Friday, December 14, 2001

With all the build-up, I had expected a little better effort from Langley and Hollywood than the rather pathetic 'proof' of the guilt of bin Laden tendered by the Bush administration. Even leaving aside good questions as to our ability to trust anything produced by the U. S. government, the video only shows that bin Laden had some awareness of the terrorist plot, not that he planned it, ordered it, masterminded it, or directed it. In fact, the way that bin Laden seems to have heard about the attack, by waiting for news on the radio, seems to prove he had very little to do with it (which is no great surprise since he was living in a cave in the wilds of Afghanistan). The most unpleasant part of the video is the happiness expressed at the outcome, but that is hardly reason to bomb the hell out of Afghanistan. This transcript of the video from Cryptome rather cleverly contrasts the reaction of bin Laden and his chums with the reaction of CIA agents to their overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953. My general question on the release of the video concerns the timing. Why now? Could it be that the Bush administration is feeling a little uncomfortable given that it has spent billions of dollars, killed thousands of innocent civilians, will be responsible for the deaths of thousands more, but has done absolutely nothing to stop al-Qaida, has not caught bin Laden, and has stirred up enough hostility to ensure years more of terrorist attacks on the U. S. A.?