Bush Lied About bin Laden

Neal Horsley

 

(Christian Gallery News Service, November 20, 2001)  On September 24, 2001, the Associated Press headlined, “U.S. vows to prove bin Laden’s guilt.”  The article's body stated, “WASHINGTON — A solemn President Bush returned the American flag to full staff Sunday as the United States promised to lay out evidence making Osama bin Laden’s guilt in the terrorist attacks ‘very obvious to the world.’’’

But that has not happened.  Instead of making Osama bin Laden’s guilt in the terrorist attacks “very obvious”, the world has been shown only circumstantial evidence unsupported by any conclusive factual evidence.  As the various representatives and allies of President George W. Bush have attempted to perform the journalistic alchemy required to convert scanty circumstantial evidence into “obvious” evidence proving Osama bin Laden’s guilt, vast numbers of Muslim believers, as well as a growing number of American and British citizens, have become convinced that conclusive evidence proving Osama bin Laden’s guilt does not exist, and that President George W. Bush has lied about it to the world.

Events that have just come to light prove that President George W. Bush is doing everything in his power to make it forever impossible to know the truth about Osama bin Laden.

BIN LADEN SLATED TO DISAPPEAR FOREVER

Shortly after 9/11, President George W. Bush made it clear he wanted bin Laden dead. CNN wrote the following article on Sept 17, 2001,  “Speaking with reporters after a Pentagon briefing on plans to call up reserve troops, Bush offered some of his most blunt language to date when he was asked if he wanted bin Laden dead.   “I want justice,” Bush said. “And there’s an old poster out West… I recall, that said, ‘Wanted, Dead or Alive.’”

But on November 20, 2001, evidence appeared making it apparent that Osama bin Laden is slated to not only be killed but also disappear from the face of the earth.

On November 20, 2001, quoting Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield, CNN news reported, “The United States is offering “substantial monetary rewards” as incentives to Afghans to rout Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda terrorists from caves and other suspected hiding places in Afghanistan, the top U.S. defense official said Monday… Rumsfield said information on the rewards—the FBI’s bounty for bin Laden is $25 million—is being distributed via leaflets dropped “like snowflakes in December in Chicago.”

The $25 million reward proves that President George W. Bush is putting our money where his mouth is.  But it is not just bin Laden’s death that Bush wants: he wants bin Laden never to be found—he wants to disappear him.

The strategy the Bush administration is employing to deal with Bin Laden can be seen in the following statement made by Secretary Rumsfield at the same press conference quoted above.  CNN summarized Rumsfield’s message, “He said the bombing campaign is ‘targeting caves and closing them up,’ but U.S. forces are not conducting a ‘cave-by-cave’ search. ‘”

In other words, American B-52’s and other planes capable of delivering “cave-busters” are being used to find caves in which bin Laden might be hiding and “close them up.”  The fact that there is no intention to conduct a “cave-by-cave search” proves that the Bush administration never intends to see Osama bin Laden stand trial in a Court of Law, or to be found at all.

Don’t believe it?  Think for a moment about what the Secretary of Defense’s words actually mean.  In a nation where it is reported that thousands of caves have been dug over the centuries, many of which were dug by bin Laden’s construction equipment in the last twenty years, the USA is now employing cave-busters to “close them up.”

Talk about “disappearing” someone.  Even if somebody changed their mind and decided to conduct a “cave-by-cave search” of the multitudes of  “closed up” caves, it will be literally impossible to ever find bin Laden’s dead body if he happens to be in one of those “closed up” caves.  Just as Eric Rudolph crawled into a North Carolina cave never to emerge again, or Jimmy Hoffa never made it back from lunch, so too is Osama bin Laden slated to disappear forever.

Boo hoo, you say?  Think he gets what he deserved?  Think again.

MUSLIM WORLD SUSPECTS BIN LADEN FRAMED

Robert Siegel on the National Public Radio Program “All Things Considered” aired interviews on November 9, 2001 with three newspapers editors from Muslim nations.  In his introduction to the program, Mr. Seigel summarized the purpose and outcome of the interviews, “We checked on public opinion.  Each country said the same thing…Public opinion in the three countries harbor doubts about bin Laden’s responsibility for the [September 11] attacks”...

Excerpts from the program:

Najam Sethi, editor of Friday Times, an English language weekly in Pakistan, said, “The United States has jumped the gun.  Most people here would like to see concrete evidence that he is responsible for the September 11 attacks...and that evidence has not been made available...Where is the evidence?”

