4 days before the U.S. presidential election, Osama bin-Laden released a videotape denouncing George W. Bush. CIA analysts concluded at the time that bin-Laden was trying to help Bush gain a second term.
One would think this common knowledge, without knowing that the even the CIA thought so. The linked article indicates that
… the CIA analysts also felt that bin-Laden might have recognized how Bush’s policies – including the Guantanamo prison camp, the Abu Ghraib scandal and the endless bloodshed in Iraq – were serving al-Qaeda’s strategic goals for recruiting a new generation of jihadists.
“Certainly,” the CIA’s Miscik said, “he would want Bush to keep doing what he’s doing for a few more years,” according to Suskind’s account of the meeting.
As their internal assessment sank in, the CIA analysts drifted into silence, troubled by the implications of their own conclusions. “An ocean of hard truths before them – such as what did it say about U.S. policies that bin-Laden would want Bush reelected – remained untouched,” Suskind wrote.
The article goes on to argue that prior to 9/11, Al-Qaeda was dispersed and relatively ineffective at gaining recruits and the respect it needed from some parts of the Islamic world. The war in Afghanistan was a perfect reply to 9/11, as it demonstrated the power of the U.S. to initiate a measured response that would further marginalize al-Qaeda. But the Bush administration blew it. Had Kerry been elected the U.S. would have been safer by virtue of the fact that Kerry is not Bush, regardless of whether or not Kerry would have been or would have been perceived to be a good leader in the ‘fight against terror.’
I would really like to know how anyone could coherently argue that bin Laden wanted Kerry to win, and why anyone, upon seeing the bin Laden tape four days before the election, would decide to vote for Bush on that basis without questioning bin Laden’s motives. Bin Laden may be evil but he is very intelligent and knew full well that his reappearance would boost Bush and probably give him a second term.