Thursday, October 15, 2009

Appointment with Death: The Beheading of Daniel Pearl

If you are under 18, you may NOT watch this video! If you are a parent and are concerned about your kids viewing this post, please either supervise and/or restrict your children's Internet use or invest in a blocking program.

I am looking for translators to translate this post into German, Turkish and Korean. Email me if you are interested.

Italian version (traduzione in italiano). French translation (en Français). Spanish version (en Español).

Note: By viewing this video, you hereby agree that you are doing so of your own free will.

This is the actual Daniel Pearl beheading video. It's titled The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl (download the video on this site here), but I think the title is in Urdu at the beginning, so most won't be able to read that.

This video is easier to take than you might think. The actual beheading is thankfully not shown, but we do see the severed head afterward. It is said that in this video, Pearl says, "My mother was a Jew. I am a Jew," and just then Khalid Sheik Mohammad (KSM) comes up behind him, pulls out a knife, and slits his throat. That never happens.

What really happens in this video is that Pearl gives a little pre-prepared speech listing some of the demands of his captors. Pearl also makes some impromptu remarks about his Jewish ethnicity, that of his family, his family's Jewish religion, the fact that his family are Zionists, and a town in Israel that is named after his great-grandfather, a famous Zionist.

While Pearl is making all these remarks about Israel, Zionism, Judaism, etc., there are interspersed photos of Israeli troops hassling and arresting Palestinians, of dead Palestinians, etc. Then it shows Pearl on the ground, already dead thank God, apparently with his throat slit, while an unknown man, possibly KSM, easily saws off the head and then holds it up.

The severed head stays up for the rest of the video while the group names itself - the National Movement for Pakistan Sovereignty, and lists a number of nationalist demands - the return of all Pakistani prisoners from Guantanamo, the release of all prisoners from Guantanamo, the release of F-16's that Pakistan bought from the US and never received, and an end to all US presence in Pakistan.

Then it says, "We assure Americans that they will never be safe on the Muslim land of Pakistan." This is followed by, "And if our demands are not met, this scene shall be repeated again and again and again..." A good play-by-play of the video is here.

The first part of the video is not that hard to take. Pearl is unusually composed and assured while he talks about Judaism, Zionism, Jewishness and Israel. It's almost as if he is proud.

But then he talks about how hard it is to be kidnapped - "The most difficult part is not knowing where you are or what is going to happen to you" - then he recites what is apparently a scripted propaganda anti-US screed about US foreign policy. His voice breaks, he seems nervous, stressed and frightened. He also looks a lot more haggard.

It's as if the two separate speeches were shot at different times. At that time, I felt sorry for the guy because he seemed so scared, and I knew what was going to happen to him. But right before he gets killed, when he's talking about the Jewish stuff, he's a whole new man, and he may as well be speaking at his college graduation. And this is seconds before his demise. Interesting.

Pearl was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal investigating, of all things, the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI - this is the Pakistani FBI-CIA combined) and their possible links with Muslim terrorism and in particular Al Qaeda. I can't believe this guy was running around Pakistan, a Jew and an American, openly asking questions like that.

On January 23, 2002, he made an appointment to meet some Al Qaeda guy, and then he went missing for a while. The group announced his kidnapping, said he was a CIA agent (dubious) and made a list of demands. They also released a photo of Pearl with a gun to his head holding up a newspaper with the date on it.

Pearl was killed on February 1, 2002 by beheading. On May 16, his body was found cut up in ten pieces in a shallow grave in Karachi. He was most probably murdered in Karachi. Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British Pakistani with a most interesting history, was eventually charged along with three others with the killing; Sheikh was sentenced to death. The death sentence has yet to be carried out.

Sheikh is a most interesting fellow. He was apparently an agent or asset with the British MI-6 (the British equivalent of the CIA), beginning in 1994, and possibly up until his arrest. He also appears to have been an ISI agent at some time, at least in 2001, and possibly until his arrest or even afterward. Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff says he was a double agent.

It seems that Sheikh, and apparently also elements of the ISI, played a key role in Al Qaeda's 9-11 attacks on the US. This has never been adequately followed up by the US due to the US-Pakistani alliance.

My personal opinion is that the ISI, using KSM and Sheikh, kidnapped and killed Pearl for looking into the ISI-Al Qaeda link. I think that then, under pressure from the US, they gave up Sheikh and sentenced him to death, but the sentence has not yet been carried out.

I think that for Daniel Pearl, a Jewish reporter, to go to Pakistan soon after 9-11 and the US invasion of Afghanistan and wander around Pakistan openly investigating ISI-Al Qaeda links to the point of meeting with Al Qaeda guys was pretty much suicidal. I'm not defending these scumbags who killed him. I'm just saying it wasn't a very smart thing for Pearl to do.

