiers grappling with conditions in war-torn Iraq, as well as examining the relationship between President George W. Bush and the bin Laden family. It received the Palme d'Or, the Cannes Film Festival's highest honor, on Saturday.

In a statement widely circulated by Moore's people after an initial request for comment by Salon, Moore said, "We have an interview with Nick Berg. It was approximately 20 minutes long. We are not releasing it to the media. It is not in the film. We are dealing privately with the family." Moore's camp declined to comment further on any aspect of the interview. Because the footage is not in the film, a spokeswoman for Miramax Films, the production company behind "Fahrenheit 9/11," said the company had no comment.

It was not clear from Moore's statement whether footage from the interview with Berg had ever been included in early cuts of "Fahrenheit 9/11." Reports about a film industry controversy surrounding distribution of the film first hit the news on May 5, a week before Berg's death. The film officially screened for the public and the press for the first time during the Cannes festival on May 17.

The news that Moore spoke to Berg while he was still in the United States only adds to the mystery surrounding the young man's presence in Iraq and tragic death. The interview was shot before the 26-year-old Berg left for Iraq late last year as a private contractor in the hopes of helping to rebuild the ravaged country. Though it was unclear what Berg spoke about in his interview with Moore, or how the two men met, unrelated reports following his death indicate that he headed for the Middle East with plans to work to improve the country's technological infrastructure and communication abilities. He ran his own company, Prometheus Methods Tower Service, in a suburb of Philadelphia.

Berg did not find employment in Iraq, and when he attempted to return to the United States he was detained by Iraqi police and questioned by American forces. He was released after his family complained. But shortly after, he is believed to have been kidnapped by Islamic terrorists. Video of his beheading was released on an Islamist Web site on May 11. Salon was unable to reach the Berg family for comment before publication.

Moore's film chronicles the United States' military, political and business involvement in the Middle East in the years before and after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. His previous politically charged films, including "Roger & Me" and "Bowling for Columbine," have created controversy and won him praise (including an Oscar, for "Columbine"). "Fahrenheit 9/11" has already sparked a media storm; in early May, Miramax's parent company, Disney, announced that it would not allow Miramax to distribute the film, which is highly critical of Bush and his administration.

Miramax has yet to make a deal with a distributor, though the film's warm reception at Cannes and the publicity surrounding the film have made it a hot property that is generating a lot of interest in Hollywood. "Bowling for Columbine" grossed $21 million, making it the highest-grossing non-IMAX documentary of all time.

A source close to "Fahrenheit 9/11" said that a new distributor will be announced shortly, and that the film is expected to be released in theaters during the first week of July, as originally planned.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 911; 911hijackers; abughraib; almudafer; almuzaffar; andrewduke; aziz; azizaltaee; berg; bergresearch; cannes; duke; dylanwyrnn; fahrenbalanced911; fahrenheit911; hugoinfante; infante; michaelmoore; monsterthread; moore; moussaoui; mudafer; muzaffar; nickberg; petetridish; prometheus; prometheusmethods; prometheusradio; prometheustowers; silverwires; traitors; yasin; yassin
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To: Howlin
Jan. 4-8: Red Cross reports improvements at Abu Ghraib.

Those dates coincide with his email home.

Jan 4 2004

He sends an email and describes working on towers near Abu Ghraib

941 posted on 05/28/2004 4:10:51 PM PDT by nunya bidness (Yorktown)
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To: Grampa Dave; Howlin; Miss Marple; All
In case it's needed for future reference:


Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

PR Newswire
May 19, 1993, Wednesday
State and Regional News


Michael J. Rotko, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Ernest D. Preate Jr., Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, S.B. Billbrough, Special Agent in Charge, Philadelphia Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, C. Michael Daley, Chief of the Criminal Investigation Division, Philadelphia Office, Internal Revenue Service, David Warren, Special Agent in Charge, Philadelphia Office, U.S. Customs Service, and R.M. Hazelwood, III, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Service, Philadelphia, announced today that a federal grand jury has returned two indictments charging twenty-five (25) individuals with conspiring to aid and abet the distribution of approximately 815,000 grams of "crack" cocaine through the sale of "crack" cocaine vials to "crack" dealers.

