As much as I’d like to believe this is some kind of smoking gun, I have a feeling it’s not. First of all, I’m still not at all convinced that Osama bin Laden is alive. Even if he did survive the attack on Tora Bora, he would need considerable medical care for his kidney condition – possibly even dialysis. It’s not exactly easy for al-Qaeda to not only get bin Laden into the Afghan/Pakistan but also drag large pieces of medical equipment with them. I’ll believe Osama is alive when there’s some kind of more solid evidence that low-quality audiotapes.
However, the admission of a Qaeda-Iraqi link is puzzling. The first thought that comes to mind is that al-Qaeda would not particularly mind if Saddam Hussein was deposed. This may well be true, especially if Saddam has been exposing al-Qaeda operations in an effort to save his own skin. It is important to note that even if al-Qaeda really doesn’t like Saddam, it does not mean that getting rid of him isn’t a good idea. Rather, we should continue our efforts to get rid of both.
Glenn Reynolds believes this is all a CIA plot. That could be, although I have the feeling that the CIA has better things to do than fake bin Laden recordings. Still, this recording presents some very dire warnings of specific attacks that may test our new Homeland Security apparatus.