Bin Laden Attacks the US Presidential Elections, The October Surprise?
By Anthony Wade
October 30, 2004
Is bin Laden is now stumping for George Bush? We are four days out from the election. All indications were that Bush had been faltering. The Kerry lead in Ohio , which no Republican has lost and gone on to win the White House, was up to 9 points yesterday. Bush 's campaign was hemorrhaging badly with the new revelations about Bush allowing 380 tons of deadly explosive material to just walk out of Iraq while we were guarding the oil ministry. Bush 's campaign was being skewered daily by the new revelations that Halliburton will now be investigated for yet more impropriety involved with the assignment of billion dollar no-bid contracts. Bush 's poll numbers consistently have been between 45-48% in any reasonable poll, a sure sign for disaster for the incumbent. Faced with the mounting case that the cabal is losing control, we all expected an October surprise. We all expected that surprise to be something terror-related, to scare the populace, to distract the voters from how pitiful the economy, jobs, and healthcare are.
Enter stage right: Former CIA asset and world-renowned boogeyman, Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden decided to release his new videotape on Friday at 4 PM at the start of the last weekend before the election. This timing is clearly designed to swing the news coverage before the election to George Bush 's perceived strength, terror.
You remember Osama, right? He is the guy that single-handedly saved a flailing Bush presidency by knocking down our buildings and killing 3,000 of our neighbors on September the 11th. He is also the guy that we had cornered at Tora Bora, before Bush started gazing Saddam 's way and let him escape. Bin Laden is also the guy that Bush said, just SIX months after 9-11, "I don't know where he is. Nor -- you know, I just don't spend that much time on him really, to be honest with you ". Well, like the bad Viagra commercial says, "He 's Backkkk ". Yes, Osama returned to video today, coincidentally, just in time to save Bush 's election chances. How convenient.
If you denote some scorn in my tone, you are correct. I am sorry, but I just refuse to believe that a man who is alleged to be such a brilliant mastermind, brilliant enough to undermine all of our air defenses with 19 guys who couldn 't fly armed with box cutters, would be so stupid as to submit this tape, at this time. There are only two logical conclusions that can be garnered from these events. Either the tape is not real or Osama bin Laden desperately wants you to re-elect George W. Bush.
On the latter possibility, why wouldn 't bin Laden welcome another Bush administration? The Bushies are fond of spreading the ridiculous notion that al Qaeda would prefer Kerry but upon analysis, they would have to be Bush backers. Why? Four main reasons come to mind.
1) Bush removed Saddam, who bin Laden was vehemently opposed to. Despite the fairy tales Dick Cheney likes to spread, Iraq was despised by bin Laden and al Qaeda. Bin Laden is a strict fundamentalist, while Saddam ran a secular Islamic state. To you and I, that may not mean much, but in strict fundamentalist land, that is unforgivable. Bush 's Iraq War actually achieved what bin Laden wanted, the removal of Saddam.
2) Bush 's War has united the Islamic world against America and has strengthened al Qaeda recruitment. Despite the claims of 75% of al Qaeda leadership being "brought to justice ", nothing could be further from the truth. There have been zero terrorism convictions under the Bush Administration and any "leaders " that have been killed have been replaced. It is an acknowledged fact that al Qaeda 's recruitment is at an all time high, as the Iraq debacle has inflamed hatred.
3) Bush has already forgotten about bin Laden. Those were his own words just six months after bin Laden allegedly coordinated 9-11. Bush gave up the hunt and moved the target to bin Laden 's enemy, Iraq. Bush has provided precious little resources to bringing down the international criminal mastermind. With enemies like that, bin Laden does not need many friends.
4) John Kerry has vowed to actually hunt down bin Laden and put the focus back on him. Additionally, he has vowed to bring the rest of the world into the hunt, something I am sure bin Laden does not want.
So, going into this last weekend, Bush needed the news framed around the issues that he polls strong on. There is only one left, his war on terror. Mind you, most people were finally coming around to the realization that Bush 's War has been badly mismanaged. That does not matter though, because by releasing the tape late on a Friday afternoon, bin Laden virtually guaranteed that this will be the primary news topic for the last weekend, and the remaining four days in general. Essentially, this tape is an endorsement of Bush, by Osama bin Laden. It puts Senator Kerry in an awkward position where he cannot address it, without lending credibility to Bush as president, he cannot speak out against it because it or it may look too political, and if he ignores it then Bush is the only one doing the talking.
