Viewpoint: Is it Osama or Memorex?
By Joe Baker
Is it Osama or Memorex?
By Joe Baker
Last week Vice-President Richard Cheney and President George W. Bush announced the discovery of a video tape reportedly containing admissions by Osama bin Laden that he was behind the 9/11 attacks.
What a fortunate turn of events…for the Bush administration. As historian David Irving commented: How fortunate that of all the millions of videotapes littering liberated Kandahar, the Americans should have chanced upon this one!
Here is a man accused of masterminding a highly sophisticated and carefully crafted assault on the U.S. that took years of planning. In all that time, not one word of the plan leaked out, but he just happened to leave an incriminating video tape lying around where we could find it.
How careless of him! This is not said in defense of bin Laden. I have no use for the scumbag. He deserves whatever he gets; but it is, I believe, an example of the duplicity this administration foists on the American public as fact.
Until now, the administration has no hard evidence of bin Ladens involvement in the attacks. Bush and company have been roundly rapped in the Arab world and elsewhere for convicting the man with no hard proof. They were frantic to supply something to show the public.
Now Bush, and his British counterpart, Tony Blair, are scrambling to do damage control, hoping to head off growing skepticism about this tape.
It would be very interesting to see what an independent expert would make of that tapesomebody not connected with the government who is qualified to tell if it was edited, dubbed or otherwise altered or entirely faked.
Dont expect that to happen any time soon. Let us hope this is not life imitating art. Did you ever see the movie Wag the Dog?
Heres what the skeptics are saying. The person who is supposedly bin Laden on the tape does not even look like the real weasel. Osama bin Ladens face is narrower and his nose is more bulbous. The voice tracks are muffled, perfect for blurring pasted in tracks that could be taken from other tapes.
This all smells like a joint production of the Bushites and the CIA, maybe with a little help from the Mossad.
Yes, at this point this is all conjecture, but it is a possibility, and stranger things have
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happened. Theres still 18 minutes of Tricky Dicks tapes that never will be known.
Experts in the field say it is a simple matter for a person knowledgeable in audio and video manipulation to create this kind of product.
One thing thats suspicious is the very poor lighting. You cant tell if its bin Laden or Buddy Hackett. Its also strange that this man would not publicly claim any involvement in the attacks and then make a confession that could fall into enemy hands. There are several other questionable points about this tape.
The point is that few things today are what they seem. Until we stop swallowing government pronouncements whole, we will be continually misled. And not for the first time. Recent analysis of President Lyndon Johnsons personal tapes show that the Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened. We were duped, tricked into Vietnam. So please forgive our skepticism, but weve lived through Vietnam, Watergate and Bush Sr.s Iran-Contra. Yes, our governments credibility is shot.
Certainly, there are terrorists in the world, and they must be dealt with; but they arent necessarily who the government says they are. As Noam Chomsky, the celebrated anti-terrorism expert from MIT, recently said, much of the rest of the world regards this country as a leading terrorist state because of what we have done elsewhere in the world in the past 20 or so years, notably in Central and South America and in the Mideast.
We may not like such comments; but many times, the truth hurts. Maybe we wouldnt be in such shock about such world attitudes if our national media kept us better informed about them.
This is history that remains unknown to most Americans because the government would prefer you not learn about it. Chomsky also said: Liberty, if it means anything, includes the right to tell the people what they dont want to hear.
In the present circumstance, that is the role this paper occupies locally. We have taken our lumps because of it, in more ways than one, and we will continue to do so.
We also will continue to tell you what we think you ought to know. Many times it will offend some of you, but that is the price of trying to speak or write the truth. Yes, we know some do not believe we supply that commodity. Time will disclose what is true. We dont require our readers to agree with us. Our hope is that they will consider the information presented and think about it, rather than dismissing it out of hand and continuing robotic flag waving and branding points of view other than their own as paranoid or un-American.
This country entered a watershed in its political and cultural life on Sept. 11. The shock waves still reverberate. Much of the American public has reacted in fear and confusion since and, because of it, has allowed itself to be manipulated by the power mongers in Washington.
But we have faith in the people of this country. We have received e-mails and letters from around the country and from right here in Rockford lauding us for having the courage to ask question and not regurgitate the party line. Many people are beginning to come around and, in coming weeks, its our belief there will be a general awakening to whats really going on.
Lets hope and pray that a more enlightened and less mean-spirited outlook will permeate the halls of government and that our elected representatives will be motivated to actually represent us.
During recent congressional hearings, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft told his joke about the cartoons with little kids sitting on Santas lap. Santa says, I know when youre sleeping, and I know when youre awake. And the kid says, Who do you think you are, John Ashcroft? The room breaks up with laughter, but the questioning congresswoman says that shes not sure all Americans would find that funny.
The season proclaims peace on earth, goodwill to men. What a truly great country this could be if we lived up to that maxim. Merry Christmas.