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Ask bin-Laden!

By bil in MLP
Sat Oct 20, 2001 at 11:52:20 PM EST
Tags: Interviews (all tags)

According to the BBC (see here for the full story) the worlds most wanted man (Osama bin-Laden in case you couldn't guess) has offered to answer journalists questions. Written questions submitted will be answered by video sent to al-Jazeera TV.

CNN has put forward six questions:-
Your spokesman has praised the September 11 attacks that killed thousands of innocent people and threatened to carry out more attacks involving planes and tall buildings. How can you and your followers advocate the killing of innocent people?

What was your role and the role of the al-Qaeda organisation in the September 11 attacks?

What was your role and the role of your organisation in the subsequent anthrax attacks in the United States?

Did any of the September 11 hijackers or their accomplices receive al-Qaeda financial support or training at al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and was any other government or organisation involved?

In the past you have called on your followers to acquire weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Do you or any of your followers have any such weapons and, if so, will those weapons be used?

The vast majority of Muslim and Arab leaders, including Muslim clerics and Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat, say there is no justification in Islam for the terrorist attacks you advocate. They have denounced you, your followers, and your self-declared holy war. How do you respond to their criticism?

They do seem to have missed the obvious "Where are you going to be on Monday because I have some friends that want to pop round..."

The question is, what would you like to ask? (as topical, interesting, or just plain silly as you like :)


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Ask bin-Laden! | 30 comments (30 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
So... (3.80 / 15) (#1)
by MugginsM on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 08:08:31 AM EST


Gay or not gay?

- MugginsM

Does it matter what he answers? (3.50 / 6) (#2)
by Aelf on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 08:25:17 AM EST

Even if CNN got back the answers and he said:
"No I didn't do anything, I just want to be left alone with my farm - leave me alone please!"

Its just going to be "He lied", the media will make their minds up about whats the truth in his answers - so whats the point in asking them in the first place?

For the record I'd ask:

How much do the CIA pay you? (j/k)

How DO you spell Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Latin script?

Do you use Linux or Windows?

Do you think your answers will be censored?

Are you really Mr. Bin Laden or just some CNN employee paid to make up provocative answers?

Do you think your answers will be censored? (3.50 / 2) (#4)
by FredBloggs on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 09:01:22 AM EST

Maybe by the free^H^H^H^HAmerican press, but Al-Jewhatever will probably run it verbatim.

[ Parent ]
BBC (none / 0) (#27)
by brunes69 on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 12:19:20 PM EST

I'd imagine that any and all anwers will be broadcast and displayed on BBC and the BBC web site.

---There is no Spoon---
[ Parent ]
Probably not (4.00 / 2) (#5)
by bil on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 09:04:16 AM EST

You're right, he will be expected to lie through his teeth, but it will still be interesting to see what he has to say. It will also be interesting to see what he gets asked, there are some serious questions that could be asked ("would you except the existance of Isreal if the Palestinians did, if not why not?" might be good), it will say a lot about our media and their supposed impartiality to see what they have to say.

I like the Linux vs windows question, the world wants to know!!! ;) (actually I really would, just to see if the reaction is anything other then "lin-what???")


Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Win-what? (3.50 / 2) (#23)
by fluffy grue on Sun Oct 21, 2001 at 01:39:53 PM EST

To a non-computer-user, even asking if he uses Windows is kind of a difficult question to answer. What's he supposed to say? "Yes, my house has many many windows on it?"
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

How DO you spell xxx in Latin script? You don't! (none / 0) (#30)
by beak on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 09:49:04 AM EST

The problem is that it is almost impossible to transliterate Arabic into Latin script in a 'definitive' way.

There are several issues involved, some of which are:

  • Most vowel sounds (short a, u, i, o) are unimportant in Arabic -- so much so that in arabic script they are just 'accents on consonants' that are often omitted. This means that 'Osama'/'Usama' and Taliban/Taleban are equally valid...
  • There are several common Arabic letter-sounds that just do not exist in English, such as the deep gutteral kh (the sound of a heavy smoker clearing their throat!), the q (like 'cuh' , but again pronounced deep in the throat) and the 'glottal stop' (the gap between the words when you say "uh-oh") which is an actual letter in arabic.
To get around these problems, there are several systems of transliteration, but they have each some differences of representing the non-existant letters, so some may write Kaeda, some Quaeda, some Q'aeda

See an online couse in Arabic, specifically: Rules of transliteration for more information.


Of course the question could be phrased as:

    "How do YOU spell Osama, Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Latin script?"
To which the answer would of course be
    "Latin is for infidels, Arabic is the only true script! It is the Script of Allah!"


From Dictionay.com:

transliterate v : rewrite in a different script;"The Sanskrit text had to be transliterated" [syn: transcribe]

Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

[ Parent ]
Hey, Osama, answer me this (4.23 / 13) (#3)
by codemonkey_uk on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 08:58:55 AM EST

Am I Hot, Or Not?
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
Don't forget... (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by Rand Race on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 09:16:23 AM EST

... that if CNN doesn't like the answers we will not get to hear them (on CNN at least).

