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Democrats.com Exclusive:
To Protect Top Bureaucrats, NY Times SCRUBS Its OWN Osama Bin Laden Warning That It Published on 9-9-01

Bob Fertik

On 9-9-01 - just two days before Osama Bin Laden's attack on the US - the NY Times published a lengthy and chilling article about Osama Bin Laden by reporter John Burns. Some time after 9-11, the Times SCRUBBED this article, replacing it with a completely different article that Burns wrote on 9-12. Both articles discuss a 2-hour videotape by Bin Laden that intelligence agencies first saw in June 2001, but ignored until September. Why was the 9-9 article scrubbed? Read it yourself - we've UNSCRUBBED it. We believe it demonstrates the GROSS NEGLIGENCE of the CIA, NSA, Justice Department, and the White House in the events leading to 9-11. These agencies had MANY warnings, but the people at the top IGNORED them, at a cost of over 3,000 lives and billions of dollars. ALL OF THESE SCREWUPS REMAIN IN THEIR JOBS!!! We demand a Blue Ribbon Commission on 9-11 and a thorough housecleaning - not a Congressional Coverup!

Unscrubbers Note: The article below was originally published here:
This article is no longer available on the NY Times site, either directly or through a search of the archives. This scrub was not accidental, however, since this URL was deliberately programmed to forward here:
where you can read the post-911 "revision" by the former "newspaper of record". George Orwell would certainly be impressed :(

Unscrubbers Note (2): In an e-mail exchange, the New York Times admitted scrubbing the article, but refused to explain exactly why:

September 9, 2001
On Videotape, Bin Laden Charts a Violent Future

The image on the grainy videotape is mesmerizing: a tall, slim, middle- aged Arab man, with the bushy beard, white robes and draped white headcloth of a devout Muslim, standing before a gathering somewhere in Afghanistan. He is reading an Arabic poem, apparently his own, on papers that riffle in a breeze.

The speaker's style is that of the fire-and-brimstone preachers common at Friday Prayers across the Middle East. But he is no imam, nor even, by calling, a poet. He is Osama bin Laden, the 46-year-old Saudi-born fugitive millionaire who has declared a "holy war" against the United States, directing suicide bombings that have made him the F.B.I.'s most-wanted terrorist.

In the verses, read at the wedding in Afghanistan of his oldest son earlier this year, Mr. bin Laden declares his purpose - killing Americans and Jews - more starkly than ever. Proudly, he salutes the suicide bombing of the American destroyer Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden last October in which 17 American sailors died, and promises more attacks.

"The victory of Yemen will continue," he says.

Shots of the Cole listing in Aden harbor after the attack, and of the Americans being carried in flag-covered coffins - and a simulation of the bombing, complete with a blinding flash - are played in the tape's opening and closing sequences.

The shots are taken from American television coverage, and accompanied by what seems like a gloating brutality. "Their limbs were scattered everywhere," Mr. bin Laden says.

The verses also celebrate what Mr. bin Laden describes as the futility of American military might. "In Aden, our brothers rose and destroyed the mighty destroyer, a ship so powerful it spreads fear wherever it sails," Mr. bin Laden says, over images of the Cole.

"But as it moves through the water, toward the small boat bobbing in the water, it is sailing to its own destruction, drawn by the illusion of its own power."

In the Cole attack, two Arab- speaking suicide bombers blew a gaping hole in the destroyer at the waterline with an explosives-laden skiff, causing $250 million damage. While Mr. bin Laden, on the tape, stops short of saying he ordered the strike, he effectively confirms what the F.B.I. suspected from the outset: that it was a bin Laden operation.

Mr. bin Laden uses the tape to spell out a continuing nightmare for his principal enemies, the United States and Israel. He promises an intensified holy war that includes aid to Palestinians fighting Israel - an important shift in emphasis, according to intelligence analysts. In recent years, through a series of violent attacks, Mr. bin Laden's main focus has been on driving American forces from the Arabian peninsula.

He also outlines plans for an expansion of his terrorist training operations in Afghanistan, saying that the Taliban, the Islamic militant movement that has sheltered him since 1996, have built an ideal, purified Islamic state that provides the perfect base for a worldwide holy war against "infidels."

When the two-hour videotape surfaced last June, it attracted little attention, partly because much of it was spliced from previous bin Laden interviews and tapes. But since then the tape has proliferated on Islamic Web sites and in mosques and bazaars across the Muslim world.

