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Where In The World Is Osama – Who Knows? Who Cares? Does Bush?

Reported by Chrish - September 9, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

Despite this having been a fairly big news week for the Republicans, there was not a mention on last night’s (September 8th) Big Story of the Fox Republican debate and the entry of Fred Thompson into the presidential race. Rather, there were numerous reports on the McCann’s legal problems in Portugal, the search for Steve Fossett, and the not so ominous tropical depression. There was also a legal discussion, accompanied by close up photo shots, about the Hooters waitress who was thrown off of a Southwest Airlines flight. And predictably there was a short discussion about the recent OBL tape.

Host Julie Banderas interviewed Brian Jenkins, a “terrorism analyst.” (Comment: that he works for the Rand Corporation was not noted). Banderas' first line of questioning was about whether the US has a “mole” inside Al Qaeda because the tape was obtained prior to its release on Islamic websites. Jenkins couldn’t say for sure, but noted that the jihadist websites temporarily went down and this might indicate a concern for security. Banderas then said that “I don’t think anyone knows where he is.” She noted that there is speculation that the OBL’s beard is fake and that he could be hiding out in the Philippines where “a lot of terrorists hide out.” (Comment: then, ah, shouldn’t the US be searching in the Philippines?) Jenkins responded that there is “endless speculation” about OBL’s whereabouts and it’s amusing to think that Osama, in relation to the possibility that he coloring his beard, could be having a mid-life crisis and that he might be “riding a Harley.”

Banderas spoke of several government officials who think that American born Adam Gadhan might have written the speech as his rhetoric is similar to Osama’s, but Jenkins said that the messages in the tape were what we have heard before with references to capitalism and defense contractors. (Comment: yes, those companies who have been doing such an honest and exemplary job in Iraq!). What seemed to have been a fairly dull and innocuous segment did end with an obvious right wing talking point when Jenkins said that the tape was “old fashioned left wing rhetoric wrapped up in pretensions of religious faith.” (Comment: like sermons from the American religious right and presidential candidates who embrace “faith” at every turn.)

Comment: The OBL tape seems to have reached the level of its news shelf life on Fox after several days of the usual histrionics and smearing the Democrats as embracing the message of Osama. I found this segment interesting in that during the discussion of OBL’s whereabouts, there was no discussion of what Bush is saying and doing about the man who, at one time, was “America’s most wanted.” Instead we have humor about Osama’s possible mid life crisis. There seems to be a lack of discussion about Bush’s failures (as noted by Michael Scheuer) to get OBL at Tora Bora. Nobody mentioned the disbanding of the CIA team tasked with tracking Osama. Instead of holding Bush accountable for not finding the man who claimed responsibility for 9-11, Fox uses the tape as yet another opportunity to smear their fellow Americans.

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla