Bin LadenŐs Home Video: The Missing Portion
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We have been able to obtain an important missing portion of the extraordinarily incriminating videotape of Osama bin Laden that mysteriously found its way into the hands of U.S. intelligence officials and was recently released by the U.S. Defense Department. It turns out that the visiting Saudi sheikh was somewhat more inquisitive than he comes across in the portion that was released, and Mr. bin Laden was surprisingly forthcoming in his answers. The readers may speculate as to why this portion was snipped from the video.
First, here is the part of the released transcript that straddles the missing portion ("UBL" stands for Usama bin Laden, a more phonetic rendering of bin Laden's first name, just as "Shaykh" is used for the more conventional English rendering of "Sheikh.")
UBL: The brothers, who conducted the operation, all they knew was that they have a martyrdom operation and we asked each of them to go to America but they didn't know anything about the operation, not even one letter. But they were trained and we did not reveal the operation to them until they are there and just before they boarded the planes.
UBL: (...inaudible...) then he said Those who were trained to fly didn't know the others. One group of people did not know the other group. (...inaudible...)
(Someone in the crowd asks UBL to tell the Shaykh about the dream of ((Abu-Da'ud)). (end original excerpt)
In fact, the sheikh was just as mystified as the rest of us by the revelation above, and requested clarification. Here is the missing portion
Shaykh: Yes. The operation was truly an inspired one, but how were you able to impart the vital instructions at the very last minute?
UBL: We used audiotapes.
Shaykh: Audio tapes?
UBL: Yes. Each of the teams was given instructions to report to a particular car rental window at the airport and request a pomegranate-colored Chrysler PT Cruiser. Our people have been very successful in obtaining employment in the car rental business in America, so it has been easy for us to establish many sleeper cells there. Our informants have also told us that pomegranate-colored automobiles are very rare in America, so it was not likely that someone would be given a tape by speaking the code message by accident. Our car rental cell member turned over the instruction tape upon hearing the code message. Each of the teams had been issued a small, inconspicuous cassette player for playing the tape.
Shaykh: How is it that the Americans have not been able to find any of the tapes or the players when they have found other final communications the brothers made with one another concerning their noble adventure and Arabic-language instructions for flying an airliner, as well as one of the brothers' passports near the fallen World Trade Center tower?
UBL: Thirty seconds after the playing of the instructions, the tape was set to silently self-destruct. Without the tape, the player has no evidentiary significance.
Shaykh: Aha! Allah is great. And the brothers of al Qaeda are even more ingenious than I dreamed possible. But I am still puzzled at how you were able to accomplish the most difficult, the seemingly impossible part of the glorious operation.
UBL: And what would that be?
Shaykh: How were you able to get the mighty Americans with their all-seeing electronic eyes and their ever-ready supersonic military airplanes to play the thirsty gnu to the hungry crocodile?
UBL: I'm sorry. You've lost me. My time in the Sudan was not that long.
Shaykh: You caught the American militarists with their camels completely tethered.
UBL: Yes we did. The martyrdom was certainly not in vain.
Shaykh: But that is what I do not understand. If I had heard of the plan in advance I would have given it no more chance than an abandoned lion cub among hungry hyenas. That each of the teams with the most primitive of weapons would succeed in taking over airliners was amazing enough, but that the Americans would lie sleeping in their tents while one after another of the big jets strayed radically from their planned flights and made for the American population centers is beyond miraculous. I accept now that the miracle happened, but how does one plan for such miracles? How could you have known that the air force whose bombs we now hear rumbling in the distance would be so careless about protecting its own people?
UBL: Our resources are greater than you might imagine. See what we were able to accomplish with Ali Mohammad.
Shaykh: I'm sorry, but I'm not much of a boxing fan.
UBL: No, no, that's ALI MOHAMMAD, not MUHAMMAD ALI. I am speaking of the one who pulled off the embassy bombings in Africa. Although he was a native of Egypt, we were able to get him into the American Army where he trained Special Forces troops. When he did the bombings, the Americans described him as a former U.S. Army sergeant. But like that other bomber, Timothy McVeigh, he was not a former member of the U.S. Army, he was a current member of their army working under cover. The Americans thought he was working for them spying on us, but all along he had been spying on them for us, and, in the end, he bombed them for us.
Shaykh: Praise be to Allah, but are you telling me that your own undercover agents prevented their Air Force from intercepting and diverting the commandeered airliners that al Qaeda had converted into righteous weapons?
UBL: Have not the American President, the son of the one who profaned our sacred country, and the American Attorney General warned their people that our sleeper cells are everywhere? But I can speak no more of this matter.
Shaykh: I know. As the Americans say, you must protect your sources and methods.
Shaykh: I'm sorry for not saying so upon my arrival, but may I compliment you now on how healthy and well fed you look.
UBL: Oh, you have noticed? My men keep telling me that those food packages with the peanut butter and other strange foods that the Americans drop from the sky are very fattening. (At this point the originally released tape picks back up.)
For those who might be wondering how DC Dave might have obtained a tape that not even Matt Drudge could get his hands on, we can only say that al Qaeda is not the only one with sleeper cells. To say more would risk exposing sources and methods.
December 16, 2001
Yes, the article is satirical.