It’s the Administration says the left. It’s probably al-Qaeda themselves, say those more reality based.
Whoever made it, may very well have faked it:
Osama Bin Laden’s widely publicized video address to the American people has a peculiarity that casts serious doubt on its authenticity: the video freezes at about 1 minute and 36 58 seconds, and motion only resumes again at 12:30. The video then freezes again at 14:02 remains frozen until the end. All references to current events, such as the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, and Sarkozy and Brown being the leaders of France and the UK, respectively, occur when the video is frozen! The words spoken when the video is in motion contain no references to contemporary events and could have been (and likely were) made before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The audio track does appear to be in the voice of a single speaker. What I suspect was done is that an older, unreleased video was dubbed over for this release, with the video frozen
Just to be sure, I downloaded the MPEG file and played it on my Windows Media Player (I sometimes have issues with the Flash Player). Sure enough, the video freezes right where Mr. Maschke says it does – in both instances.
In effect, what we have is about a 3 1/2 minute video that has been stretched out to more than 26 minutes by simply freezing a frame of OBL over first about ten minutes then more than 12 minutes of the tape.
The Telegraph gives us a possible explanation:
The al-Qaeda leader’s first video message for three years featured a bizarre rant against America, with references to global warming, “insane taxes”, the US mortgage market meltdown and rising interest rates.
American spy chiefs were quick to name Adam Gadahn, the head of al-Qaeda’s English language media operations, as the author of large sections of bin Laden’s broadcast.
Last October, the 28-year-old “loner” became the first American charged with treason since 1952, for appearing in a succession of al-Qaeda videos under the guise of “Azzam The American”, in which he condemned globalisation and made American cultural references.
What surprised analysts was his use of the language of Left-wing protesters, which showed detailed knowledge of the economic travails of middle America.
Bin Laden referred to “the reeling of many of you under the burden of interest-related debts, insane taxes and real estate mortgage” and blamed “global warming and its woes” on “emissions of the factories the major corporations”.
A former senior US intelligence official said: “It has Adam Gadahn written all over it.” Mike Baker, a former CIA covert operations officer, said the tape left bin Laden with “the title of biggest gas bag in the terrorist world”.
CIA officials said voice analysis of the tape proved it was definitely bin Laden.
Funny that the CIA concludes that it’s Bin Laden on the tape but never mentions – or perhaps didn’t catch – the freeze framed video. It is hugely significant because as Maschke points out, all of the topical references that “prove” the tape is recent are uttered when the “video” is in freeze frame.
If our government is going to release a tape showing that Osama is alive, one would think that this kind of little detail would be hugely important to point out to the press and the American public. If anything, this video chicanery buttresses the case that Osama has been worm food for a while.
Wheels within wheels: The CIA knows Osama is dead but doesn’t want al-Qaeda to know that we know. Why? Perhaps they have someone close to al-Qaeda’s inner circle. Not close enough to know where they are, but close enough that our intelligence people are kept abreast of a few things. Letting on that we know Osama is dead might expose that source to al-Qaeda.
And how about the idea that this is a speech that may have been written by some poor deluded leftist twit pretending to be a jihadist read by the world’s number one terrorist? Adam Gadahn may be a useful idiot to al-Qaeda but I hardly think they have grown so unsophisticated that they would be using him as Osama’s ghost writer – literally. Besides, CNN International is seen all over the world. If they want to copy leftist propaganda spouted here in the United States, they can do no better than use Ted Turner’s creation for that.Michael Ledeen is not convinced either:
Third, is it really Osama? As you know, I was reliably told something like two years ago that Osama had died. Nothing in this speech sounds at all like the “old” OBL. That man knew how to give a stemwinder, he used elegant language, his threats were blood-curdling, his calls to the faithful inspiring. This man talks like, well, a high school dropout. In fact it reads like an “Onion” spoof. And the sound is bizarre, at least on my IBM desktop. It sounds almost as if there was enough garble in it to make it difficult to match with voice prints of the “real” guy. I’m not convinced.
Is it possible that this “tape” was manufactured by the Bush Administration and released just days before the Petreaus Report to Congress on Iraq in order to sway nervous Republicans into standing firm while reminding the American people that Iraq is part of the War on Terror?
The question has to be asked because it will probably be the number one topic of conversation on lefty blogs today. And the answer is a qualified no, it is not possible. One can accuse the Bush Administration of incompetence in many areas but you would think if they were going to run a fake video, they might have done a better job of manufacturing it so that some guy in pajamas sitting in his mother’s basement couldn’t expose them.
And al-Qaeda shutting down it’s various websites immediately after the tape’s release is an interesting tell as well. They wouldn’t want their sympathizers telling the world that the video is an obvious fake.
Yes, I suppose it is possible that the Administration ordered up the video for the Iraq debate. Anything is possible. But there is not one scintilla of evidence that points the finger at the Administration while logic and inference finger this as an attempt by al-Qaeda to stick their nose into the debate themselves – just as they tried to do with the 2004 election when they released the last Osama video.
I’m sure this is not the end of this story. By the end of the day, I suspect a Blogswarm as well as further interesting speculation. Perhaps even more revelations will be forthcoming once bloggers with professional audio and video equipment start putting the tape to the test.
One of those days when it’s great to be a blogger…