Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University

The Bin Laden Tapes III: The Message is Lost in the Medium  11.15.04

In this latest InfoIntervention, Thomas Biersteker, Director of the Watson Institute, offers a closer analysis of the significance of the Bin Laden videotape for the elections and the war on terror. Led by Lizzie Goodfriend and Masha Kirasirova, we have also collected an archive of materials that provides a more informative picture than the original mainstream, primetime snapshot. Read | Discuss

Analysis  11.15.04

The Challenge of al-Qaida’s Resurgence
Thomas J. Biersteker, Director, Watson Institute
As anticipated, al-Qaida launched an attack immediately preceding the recent U.S. federal election. Fortunately, it was an attack using words, rather than explosives. 11.15.04 Read | Discuss
Clippings  12.17.04
CIA: New bin Laden tape likely al Qaeda leader
CNN World News
This time Osama bin Laden used the internet to spread his most recent communique around the world. CIA officials said they have a "high degree of confidence" that the voice on the new, 70-minute-long, muffled audiotape is that of al Qaeda leader. 12.17.04 Read | Discuss
Cameraman Details Marine's Role in Mosque Shooting
James Glanz and Edward Won @ The New York Times
The journalist who videotaped a Marine shooting a wounded Iraqi on 11/13/2004 says he was "shocked to see myself painted as some kind of antiwar activist" when public opinion surrounding his video seemed to focus on his motives rather than the video's contents. 11.22.04 Read | Discuss
Bono's New Casualty: 'Private Ryan'
Frank Rich at "As American soldiers were dying in Falluja, some Americans back home spent Veteran's Day mocking the very ideal our armed forces are fighting for ­ freedom..." 11.21.04 Read | Discuss
Not Every Picture Tells a Story
Erroll Morris
Pictures force us to collect our thoughts. They make us think about motivation, intent... And when it's a photograph of a crime or of violence, we think even harder. 11.20.04 Read | Discuss
U.S. probes shooting at Fallujah mosque
MSNBC and NBC News
Video showing a US Marine killing a wounded Iraqi garners more of a visceral response throughout America than bin Laden's message. 11.16.04 Read | Discuss
Evolving Nature of Al Qaeda Is Misunderstood, Critic Says
James Risen @ The New York Times
"The Bush administration has failed to recognize that Al Qaeda is now a global Islamic insurgency, rather than a traditional terrorist organization, and so poses a much different threat than previously believed.... " 11.8.04 Read | Discuss
Fox's Osama surprise
Eric Boehlert @
Neil Cavuto's on-air quip Friday about Osama bin Laden wearing a Kerry campaign button during the terrorist's videotaped message was only the most newsworthy case of Fox News pundits...gleefully analyzing the tape..." 11.2.04 Read | Discuss
Bin Laden's Target: U.S. Wallet
CBS/Associated Press
“In rhetoric similar to critical U.S. campaign headlines, Osama bin Laden accused President Bush of going to war for Iraq's oil, and said the American people would be the losers..." 11.2.04 Read | Discuss
Bin Ladin muscles into US election race
Al Jazeera
“Bin Ladin, taunting the man who has vowed to take him "dead or alive" for the past three years, said Bush had failed Americans with his Middle East policies, deceiving the nation and provoking Muslim groups like al-Qaida to strike again.” 10.31.04 Read | Discuss
Memo to Kerry: Don't let Osama steal your thunder
Joan Walsh @
"Sure, paranoid liberals have worried for months that Osama bin Laden would be the October surprise in this presidential election. But it was supposed to be a captive Osama...What to make of swaggering Osama..." 10.29.04 Read | Discuss
Octavia Nasr, CNN's senior editor for Arab affairs, discusses tape with "Crossfire" hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson

“The most important thing about bin Laden's speech is that he's addressing it to the American people. He's trying to explain why 9/11 happened, the idea and when it occurred to him...” 10.29.04 Read | Discuss

Artifacts  11.21.04

Kevin Sites Blog
Kevin Sites
Kevin Sites, the journalist whose video footage of a Marine shooting a wounded Iraqi has received sensational attention, shares his story with the world on his blog site. 11.21.04 Read | Discuss
Transcript--Al Jazeera

The full English transcript of Osama bin Ladin's speech. The content of the transcript, which appeared as subtitles at the foot of the screen, has been left unedited. 11.2.04 Read | Discuss
Transcript: Translation of Bin Laden's Videotaped Message
Trans. provided by U.S. Government to Washington Post
The following is a translated full transcript, provided by the U.S. government, of Osama bin Laden's videotaped message aired on the al-Jazeera satellite television network. 11.1.04 Read | Discuss
Trans. Octavia Nasr
This is a transcript of Osama Bin Laden's remarks as translated by CNN senior editor for Arab affairs Octavia Nasr: "You, the American people, I talk to you today about the best way to avoid another catastrophe..." 10.29.04 Read | Discuss