Thursday, 13 February 2003

Another Phony Bin Laden Tape

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell dropped a bombshell at a Congressional hearingon Iraq and revealed that he had a transcript of an "upcoming" audio message from Osama bin Laden that betrays the links between bin Laden and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

However, the White House may have put its foot in its mouth this time around.

Upon careful scrutiny of the audio message from bin Laden (and broadcast at 3pm EST on the Arabic News Network Al-Jazeerah), it appears the Bush administration may have been so desperate to pin anything on Saddam and bin Laden that they did not wait to actually hear the contents of the message, nor provide adequate and reliable translation.

The bin Laden message expresses solidarity with the Iraqi people, advises them to remain steadfast in the coming invasion of their country and declares that Saddam and his aides are not important. "It is not important if Saddam and his government disappear," the man thought to be bin Laden says. "This is a war against you, the Muslims, and you must take arms to defend yourselves."

U.S. officials were quick to point out that the bin Laden message directly incriminates Iraq and proves the existence of ties between bin Laden's al-Qaeda and Saddam.

U.S. media touted the official line before even hearing the tape, or awaiting a reliable translation. "Undeniably links Iraq with al-Qaeda," says one CNN anchor.

And then something happened that neither the U.S. administration nor the media anticipated: bin Laden called Saddam an apostate.

Full story...

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