Monday, March 03, 2008

Debunking Loose Change Final Cut: The Hijackers, Part I

This is a long chapter, and clearly not all of it concerns the hijackers, despite the title. I am cutting the chapter into three separate posts; Osama bin Laden (this post), the Hijackers (to come) and Able Danger (after that).

Dylan Avery “On September 13th, the United States Government declares that it has overwhelming evidence that Bin Laden is responsible for the attacks. The Taliban offers to hand over Osama Bin Laden if the United States can provide evidence.

Taliban interpreter: “Our position in this regard is that if America have (sic) evidence and proofs (sic), they should produce it and we are ready for the trial of Osama Bin Laden in the light of evidence.”

Reporter: “Are you willing to hand Osama Bin Laden to the United States or not?”

Taliban spokesman: No, no, no.

Taliban interpreter: “Without evidence, no.”

The video is backed up by this CBS news story, but it is important to note that Taliban spokesman on the right (speaking English) is actually an interpreter, and that the original response by the Taliban on the left was simply, "No, no, no."

The rejection came in a statement by Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan. Asked whether the Taliban would hand over bin Laden, Zaeef said, "No." But his translator said, "No, not without evidence."

Now, note the part about "... we are ready for the trial of Osama Bin Laden." I suspect strongly that what was being suggested was that Osama be tried in Afghanistan, which of course is ridiculous and unsatisfactory. If an American is accused of a crime in Great Britain, we do not insist that he be tried first in the US to see if he's guilty; we simply have an extradition hearing.

Note also that bin Laden does not fit the supposed focus of the chapter as one of "The Hijackers". This continues with the next discussion:

Reporter: “But is there any plan to present public evidence, so that the average citizen, not just Americans but people all over the world can understand the case against bin Laden?”

Ari Fleischer: Secretary Powell said, there’s hope to do that, and uh, to do so in a timely fashion over some course of time… but the American people also understand that there are going to be times when that information cannot immediately be forthcoming and the American people seem to be accepting of that.”

Reporter: “It seems as though you’re asking everyone to trust you.”

I'm starting to see that Loose Change FC is every bit as duplicitous as the earlier versions, just a little more cunning about it. You see the ellipsis above? Dylan made it reasonably obvious that he was cutting out part of Fleischer's response by the blurring. What Ari actually said was:

Ari Fleischer: Well, I think, as Secretary Powell said, there's hope to do that and to do so in a timely fashion over some course of time. That's always important in a democracy. In a democracy, it's always important to provide the maximum amount of information possible.

But I think the American people also understand that there are going to be times when that information cannot immediately be forthcoming, and the American people seem to be accepting of that.

That's minor, but what we don't see is the lack of context for the next quote from a reporter:

But I really am talking even bigger. I mean, just you know, you're talking about actions in other parts of the world. And certainly, you want the support of as many people around the world as possible. You know, I guess, it seems as though you're asking everyone to trust you but without supply(ing) information to show why you should trust.

Dylan Avery: “This information has yet to be provided to the public. Instead of taking credit, bin Laden denies involvement in the attacks, three times.

And Pete Rose denied betting on baseball how many times before he finally admitted that he not only bet on baseball but bet on the team he was managing? Criminals almost always deny their guilt many times before admitting it.

December 13th: The Department of Defense releases a videotape allegedly discovered in a house in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden describes the attacks along with Khaled Al Harvey (sp?). American mainstream media and even President Bush, would portray this videotape as absolute proof of his guilt. International establishments question the authenticity of this tape” (Screen shows German website with one passage translated: ‘Bin Laden video: Fabrication as evidence?”

Dylan tries to glide over the fact that many of the reasons for claiming the Bin Laden video was fake have now been debunked. Remember fatty Bin Laden? Debunked by a Truther as a simple problem with foreign videotape standards and American.

Remember Osama's watch and rings? Debunked here in the early days; although that's my post I think James did an earlier post on it; I'm just linking that one because it was the one I found quickly by searching.

Dylan used to claim a lot of reasons for why Osama was fake; now he tells us that it was claimed to be fake by some German "establishment". He's clearly beating a hasty retreat on this point.

“December 26th, 2001. A Taliban official claims that he has attended the funeral of Osama bin Laden. The next day, a video believed to be recorded on November 19th is broadcast, in which bin Laden praises the attack, but takes no responsibility.

The next bin Laden video would not appear until October 29, 2004, days before the presidential election. The video is described as the clearest claim of responsibility for 9-11.

Well, yes, it is "described that way".

Fox News: Usama bin Laden made his first televised appearance in more than a year Friday in which he admitted for the first time ordering the Sept. 11 attacks and accused President Bush of "misleading" the American people.

China Daily: In what appeared to be conciliatory language, bin Laden said he wanted to explain why he ordered the suicide airline hijackings that hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon so Americans would know how to act to prevent another attack.

"To the American people, my talk is to you about the best way to avoid another Manhattan," he said. "I tell you: Security is an important element of human life and free people do not give up their security."

But there have also been more recent videos, that Dylan conveniently ignores.

An Arab television station broadcast previously unseen footage Thursday of a smiling Osama bin Laden meeting with the top planners of the Sept. 11 attacks in an Afghan mountain camp and calling on followers to pray for the hijackers as they carry out the suicide mission.

Back to the film:

And when questioned why bin Laden’s Most Wanted poster does not indict him for 9-11, the chief of investigative publicity for the FBI, Rex Tomb, replies:

Ed Haas: “9-11 is not mentioned on the most wanted poster is cause the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Osama bin Laden to 9-11. Clearly, I couldn’t really believe what I just heard, so I repeated it, and he said, yes, that is correct. The FBI has no hard evidence connecting Osama bin Laden to 9-11.”

We have been over that one so many times. First, Osama has not been indicted on charges related to 9-11 because the government already has indictments against him for his involvement in the embassy bombings in 1998; there's no need to indict him again until he's captured.

And oh, yes, there was yet another video released in November of 2007:

Bin Laden said it was unjust for the United States to have invaded Afghanistan for sheltering him after the 9/11 attacks, saying he was the “only one responsible” for the deadly assaults on New York and Washington.

“The events of Manhattan were retaliation against the American-Israeli alliance’s aggression against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, and I am the only one responsible for it. The Afghan people and government knew nothing about it. America knows that,” the al-Qaida leader said.

As for the FBI having no hard evidence, check out this detail at the end of that story:

FBI analysts were reviewing the tape but were not immediately able to say how long it was or when it might have been recorded nor could they provide other details. Spokesman Richard Kolko said it was being examined "to determine if it is authentic and for any intelligence value."

"As the FBI has said since 9/11, bin Laden was responsible for the attack," Kolko said in a statement. "In this latest tape, he again acknowledged his responsibility. This should help to clarify for all the conspiracy theorists, again — the 9/11 attack was done by bin Laden and al-Qaida."

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