Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Messages from Osama bin Laden

While I unfortunately missed the actual broadcast, I was interested in Kevin Barrett's interview, discussed here, with Bruce Lawrence, described by Barrett as "America's top bin Laden expert". So I decided to look into this professor, and see if he is really who Barrett claims he is, and if he really backs up Barrett's claims.

First of all, he is a professor of religious studies at Duke University, although for whatever reason, he is not teaching currently. Looking up his university webpage bizarrely forces you to his personal website, without allowing you to stay at the original. His personal website appears designed to sell books more than anything.

Unlike most of the Scholars for 9/11 "Truth" (Lawrence doesn't appear to belong to any of the 3 splinter groups) he appears qualified in a relevant field. Although his rather out-of-date C.V. shows degrees in religious studies, rather than language or history, he does appear to have a fair amount of experience, some abroad, in the study of Islam, and even the Arabic language. Claiming that he is America's top expert on Osama bin Laden might be a bit of an exaggeration though, as far as I can tell Dr. Lawrence has not actually written a single book on Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda. The closest he has come is a 1989 book on Islamic fundamentalism titled "Defenders of God: The Fundamentalist Revolt Against the Modern Age". Perhaps this just speaks to the lack of academic work in this area by American scholars?

What Lawrence has worked on, however, is as the editor of a book titled Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden. Aside from the 21 page introduction though, he did not write the book, it is just a compilation of bin Laden speeches. In fact he didn't even translate it, that was done by a man named James Howarth. It is still a work worth further research though, so I endeavored to search the dusty leather-bound tomes of Suzallo Library for a copy.

What I found was rather interesting. In this book, Dr. Lawrence does not question the authenticity of any of bin Laden's speeches, in fact the only mention of this issue is by Howarth, who wrote the following in the translator's notes:

Nevertheless, although the question of authenticity inevitably arises when ever a message is released in bin Laden's name, the 24 statements in this collection, issued over a 10 year period, have all been accepted by a majority of the experts who have examined them.

Additionally, not a single one of the 24 statements published in this work include any denial by bin Laden of complicity in 9/11. The two incidences where Barrett claims that bin Laden denied involvement, are completely absent from the book. In fact at least 4 of the statements included, explicitly state that the attack was carried out by Arabs. Starting with an October 21st 2001 interview (page 112):

These repercussions cannot be calculated by anyone, due to their very large - and no less than $1 trillion by the lowest estimate, due to these succesful and blessed attacks. We implore God to accept those brothers within the ranks of the martyrs, and to admit them to the highest levels of Paradise.
Continuing in the same interview, from page 119:

As for the World Trade Center, the ones who were attacked and who died in it were part of a financial power. It wasn't a children's school! Neither was it a residence. And the general consensus is that most of the people who were in the towers were men that backed the biggest financial force in the world, which spreads mischief throughout the world. And those individuals should stand before God and rethink and redo their calculations. We treat others like they treat us. Those who kill our women and our innocent, we kill their women and innocent, until they stop doing so.

Later, from a December 26th, 2001 statement titled, "Nineteen Students" (from page 149):

It was not nineteen Arab states that did this deed [9/11]. It was not Arab armies or ministries who humbled the oppressor who harms us in Palestine and elsewhere. It was nineteen post-secondary students - I beg God Almighty to accept them - who shook America's throne, struck its economy right in the heart, and dealt the biggest military power a mighty blow, by the grace of God Almighty.
From a February 14th, 2003 statement (page 194):

One of the most important positive effects of our attacks on New York and Washington was to expose the reality of the struggle between the Crusaders and the Muslims, and to demonstrate the enormous hostility that the Crusader feels toward us.
From an October 29th, 2004 statement (page 242):

For example, al-Qaeda spent $500,000 on the September 11 attacks, while America lost more than $500 billion, at the lowest estimate, in the event and its aftermath. That makes a million American dollars for every al-Qaeda dollar, by the grace of God Almighty.
He continues later to mock President Bush on the same page:

For your information, we agreed with the general commander Mohammed Atta, may God bless his soul, to carry out all operations within twenty minutes, before Bush and his administration could be aware of them, and it did not occur to us that the Commander-in-Chief of the American armed forces would leave fifty thousand of his citizens in the two towers to face this great horror on their own, just when they needed him most. It seems that a little girl's story about a goat and its butting was more important than dealing with aeroplanes and their butting into skyscapers. This gave us three timess the amount of required time to carry out the operations, praise be to God.
There are even more speeches where bin Laden praises the attacks, although he makes no mention of who carried it out, presumably though, if bin Laden were actually denouncing the attacks, or thought it was carried out by the Americans in order to blame him, he would not be praising them. There is, however, no denial or any indication by Lawrence that any of these admissions are fraudulent.

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At 20 February, 2007 23:40, Blogger Critical_Thinker said...

Bin Laden's 2004 video statement (The 2004 October Surprise) was an obvious fake. But that doesn't mean Bin Laden is not complicit in the attacks.


I was not ready to say that bin Laden is involved in the [9/11] attacks. You see, I was questioning the assumption that he is involved. When I visited Afghanistan, I spent some days there, I was totally changed because I saw the pictures of Atta [the lead hijacker] hanging in the [al Qaeda] hideouts. Privately they admitted everything. They said, they [who attacked on 9/11] are our brothers, but they said that “When the Americans kill Muslims in Sudan, they don’t admit that we are responsible for the attacks. When the Indians kill Kashmiris, they don’t admit that we have killed them. So now this is our turn. We have killed them and we are not going to admit that.

My tape recorder was on and one very important al Qaeda leader he turned off my tape recorder and said, “Yes, I did it. Okay. Now play your tape recorder.” I played the tape recorder and he said “No, I’m not responsible”.

Hamid Mir interview with Peter Bergen, Islamabad, May 11 2002 and March 2005
Chapter 10
The Fall of the Taliban and the Flight to Tora Bora
The Osama bin Laden I Know
Peter L Bergen

At 21 February, 2007 06:35, Blogger texasjack said...

Great research James, the type of research that the truth movement is incapable of and discriminatingly ignores.

At 21 February, 2007 06:45, Blogger Pepik said...

Well done, proper research is always valuable. The the barrets of the world think nobody will check these things out.

At 21 February, 2007 09:35, Blogger 911coverup said...

My tape recorder was on and one very important al Qaeda leader he turned off my tape recorder and said, “Yes, I did it. Okay. Now play your tape recorder.” I played the tape recorder and he said “No, I’m not responsible”.

comedy gold.

At 21 February, 2007 09:53, Blogger James B. said...

I am glad you are so amused by murderous terrorists.

At 21 February, 2007 10:35, Blogger 911coverup said...

Give me a break. "Turn off the radio, I did it. Turn it back on, I didn't do it..."???

Very convincing stuff, indeedy. lmao

At 21 February, 2007 10:41, Blogger 911coverup said...

Even funnier than osama's "butting goats, butting the skyscraper." remark.

At 21 February, 2007 11:23, Blogger James B. said...

I am glad you are so amused. If you read the footnotes Osama was actually making a pun in Arabic. You will have to go to the library and check-out the book to get it explained.

At 21 February, 2007 11:37, Blogger 911coverup said...

The "butting" statement was made on a grainy, unconvincing video that was released few days before the 2004 election, hence the "october surprise".

I think it's careless for someone to say that they don't admit to anyone that they were involved in a terrorist attack, yet they admit it to a well known journalist. How could have they not known the journalist was going to tell about it and not made any threats that he don't quote the admittance? In fact, it probably never happened so I call bullshit.

At 21 February, 2007 12:05, Blogger texasjack said...

It is so typical of the conspiracy crowd to disregard and call experts liars, yet they will typically take out of context, cherry-picking, and non-corrobarating "evidence" at face value. Just amazing.

At 21 February, 2007 15:03, Blogger shawn said...

Hey, coverup, how come al-Qaeda was putting up photos of the Nineteen in their buildings? For the hell of it?

Why do some of the hijackers appear in videos with Osama? Oh, is that a fake Osama, too?

How could have they not known the journalist was going to tell about it and not made any threats that he don't quote the admittance? In fact, it probably never happened so I call bullshit.

Because they know there are enough stupid Westerners who won't believe him. Goddamn, you prove the whole reason right there and you're too stupid to realize it.

At 21 February, 2007 15:04, Blogger shawn said...

Bin Laden's 2004 video statement (The 2004 October Surprise) was an obvious fake.

hahahahahahaha you guys are a riot.

At 21 February, 2007 16:08, Blogger John Doraemi said...

December 26, 2001

Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader.

"The Coalition troops are engaged in a mad search operation but they would never be able to fulfill their cherished goal of getting Usama alive or dead," the source said.

Bin Laden, according to the source, was suffering from a serious lung complication and succumbed to the disease in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora mountains. The source claimed that bin Laden was laid to rest honorably in his last abode and his grave was made as per his Wahabi belief.

About 30 close associates of bin Laden in Al Qaeda, including his most trusted and personal bodyguards, his family members and some "Taliban friends," attended the funeral rites. A volley of bullets was also fired to pay final tribute to the "great leader."

The Taliban source who claims to have seen bin Laden's face before burial said "he looked pale ... but calm, relaxed and confident."

Asked whether bin Laden had any feelings of remorse before death, the source vehemently said "no." Instead, he said, bin Laden was proud that he succeeded in his mission of igniting awareness amongst Muslims about hegemonistic designs and conspiracies of "pagans" against Islam. Bin Laden, he said, held the view that the sacrifice of a few hundred people in Afghanistan was nothing, as those who laid their lives in creating an atmosphere of resistance will be adequately rewarded by Almighty Allah.

When asked where bin Laden was buried, the source said, "I am sure that like other places in Tora Bora, that particular place too must have vanished."


Crimes of the State

At 21 February, 2007 18:16, Blogger shawn said...

Yeah, Osama's only died about a dozen times. Must have some cockroach blood him in.

Wow, it's actually very sad that you spent so long making that post on your blog, with footnotes no less. How much time did you waste? And a request - please stop wasting my oxygen, your brain obviously doesn't need it.

At 21 February, 2007 19:58, Blogger The Artistic Macrophage said...

You mean he has been dead for 5 years and only the truth movement has known all this time...OMG



At 22 February, 2007 00:21, Blogger Der Bruno Stroszek said...

Classic truther logic - "We oppose the lies of the mainstream media! Unless they say something we like, at which point their word becomes gospel!"

At 22 February, 2007 06:41, Blogger Swing Dangler said...

Yes, I'm the world's greatest terrorists, but dam it, I'm not going to admit!

That is classic!

That is like saying, "Yeah folks, the air down there in NYC is just fine down there. Go for a job, go shopping, go breath that fresh air. It is just fine."

What I find comical is that in other terrorists attacks that are committed by Alqueda they have no problem making public declarations such as....
Al-Qaeda Claims Responsibility for Iraq Hotel Bombings (AP) - Al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility on Tuesday (10/25) for triple suicide bombings of Baghdad hotels that killed 17 people. Monday's bombings targeted central Baghdad's Palestine and Sheraton hotels, which house Western journalists and contractors.

Or they can state publicaly they are losing in Iraq..

In 1992, Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for bombing a hotel in Yemen where 100 U.S. military personnel were awaiting
deployment to Somalia for Operation Restore Hope.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for arming Somali factions who
battled U.S. forces there in October 1993, and who killed 18 U.S. special operations forces in Mogadishu in October 1993
Source:CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Order Code RL33038
Al Qaeda: Profile and Threat Assessment
August 17, 2005

But when it comes to their greatest terrorist attack of all time aganist their most hated enemy it takes a shitty ass controversial video that experts disagre on luckily found in some shitty ass town in Afghanistan to do it?
No press releases of responsiblity? No cry from the rooftops about 'we did it'. We hurt the great Satan!

(I've searched high and low but I can't find an offical press release declaring responsibility. Do you have a link?)

The behavior does not follow the pattern of this terrorist group or for that matter any terrorist group.

At 22 February, 2007 07:17, Blogger James B. said...

I am not sure what you consider an "official press release", does Al Qaeda have a formal PR department?

What difference does it make anyway? Even if Al Qaeda had immediately declared responsibility you would just claim that is fake too. You can't lose. What, the CIA can destroy the World Trade Center with sattelite weapons, but they can't make an anonymous phone call to Al Jazeera?

At 22 February, 2007 10:59, Blogger Swing Dangler said...

It is not the fact that they did or didn't, James. It is the fact that the whole premise of the invasion of 2 countries is based upon a shaddy fraud of a production.

Claim and proving are two different things as you well know. The bin Laden tape has proven to be fake.

Then the questions that begs to be asked, who faked it, why, and for what motive.

If Al followed it's pattern, the 'story' would be a bit more believable and we wouldn't have 'fake' tapes showing up puporting to claim responsiblity.

What, the CIA can destroy the World Trade Center with sattelite weapons, but they can't make an anonymous phone call to Al Jazeera?

Hmmm, I don't recal ever giving support to the beam weapon theory, although the technology exists.

At 22 February, 2007 13:28, Blogger Alex said...

Claim and proving are two different things as you well know. The bin Laden tape has proven to be fake.

When are you planning on proving this?

At 22 February, 2007 13:39, Blogger CHF said...

It is the fact that the whole premise of the invasion of 2 countries is based upon a shaddy fraud of a production.

So shaddy a production in fact that it can fool the world's experts but not mental titans like you.

At 22 February, 2007 17:20, Blogger The Artistic Macrophage said...

oh but see anyone who is a scientist or an engineer or a politician is in on it, so they dont need to be fooled.

hey Swing, next time I am at the USG disinfo agent meeting, I'll pass the word on to do a better job next time...We can't have you keep complaining about how Shaddy the productions are.


At 23 February, 2007 22:35, Blogger Alex said...

I told you we should have hired Steven Spielberg and the Lucasarts crew. But noooo. You guys had to go and let Dyan and Corey do it. I swear, I'm never getting involved in another low-budget operation again.


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