Khaled Al-Maeena is editor-in-chief of Arab News in Saudi Arabia.  Having been educated in the U.S. and having sent his children to be educated in the U.S., he is described as pro-American.  He was incensed at the false accusations being leveled.  He said, “What America has done.  They are hounding innocent people…It’s a question of Let us prove.   Let them check.  What I’m trying to tell you is that people here are sending money to him [bin laden] is simply nonsense...You are saying that money is going.  Prove that.”

Mohamed Sid Ahmed is a columnist for Al Ahram in Egypt.  He said, “There are all sorts of theories.  ...We don’t have so far complete conclusive proof of anything...I don’t like to jump to conclusions without any clear evidence.”

Are you beginning to see the problems created by disappearing bin Laden?  If the Muslim world suspects he was not behind the 9/11 attacks, instead of our actions in Afghanistan being perceived as necessary and just enforcement of the law, we might well be perceived to be agents of an international conspiracy to overthrow governments established on Muslim authority. 

Everything that President George W. Bush claims to be trying to do to prove that this War on Terrorism is not a War On Islam in disguise could come to naught.

SO WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE AGAINST BIN LADEN?

Time magazine summarized the evidence against bin Laden in an article entitled “What Is This Evidence Against Bin Laden” published on October 3, 2001.  This article is the beginning of a long chain of evidence that, instead of making Osama bin Laden’s guilt  “very obvious to the world” as President George W. Bush promised, demonstrates there is a very real possibility that the 9/11 attacks were not the work of Osama bin Laden at all.  The Times article began,   “To date, very little evidence has been made public, for obvious security reasons, so any discussion has been necessarily relegated to the realm of speculation. We do know that this is not a “normal” evidentiary search: Colin Powell has been candid in saying that the evidence is not of the type that would stand up in an American court of law. “

Reread that previous sentence about the evidence against bin Laden not standing “up in an American court of law” and you might gain fresh insight into why Colin Powell, the ex-four star General and present Secretary of State, has been conspicuous by his absence from day to day affairs in the War on Terrorism.

The Times article continued, “Since the first demands for ‘evidence,’ the U.S. government has busied itself preparing a laundry list of suitable accusations and diplomatically correct labels to hurl at bin Laden and his terrorist cells. The mysterious ‘proof’ of his guilt has been shared, we’re told with Allied leaders in Europe, as well as with various Pakistani and Afghan (rebel) authorities. NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson later characterized a secret U.S. briefing as offering ‘clear and compelling evidence,’ while Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced he was ‘quite satisfied’ the information ‘proves’ bin Laden’s involvement.

Then the Times article concluded, “So what is this evidence everyone’s talking about? It’s hard to say for sure, since it’s off-limits to all but the highest-level government officials…”

GOVERNMENT FLIP-FLOPS ON BIN LADEN

Hold it.  Wait a minute.   On September 24, 2001, President George W. Bush vowed to make Osama bin Laden’s guilt for the terrorist attacks “very obvious to the world.”  By October 3, 2001, the evidence available to the federal government of the U.S. was “off-limits to all but the highest-level government officials…”

And there it has remained.  No dependable evidence has been offered to the world to prove that bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks.  Each time such evidence was claimed to have been found, a close reading of the transcript of bin Laden's statements has found he was simply repeating his oft repeated promises to do everything in his power to attack America at every opportunity and with every means available and making no statement proving he was behind the 9/11 attacks.

For instance, David Bamber wrote an article for the London Telegraph on November 11, 2001, entitled, "Bin Laden: Yes, I Did It."  He said, "OSAMA BIN LADEN has for the first time admitted that his al-Qa'eda group carried out the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, the Telegraph can reveal."

But when the body of Bamber article was examined, the "admissions" cited were totally ambiguous statements that could never be used in any court of law in the USA to demonstrate a person had incriminated himself.  Responsible journalists throughout the world backed away from Bamber's article because Bamber failed to note that bin Laden's statements could be reasonably interpreted as applying to the context of all actions taken by Muslim terrorists throughout the world and not specifically to the context of the 9/11 attacks.  Because none of the statements made by bin Laden were specifically associated with the actions taken on 9/11, nothing bin Laden said could incontrovertibly be applied to the 9/11 attacks.  Of course, millions of people throughout the world heard about Bamber's misleading report and falsely assumed the question of bin Laden's guilt in the 9/11 attacks had been settled by bin Laden himself.

So that is where the evidence against bin Laden stands today.

