Karma Chameleon: The Pimpernelian Shape-Shifting of Osama bin Laden

You've probably already heard this, but as Winter Patriot reminds us, it seems that some guy in a fake beard claiming to be Osama bin Laden appeared the other day on a videotape obtained in what the Washington Post called "unusual circumstances" by an obscure outfit of D.C.-based jihad-peepers who compile lurid clips of Muslims gone wild. (WP has more here.) This obscure Beltway outfit turned the tape over to anonymous "U.S. intelligence officials" who anonymously told the Post that the tape sure 'nuff looks authentic.

True, the guy in the video has a bulbous honker that little resembles the svelte-bridged schnozz that bin Laden sported for many decades -- right up until the day in 2002 when a suddenly portly, suddenly round-nosed figure calling himself bin Laden popped up on a video claiming credit for the the 9/11 attacks for the first time. (As WP continually points out, the FBI still holds that there is "no hard evidence connnecting bin Laden to 9/11.") And yes, the new rambling rant of the round-nosed guy in a fake beard does seem remarkably tailored to feed talking points to the right-wing media and discredit opposition to George W. Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq. And sure, it is intriguing to note that unlike the old days, when "bin Laden" tapes were kept under heavy wraps by t
he government, lest they contain secret messages to "sleeper cells" in the Heartland, the entirety of this tape (just like the one conveniently issued before the 2004 election) has been unceasingly flogged by "unnamed Administration officials" and their simpering Osrics in the war-porn media, especially the references to Noam Chomsky -- always a nice, juicy slab of red meat to throw to the right-wing faithful, though hardly a name to conjure with to the general American public: the ostensible target of this ostensible message.) Even the Dear Leader himself -- who used to tell us he didn't give bin Laden a second thought -- was quick to jump on the new video with all the passionate avidity of....well, just about any Republican office-holder in proximity to forbidden sexual fruit.

Yet despite all of these elements conveniently converging to serve the partisan political interests of the White House, we are are told by unnamed "U.S. intelligence officials" that the video is genuine. And to be sure, these unnamed "U.S. intelligence officials" are all honorable men: faithful, credible, to be trusted implicitly.

So I suppose we simply must accept the fact that this bulbous-nosed, black-bearded figure really is the guy who the FBI says has no proven connection to 9/11, and thus be really, really scared that he's still out there, plotting terror on the Homeland, directing the Iraqi insurgency, managing the Democratic Party (well, somebody has to!), and having a high old time chewing the fat with his nice Jewish friend Noam Chomsky.

After all, to think otherwise, you would have to believe that the President of the United States and his officials were capable of deliberate deception, manufactured intelligence and base propaganda in pursuing their factional agenda. And we are certainly too serious here for that kind of pure moonbattery.

[For another strange case of physical mutation involving a much-hyped enemy whose depredations seemed to coincide remarkably with the PR and political needs of the Bush Administration, see Hubub in Hibhib: The Timely Death of al-Zarqawi. And for more on the long-running symbiosis of bin Laden and Bush, see Brothers in Arms: The Osamic Vision of George W. Bush (2002), and Brothers in Arms Again: Bush Faction Arming Al Qaeda to Thwart Iran (2007).]