By submitting our questions, we are making no commitment to air bin Laden's response. We will look at the tape, if there is a tape, and decide how much or how little to run. If we believe his comments are not newsworthy, we will not run any of them. Link

I also note one simple glaring omission from the questions: Why?. Not that it matters since our government could care less why these attacks happened... that might require critical thinking about our own actions and that has been expressly forbidden.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

We already know why (3.00 / 3) (#7)
by delmoi on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 05:56:10 PM EST

Don't you watch the news?
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
al-Jazeera, not CNN (3.50 / 2) (#13)
by cyberformer on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 10:22:59 PM EST

If you can read Arabic, they'll be at www.aljazeera.net. (The only English text is "Best experienced using Microsoft...", which answers at least one of our questions.)

Otherwise, check your favorite non-US news site.

[ Parent ]

My only question is... (4.60 / 10) (#8)
by kevsan on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 06:01:27 PM EST

...when are you doing a slashdot interview?

"Mr. Bin Laden... vi or emacs?"

my questions: (4.18 / 11) (#9)
by theantix on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 06:11:35 PM EST

OOH fun, like a slashdot interview, but with Bin Laden! Maybe Roblimo should get on that one... =)

I am going to continue the assumption that he will not take credit for the 9/11 attacks, and so I won't assume his credit in the questions.

  • You have made no confirmation or denial of your involvement in the attacks against American. What do you hope to achieve by withholding this information?
  • The actions taken on September 11th have increased racism against Muslims around the world. Do you think the perpetrator planned on this to promote Muslim/Christian conflicts?
  • I have read an interview with your son, who claims you do not wear a watch because you are concerned the CIA can track you through the batteries. Do you also wear tinfoil on your head?
  • It has been reported that several of the terrorists in the attacks did many un-Islamic things before their attacks, including consuming alchohol, going to strip-clubs, and soliciting prostitutes. Do you think that this will interfere with their access to Heaven, or will the deaths during jihad make up for their worldly excesses?
  • Western journalists report that because the attacks on the world trade center killed women, children, and muslims, the WTC attacks cannot properly be considered a jihad. Since you approve of the attacks, how do you defend this under Islamic law?
  • Your main concern has always been with the presence of the Americans in Saudi Arabia. Why do you encouraging killing Americans worldwide instead of just focusing on the American military abroad, and the Saudi Royal family that invited them?

    That's what I would ask.

    You sir, are worse than Hitler!

  • Why he hasn't said yes or no... (4.50 / 4) (#10)
    by khym on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 07:17:46 PM EST

    You have made no confirmation or denial of your involvement in the attacks against American. What do you hope to achieve by withholding this information?
    If he denied involvement, he might be perceived by his followers and supporters as backing down before the threats of his enemies. If he claimed credit for the attack, that would make the U.S.'s attack on Afghanistan much more acceptable to many of the Muslims in the world. He's hoping that the U.S. attack on Afghanistan will push more Muslims over onto his side.

    Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
    [ Parent ]
    yeah (3.66 / 3) (#11)
    by theantix on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 07:25:35 PM EST

    If he denied involvement, he might be perceived by his followers and supporters as backing down before the threats of his enemies. If he claimed credit for the attack, that would make the U.S.'s attack on Afghanistan much more acceptable to many of the Muslims in the world.
    Very true... you are most likely right! But of course, I would love for him to have to answer the question on al-Jazeera... because its a lose-lose proposition for him (unless of course he has a legitimate reason).

    You sir, are worse than Hitler!
    [ Parent ]
    USA deserves it (3.50 / 2) (#19)
    by svampa on Sat Oct 20, 2001 at 07:25:19 PM EST

    A Pakinstan man said so, "Even if Bin Laden is not involved in WTC fact, it is an act of justice, USA deserves it.

    They don't think Bin Laden is responsible of bombing, they don't mind if Bin Laden knows anything about WTC, they just hate USA and bombs doesn't change their minds.

    [ Parent ]
    Actually they do. (3.20 / 5) (#20)
    by physicsgod on Sun Oct 21, 2001 at 01:53:55 AM EST

    Bombs change minds from a few hundred cc's of tissue housing personality and emotion(such as hate) to a fine pink mist spread over a few square yards. :-\

    --- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
    [ Parent ]
    Wait (4.20 / 5) (#12)
    by DeadBaby on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 08:21:30 PM EST

    Ok. I can submit questions to Bin Laden but my own "free" country is reserving the right to pressure TV networks into not showing me his answers?


    My question is: "Mr. Bin Laden, can you please say a few lines of mumbo jumbo right now so you can make the US government pressure the major TV networks not to air your response. I think it will help your cause greatly in the eyes of Americans everywhere."
    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    My question would be... (4.57 / 7) (#14)
    by kaemaril on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 11:59:45 PM EST

    Who would you like to see play you in the inevitable flag-waving Hollywood movie(s) about how the USA (or, more likely, a stripped-down-to-his-vest Bruce Willis acting on his own) saved the world from your evil plans? And would that actor be British?
    <ducks into foxhole for cover ;) >

    Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?