This article is being written on November 20, 2001, nearly ten weeks after nineteen Muslim warriors demonstrated the meaning of the word terror to the American people.  On this day President George W. Bush, instead of laying out evidence making Osama bin Laden’s guilt in the terrorist attacks ‘very obvious to the world' as he promised, is clearly doing everything in his power to make Osama bin Laden disappear from the face of the earth forever.

What is going on here?  Why, given the obvious dangerous consequences of failing to prove conclusively that bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks, would President George W. Bush not do everything in his power to see bin Laden in a court of law where the whole world could see the absolute justice of the horror that has been rained upon the people of Afghanistan?

THE NECESSITY OF PROVING BIN LADEN’S GUILT

There is no way to overemphasize how important it is for President George W. Bush, and for the United States of America, and for all its allies, that Osama bin Laden not only be guilty of the 9/11 attacks but be seen by the world to be guilty.  The lingering suspicions in the minds of millions of people in the world that bin Laden and the Taliban and Afghanistan and the Muslim faith itself are being set up to be overthrown by a secular and godless world government must be eliminated as much as reason and logic and law can accomplish.

·        A NATIONAL GOVERNMENT WAS DESTROYED

 

This matter is one of absolutely awesome historical significance because the de facto actual ruling government of a nation—a nation like Poland, or a nation like Russia, or a nation like the USA—has been destroyed based on the premise that Osama bin Laden was guilty of the 9/11 attacks.  As Hitler proved to the world prior to World War II, it is a historically significant event to see the destruction of any government.

·        A MUSLIM GOVERNMENT WAS DESTROYED

 

But the significance of the destruction of the government of Afghanistan far exceeds the ordinary.  This is because in Afghanistan not just any government was destroyed but a Muslim government was destroyed.  And the destruction of this Muslim government was not carried out by just any person but by President George W. Bush, a war leader who has made his Christian identity a keystone of his public image.  In other words, for the first time in many long centuries, a Christian ruler destroyed a Muslim nation.

If that does not resonate with you now, it will resonate with history as long as there is history to resonate. Just as we never really saw any of the dead bodies or body parts of the five thousand people slaughtered by the terrorist nineteen, neither have we seen the carnage heaped on the soil of Afghanistan.        But the carnage is there.  And the carnage will continue because Afghanistan, one of the most unstable nations in the world, has been deprived of the only source of stability it has known in decades.  Such things history will not forget.

Why was the government of Afghanistan destroyed?  One reason: All that carnage had to occur because Osama bin Laden was guilty of the 9/11 attacks.  Without bin Laden’s guilt, there simply is no way to justify the government of the USA overthrowing the Taliban.

THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE: SADDAM HUSSEIN CALLED THE SHOTS

There is much evidence that, in the absence of the conclusive proof to the contrary, will lead reasonable people to suspect that Saddam Hussein instead of Osama bin Laden provided both the instructions and the money behind 9/11.

An article in the Washington Post by Peter Finn on November 5, 2001, entitled “Hijackers Depicted As Elite Group” contained startling information that caused me to think the unthinkable. The article was sub headed, “Officials note differences from other terror cells.”  The article went on to say, “European investigators say they increasingly believe that the Sept. 11 hijackers and their support network in Europe made up a carefully chosen and tightly insulated group that had little if any contact with other al Qaeda terror cells in Europe…”

Contact is an either/or thing.  You either contact somebody or you don’t.  To say “little if any contact”, as the Washington Post reporter said, is just another way of saying that there is no conclusive evidence there was any contact between the Sept. 11 hijackers and other al Qaeda terror cells in Europe.

The Washington Post article continued, “There is still no firm evidence of how many of the Sept. 11 hijackers visited Afghanistan….”

The only thing the Washington Post reporter could find to prove there was ANY connection at all between Afghanistan and the 9/11 attackers was this: “…U.S. intelligence officials have said Atta, the suspected ringleader, made the trip, probably in 1997 or 1998…”

“Probably in 1997 or 1998…”?  If the evidence the federal government is depending on to justify the annihilation of the Taliban could not even pinpoint the year the leader of the attackers visited Afghanistan, how dependable could their “evidence” be?

ATTA IS THE KEY

The Washington Post article continued, “Mohamed Atta, suspected as a leader of the hijacking plot, was a city planner, fluent in German, English and Arabic, who held advanced degrees.  During the years he lived in Hamburg, Germany, he supported himself with a variety of legitimate jobs.

