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January 30, 2010
Bin Laden: A hoax like the warming he champions
A January 29 Associated Press headline shouts without apparent irony, "Bin Laden Blames U.S. for Global Warming in New Tape." Under the headline is a photo of Osama bin Laden speaking into a microphone.
"Talk about climate change is not an ideological luxury but a reality," bin Laden told the world, at least as translated by Al Jazeera. "All of the industrialized countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis."
At first glance, the photo -- in combination with a headline about a "tape" -- challenged my belief that bin Laden is long since dead. On closer inspection, however, I saw that the tape in question was an "audiotape" and that the photo in question was dated "October 7, 2001."
If anything, these two bits of inadvertent evidence strengthen the case that a breathing, badgering Osama is as much a charade as the global warming hysteria he now helps incite.
In fact, no reputable person has seen bin Laden alive since October 2001 when the photo in question was taken, that on the occasion of an interview by Al Jazeera. The audio and videotapes that he has allegedly made in the years since have convinced few outside the CIA.
National security guru Angelo Codevilla has argued persuasively that Osama died of pulmonary infection before the year 2001 was out. It was not until after his likely death that the so-called "confessional video," the first one in which he actually took credit for September 11, surfaced.
"The fact that the video had been made for no self-evident purpose except to be found by the Americans should have raised suspicions," Codevilla wryly observes.
That the video was accepted at face value can be traced to the CIA's institutional bias in favor of the idea of rogue agents and against that of state-sponsored terrorism.
This newly exhumed bin Laden fits the White House template even more nicely. In the last few weeks. Osama has not only endorsed the underwear bomber, but he now also hectors us for our lifestyle choices. These scoldings reinforce the willfully myopic Obama vision that the enemy is "Al Qaeda" and that its rage has been stoked by America's indifference to the world's resources.
Indeed, Obama has focused narrowly on Osama for years. "We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority," so said candidate Obama during an October 7, 2008 presidential debate.
This comment reinforced those Obama had made six years earlier during his celebrated, October 2002, anti-Iraq speech in Chicago, the broadside that enabled him to flank Hillary to the left.
"You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda," the then obscure Obama blustered six months before the Bush administration would launch its "dumb war" in Iraq.
For the next six years, most ambitious Democrats and the media embraced a pseudo-hawk position like Obama's. Iraq was a "distraction" from the real war on terror against al Qaeda and Bin Laden, a "diversion," a "sideshow."
After his election, Obama may have actually learned he had been blowing smoke. In a January 15. 2009 statement that should have gotten more attention than it did, he conceded that he was not sure "whether [bin Laden] is technically alive or not."
Given that the party in power, the media, and the CIA all have a desperately vested interest in retelling the story that they have told America for the last eight years--especially after the Fort Hood massacre and the Christmas Day near bombing-- do not look for any revision in the story line.
And if "Osama" can do double duty shilling for Obama's global warming sleight-of-hand, all the better. The men behind the Osama curtain know a good hoax when they see one.