October 29, 2004

Al Jazeera to Broadcast Osama bin Laden Video

UPDATE: An update on my thoughts are posted here.

A number of e-mails have come in in the past few minutes, including one from M.H. King who is following the story, alerting me to a story that al Jazeera will be running a new video featuring Osama bin Laden. The video is purported to show bin Laden directly addressing the American people. Let's just say I'm a bit skeptical that the voice on the tape is bin Laden. Despite what they show you on CSI, voice recognition is less science than it is art. If it turns out to be a video, I will want to see some references to recent events in order to be convinced that bin Laden is still alive. A number of sources have claimed to have positively identified bin Laden in the region of South Waziristan which borders Pakistan and India, some of them even claiming bin Laden had crossed into India proper, but I did not run the story for lack of credibility. As I told one person who ran with it, "Bin Laden is the Elvis of South Asia." MSNBC:

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden tells the American people that “Bush cannot protect you” in a new taped message received by the Arab satellite television station Al-Jazeera, U.S. officials told NBC News on Friday.

Al-Jazeera said the tape, to be aired at 4 p.m. ET, dealt with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and their consequences. While the announcer said the message was an audiotape, the station’s Web site called it a video.

Mike sent me a link to this Fox News analysis. I am not saying that the voice on the tape is not necessarily bin Laden, but how recent can this really be? I want something more than just a video of bin Laden lecturing on the evils of Bush. I want something, anything, that shows this video is more than two years old.
Multiple sources told FOX News that the 18-minute videotape is authentic and said its release was timed to coincide with Tuesday's presidential elections. Bin Laden makes reference to recent conflicts in Iraq and addresses the American people directly, sources said.

U.S. officials said the tape appears to have been made recently.

I might remind my readers that the Army of Ansar al Sunnah recently praised John Kerry for his criticisms of George Bush. The same message also noted that Kerry's criticism is a result of his fear of terrorism--a sign that terrorist tactics are working. For the record, I do not believe Kerry's criticisms are the result of his fear of terrorism. However, a Kerry victory would clearly be interpreted by the terrorists themselves as a sign that they are winning this war.

Critical Update I:CTV Canada adds this tidbit to the mix, which means I may be wrong: "Despite entering the fourth year after Sept. 11, Bush is still deceiving you and hiding the truth from you and therefore the reasons are still there to repeat what happened," bin Laden tells Americans. Holy schneike!! My lefty readers are already jumping on this as evidence of George Bush's failures.

Three things: 1) Al Jazeera released the video--an obvious ploy to affect the outcome of the elections. 2) When bin Laden criticizes you that's not exactly a bad thing. 3) To reiterate--since the polls consistently show the American people trust George Bush on terrorism more than Kerry, well, you do the math.

UPDATE: Many of you may be watching the Fox News broadcast of the tape. Digger is doing live updates as they happen.

UPDATE II: Contrary to the Rooftop Report's speculation, this tape can only help President Bush. By all measures, the American people believe Bush is better equipped to handle terrorism than John Kerry.

John at the Command Post makes the error of believing that the reports that bin Laden is alive are true. It is possible, I guess I'll find out in a few hours, but I still remain skeptical.

Rob at Say Anything is on the same page as me.

Hmm, Slant Point also buying that bin Laden is alive. We'll see, but he rightly sees the consequences of Kerry trying to use this against Bush.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:19 PM | Comments |