Rumsfeld indirectly implicated
Reporter Leigh Valley reported yesterday in the Chicago Tribune that Archie Morgan Reece, a former IT technician at the US Department of Defence, had access to documentation that implicated DoD in planting the idea of the Muhammad funnies with the editors of Jyllands-Posten. Reece claims to have copies of e-mail-correspondence between John Erin Ericsen, a Donald Rumsfeld aide, and Sverker Jon Akershus, a Norwegian cartoon artist and an active Pentecostal Christian, who is currently working in Århus, Denmark.
The e-mails contain certain wordings from which it can be readily concluded that Ericsen was -- apparently on Rumsfeld's behalf -- discussing possible ways of securing continued Danish military participation in the US occupation of Iraq. Ericsen and Akershus reportedly settled on the idea of getting a Danish paper to publish something sufficiently provocative to Muslims to create a serious anti-Danish stir among Muslims. This is turn would probably anger the Danish public and make the Danes defiantly support continued Danish military presence in Iraq, a presence that was otherwise becoming increasingly doubtful, due to complete lack of Danish public support.
A likely development
The Chicago Tribune reporter admits that he and the former DoD employee are unable to describe in detail how the cartoonist Sverker Jon Akershus may have proceeded in order to get Jyllands-Posten to invite other cartoonists to make the twelve now infamous Muhammad cartoons and publish them. However, Akershus is known to be a regular contributor to Jyllands-Posten and lives on the Jutland (Jylland) peninsula, so it is not difficult to conclude that he had easy access to the editors and was able to plant the Muhammad cartoons idea as an "amusing project".
The Muhammad cartoons were published in September 2005, but to the dismay of Ericsen and Rumsfeld, no reaction whatsoever was reported during the following several months -- the anti-Danish demonstrations didn't start until some 4 months later. If this came about thanks to further prodding by John Erin Ericsen and the US Department of Defence is unclear, but according to reporter Leigh Valley at the Chicago Tribune, this must have been the most likely development.
The US Department of Defence has thus far refused to comment the Chicago Tribune allegations.
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The above is a deliberate story and a RumourQuest 2006 contribution.