The government today released five videos found in Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, showing the al Qaeda leader preparing a message to the United States and watching himself on television.ABC reported the release of the videos would help squelch doubts people had about whether U.S. forces really captured and killed bin Laden last weekend in the wake of the administration's ever-changing narrative of how events unfolded. ABC News' weekend anchor David Muir and Martha Raddack had an exchange on this evening's news broadcast about the release of the purported videos of bin Laden. "It's historic, it's generational," Raddack declared. "He was just dying his beard to cover his gray hair," she said. "We've never seen him this way before." Raddack said. Pentagon officials killed the audio to prevent further spreading of his propaganda she explained. Muir asked Raddack if the videos would help squelch doubts about his death. Absolutely she said. "Where else could you find videos like this if Osama bin Laden wasn't there?"
The first was a previously unreleased message from bin Laden directed to the United States that was believed to have been filmed between Oct. 9 and Nov. 5 2010.
In the video, which begins with animated pre-production work, he appears to have dyed his beard black, is wearing a gold shawl over a white vestment and is wearing a white skullcap.
The second video, which runs over a minute long, shows bin Laden watching himself on television and holding the remote control to change the channels between what appear to be Arabic news channels.
The clip begins with a long shot of the screen, showing a list of satellite channels. The camera then pulls out and bin Laden is shown sitting down with a blanket over his shoulders and a wool cap. His beard is grey and white.
The government today released five videos found in Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, showing the al Qaeda leader preparing a message to the United States and watching himself on television.
At one point bin Laden asks the cameraman to go back to the TV screen so it can focus on him holding a weapons.
It is unclear when or where this video was made and whether bin Laden was watching a live broadcast or a tape.
The remaining three videos appear to be practice sessions, possibly for the first video. In each of them he appears to stumble in his speech, stop and begin over.
This footage is among the trove of evidence found after the U.S. raid on the compound Sunday, when bin Laden and four others were killed.
"This is the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever," a senior intelligence official said.
The cache includes digital, audio, video, personal correspondence and documents, the official said.
The materials found "clearly show that bin Laden remained an active leader in al Qaeda strategically, tactically and operationally," and not the figurehead he was assumed to be, "making the recent operation even more essential to our nations security," the official said.
The materials show that bin Laden was plotting and conspiring terrorism focused on the United States, the official said.
The DNA analysis shows unquestionably that this was bin Laden, the senior intelligence official said. Based on the DNA evidence, the odds of the person killed in the raid not being bin Laden were 1 in 11.8 quadrillion, the official said.
The cache of electronic and handwritten materials obtained by the Navy SEALs who raided the compound includes numerous hallmark al Qaeda plots, including plans for attacks on infrastructure targets such as water supply and transportation including rail and air, in what one official described as a "strategic guide for how to attack the U.S."
It is unclear just how active bin Laden was in coordinating any operations or in blessing overall strategies and plots. One official said bin Laden appears to have thought of himself as something of a head coach to al Qaeda.
Martha raises a good question. Where else could you find these videos? Well, how about the Pentagon archives? It appears some of the footage is virtually identical to video footage the Pentagon released in 2007 and this would not be the first time the media fell for faked or recycled videos of bin Laden:
The footage in these tapes purports to show Bin Laden making recordings in late 2010, and yet he looks identical to how he appeared in tapes first released in 2007.Lest we forget the so-called "Confession" video the Pentagon released purporting to show bin Laden taking credit for the 9/11 attacks:
The establishment media has completely failed to even mention the fact that much of the footage, which the White House claims was filmed in 2010, is almost identical to that first released in 2007 by the Pentagon front group SITE. Why would Bin Laden make a video in October 2010 and not release it? Unless this is merely outtakes from the footage already released four years ago.
It would not be the first time that tapes of Bin Laden have been passed off as new material when in fact they are years old.
In July 2007, the mainstream media heralded the arrival of a tape of Bin Laden giving a speech as new footage. In fact it was almost six years old, having been filmed in October 2001 and later released by IntelCenter, SITE’s sister organization, in October 2003. At the time we did an image comparison proving that the footage dubbed “new” in 2007 was in fact filmed in 2001 and released first by the Al-Ansaar Islamic news agency in 2002
As we documented yesterday, the organization that released the original 2007 tape which is virtually identical to the tapes released by the White House today is nothing more than a conduit for Pentagon propaganda run the daughter of a former Israeli spy.
The SITE organization is virtually a contractor for the U.S. government, receiving some $500,000 a year annually from Uncle Sam, and has been caught releasing fake Al-Qaeda tapes on numerous occasions. SITE’s website domain is hosted by servers located in Washington DC, which are stationed between the Department of Homeland Security and the Israeli Embassy.
As in the 2007 tape, the As-Sahab logo appears in the “new” tapes released by the White House. A 2007 investigation by Neal Krawetz featured in Wired Magazine found that the As-Sahab logo was added at the same as the IntelCenter logo, another US military-industrial complex front, meaning the so-called “Al-Qaeda” tapes were in fact coming straight out of US intelligence circles. Although Krawetz asserted that this was the case in a taped interview, after the story began to receive attention he mysteriously backed away from the claim despite Wired’s Kim Zetter receiving approval from Krawetz that all the information contained in the original report was valid.
These “new” tapes which are actually identical to footage first released in 2007 will do little to firm up the White House’s crumbling Bin Laden narrative, which has been under suspicion after it was reported that Osama’s body was hastily dumped into the sea and President Obama refused to release an image of the dead Bin Laden.
Professor Bruce Lawrence, head of Duke University’s Religious Studies program, joined Kevin Barrett last Friday on his radio show (gcnlive.com, 2/16/2007, first hour) in his first public interview since comments he made last year indicating that he believes Bin Laden may be dead and that many of the newer tapes are either fake or consist of old audio and video.And just last year, a Washington Post report cited a former CIA official as acknowledging the agency had a project undertaken to make fake videos of bin Laden and Sadam Hussein to discredit them:
The "Confession" video, played ad infinitum in the wake of the attack on Afghanistan in December 2001, was magically found in a house in Jalalabad after anti-Taliban forces moved in. It featured a fat Osama laughing and joking about how he'd carried out 9/11. The video was also mistranslated in order to manipulate viewer opinion and featured "Bin Laden" praising two of the hijackers, only he got their names wrong.
This Osama also uses the wrong hand to write with and wears gold rings, a practice totally in opposition to the Muslim faith.
Despite the fact that the man in the video looks nothing like Bin Laden, the CIA stood by the video whilst many, including Professor Lawrence now, have declared it an outright fake.
Lawrence is the author of a book entitled Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden, which translates Bin Laden's writing. In January 2006 he told ABC news that a newly released audio tape was missing several key elements and "was like a voice from the grave". The Professor had analyzed more than 20 complete speeches and interviews of the al Qaida leader for his book, and, while the CIA confirmed the voice on the tape as Bin Laden, Lawrence questioned when it was recorded and declared the timing of its release as politically convenient.
The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers recalled, chuckling at the memory. The actors were drawn from “some of us darker-skinned employees,” he said.
Eventually, “things ground to a halt,” the other former officer said, because no one could come to agreement on the projects.
They also faced strong opposition from James Pavitt, then head of the agency’s Operations Division, and his deputy, Hugh Turner, who “kept throwing darts at it.”
The ideas were patently ridiculous, said the other former agency officer.