Re "Videotape a Chilling Testimony," Dec. 14: I watched the tape twice and listened to the Arabic and read the translation. I found that the translation is correct and these guys on the tape are displaying happiness and joy. Osama bin Laden clearly spoke as someone who had foreknowledge of the attacks. Bin Laden and his acquaintances do not understand Islam.
No sane person can behave like that guy. Muslims do not endorse these guys, act like them or waste human lives as they did.
The administration spent four days telling us how to interpret the tape before showing it to us. It's kind of like a Rorschach test in reverse. First, they tell us what we are supposed to see and then they show us the ink blot. I hope and pray that Vice President Cheney was mistaken when he said that the tape was the "best evidence" we have of Bin Laden's guilt.
In reading the transcripts, I found it interesting to see how many times Allah was praised by Bin Laden when detailing the destruction of the World Trade Center. Especially now, I can appreciate the wisdom our founding fathers had when they mandated a clear separation between church and state. I am proud to be an American.
Re "Tape Stirs Widespread Doubt in Already Skeptical Arab World," Dec. 14: The range of acceptance and denial of the Bin Laden videotape is understandable. Knowing the facts is certainly middle ground between the truth and what one wants to believe. However, regardless of documented proof, people have the natural tendency to only believe that which makes them more comfortable.
\o7 West Hollywood