Airmale, although we don't normally see eye to eye, I do most definitely agree with you on this one. When I heard about the car they found with the Quran, flight manaul in ARABIC and that picture of Osama, I knew immediately that had to be a joke. Which self-respecting terrorist would risk military strikes at his leader by leaving such incriminating evidence behind?
I mentioned this before, and I'll say it again. A day or two ago, there was an interview on CNN with Phillipine investigators. A few years ago, they arrested suspected terrorists in the Phillipines and found preliminary plans to attack the U.S. Those plans entailed highjacking 8 or 9 aircraft and crashing them into various towers around the U.S. They promptly contacted the FBI with their findings, but everyone agreed those plans sounded too ridiculous to be true. How were terrorists to manage highjacking 8 aircraft in U.S. airspace? They promptly shelved those findings.
In another interview, this time with a former U.S. intelligence officer, he blamed severe budget cuts for the lack of intelligence of this attack. He then went on about strict, useless laws the U.S. which prevents our intelligence from operating as efficiently as say, for example, the Russian or Israeli. For example, intelligence officers may not have criminal backgrounds (after which he replied, it takes a bad guy to find another bad guy), they don't have enough foreign nationals in intelligence, especially Arab nationals who speak Middle East languages (to date, hardly any intelligence officer speaks anything other than English) and the U.S. ban on assasinations.
I think the U.S. government is using Osama bin Laden as a scapegoat to cover their abismal failues at intelligence gathering. Even my poor old grandmother immediately blamed U.S. intelligence for not having advanced knowledge of this attack (I had no idea she knew about these things!), and for allowing 4 aircraft to infiltrate U.S. airspace with inpunity.
To date, the U.S. can provide no proof that Osama is behind anything. I believe the Taliban has a right to refuse Osama's extradition without hard proof, which they have demanded and which the U.S. refuses to share. It's unrealistic to ask any country to extradite one of its residents for prosecution without providing convincing evidence of their guilt. This is the way it works all over the world, you go to court and convince a country's judge of their citizen's guilt, and if they're convinced, he gets extradited.
Watching the events unfold on TV, I'm absolutely shocked at the high level of propaganda coming from U.S. sources. I think the government's taking advantage of American's need right now to believe anything, steadily feeding them with the most biased information I've ever heard. It's truly disgusting.
I'm not absolving Osama, but I also think you can't go around trying to hide your failures (and possible involvement) by making a scapegoat out of Osama for everything. I've also read reports from British and German intelligence that warn against blaming Osama for this attack, as they're dozens of other terrorist organizations around the world just as fanatical as he is. Sure, you can probably link them all to Osama, but that doesn't mean he authored this attack. As a matter of fact, you can link just about anyone to anyone else in this world. That proves nothing.