The article continued to flesh out the portrait of Atta, “Atta, who traveled extensively within Europe and between the United States and Europe before Sept 11, is the suspected bridge between the hijackers and al Qaeda’s leadership.  But little solid information has emerged on who Atta met on his trips to Spain this past January and July. And a trip to Prague in April remains equally mysterious.  Atta met an Iraqi intelligence official, according to Czech officials, but the purpose of the meeting remains unclear.”

Unclear indeed.

ATTA AND IRAQ

While there is no “firm evidence” about any contact between any of the 9/11 attackers and bin Laden, there is irrefutable evidence that Mohamed Atta, the leader of the attackers, had numerous meetings with Iraqi Intelligence agents prior to the attacks.  On November 9, 2001, CNN reported, “Suspected terrorist hijacker Mohammed Atta contacted an Iraqi agent to discuss a terror attack on the Radio Free Europe building in the Czech capital, Prague, Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman told CNN.”

The information offered by the Czech Prime Minister included details that left no doubt Atta was connected to Iraq: “…the April meeting [2001] was actually Atta’s second with Iraqi agents in Prague.  The first meeting was in June 2000, and in both meetings the Iraqis were operating under ‘official cover’ as diplomats.”

In the face of clear and undeniable evidence that the leader of the 9/11 attackers was meeting regularly with Iraqi intelligence agents prior to the attacks, President George W. Bush has made the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the destruction of the Taliban government of Afghanistan its single military objective.  That decision becomes even harder to understand when the evidence linking Saddam Hussein with the 9/11 attackers is examined.

SADDAM HUSSEIN AND THE WORLD TRADE CENTER

There is voluminous evidence indicating that Saddam Hussein was connected to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, not least of which is the fact that the 1993 bombing occurred two years to the day after Iraq was forced to withdraw from Kuwait.  Examine the significance of that fact.  If Saddam Hussein was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that failed to bring down the towers, do you know enough about Saddam Hussein’s ego to allow you to understand why he would have targeted the same target once again?

Why did the terrorists focus on the Twin Towers?  If the terrorists wanted to inflict maximum terror on the American people, the four planes could have been hijacked on any given Sunday and, rather than six thousand people dead, four separate cities would have approximately 100,000 fewer NFL fans come Monday morning.  The Twin Towers were obviously the terrorist’s primary target.  The Towers were attacked first, and the most experienced pilots flew the planes that hit them.

Conventional wisdom answers the question Why The Twin Towers? by saying that the Twin Towers were the symbols of America’s financial power and, to the terrorists, the symbols of America’s financial tyranny.  But that answer does not fit the emerging terror profile.  If the real goal of the attack was inflicting terror on American citizens, the conventional answer offered for Why The Twin Towers? does not fit well into that picture.

But there is another scenario where the Twin Towers fits perfectly well. That scenario is one where Saddam Hussein was simply proving that he could finish what he started.

Why have you never seriously examined this possibility?  The answer is obvious: the administration of President George W. Bush has done everything the unprecedented war powers granted to him could do to keep you from going there in your mind.  No wonder.  The official wartime “party line” espoused by President George W. Bush, the one that says Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind 9/11, begins to implode like the World Trade Center itself as soon as light is shined in the direction of Saddam Hussein.

THE PARALLELS BETWEEN 1993 AND 9/11

Enormous insight into the World Trade Center bombing was gleaned from a “National Interest” article by Laurie Mylroie published in Winter 1995-96 called “The World Trade Center Bomb: Who is Ramzi Yousef? And Why It Matters”.  Formerly of Harvard University and the U.S. Naval War College and currently with the Foreign Policy Research Institute of Philadelphia, she was co-author of the bestseller, Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in the Gulf (Random House 1990, and has just completed a sequel, Study of Revenge: Saddam’s Terror Against America, January 1993-??.  She writes, “According to the presiding judge in last year’s trial [of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers], the bombing of New York’s World Trade Center on February 26, 1993 was meant to topple the city’s tallest tower onto its twin, amid a cloud of cyanide gas.  Tens of thousands of people were expected to die.”

Hardly anybody today is aware that the outcome of the 9/11 attack was precisely the same goal as the 1993 bombing: to bring down both the towers, killing thousands of people.  Surely the parallel between the goal of the 1993 and the obvious goal of the 9/11 attack has to be seen to be enormously significant.   But the administration of President George W. Bush has chosen to ignore the parallel.

