Just a thought

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Every once in a while, I feel like writing about something really off the wall. (Some would say I do it weekly.) Anyway, I’ve been reading the various theories about how the Sept. 7 Osama bin Laden video was faked. Now, not that I’m paranoid, but I’ve had certain misgivings about every message that’s been attributed to bin Laden since about a month after we invaded Afghanistan. To me, it seemed those “sermons” were timed to favor a certain pro-war, anti-Muslim sector in the United States. I don’t want to offer any idea who might be making them. You can form your own paranoid delusions.

The funny thing about the Sept. 7 video—the one where he suddenly appears to have a black beard again and is in the same studio as his 2004 release—is that not even the extremists appear to know whether it’s real. And that opens the door for pranks.

So here’s my question: If the CIA isn’t making Osama bin Laden videos, why aren’t they? There’s plenty of video of the guy out there. We aren’t living in caves. We have the technology. Our guys could do a far better job making bin Laden videos than bin Laden can.

I know how I’d do it, if I had the resources. I’d make a couple sermons that repeated messages that bin Laden offered in the past, only making new references to recent events. Then I’d send them to the various news media, which would have to broadcast them rather than have the competition beat them to the scoop. Then I’d start mass producing bin Laden videos that would advocate things like declaring victory in the jihad, the disbanding of al-Qaida and support for the Iraqi government—and then I’d start with the really wacky stuff.

And then, three things could happen. News media would stop broadcasting any bin Laden videos, bin Laden would have to surface to distance himself from the fakes and a certain murderer would lose his soapbox.