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September 09, 2007

Osama Video: Fake?

A reader wrote to me that I ought to be looking into this possibility, as that's the job of bloggers. I ignored him because I figured it was a dead end.

Maybe not quite dead, though.

The Booman Tribute asserts that all contemporaneous, proof-of-recent-life references are made when the video is frozen, with only an audiotrack playing (which is much easier to fake, of course).

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 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.

Allah is, bless his skeptical heart, intrigued but cautious, noting that a statement made while the video is flowing about "Democrats' inability to implement your desire to end the war" suggest it's of recent vintage.

I'm not altogether sure of that, A-Man. The Democrats were also intent to end the war in 2004 -- John Kerry, anyone? -- when we know Osama was alive, and so it is quite possible bin Laden would make precisely such a reference back then. He has, if I'm not mistaken, made these sorts of references in the past, has he not? About the need for politicians to end the war? The reference to Democrats being unable to end the war may be a reference to their failure in the 2004 elections, not their success after the 2006 elections.

So I don't know if that single reference proves he was alive after the November 2006 elections.

As a general matter, when someone is doctoring a video, you have to assume there's a reason for the doctoring. What reason could that be? I imagine there's several possibilities, but one that must obviously be considered is, well, the obvious one. That he's dead, and they had to take an old tape of him and stick in current-events references to project the falsehood that he's actually alive at all.

Stop the ACLU is following this story and collecting up opinions, and Dan Riehl is interested in the less-juicy implication that he appears very weak, based on his lack of making his typical hand gestures.

Interesting. I guess the situation is as it was: People may suspect he's dead, but they have no clear proof he is, and so the most one can say is that he "might be dead." I don't see the current tape changing that; it still seems like he might be dead. It's awfully curious that all of the demonstrable references to recent events occur during freeze-frames. Why should that be, if not to clumsily hide the fact they are bits of new audio layered in to establish proof of life?

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posted by Ace at 03:52 PM

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