Thursday, January 19, 2006

Purported Bin Laden Tape : New Attacks on US "Just a Matter of Time"

I've linked to al Jazeera's story on the bin Laden tape not because of any preference, but because, in the absence so far of any complete transcript on the web, al Jazeera included the most comprehensive coverage of bin Laden's message.

Image hosted by

A couple of points need to be made. On the tape, the voice purported to be bin Laden's says:

The new operations of al-Qaida has not happened not because we could not penetrate the security measures. It is being prepared and you'll see it in your homeland very soon.
The right has been pretty adamant that "there have been no new attacks on US soil since 9/11," meaning, of course, that we have been spared by surrendering some of our Constitutional rights, by surrendering, essentially, our American values. Dick Cheney has said more or less the same thing in his defense of the Patriot Act and illegal domestic spying.

Obviously no one can guarantee that we won't be hit again. But neither should anyone say that the relative safety of the last four years came as an accident. America has been protected not by luck, but by sensible policy decisions, by decisive action at home and abroad and by round-the-clock efforts on the part of people in law enforcement, intelligence, the military and homeland security.
Or maybe not.

Frightened and sobered by both the 9/11 attacks and the Bush administration's shameless exploitation of those attacks (Don't think so? Check this out. Has the memory faded so quickly?), most Americans forget that it was more than eight years between the first al Qa'ida attack on American soil (February 26, 1993 truck bomb at the World Trade Center) and the second (September 11, 2001). These people are not in a hurry.

I don't believe for a second that we have not been attacked because of the vigilance and efficiency of the Bush administration. We will be attacked again, no question in my mind. And we will be attacked at least in part because of the Bush administration's--and the PNAC's) lying and fumbling Iraqi policy.

Bin Laden said:

The war in Iraq is raging and the operations in Afghanistan are increasing.
I don't know how anyone can argue this point. A year ago, the CIA published a little-noted report outlining how Iraq, as a result of our invasion and occupation, had become a breeding ground and training camp for terrorists. I posted about it here. Last April, the US State Department published a report showing that global terrorism is on the rise. Human Rights Watch has made a similar point to these in its 2006 Annual Report. The rights group argues that abusive interrogation techniques (i.e., torture) actually weakens rather than aids the war on terror.

The Bush administration has responded to HRW, predictably, by charging that the group has a "political agenda" (yeah, they do, and it's in their name: HUMAN RIGHTS).

On March 13, 2002, Bush made the following remarks in a White House press conference:

Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I --I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.
Well, you've heard from him now, Mr. President. You've heard from every bit as clearly as you did in your August 6, 2001 Presidential daily briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US." You ignored him then. Will you ignore him now?

I can't express strongly enough how really angry I am that bin Laden is still free and able to make the threats against the US that he is making. Why is this man free? Convince me that the strongest, most technologically developed country in the world cannot find and capture him. Convince me, Howie. Convince me that it has nothing to do with keeping Pervez Musharraf, a tyrant every bit as corrupt and brutal as Saddam Hussein, in power in Pakistan. Convince me that Osama bin Laden's apparently charmed life has no connection to his early ties, and perhaps continuing ties, to the CIA, as well as to Musharraf's spy agency, the ISI.

I just want to know why we "can't" capture bin Laden.

1 comment:

Matt Schury said...

The AP has a full text transcipt up on its website at: