This is the October surprise, though not necessarily by Karl Rove and the Republican campaign: bin Laden waxing political right at the eve of the American elections. I'm not at all sure that the tape is recent. For one thing, bin Laden looks too healthy. Here's the gist of the message on the tape:
DUBAI (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden accused President Bush of deceiving the American people and said the Sept. 11 attacks would not have been so severe if the president had been alert.
In an address on Al Jazeera television just days ahead of the U.S. presidential election, bin Laden also said the U.S. administration resembled "corrupt" Arab governments.
"It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the country (Bush) would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone ... because he thought listening to a child discussing her goats was more important," bin Laden said, referring to Bush's visit to a school when the attack occurred.
Al Qaeda leader bin Laden said he had first thought of attacking the United States after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. U.S. intelligence agencies believe that it appeared to be bin Laden on the tape, one official said.
As I have already mentioned, there is something noisome in us even paying attention to a self-confessed mass murderer, but banging my head didn't stop me from wanting to write about it. All it did was scare the dogs. Yes, we should ignore what bin Laden says or said a long time ago as concerns our own political processes. Yes, it's disgusting that we pay attention to a man that should by everything that is just in this world be immured in some isolated place without bread and water until he's desiccated enough to be used as a kite. But many people will not follow these ethical norms, and then those that do will not have any effect on bin Laden's impact. If the man on the tape is bin Laden, of course.