Bin Laden tapes are as phony as Sept. 11's connection to Islam
As a Ph.D. Islamologist and Arabist I really hate to say this, but I'll say it anyway: 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam. The war on terror is as phony as the latest Osama bin Laden tape.
It's a tough thing to admit because I know on which side my bread is buttered and dropping Islam from the 9/11 equation is dropping my slice of bread butter-side-down. The myth that 9/11 had something to do with Muslims has poured millions, if not billions, into Arabic and Islamic studies. I finished my Ph.D. last year, so all I have to do is keep my eyes in my pocket and my nose on the ground, parrot the party line, and I'll be on the fast track to tenure track.
The trouble is, it's all based on a Big Lie. Take the recent "bin Laden" tape please! That voice was no more bin Laden than it was Rodney Dangerfield channeling my late Aunt Corinne from Peoria. I recently helped translate a previously unknown bin Laden tape, a real one from the early '90s, back when he was still alive. I know the guy's flowery religious rhetoric. The recent tape wasn't him.
The top American bin Laden expert agrees. Professor Bruce Lawrence, head of Duke University's religious studies department, has just published a book of translations of bin Laden's speeches. He says that the recent tape is a fake and that it is possible bin Laden is not even alive.
Fake bin Laden tapes, "verified" by the CIA, are nothing new. Every supposed bin Laden statement since 2001 has been blatantly bogus. The last we heard from the real bin Laden came in his post-9/11 statements to Pakistani journalists: "I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation. ... I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. ... I had no knowledge of these attacks."
Then on Dec. 13, 2001, as George Bush was whining about the "outrageous conspiracy theories" that were spreading like wildfire, the first and shoddiest of the "bin Laden speaks from beyond the grave" tapes appeared. The video's sound and picture quality were horrible. It showed a big guy with a black beard, doing a passable imitation of bin Laden's voice, claiming foreknowledge, if not responsibility, for the 9/11 attacks, and chortling over their success. The trouble was, the big guy clearly was not bin Laden. He was at least 40 or 50 pounds heavier, and his facial features were obviously different.
The "Fatty bin Laden" tape was widely ridiculed, and I have yet to meet an informed observer who considers it authentic. (If you haven't figured this out yet, go back and look at the images from the tape and compare them to other images of bin Laden.) But the media let the fraud pass without asking the hard questions: Why was the U.S. government waving this blatantly fake "confession" video in our faces?
Perhaps due to the widespread hilarity evoked by "Fatty bin Laden," the next Osama from beyond the grave message had no images it was an audiotape delivered to al-Jazeera in fall 2002. The CIA verified it as authentic and then got a rotten egg in the face when the world's foremost voice identification experts in Switzerland reported that "the message was recorded by an impostor."
Every bin Laden message since then has been equally phony. They are released at moments when the Bush regime needs a boost and the American media go along with the fraud. Remember the bogus bin Laden tape that made headlines right before the 2004 presidential election? If you didn't figure out that it was a CIA-produced commercial for George Bush, I have some great bridges to sell you. Walter Cronkite, bless his heart, opined that Karl Rove was behind that tape. But the rest of the media just kept pretending that the emperor was clothed.
And the fraud continues. The most recent alleged bin Laden tape has been ridiculed by America's top bin Laden expert, yet the U.S. media keep right on holding a transparent fig leaf in front of the emperor! Professor Lawrence believes that this phony tape was designed to distract world opinion from the horrific massacre of Pakistani civilians by an errant CIA drone. But it may have another, more sinister purpose: to prepare public opinion for another false 9/11-style attack designed to trigger a U.S.-Israeli nuclear attack on Iran.
The real bin Laden, who insisted that he had nothing to do with 9/11, has been dead since late 2001 or early 2002. The fake messages have been fabricated by "al-CIA-duh" to support the Bush regime and its phony "war on terror." It is time for Americans to rise up in revolt against the fake terror masters who are looting U.S. taxpayers, torching our Constitution, destroying our economy, and threatening nuclear Armageddon.
Kevin Barrett holds a Ph.D. in Arabic, with a focus on Islamic studies, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a co-founder of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth: http://mujca.com. E-mail: email@example.com
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