The two indictments charge that the twenty-five defendants established and maintained two competing criminal organizations, referred to as the Belkin Crack Vial Organization and the Sigal Crack Vial Organization, in order to manufacture and distribute crack vials for use by "crack" dealers in packaging and selling "crack" cocaine. Each organization created and manufactured its own brands of "crack" vials: the Belkin Crack Vial Organization manufactured the "Banana" vial, and the "Illusion" vial; the Sigal Crack Vial Organization created the "Black Rose" vial. The "Banana" vials were popular with "crack" vial dealers, the grand jury alleged, because they were designed to give the appearance of containing more "crack" than they actually held.

The two organizations are charged with manufacturing approximately 16,300,000 "crack" vials during the last three years. The indictment charges that the Belkin Organization's "crack" vial factory is located at Vortex Products Corporation, 100 Prospect Street, Metuchen, New Jersey; the Sigal Organization's "crack" vial factory is located at M & C Supply Company, 145 Railroad Drive, Warminster, Pennsylvania.

At one point, the grand jury charged, the Sigal Organization's vial business was so successful that it had trouble meeting orders. The indictment charges that one defendant said "the packaging broke down ... of course I want to have it done ... they're running 24-hour shifts ... you can't do no more ... the machine is running non-stop."

According to the indictment, the "crack" vials usually moved from the factories to storage facilities in and around Philadelphia, New York and northern New Jersey. The vials were distributed by members of the organizations to retail stores owned by members of the organization, as well as others, in Philadelphia, New York, Wilmington and elsewhere. The stores -- which often sold "crack" vials together with narcotic cutting agents and other drug paraphernalia -- then sold the vials directly to "crack" dealers, often in packs of 100 or more. The "crack" dealers used the vials to package chunks of "crack" cocaine to "crack" addicts and users.

"If you've ever seen crack vials on the street in Philadelphia, you may have been looking at vials made by one of these two organizations," said Attorney General Preate.

The following retail stores are identified in the indictments as being operated by members of the Belkin and Sigal organizations and as selling "crack" vials to "crack" users:

Sound of Music II Sound of Music

2634 Germantown Avenue 3613 Germantown Avenue

Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia, PA
Music City Music City
2309-11 North Front Street 2722 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia, PA

John's Discount Store Seven Plus Electronics
1402 West Girard Avenue 1408 West Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia, PA

Sound of Chelten Hi-Tech Electronics
127 West Chelten Avenue 135-A South 52nd Street
Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia, PA

Blue Star Sportswear Hi-Sound Stereo
135-B South 52nd Street 502 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA Wilmington, DE

4th Street Car Stereo 5th Street Car Stereo
404 Market Street 2957 North Fifth Street
Wilmington, DE Philadelphia, PA

Car Stereo City Yok's Electronics
2752 Germantown Avenue 2640 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia, PA

Sound of Woodland Golden Sound
6337 Woodland Avenue 4093 Lancaster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia, PA

New York Sound & Video
27 North 52nd Street
Philadelphia, PA

The grand jury charged that the Belkin Organization attempted to extend its distribution system outside of the Middle Atlantic area. One defendant was overheard describing a trip he had taken to Atlanta, Georgia. He stated: "We made deals with the three big dealers. The big dealers took the capsules. I gave everybody capsules, even the small dealers. But it was under the condition that they will continue to distribute them further."

In order to hide their profits, the indictments charge, certain of the defendants laundered cash receipts in order to hide the fact that the proceeds came from the sale of "crack" vials. One defendant alone is charged with 90 counts of money laundering.
This morning, teams of law enforcement agents began serving arrests warrants on twenty-five defendants in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware. Agents also executed search warrants on thirty-five locations, including the factories where the "crack" vials were manufactured, residences of certain defendants, storage facilities and warehouses used by the defendants, retail stores from which "crack" vials were sold, and safe deposit boxes used by certain of the defendants.