Bush has been frantically banging the terrorism drum for the last few weeks. He astutely recognizes that if people are thinking about the economy, jobs and healthcare, then he loses, period. That is why his standard stump speech has been all about terror and how only Bush could protect you. The problem was that the message was not resonating anymore. It became overkill. We had heard from this president for the past three years how scared we had to be and even had a pretty color chart to coordinate our fear. Eventually, you just get numb. Further compounding Bush 's dilemma were two recent stories which actually displayed Bush 's poor handling of the war on terror. The first was the fact that Bush ordered the guarding of the oil ministry while allowing 380 tons of dangerous explosives to be taken out of Iraq . They tried to spin it away, but at the end of the day, it had been confirmed by multiple sources that the materials were indeed there when we invaded. It is very difficult to talk tough on terror when every story on the news will be about your failure to secure enough explosives to blow up over 700,000 airplanes.
The second story was the announcement that the FBI was investigating yet more impropriety in the awarding of billion dollar contracts to Halliburton. This is another story the Bushies could not afford to have dominate the headlines for the last four days. This presented a very real problem for George Bush. Four days left and the only message he polls strong on, is undermined by competing stories showing his ineptitude and cronyism. I guess bin Laden took care of these problems for George though. Now, every story this weekend and for the last four days will not be about jobs, healthcare, economy, 380 tons of missing explosives, or Halliburton. No, it will all be about this videotape. Bush will be allowed to look presidential and play the protector, a role he plays very well. He can feign outrage at Kerry if he dares to even mention his war on terror failings. The result bin Laden could be hoping for is that you walk into the voting booth on Tuesday thinking about him, not about Bush, and certainly not about the other guy, Kerry.
The second plausibility is that the tape is simply not real. It has not been authenticated as of yet. Major intelligence sources have speculated that bin Laden has been dead for years now. In 2001, a video tape surfaced where bin Laden confessed to masterminding 9-11. The problem was that up until that time, bin Laden had denied involvement, although he was pleased with the event. Then suddenly, the videotape emerged. Unfortunately, the guy in the tape was not Osama bin Laden. Here is a link to picture from bin Laden, and the first fake:
Now, we have a new videotape of bin Laden and while the guy appears closer to what bin Laden might look like now, there are still some doubts as to the authenticity of the tape. Here is a link comparing the new bin Laden, to the real bin Laden:
What might the truth be? Will the real bin Laden please stand up? Whenever there is a crime we try to establish truth by asking ourselves first, who benefits? Who benefits from this tape surfacing at this point in time? The obvious answer is president Bush. Even though bin Laden is critical of Bush, that plays in Bush's favor. Even though this highlights Bush 's failure to pursue bin Laden, it still works in Bush 's favor because all he wants, is for the coverage leading up to Election Day to be about terror, even if some of the coverage is negative, he knows that he still outpolls Kerry 65%-35% on security issues. It is a political maneuver, nothing else.
We are already hearing how Bush will frame this. He will stand resolute and say that we will not be intimidated. He will grandstand with subtly. He will denounce Kerry for having the temerity to speak about Tora Bora in light of the new threat from bin Laden. He will again be unfettered to hammer home that you need to be very afraid when you walk into the voting booth. Mind you, this new video tape actually offers NO threat at all. The Department of Homeland Security has already said that the "terror alert " will not be raised because the tape contained no new threats. May I ask the obvious question then? Why in the world would bin Laden even make the tape? Why would he wait until 4 PM on the Friday before the election to release it when it is obvious that doing so would only help Bush out? I have already heard some talking heads float the notion that somehow bin Laden may have thought that he would be hurting Bush, please. Are we supposed to believe that he is so smart that he can penetrate our billion dollar defenses with box cutters but is not savvy enough to know the true effect of the tape? How stupid do they think we are?
No, you look for who benefits, and that is clearly Bush. You look for corroborating evidence and when you see that it was released late on a Friday afternoon, where it could do the most political damage it again is a win for Bush. You look at further corroborating evidence to see what the main stories were that now are bumped, and you see that Bush again benefits.
I can believe that the tape is fake or bin Laden is still working as a CIA asset. I can believe that Osama bin Laden is a huge Bush fan and decided to try and scare you into voting for him. I cannot however believe in a ridiculous conclusion that bin Laden "didn 't realize " that he was releasing this tape at the perfect time of 4 PM on the Friday before an election. That he is somehow brilliant enough to coordinate the worst attack on our soil in American history yet doesn 't have a clue about how our political system works.
Anthony Wade is co-administrator of a website devoted to educating the populace to the ongoing lies of President George W. Bush and seeking his removal from office. He is a 37-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple websites. A Christian progressive and professional
Rehabilitation Counselor working with the poor and disabled, Mr. Wade believes that you can have faith and hold elected officials accountable for lies and excess.
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