Intelligence officials who have analyzed the tape now say it features the fullest exposition yet of Mr. bin Laden's views, as well as his terrorist strategy, and thus provides a rough road map of where his organization, Al-Qaeda, is headed.

With his mockery of American power, Mr. bin Laden seems to be almost taunting the United States. Although F.B.I. investigators believe he was behind the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 that killed six people, two bombings in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996 in which 24 American servicemen died, and the bombings of two American embassies in east Africa in 1998 that killed 224 people, as well as the Cole attack, the United States has found no way, so far, of containing him.

After nearly a year, American investigators have been unable to trace the Cole plot beyond six men arrested in Aden for assisting the bombers. The man thought to have directed the attack for Al-Qaeda, Muhammad al-Harazi, is believed to have fled to Afghanistan. Last month, the Indian police indicted Mr. bin Laden and Mr. Harazi for an abortive plot in June to bomb the American Embassy in Delhi, and alleged that Mr. Harazi visited New Delhi in February, using a pseudonym, when he was already named as a Cole suspect.

Now, despite a $5 million American reward for his capture, multiple indictments in American courts, and a cruise missile strike on his camps in Afghanistan in 1998 that he narrowly escaped, Mr. bin Laden is threatening still more attacks. He tells followers that there is nothing to fear from the United States and that their Islamic faith - and their willingness to die - is enough to neutralize America's military might.

To those who have studied Mr. bin Laden, this confidence is one of the tape's strongest features. "A year or two ago, after the missile attacks on Afghanistan, there were people in Washington saying bin Laden was in a box," said Peter Bergen, a Washington-based writer who interviewed Mr. bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1997 and who is now writing a book on him, to be titled "Holy War Inc." "But if he's in a box, he's a jack-in-a- box. He as much of a threat as he ever was."

Part of Mr. bin Laden's defiance seems to stem from his increasingly close ties with Afghanistan's Taliban rulers. Eager for American diplomatic recognition and aid, the Islamic clerics who lead the Taliban have suggested that they might expel Mr. bin Laden from Afghanistan, where he fled after being forced from Sudan under American pressure. But American officials suspect the Taliban's hints at estrangement from Mr. bin Laden were a ploy, and the tape seems to confirm this.

At one point, Mr. bin Laden declares the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, the rightful spiritual leader of the Muslim world, and says Afghanistan has become the equivalent of the purified Islamic state established in Mecca and Medina, Islam's holiest cities, by the Prophet Muhammad in the early seventh century. He urges Muslims everywhere to migrate to Afghanistan to support the Taliban and Al- Qaeda, saying it is their duty to God.

"There is now a Muslim state that enforces God's laws, which destroys falsehoods, and which does not succomb to the American infidels - and it is led by a true believer, Mullah Muhammad Omar, the commander of the faithful," he says.

Another sign of the freedoms Mr. bin Laden appears to enjoy are the tape passages showing his followers engaging in combat training, including firing heavy weapons and storming buildings, at a location identified as the "al-Farooq camp." Some recruits appear little more than 11 or 12. In one scene, Mr. bin Laden himself is seen crouching to fire a Kalashnikov rifle.

Much of the tape focuses on the current upheaval in Israel and the Palestinian territories. What is not clear, say intelligence experts, is whether Mr. bin Laden plans to mount direct attacks on Israeli targets, or whether he is firing followers' passions for attacks elsewhere. "Our brothers in Palestine are waiting for you anxiously, and expect you to strike at America and Israel," Mr. bin Laden says. "God's earth is wide and their interests are everywhere."

Since the Jordanian police foiled a bin Laden operation to mount bombing attacks on pilgrims during millennium celebrations 20 months ago, Israel has been on alert for fresh bin Laden terror plots. Israeli intelligence officials say they have evidence that bin Laden agents have already linked up with radical Islamic groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah.

Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counterterrorist operations for the Central Intelligence Agency, who reviewed the tape, said Mr. bin Laden's warnings of new attacks should be taken seriously. "The intifada has clearly focused his attention on the Palestinian problem, which he sees in holy war terms - the Palestinians being oppressed by the Israelis, in ways that are only possible because of the support they get from the United States," he said. "This has reinforced his opinion about the United States and its policies in the whole of the Middle East. It sharpens his instincts for attack."