One indictment charges the following individuals with criminal participation in the Belkin Crack Vial Organization:

Henry Belkin, a/k/a "Mike," Leonard Edelson, Sam Zhadanov, Alexander Srebrianski, a/k/a "Alex," Zachria Gispan, a/k/a "Zacki," Michael Haftka, a/k/a "Mischa," Gavriel Golan, a/k/a "Gabby," Roman Zabizhim, FNU Kim, a/k/a "Mr. Kim."

A separate indictment charges the following individuals with criminal participation in the Sigal Crack Vial Organization:

Valery Sigal, a/k/a "Joe," Gennady Sigal, a/k/a "Gene, Zoltan Racz, Zoltan Harta, Dany Hersohn, a/k/a "Danik," FNU Kim, a/k/a "Mr. Kim," Mi Ran Kim, Menachem Gola, a/k/a "Nachem," Jabar Pierre Bouayad, John Bonner, James Skyrm, Robert Platt, Yechiel Shifman, a/k/a "Yok," Majid Gholamzadeh, a/k/a "Magic," Edik Ilin, Aziz Kadoory Aziz, a/k/a "Joe."

The investigation was begun by the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation of the Attorney General's Office. Federal agencies joined when the investigation expanded beyond Pennsylvania. Rotko and Preate called the investigation and indictments "an example of the excellent results which can come from close cooperation between state and federal law enforcement agencies." Assistant United States Attorneys Paul L. Gray and Scott D. Godshall have been working closely with the agents during
the investigation and will be handling the prosecution.

942 posted on 05/28/2004 4:14:08 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: F.J. Mitchell

Too funny!

943 posted on 05/28/2004 4:19:48 PM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: Rennes Templar
I'm sorry, but this thing with Nick Berg just gets weirder and weirder.

How can such a young man have SO MANY strange connections all over the world?

Al Quaeda terrorists in possession of his e-mail addy?
Michael Berg using his own son's death to advance his political agenda -- the ANSWER agenda?
Nick Berg interviewed by Michael Moore?
And finally...Nick Berg -- not some other 26-year-old, but NICK BERG -- gets beheaded on tape by screeching lunatics.

I don't know...26 years old and he just seemed to be so ENTANGLED. Very, very strange, if you ask me.


944 posted on 05/28/2004 4:21:08 PM PDT by VermiciousKnid
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Comment #945 Removed by Moderator

To: VermiciousKnid
Entangled, ensnared or networking?

Was he merely an idealist dupe used by others to advance the political agenda of those who have no concept of the viciousness of our enemy?

Was he an active participant in a propaganda campaign designed to dupe the public into believing that his altruistic goals and support for the war were turned when he arrived in Iraq?
946 posted on 05/28/2004 4:28:47 PM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: BlessedByLiberty

I don't know, BBL...I just don't know.

I wish I did.


947 posted on 05/28/2004 4:31:48 PM PDT by VermiciousKnid
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To: proud American in Canada; Grampa Dave
"It would be helpful if we knew what was in Moore's hit film shown in France."

Exactly! I feel the same way.

Me, too. There's not much out there on the actual content of the film. Here's one thing, though:

Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

Guelph Mercury (Ontario, Canada)
May 18, 2004

Moore ignites Cannes with Fahrenheit 9/11; Relentless critique of Bush administration could become rallying cry for Democrats

Associated Press

Michael Moore lit the powder keg he promised at the Cannes Film Festival: His incendiary Fahrenheit 9/11 riled and discomposed audiences Monday with a relentless critique of the Bush administration in the post-Sept. 11 world.

If Moore can get the movie into U.S. theatres this summer as planned, the title Fahrenheit 9/11 could become a rallying cry for Democratic voters in the fall election between President George W. Bush and opponent John Kerry.

The movie reiterates other critics' accusations about the Bush family's financial connections to Saudi oil money and the family of Osama bin Laden. Moore also repeats others' condemnations that the White House was asleep at the wheel before the Sept. 11 attacks, then used fear-mongering of future terrorism to muster support for the Iraq war.

