Osama, uncut

By Katharine Mieszkowski
October 31, 2004 8:26PM (UTC)
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"I'm Osama bin Laden, and I approved this message."

Amidst all the speculation about the impact Osama bin Laden's latest message will have on the American presidential election, what does it actually say?

CNN is only airing bits and pieces of the video. But the network has put a translation of what was shown on Al Jazeera online here.


A few highlights: Bin Laden argues that he isn't an enemy of freedom: "Contrary to what Bush says and claims -- that we hate freedom -- let him tell us then, 'Why did we not attack Sweden?' " And he invokes the Patriot Act as evidence that Bush isn't as freedom-loving as he claims to be.

Arguing that the roots of Sept. 11th were in the U.S. support for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, he has a Smokey Bear moment. Neither U.S. presidential candidate can keep the American people safe, he says: "Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands. Any nation that does not attack us will not be attacked"

Translation: Only you can prevent terrorist attacks.

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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