There were these footnotes to the story of America at war with terrorism.
There are now signs that some of those Pakistani Muslims who crossed the border to fight for the Taliban are heading back home. Reuters describes a group of exhausted Pakistani tribesmen boarding a bus in Kabul to head back home, after 10 days on the front lines. The group leader said, "they were bombing constantly, and we seemed unable to stop it."
He described the 10 days at the front as frightening because of the constant U.S. bombardment, and he said the Taliban had told him to go on home. The London Sunday Telegraph reports that Usama bin Laden has in effect, admitted being behind the September 11th atrocities in a videotape that's been circulating among his supporters, but which was not released for broadcast anywhere.
In it, bin Laden reportedly says, "the Twin Towers were legitimate targets. They were supporting U.S. economic power. These events were great, by all measurement. What was destroyed were not only the towers, but the towers of morale in that country."
The Telegraph said it gained access to the tape in the Mideast on Saturday. The paper further quotes bin Laden as saying on it, "if avenging the killing of our peoples is terrorism, then history should be a witness that we are terrorists. Yes, we killed their innocents, and this is legal, religiously and logically."
That news media recount to end all recounts seems to have satisfied Florida Democrats, who had already lost interest in claiming Al Gore won the election. The Palm Beach Post quotes state Democrat chairman Bob Poe as saying, "it's time to move on. I think when Al Gore said George Bush was his commander-in-chief, that said it all."
And Gore media adviser Carl Eskew said, "you've got to accept it, put the bitterness aside and move head." Meanwhile, though, two American Enterprise Institute scholars have concluded, based on a study of the spoiled Florida ballots, that those most likely to have had their ballots disqualified were actually African-American Republicans.
John Lott and James Glassman said the records show there are about 22,000 black Republicans in Florida, and their analysis of the data showed that their votes were 50 times more likely than those of an average Florida black to be tossed out as mismarked.