We've all been talking about this tape of Usama bin Laden that has been released by the U.S. government.
Our soldiers found the tape inside Afghanistan. On it, bin Laden takes credit for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He indicates that he knew of the plans, and even laughs at the fact that some of the hijackers didn't know they were on a suicide mission.
It is a tape that will convince the world that bin Laden must die. It doesn't really matter if he dies on the battlefield, or before a U.S. firing squad after a nice and fair tribunal. (Come on ... would we have given Tojo a trial? No. Tribunal and gallows, and justice done.)
There's another bin Laden tape floating around that is evidently even more revealing than the one we've seen. It is a professionally done interview by the Arabic network Al Jazeera — one that never aired, in part, because it is so embarrassing.
In it, bin Laden intimidates the Al Jazeera correspondent and refuses to answer his questions. Instead, he dictates questions to himself. The Al Jazeera correspondent — an Arab — was so frightened that he just took it, evidently threatened off camera.
This is the tape that Tony Blair referred to a month ago as proof that bin Laden was guilty. It has been circulated around the offices of government leaders, including the king of Jordan. We know what bin Laden was up to and what he is really like. We also know that the U.S. is not his only target. Arab and Muslim leaders are on his list of enemies as well.
So why did Al Jazeera choose not to broadcast this tape? The New York Times reports that Vice President Dick Cheney met with the emir of Qatar, whose family finances the network, to complain about the tape's inflammatory anti-American message.
What really matters is that the interview has been seen where it counts. In the Arab halls of power, notice has been given and it goes like this: We're going to get bin Laden. We're going to kill him, and when we do, you need to keep your mouths shut.
No complaining. The U.S. is doing the world — the Muslim world, in particular — an invaluable service.
I got $10 that bin Laden's death is greeted by deadly silence from Arab leaders. After all, they saw the tape.
That's My Word.
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