Laurie Mylroie continued to examine the leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, “Ramzi Yousef’s plots were the most ambitious terrorist conspiracies ever attempted against the United States.  But who is he?  Is he a free-lance bomber?  A deranged but highly-skilled veteran of the Muslim jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan?  Is he an Arab, or of some other Middle Eastern ethnicity?  Is there an organization—perhaps even a state—behind his work?  These questions have an obvious bearing not only on past events but on possible future ones as well.  It is important to know who Ramzi Youself is and who his ‘friends’ are, because if he is just a bomber-for-hire, or an Islamic militant loosely connected to other Muslim fundamentalists, Yousef’s ‘friends’ could still prove very dangerous to the United States.  It is of considerable interest, therefore, that a very persuasive case can be made that Ramzi Yousef is an Iraqi intelligence agent, and that his bombing conspiracies were meant as Saddam Hussein’s revenge for the Gulf War.  If so, and if, as U.S. officials strongly suspect, Baghdad still secretly possesses biological warfare agents, then we may still not have heard the last from Saddam Hussein [emphasis mine].”

In light of 9/11, the words written by Laurie Mylroie in 1995 should make every citizen in the USA pause and consider why today our bombs are raining down with the purpose of entombing Osama bin Laden in the “closed” caves of Afghanistan while, at the same time, Saddum Hussein sits undisturbed in Baghdad.

Our military is roaming the world like a lion seeking whom we may devour; and, like a lion, the guiding principle of our military is the minimizing, if possible, of any loss to American military personnel.  The problem with that strategy is such a military strategy, under these present terrorist circumstances, can increase the threat of future terrorism on American soil.  Paradoxically, our strategy of eliminating loss of life to our military can create a huge future loss of life to our civilian population here in the States.  

Military personnel are called to put themselves in harm's way for the purpose of reducing the threat to this nation, not to do things that increase the danger to American civilians.  Bringing bin Laden to justice in a court of law can go a long way toward reducing future threats of Muslim terrorism in the United States of America.

P.S.  For what it's worth, USA Today posted on November 19, 2001 this article that talks about a move in the Pentagon for the U.S. to launch massive bombing attacks against Iraq. 

UPDATE: December 14, 2001

The "Conclusive Evidence" Against bin Laden

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," (For the record, I doubt the tape is a fabrication: I doubt it primarily 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. 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.

Q    Have you decided to release it, sir?

(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 talks about 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" 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 to counter the idea that they still believed bin Laden was "responsible for planning" the 9/11 attacks.

TAPE RELEASED: Dec 13, 2001: Muslims Grasp Its Significance

(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.

Articles in the NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES dated Dec 14, 2001 stated, "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 “does not say, ‘I gave the order.’ ”

The Muslim world is paying close attention to bin Laden's words.  They see that in the tape referenced above bin Laden 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.

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.  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.

UPDATE: December 30, 2001

On December 27, a new video was broadcast showing a gaunt, yet unbeaten, bin Laden.  The videotape was reported to provide more evidence "proving" bin Laden was responsible for planning the 9/11 attacks.

Not surprisingly, no news media focused on the fact that this latest video actually showed bin Laden as he continues to deny that proof has been offered demonstrating he planned or ordered the 9/11 attacks. 

As close as any media outlet came to reporting the obvious contradiction that exists between bin Laden's interpretation of the evidence and the American position is seen in a NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES article published on Dec 27, 2001.  Referring to the latest video, the article stated, "The translators said bin Laden also accused the United States of bombing Afghanistan and killing thousands of civilians without any proof that he or al-Qaida is responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City and near Washington."

That statement alone proves that bin Laden does not believe he has said anything that would conclusively prove he either planned or ordered the 9/11 attacks.

When bin Laden says "our" men bombed this and that, as he does in all his videos, he could well be taking the position any patriotic, war-supporting American takes when describing the actions of "our" troops on the ground or in the air in Afghanistan.  No one believes that when a person says around the water cooler at the office that "our" bombers hit Tora Bora today, that the person is actually taking operational responsibility for that particular bombing run.  But bin Laden is accused of doing exactly that when he identifies himself with any of the actions taken by Muslim terrorists throughout the world.

The American authorities are not dunces who fail to understand that bin Laden, like any patriotic American citizen, identifies with the actions of troops he believes are advancing his goals in the war.  But the American authorities are acting like they think the people throughout the world are dunces who will fail to understand these obvious facts. 

It is not wise for the USA to disrespect people like that at any time, but especially when we are going about destroying their infrastructure and threatening their religious presuppositions.  And especially when they have access to nuclear weapons.

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