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Bin Laden: Goal is to bankrupt U.S.
Al-Jazeera releases full transcript of al Qaeda leader's tape|
Tuesday, November 2, 2004 Posted: 0107 GMT (0907 HKT)
The Arabic-language network Al-Jazeera released a full transcript Monday of the most recent videotape from Osama bin Laden in which the head of al Qaeda said his group's goal is to force America into bankruptcy.
Al-Jazeera aired portions of the videotape Friday but released the full transcript of the entire tape on its Web site Monday.
"We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah," bin Laden said in the transcript.
He said the mujahedeen fighters did the same thing to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, "using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers."
"We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat," bin Laden said.
He also said al Qaeda has found it "easy for us to provoke and bait this administration."
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations," bin Laden said.
Al-Jazeera executives said they decided to post the entire speech because rumors were circulating that the network omitted parts that "had direct threats toward specific states, which was totally untrue."
"We chose the most newsworthy parts of the address and aired them. The rest was used in lower thirds in graphics format," said one official.
U.S. intelligence officials Monday confirmed that the transcript made public Monday by Al-Jazeera was a complete one.
As part of the "bleed-until-bankruptcy plan," bin Laden cited a British estimate that it cost al Qaeda about $500,000 to carry out the attacks of September 11, 2001, an amount that he said paled in comparison with the costs incurred by the United States.
"Every dollar of al Qaeda defeated a million dollars, by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs," he said. "As for the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars.
The total U.S. national debt is more than $7 trillion. The U.S. federal deficit was $413 billion in 2004, according to the Treasury Department.
"It is true that this shows that al Qaeda has gained, but on the other hand it shows that the Bush administration has also gained, something that anyone who looks at the size of the contracts acquired by the shady Bush administration-linked mega-corporations, like Halliburton and its kind, will be convinced.
"And it all shows that the real loser is you," he said. "It is the American people and their economy."
As for President Bush's Iraq policy, Bin Laden said, "the darkness of black gold blurred his vision and insight, and he gave priority to private interests over the public interests of America.
"So the war went ahead, the death toll rose, the American economy bled, and Bush became embroiled in the swamps of Iraq that threaten his future," bin Laden said.
U.S. government officials said Friday that the tape appeared to be authentic and recently made. It was the first videotaped message from the al Qaeda leader in nearly three years.