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Will Osama Help Bush?

MAUREEN DOWD Published: October 31, 2004 Some people thought the October surprise would be the president producing Osama. Instead, it was Osama p

MAUREEN DOWD

Published: October 31, 2004

Some people thought the October surprise would be the president producing Osama.

Instead, it was Osama producing yet another video taunting the president and lecturing America.

After bin Laden's pre-election commentary from his anchor desk at a secure, undisclosed location, many TV chatterers and Republicans postulated that the evildoer's campaign intrusion would help the president..

It's absurd that we're mired in Iraq - an invasion the demented vice president praised on Friday for its "brilliance" - while the 9/11 mastermind nonchalantly pops up anytime he wants. For some, it seemed cartoonish, with Osama as Road Runner beeping by Wile E. Bush as Dick Cheney and Rummy run the Acme/Halliburton explosives company - now under F.B.I. investigation for its no-bid contracts on anvils, axle grease (guaranteed slippery) and dehydrated boulders (just add water) .

So the advice from the panel that spent 19 months studying how the government could shore up intelligence so there wouldn't be another 9/11 may be squandered, even though Dick Cheney's favorite warning to scare voters away from Mr. Kerry is that we might someday face terrorists "in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us," including a nuclear bomb.

Wow. I feel safer. Don't you?


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