Friday, January 20, 2006

For what it's worth, at least one voice-authentication expert interviewed this morning on NPR seemed to think the CIA was awfully quick to declare the bin Laden tape genuine -- the declaration came much faster than the one for the last tape. (Although he did say that maybe it was just because the CIA has some fancy-schmancy technology and/or techniques he might not be aware of.)


MORE: Bruce Lawrence, a Duke professor who's the editor of this recent collection of bin Laden statements, has told a reporter that he's not sure the tape is genuine:

...He thinks bin Laden is dead and has doubts about the tape. Lawrence recently analyzed more than 20 complete speeches and interviews of the al Qaida leader for his book. He says the new message is missing several key elements.

"There's nothing in this from the Koran. He's, by his own standards, a faithful Muslim," Lawrence said. "He quotes scripture in defense of his actions. There's no quotation from the Koran in the excerpts we got, no reference to specific events, no reference to past atrocities."

...Lawrence believes faulty Pakistani intelligence led to the strike and the civilian deaths, and the tape was leaked by Pakistani authorities to divert attention from their mistake....

Believers in a Bush-based conspiracy theory regarding the tape will take heart from the words of CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"The last time we got a tape from Osama bin Laden was right before the 2004 presidential election. Now here we are, four days away from hearings starting in Washington into the wiretapping of America's telephones without bothering to get a court order or a warrant, and up pops another tape from Osama bin Laden. Coincidence? Who knows."

(Cafferty's wrong, though, that the last bin Laden tape was the one right befor the '04 election -- there was another one in December '04).

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