United Press International starts a piece on the Al-Jazeera/Bin Laden connection with this revelation:

When Osama bin Laden relayed his latest audiotaped message to al-Jazeera in a Sunday phone call from somewhere in Pakistan it was 45 minutes long. Editors at the Arab-language satellite news channel immediately went to work on it, and within a couple of hours a trimmed down, 13-minute version was on the air.

I find it fascinating that the world’s #1 Most Wanted man–and al Jazeera’s answer to O.J. Simpson, Monica Lewinsky, and Michael Jackson all rolled into one–doesn’t merit an unedited 45 minute airing. Even cut down for commercials, 13 of 45 minutes is rather chintzy. I mean, Bill Clinton used to ramble on for well over 90 minutes and got to be aired live. Being the world’s most infamous terrorist isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, apparently.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    Considering he says “Praise Allah” for 43 of the 45 minutes, I think it could be viewed as generous.

  2. Kate says:

    Right at this moment the Jihadists are busy charging, lemming style, into the North Sea, unaware that Bin Laden’s instructions to destroy “Seattle” were abbreviated.

  3. Jeff says:

    Ok, maybe I watch too many movies, but couldn’t this phone call have been traced?
    Even Cell Phone signals can be triangulated and used to zero in on the person carrying it.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Jeff: My reaction, too. But if you read closely you’ll see that it was a transmission of a previously taped message. So, UBL wasn’t actually holding the phone for 45 minutes!