Yet Moore -- the provocateur behind the Academy Award-winning Bowling for Columbine, which dissected American gun culture -- applies his trademark satiric outrage to the Sept. 11 debate, packaging his anti-Bush message in a way that provokes both laughs and gasps.

Even skeptics of Moore, who draws criticism that he skews the truth to fit his arguments, were impressed.

"I have a problematic relationship with some of Michael Moore's work. There's no such job as a standup journalist," said James Rocchi, film critic for DVD rental company Netflix, who saw the movie at a press screening before its official Cannes premiere.

Yet in Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore presents powerful segments about losses on both sides of the Iraq war and the grief of American and Iraqi families, Rocchi said.

"This film is at its best when it is most direct and speaks from the heart, when it shows lives torn apart," Rocchi said.

Moore still is arranging for a U.S. distributor. Miramax financed the movie, but parent company Disney blocked the release because of its political overtones.

In the days before Cannes, Moore's Disney criticism whipped festival audiences into a fever for Fahrenheit 9/11. Hollywood cynics called it the usual P.T. Barnum showmanship by Moore, but when the movie finally unspooled, it earned resounding applause at Monday's press screenings.

"You see so many movies after they've been hyped to heaven and they turn out to be complete crap, but this is a powerful film," said Baz Bamigboye, a film columnist for London's Daily Mail.

"It would be a shame if Americans didn't get to see this movie about important stuff happening in their own backyard."

Fahrenheit 9/11 seems assured of U.S. release, however. Miramax bosses Harvey and Bob Weinstein are trying to buy back the film and find another distributor, with Moore hoping to have it in theatres by Fourth of July weekend.

Harvey Weinstein showed up outside the Cannes theatre after the first Fahrenheit 9/11 screenings. He declined to speak at length, but as reporters asked if the film would be released, he said, "Have I ever let you down?"

The film takes its title from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, which refers to the temperature needed to burn books in an anti-Utopian society. Moore calls Fahrenheit 9/11 the "temperature at which freedom burns."

Fahrenheit 9/11 opens with a whimsical recap of the 2000 presidential campaign and the rancour after Florida's photo-finish vote threw the election to Bush over Democratic rival Al Gore.

"Was it all just a dream?" Moore ponders. "Did the last four years even happen?" The movie characterizes Bush's first eight months in office as a prolonged holiday for a potential "lame-duck president," backed by the Go-Go's tune Vacation.

The Sept. 11 attacks play out with no images of the planes that destroyed the World Trade Center or damaged the Pentagon. Instead, Moore fades to black and provides only the sounds of the planes crashing into the towers, before fading in again on tearful faces of people watching the devastation and a slow-motion montage of floating ash and debris after the buildings collapsed.

948 posted on 05/28/2004 4:33:17 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: Howlin; kristinn

Yes, Aziz has spoken at a number of our rallies and he is over in Iraq now. Kristinn has been talking to him in Baghdad and learned that Aziz had business ties to Nick Berg.

949 posted on 05/28/2004 4:35:55 PM PDT by Angelwood (FReepers are Everywhere! We Support Our Troops! (Hillary's Vast Rt Wg Conspiracy))
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To: Howlin
OK, I have read all the posts and maybe I missed it but I have a question. WHEN did Michael Moore interview NB? Was it before the FIRST time he went to Iraq or the SECOND time? If it was before the first time, how did THAT come about? If the second, what might have happened the first Iraq trip to inspire such an interview? I know the article just says before NB went to Iraq, but perhaps before which trip would be revealing. JMHO.
950 posted on 05/28/2004 4:36:12 PM PDT by Bubbette (Fully ensconced in tin foil.)
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Comment #951 Removed by Moderator

To: Howlin

No problem...interesting, isn't it?