Pearl has since been lionized, in particular by the World Jewish community. Bernard Henri-Levy, a well-known French Jewish intellectual, dandy, attention-whore and journalist, has written a book about him.

The myth has been created that Pearl is some sort of a modern Alfred Dreyfus, and that his death exemplifies the murderous world that Jews live in, swarming with Islamo-Nazi types ready to finish Hitler's job as soon as they can get started. I guess the subtext is that all Jews have to move to Israel and sit under a 200-nuke umbrella to keep from getting beheaded by Al Qaeda types. This is silly, but it's typical Zionist Jewish thinking.

Sadly, Pearl was killed in part for being a Jew, and his killers were surely virulent anti-Semites, but there's more to it than that. I bet if he were a Jewish butterfly collector wandering around Pakistan netting butterflies, nothing would have ever happened to him. Other Jewish reporters have since gone to Pakistan and even openly interviewed heads of madrassas with no problems at all.

Pearl was on a virtual suicide mission. At the very least, he was living very, very dangerously. People who choose to do that in our world sometimes end up injured or even dead. Happens all the time. The Daniel Pearl story is sad, but there is less here than the popular myth that is developing around the man.

Pearl was an excellent student, graduated from a top university and was a superb journalist, breaking some of the biggest stories of the late 1980's and 1990's.

He was not a bad person, and he had many exemplary traits. May he rest in peace.


Anonymous said...

se debe tirar al agua nomaz!! no al cemento! Juaz!!
lo abrieron como naranja en el Pizo!!!__________________

Belll !!!!!!


Denise said...

I heard about this video a few years back but just now viewed it for some odd reason. I must say it's disturbing and disappointing to see that people would go to these extremes when the emotion of anger is present. Even if it wasn't him, it was still the child, husband, brother, friend, and even father to someone in this world. May God bless us all for we are all his children.

Anonymous said...

I just watched the video, I have actually watched others too and by far this is isn't as awful as I thought it would be. The armstrong video was the worse. It is sad that people out in the world commit such acts on people who are innocent. I am sorry for his family the most. To have such a video out there, knowing that your child was killed in a such a way. SAD! I do have to agree with the other comment, he should have not gone to this country, these people hate americans let alone a jewish american, it was very dangerous for him. But they chase their stories. I hope that his family have found some peace after all these years.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but you are an ass for your commentary Robert Lindsay (I'm pretty sure my comments won't make it to your webpage - so much for JOURNALISM). Yes, it was unwise to go to Pakistan and try to meet with Taliban insurgents, but to suggest that Daniel Pearl deserved what he got is disgusting. Did he have naive perceptions? Perhaps. Also, as a non-Jew (me), I wonder if he fully understood the potential for him being held up and slaughtered in an anti-Israel propaganda movement.But I don't believe in a pass card for anti-semetic actions. Are there valid points against American occupation? Yes. Should innocent people die? No.

Anonymous said...

What an ass

Anonymous said...

So if Daniel had not gone to seventh century barbarian world, he would still be alive.fine, but how do we protect ourselves in the west from their immigrating and attempting to overtake the" infidels?"
Ass is way to kind for this "journalist."
Anyone mention how Christians are also beheaded by the "religion of love?"

Anonymous said...

"The actual beheading is thankfully not shown.." Yes it is. The murder/time of death isn't shown, but the video clearly shows his head being severed OFF. Just an FYI for others who haven't viewed this.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Lindsay is saying he deserved what he got. I think he is saying that he, and really Pearl, should have seen that the likelihood of something very bad happening was EXTREMELY high. I mean really, at that time, investigating ISI and extremist Islamic fundamentalist groups, IN Pakistan, and not expect something bad to happen? It sucks that he died, but any one who says that his kidnap and murder was 100% unforeseeable is just lying to themselves. It's like going to Syria now and thinking that nothing could happen to you.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely the Armstrong vid was the worst I've ever seen, not that THAT takes away from the horror and pain Pearl experienced, but to hear Eugene scream like that, and the pig like sounds due to asphyxiation on his own blood while that knife cuts thru his spinal cord, that was the worst of it.

Anonymous said...

I agree..thank God they did not show actually beheading,what a brave man he was. may he rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

This is horrific. I hope Daniel is at peace.

ArinDG said...

Shameful what one human being would do to another in the name of religion. Hope Pearl family finds strength to overcome this tragic loss.

Desmond Turtle said...

"He should have known something bad could happen" is not a meaningful criticism. Maybe he did know. Some people take risks.