For Immediate Release: October 30, 2004
Contact: Bon Weiner 301-283-0821
TAPE’S “REAL NEWS” IGNORED:
BIN LADEN CONFIRMED ALIVE
DESPITE ADMINISTRATION STATEMENTS NOT KNOWING,
SAYS FORMER WHITE HOUSE STRATEGIST;
POWELL, RUMSFELD, MILITARY, PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT AMONG THE “SURPRISED”
THREE YEARS AFTER BUSH SAYS “WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE”, STILL AT LARGE
(Washington, DC): “The media, the President, and the Administration unfortunately are ignoring or missing the real news of the new bin Laden tape: Osama bin Laden is now confirmed and proven alive despite even recent Administration statements including by Secretary of State Powell, DOD Secretary Rumsfeld, the military, and US allies with whom we share information not knowing,” says former White House political strategist Bob Weiner, who assisted 4-Star General Barry McCaffrey in the White House for Clinton’s last six years and previously was communications director for the House Government Operations Committee under Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) for five years.
Weiner, who now heads up a Washington public affairs think tank, pointed to several Administration statements prior to this week’s “October surprise” Bin Laden tape:
Rumsfeld “raised the possibility that bin Laden was dead”: “We haven’t caught him… We don’t even know if he’s alive for sure”: Rumsfeld, March 16, 2004, Associated Press.
“We don’t know if he’s alive or dead. He may be in Afghanistan. He may be someplace else”: Rumsfeld, March 15, 2004, Associated Press.
“I believe he is still alive but I can’t prove that… He is not popping up on television…”: Powell, September 10, 2004, Chicago Sun Times and Associated Press.
“It isn’t clear if Osama is alive or dead. It is just my political guess that Osama bin Laden is nowhere because we have not heard anything from him in a long time, while statements from Mullah Omar and Ayman al-Zawahri occasionally keep coming”: Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Sept. 10, 2004, Associated Press.
Unable to confirm as late as October 19, 2004: “US General Suggests bin Laden is Alive… Lieut. Gen. David Barno, speaking (at the Pentagon) to reporters, talked mostly of a lack of evidence about bin Laden’s whereabouts, health, and current role…”: Associated Press.
Weiner said, “Over three years ago, on September 17, 2001, President Bush stated he ‘wanted’ bin Laden ‘dead or alive.’ He has neither. He’s failed to get the man who sent the planes into our skyscrapers and killed 3000, but he does have a war in Iraq, now proven unrelated to those attacks. We’re in the same place we were three years ago, with perhaps even more risks,” Weiner concluded.