RE: if you have not read the 9/11 report yet
You wrote, "media reform, this is a reason why you AND the president can BOTH be right about the "reasons why we were attacked"
That is not correct and in I think it is intentional deception on the part of many people perhaps even the person that created the fraudulent letter that has been attributed to bin Laden, I will explain below.
I have been reading bin Laden's words for years and the grievances have been spelled out clearly and are widely shared. This notion that "they say" America "must be converted or destroyed" is a lie.
That part of the report you quote said "As we mentioned in chapter 2" and Chapter 2 is part of the report I have already read and I know what they are referring to: the alleged "binLaden's letter to the American people". (it could be no other source since no other source contains the idea of "convert or be destroyed") says in Chapter 2 the 9/11 Commission writes "Bin Ladin's grievance with the United States may have started in reaction to specific U.S. policies but it quickly became far deeper. To the second question, what America could do, al Qaeda's answer was that America should abandon the Middle East, convert to Islam, and end the immorality and godlessness of its society and culture"
You should look at that, the Commission report is saying that Bin Ladin's reaction to specific U.S. polices "quickly became" something else, something they call "far deeper". "quickly" is obviously false, bin Laden has been talking about these grievances and reacting to them as early as 1991. If we are to believe that his grievances "became" something else then it was plainly not "quick" since the change supposedly happened in 2002. Bin LAden's grievances supposedly "became" something more a year AFTER 9/11. But that all depends on accepting a letter that appeared on the Internet a year after 9/11 was actually written by Bin Laden. One shouldn't simply accept it just because someone gave the letter the title "Bin Laden's letter to America." The letter is a fraud and one that may have been crated to mislead the public about why we are being targeted.
You should wonder why it is just accepted as fact that Bin Laden changed, he has been interviewed for years and has not said such things like you must convert to Islam or be destroyed. Bin Laden has made audiotaped and videotapes statements for years, none of them say anything like this. He has never said anything like this in the years before this mystery letter appeared on the Internet and in the years since. for example an audio tape he made in 2003 (after his supposed change) clearly sates the motives again and of course there is no mention to this idea of "convert or be destroyed": " ... in 1995 , the explosion in Riyadh took place, killing four Americans, in a clear message from the people of that region displaying their rejection and opposition to the American policy of bankrolling the Jews and occupying the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries. The following year, another explosion in Al-Khobar killed 19 Americans and wounded more than 400 of them, prompting them to move their bases from the cities to the desert . Then in 1998 , the Mujahideen warned America to cease their support to the Jews and to leave the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries, but the enemy refused to heed this warning, so the Mujahideen, with the ability from Allah , smashed them with two mighty smashes in East Africa . Then again America was warned, but she refused to pay attention to the warnings, so the Mujahideen destroyed the American Destroyer , the USS Cole , in Aden , in a martyrdom operation, striking a solid blow to the face of the American military and at the same time, exposing the Yemeni Government as American agents, similar to all the countries in the region."
and he continues to explicitly state that the evil is the actions of US foreign policies in the world:
"... hiding the Truth, and their stupid and foolish leader, who is elected and supported by his people, denying reality and proclaiming that we (the Mujahideen) were striking them because we were jealous of them (the Americans), whereas the reality is that we are striking them because of their evil and injustice in the whole of the Islamic World, especially in Iraq and Palestine and their occupation of the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries. Upon seeing this, the Mujahideen decided teach them a lesson and to take the war to their heartland. On the blessed Tuesday 11 September 2001 , while the Zionist -American Alliance was targeting our children and our people in the blessed land of Al-Aqsa , with American tanks and planes in the hands of the Jews, and our people in Iraq were suffering from the America's sanctions upon them, and the Islamic world was very far away from establishing Islam properly." - Osama bin Laden ,February 14 ,2003
U.S. Investigators have nearly a decade of statements directly from bin Laden that state the motives for the attacks on the US and US interests. Bin Laden has been interviewed by western journalists and has for several years repeatedly broadcast a common list of grievances, which he cites as the reason for his jihad . Most of these statements have been confirmed as those from bin Laden but at least one hasn't, a letter , purporting to be written by bin Laden, which appeared on the Internet in Arabic. It was reported in a November 24 ,2002 article in The Observer , in an article that cites no intelligence-agency estimates about the likelihood of its authenticity, only using journalists' beliefs that it is really a letter from bin Laden explaining the motivations for the attacks.
Reasons to question the authenticity of this particular letter include:
* a style different from all the interviews
* a strange intro to the letter that acts like the motives have not been stated before.
* lack of any other source that includes as motives either
* "debauchery of Western Civilization " or
* a "call for conversion to Islam of the infidels."
The letter has other obvious problems that indicate it is a fabrication which at point is extremely amateurish. Does anyone take the following seriously?: "Who can forget your President Clinton's immoral acts committed in the official Oval office? After that you did not even bring him to account, other than that he 'made a mistake', after which everything passed with no punishment. Is there a worse kind of event for which your name will go down in history and remembered by nations?" Who ever actually wrote the letter got carried away. And what is this Islam that the writer of the letter "calls us to" "And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their colour, sex, or language. " But Bin Laden is a fundamentalist Islamic, this letter talks about "total equality" "without regard" to even sex? Who ever wrote the letter was really having fun at that point. The letter, in an outline format that bin Laden has never used, supposedly asks us to do in numbered several things and now "stop supporting Israel" is pushed down to number 4? Come on. The whole style of the letter is a different from everything that is know to have actually come from bin Laden.
(note, I added some of these points to September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack