Official story: Osama Lives
White House spokesman Scott McClellan confirmed these conclusions and said the audiotape "is a reminder that we are at war on terrorism."
"It's a reminder that we need to continue doing everything we can to go after these terrorist networks and their leaders wherever they are. And we will," he said. -- from CNN.
Bob's expert analysis: Polling and focus groups have shown that the majority of Americans are immune to the argument that Osama's continued existence and freedom demonstrates that W's "war on terror" is a failure. Instead, Karl Rove and the brownshirts in the White House find that having Osama out there is useful for continuing their own reign of terror. Just as with the tax cuts, the argument is "Since it isn't working, we need to do even more of it." It wouldn't surprise me if the CIA made the tape (and then fired the guy doing the Osama impression for being gay) and had it delivered to al Jazeera. If Saddam does prove to be a pushover, the Bushies will need Osama as a backup until they can get the hate machine geared up for Iran or North Korea.
This may be a sign of overconfidence. If things do start to turn against the Bush war machine, we can use their own quotes against them in arguing that the Afghanistan war was a failure. And it was. One brutal regime has been replaced by several at war with each other, the heroin is flowing again, and many thousands of people have died. But according to the maniacs who started the madness, they failed to accomplish their main objective. Whether Osama is still alive or not is still a tossup, but the Bushies have decided that he is more useful "alive" at the moment.