October 29, 2004
Don't go to your grave without a graven image!
It appears that Osama bin Laden is still alive and making statements as logically elusive was the question of his recent mortal status:
"Your security is not in the hands of (Democratic candidate John) Kerry or Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands," bin Laden said.While I'm not up to interpreting those strange remarks, I do feel vindicated, because I had a big discussion with a good friend about bin Laden recently. While a lot of pundits I respect had declared the man dead, I never agreed with that, primarily because the demoralization that would create for his followers would, I think, have been discernible. It's tough to keep people quiet about a thing like the death of their highest and most exalted leader. There would have been "death chatter" somewhere. (Witness the recent news of Arafat's poor health, which (as Roger L. Simon notes) has created shock waves around the world.)
As to the absence of videos, it always struck me that bin Laden had more to lose than to gain from making another video. There's always some risk making a video when you're the most wanted (and most expensive) man in the world, because it has to go from person to person, and place to place, and with every link in the chain there's the possibility of being ratted out or someone spotting a clue. Add to that the possibility of having the enemy experts discern hidden details (such as location, or make and model of the camera), and absent a compelling reason, why bother? Better to keep 'em guessing!
Obviously, this time Osama thought it was important enough to trash Bush just before the election that he decided to take the risk. (Either that or the film was older, with the release timed for the election.)
Coming as this does on the heels of the "Azzam the American" video, it does appear that Al Qaida would like to influence the election. Whether they're using double reverse psychology remains to be seen.
posted by Eric on 10.29.04 at 05:33 PM
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Don't go to your grave without a graven image!:
» On Osama bin Laden's Newest Tape from The Moderate Voice
Terrorist Osama bin Laden resurfaced in a new video, looking healthier and rested as he issued more cryptic threats against the United States and taunted President George Bush -- all carefully timed right before Americans go to the polls in [Read More] Tracked on October 30, 2004 1:56 AM
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