Lessig Asks for a Retranslation

Lawrence Lessig notes that the Al-Jazeera translation of the Osama bin Laden text seems at least to allow the reading that ObL is saying that Bush was given 20 minutes’ warning before the attacks occurred at all.

I don’t know a lick of Arabic, but I know at least one person who does reads my blog from time to time. Wanna take a crack at it, Jonathan?

I mean, even if that was what ObL was saying, that doesn’t mean he’s telling the truth…

Anyway, food for thought.

Here’s Dr. Lessig:

As Aljazeera has translated it, near the end bin Laden says this:

And for the record, we had agreed with the Commander-General Muhammad Ataa, Allah have mercy on him, that all the operations should be carried out within 20 minutes before Bush and his administration notice.

It never occurred to us that the Commander in Chief of the armed forces would abandon 50,000 of his citizens in the twin towers to face those great horrors alone at a time when they most needed him.

He goes on to refer to the Pet Goat incident, so we know he’s referring to the morning of September 11. But what does “carried out within 20 minutes before Bush and his administration notice” mean? Is bin Laden saying he gave the US warning (“notice”) before the attack — which would explain the weird look on Bush’s face before he was told the attack had actually occured?

Better Get Used To Calamari

Apparently because we’ve overfished the other species right out of the ocean, giant squid are getting bigger and more numerous, to the point that there is now more squid biomass on Earth than human biomass.

Good news if you really really really like calamari and don’t care much for any other kind of seafood.

Link via BoingBoing.

Personally I think we should sic the Snakeheads on them.

Polytropos: The OBL Tape

Polytropos: The OBL Tape makes a very good point:

If Osama Bin Laden knew about an Al Qaeda attack in the works between now and Tuesday, he wouldn’t have released the tape he did. He would have remained silent, or he would have tried to spread fear by hinting at what was to come. Instead, we get this: a rambling message, at times incoherent, all in all, rather pathetic. More than anything else, it seems to me like a desperate political move — trying to make his voice heard, though he nothing to say.

In other words, the only importance of the tape, as far as I’m concerned, is that it means there’s not going to be an election-related terrorist attack. So get out there and vote.

Wow. Good point.