952 posted on 05/28/2004 4:37:47 PM PDT by scott7278 ("FR will NOT be used to help replace Bush with a Democrat." -- Jim Robinson, 2/01/04)
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Comment #953 Removed by Moderator

Comment #954 Removed by Moderator

To: F.J. Mitchell

I'm betting this story will get legs over the next week. Too much intrigue surrounding Berg for even the mainstream to ignore it.

955 posted on 05/28/2004 4:41:38 PM PDT by Rennes Templar
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To: scott7278
"He also happened to mention wanting to do work at Abu Ghraib, which he calls "the site of a notorious prison for Army and political prisoners." This was in January, mind you, before the prisoner abuse allegations came to light here in the United States."

That is what leads me to speculate that his detainment was a setup to capture abuse on film. Odd that he would want to work at such a place, isn't it? This is why the Moore connection to this prison would be telling: did Moore set up some of the prisoner abuse operation for propaganda purposes?

Remember we are dealing with Holier-than-thou-Wood folks who live in a fantasy world where their messages are more important than our lives. I would not put anything past any of them.
956 posted on 05/28/2004 4:43:33 PM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: liz44040

Yes, the article does say late last year, thanks. I better get up and walk around, around 1000 posts I get cross-eyed.

957 posted on 05/28/2004 4:43:45 PM PDT by Bubbette (Fully ensconced in tin foil.)
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To: Nita Nupress

Thanks my blood pressure shot up just reading this biased short report.

958 posted on 05/28/2004 4:49:18 PM PDT by Grampa Dave ( WHAT DID MICHAEL MOORE KNOW ABOUT NICK BERG? WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?)
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To: Nita Nupress
A review of the "documentary" at a screening in Cannes from Ain't it cool news

The theatre was more than full. Half of the people were American, but a lot of us were French. He was warmly applaused when he came in. Then the doc began.

The doc begins with the election day, stressing the point that Gore had won, until Fox News told the contrary.

The documentary goes from the investiture and the riots that happened that day, to the first months of "work" for Bush. Pretty soon we get to September 11. Moore made the choice not to show the images of the tower, but left a black screen, with only the noises. When there finally are images : it's the faces of people in the streets.

Moore shows what was Bush doing when he get the news (sitting in a school, reading a child book) and how he stayed there, doing nothing, for several minutes. The critic to the man is obvious and violently funny. The audience in the theatre was laughing and cheering.

Moore illustrates then his point : the relationships between Saudians families and the Bush family, all linked through weapons and oil firms. Moore uses a fragmented chronology and flash-backs to prove the manipulations and the contradictions in speeches.

Very soon, Moore explains that the real goal was Iraq though Afghanistan was attacked first.

Then begins the second part of the doc : about war.

Moore demonstrates, with the help of a psychiatrist and of archives documents, how the opinion and American people were manipulated, putting an emphasis about the Patriot Act.

Moore went to Baghdad, where he shot soldiers, speaking freely, where he just the people and how they are treated by American troops. He creates a "décalage" between what is said by some soldiers and by what he shows of the war : civilians being killed or arrested.

His purpose is clear : he doesn't put the blame on the troops, but on their ignorance, their violence and on the manipulators.

We also follows with him the story of Lila, who is an ordinary family mother from Flint, Michigan. We follow her in time : her pride that her kid is a soldier, like many in her family before, then the first doubts of Lila, to, eventually, her son's death and her trip to Washington, while, in the meantime, Moore shows himself trying to recruit, unsuccesfully the senators' kids to go to war in Iraq.

The doc ends with a George Orwell quotation about war and politics. Moore closes his doc with a final commentary, which you can't really calls optimistic.

He got the biggest standing ovation I ever saw in Cannes. Most people were red-eyed because it was so moving. But everyone stood and applauded, and cheered for at least 15 minutes.

When he went down the steps, the music being played was John Lennon's Imagine. A beautiful choice for a beautiful doc.


959 posted on 05/28/2004 4:50:50 PM PDT by nunya bidness (Yorktown)
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To: nunya bidness

Ugh. I am determined to keep this investigation going, because I want to see that slime discredited. He is an evil person.

960 posted on 05/28/2004 4:54:12 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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