The Video Taped "Conclusive Evidence" Against Him Is Not Conclusive


Neal Horsley

(Christian Gallery News Service, Dec 16, 2001)  Even if it granted that the bin Laden video released on Dec 13, 2001 is not an amazingly audacious example of "the tail wagging the dog," (I doubt the tape is a fabrication because I could have prepared a better, more authentic looking fake myself if I had been given the time the CIA had) the information on the tape clearly does not prove what the Bush White House has conditioned the American people to think it proves.

How The Public Was Prepared To Receive The Video Prior To The Release of The Video

For six days prior to its release, the American public was told they were going to be shown a video proving bin Laden was "responsible for planning" the 9/11 attacks.  Later that "offical position" was altered significantly. If you care about actually bringing the people who planned the 9/11 attack to justice, you need to understand how you are being misled into thinking that evidence exists proving bin Laden planned and ordered the 9/11 attacks.  Even if you have watched all the evidence against bin laden like a hawk, you have seen no such evidence.

Following are just a few of the literally hundreds of news reports that preceded the release of the video.

(1)    Washington Post: Dec 9, 2001

'“It is very clear that bin Laden not only had advance knowledge [of the Sept. 11 attacks], but [the video] is proof he was responsible for planning,' [emphasis mine] said one senior official who has been shown a transcript of the videotape.
       "The 40-minute tape, which an official said appears to have been shot by an amateur, has been viewed by very senior Bush administration officials within the past week. Fearful it might be a fake, officials sent it to outside experts for review, and they declared it “legitimate,” one senior official said."

(2)    President George W. Bush remarks Dec 10, 2001

Q    Sir, on this occasion of peace and celebration, can you tell us how you were struck by this bin Laden videotape?

THE PRESIDENT:  It just reminded me of what a murderer he is and how right and just our cause is...But for those who see this tape, they'll realize that not only is he guilty of incredible murder, he has no conscience and no soul, that he represents the worst of civilization.

(3)    Video Release Delayed: Dec 12, 2001 (Sen. Shelby's Remarks)

"(Washington, CNN) The release of a videotape showing Osama bin Laden purportedly bragging about the September 11 terrorist attacks was postponed Wednesday because of audio and translation problems, according to White House and Pentagon sources…

"In the tape, bin Laden makes it clear he had advance knowledge about the planning and details of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials...

"I think the most striking thing about the video is it shows unequivocally Osama bin Laden's culpability in this event of 9/11," said U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who has seen the tape…

"But this is a smoking gun if you've ever seen one," Shelby said. "I believe it's central to letting the people in the outside world that are saying Osama bin Laden was not involved in this. I don't know how they can be in denial after they see this tape."

****Notice that the official explanation of the meaning of the information on the tape has changed.  Where the first reports said the tape offered "…proof he [bin Laden] was responsible for planning…" the 9/11 attacks, now the official position has shifted to one where the tape proves bin Laden had "advance knowledge about the planning and details" of the 9/11 attacks.

Sen. Shelby's remarks quoted in the article offer significant insight into why the "official position" changed.

Sen. Shelby's  language refers to bin Laden's  "culpability", that he was "involved" in the 9/11 attacks.   While the shift might appear to be merely a shift in semantics, under law the shift could be enormously significant.  Under the legal language used by Shelby, instead of bin Laden being accused of being "responsible for planning" the 9/11 attacks,  he could be "culpable" simply because he had advance knowledge of the attack and did not report it to the proper authorities.

On such  shifts in the language of legal indictments, people live or people die.

While that semantic shift occurred, administration officials did nothing correct the idea that they still believed bin Laden was "responsible for planning" the 9/11 attacks.  But the Muslim world saw what was going on.

TAPE RELEASED: Dec 13, 2001: Muslims Grasp The Significance Of Bush's Administrations Change in Wording

(CNN) KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- There was heavy skepticism in Arab and Muslim communities around the world about the veracity of the released videotape of Osama bin Laden discussing the September 11 terror attacks.

The tape, released Thursday by the Bush administration, was dismissed as U.S. propaganda by Malaysia's Muslim opposition.

Leaders of Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS), the country's biggest opposition party, said they were still not convinced bin Laden was behind the September 11 attacks.

 "It is still not a proven case that he directed it, he planned it or he funded it," said Kamaruddin Jaafar, a senior PAS leader, told Reuters news service.

"It's not a proven case despite this tape," he said.

Muslims Not The Only Ones To Notice Change In Language


"Yossef Bodansky, who heads the congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and is author of the book “Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America,” said on MSNBC TV that the administration-supplied translation was “excellent.”

"He also noted that skeptics will still find room for interpretation of bin Laden’s remarks, noting that he [bin laden] “does not say, ‘I gave the order.’ ”



bin Laden also does not say he participated in the planning or decision making process leading to the execution of the 9/11 attacks.  It is not hair-splitting or quibbling to say that there is an enormous difference in whether a person planned and ordered attacks like the ones on 9/11 or whether they simply were in relationship with the planners so that they could be notified in advance that the action was going to occur.  During the Nuremberg War Trials at the end of WWII, such distinctions made a literal difference between life and death, the executed and the imprisoned.

Until the facts concerning who actually planned and ordered the 9/11 attacks have been established conclusively, it is a miscarriage of justice to jump to conclusions about those matters of planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks.  No matter how much we want to see bin Laden's dead body hanging in the air like Mussolini in the village square, it is imperative that we do everything possible to grab and hold everyone who might have information about who actually planned and ordered the 9/11 attacks.  If the video released is authentic, then even if it does not prove that bin Laden planned and ordered the attacks, the video clearly suggests that bin Laden knows who did.  If we can bring him in alive, I suspect there are individuals available who can elicit that information from him.

If you want justice to be done for the victims of the 9/11 attacks, BRING BIN LADEN IN ALIVE!

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