    Actually (4.33 / 3) (#15)
    by pwhysall on Sat Oct 20, 2001 at 04:31:04 AM EST

    The question should be, "How *would* you like Alan Rickman to portray you?"
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    [ Parent ]
    Ridiculous Questions (4.33 / 3) (#16)
    by moosh on Sat Oct 20, 2001 at 07:37:23 AM EST

    I can't believe CNN hopes to get 'decent' answers from those questions. The first five, if answered in a certain way (the way deemed acceptable by CNN to be aired) will incriminate bin-laden and al-Qaeda. The second one is surely redundant - bin-laden already answered he had no role.

    The last question is perhaps the only thought provoking and interesting one to see an answer to. As for the rest, I would rather see the tin foil question posed below answered.

    The obvious... (4.37 / 8) (#17)
    by premier on Sat Oct 20, 2001 at 08:57:43 AM EST

    Mr. bin Laden, boxers or briefs?

    Which licensing scheme.. (3.60 / 5) (#18)
    by strlen on Sat Oct 20, 2001 at 04:17:47 PM EST

    .. do you prefer, BSD or GPL?

    [T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
    Some more questions for Osama bin Laden (4.66 / 3) (#21)
    by ragnarok on Sun Oct 21, 2001 at 04:18:54 AM EST

    You know you can't beat the U.S. in a straight fight. Why did you choose to take on the world's strongest power, "bearding it in its den" so to speak?

    This "war against terrorism" has raised the heat in already fragile Muslim-Christian relations in Indonesia, the world's largest Islamic country. And thus raised the likeliehood of Indonesia breaking up like Yugoslavia did. How do you justify your actions in the light of this?

    Were you aware that in a US Supreme Court ruling on the City of Oakland, California's Nuclear-Free Zone law, the US Supreme Court declared that the the City of Oakland could not declare itself Nuclear Weapon Free because only the US Congress could legislate on trade, thus declaring "trade in nuclear weapons" legal in the United States of America?

    And do you intend to do anything about it?

    "And it came to healed until all the gift and pow, I, the Lord, to divide; wherefore behold, all yea, I was left alone....", Joseph Smith's evil twin sister's prophecies
    Bizarre reasoning... (none / 0) (#25)
    by SPYvSPY on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 10:16:48 AM EST

    ...thus declaring "trade in nuclear weapons" legal in the United States of America?

    I have not read the decision to which you refer (but fail to cite). Nevertheless, even from your description, I cannot see how you reach your conclusion. Your post implies that the Supreme Court's decision means that anyone can now trade in nuclear weapons anywhere in the United States. If the City of Oakland attempts to prohibit trade of nuclear weapons in its vicinity, and the Supreme Court says that they may not do so, it does not follow that nuclear trade is legal for anyone to undertake anywhere in America. All that has been shown is that Oakland is not permitted to prohibit trade of nuclear weapons.

    Suppose that federal law mandates that only the Governor of Illinois can trade in nuclear arms (which it does not), and that he/she may do so anywhere in the USA. Now suppose that Oakland passes a law that no one may trade in nuclear arms in Oakland. Now suppose the Supreme Court overrules Oakland's law. Query: Who can trade in nuclear arms in the USA?

    By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
    [ Parent ]

    Mr. Bin Laden, my question is ... (4.00 / 2) (#22)
    by pyramid termite on Sun Oct 21, 2001 at 01:32:10 PM EST

    If Allah is All-powerful and All-merciful, why does He need your assistance in fighting us? Don't your terrorist acts in His name actually show a lack of faith in Him?
    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    A letter from Saddam Hussein (3.50 / 2) (#24)
    by Ubiq on Sun Oct 21, 2001 at 02:47:42 PM EST


    Wow... (none / 0) (#26)
    by SPYvSPY on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 11:00:35 AM EST

    It's amazing what a twisted victim mentality Arab leaders have. They act like helpless little girls. It's amazing how he actually believes that America is the source of his people's suffering. I suspect that Saddam and many of the other Arab nation leaders would rather die insisting that every single person other than themselves is wrong, rather than admitting their own culpability. This is the most profound arrogance and ignorance. It's fortunate that they live in a world where enlightened people possess tremendous firepower, superior intellect and a more rigorous work-ethic.

    By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
    [ Parent ]

    Er... (none / 0) (#28)
    by meatball on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 06:28:57 PM EST

    Pink or Brown Mr. Bin Laden?

    Other Routes (none / 0) (#29)
    by gandrews on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 08:30:54 PM EST

    Because I have been involved in the anti-globalization movement, and, since 9/11, have thought with a certain cold frisson how much more the terrorists' tactics and resources resemble the Black Bloc's than they do the movements of huge governments and their armies, I'd ask bin Laden the following:

    Are you aware of the citizen movements in the United States to address many of the atrocities you've spoken about -- the sanctions on Iraq, the repression of Palestine, the militarism which led to the bombing of Hiroshima?


    What, if any, possibilities do you see in working with these predominantly nonviolent groups to find other means to make the U.S. government change its foreign policy?
    The Dancing Sausage Web Journal - Radio Free Hold Music
    Ask bin-Laden! | 30 comments (30 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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