30 MAY 11: Bin-Laden to Rest
Happy Memorial Day to you. The U.S. military can take comfort this year in the fact that their number-one target has been eliminated. And the last four weeks have proven beyond all doubt what a bad guy Usama bin-Laden was -- since he had pornography in his compound.
LAUGHLINE FLASHBACK: We wrote often about Usama bin-Laden (in various spellings) for national subscribers during the LaughLine years. Today we offer a sample from 2001:
12 SEP 01: Several TV reports suggested Osama bin-Laden was behind the Tuesday of Terror. He's been difficult to track down and capture for years - because Osama's "been hidin'..."
13 SEP 01: We heard one report Wednesday that prime terrorism suspect Osama bin-Laden moves to a new location three times a week. Before you call this suspicious, keep one thing in mind: he could pass for almost any player in the National Basketball Association.
14 SEP 01: Secretary of State Colin Powell declared Osama bin-Laden a "prime suspect" in the hijackings. Trouble is - how do you spell his first name? ABC spells it "Osama." Fox News says "Usama." But if the armed forces can track him down and hit hard enough, they might change it to "OW-sama."
17 SEP 01: Afghanistan's government showed no signs of backing down over the weekend. The Taliban first released a statement declaring, "You won't find Osama bin-Laden with missiles...." If the U.S. drops enough of them, at least he'll have to get some exercise digging tunnels.
Osama bin-Laden issued a statement Sunday, claiming he was NOT "personally responsible" for what happened in New York and Washington. We think we recall someone else saying this several years ago - and John Gotti's in prison now.
18 SEP 01: President Bush went to the Pentagon Monday, to check the damaged building and rally the military. He indicated he wants Osama bin-Laden "dead or alive." Of course, if bin-Laden is killed, it'll be harder to give him a fair trial....
Afghanistan's officials say a decision on Osama bin-Laden will be made today by a "Grand Council" of top Muslim ministers. You see, that country's not very different from the U.S. - only here, we call the decision-makers a Grand JURY.
Afghanistan's Ambassador to Pakistan tried to explain why Osama bin-Laden is still in his country. He says bin-Laden is a "guest" - and in their culture, you don't ask guests to leave. Maybe the U.S. should send Afghanistan some Western culture. Can Sally Jesse Raphael go there, and do a "freeloaders" episode?
The U.S. isn't the only country concerned about the terrorist threat. In Liberia, it's now against the law to buy or sell PHOTOS of Osama bin-Laden! [True/BBC.co.uk] This seems a bit extreme. How can Baptist churches hold a mass burning?
A number of people in Liberia's capital are selling stolen and copied photos of Osama bin-Laden. The government now considers that a terrorist act. In other countries, it would be called a great new way to encourage dart-throwing.
19 SEP 01: Afghanistan's government reportedly offered to turn over Osama bin-Laden Tuesday - but with some conditions. For one thing, it wants the world to recognize the Taliban rulers. Recognize them? Most U.S. residents have trouble pronouncing their names....
Jay Leno returned to late-night TV for the first time since the skyjackings. His emotional monologue noted only nine days ago, the big issue was Anne Heche's book "Call Me Crazy." Nine days later, that title seems more fitting for Osama bin-Laden's biography.
20 SEP 01: President Bush flatly refused a suggestion from Afghanistan that the U.S. negotiate a handover of Osama bin-Laden. The idea now rests in a new computer file created exclusively for the White House - the "Recycle Bin-Laden."
If the Tuesday of Terror was a statement against Western capitalism, it didn't get through to everyone. A T-shirt protesting Osama bin-Laden was spotted on sale in Manhattan Wednesday - for 34 dollars! [True/AP] Who's going to buy this? People losing their shirts in the stock market?!?!
21 SEP 01: Somebody's gotta say it - are we in for the first "Politically Correct" war in U.S. history? We're told not to say anything negative about Islam, Arabs, the U.S. military, natives of Afghanistan OR President Bush. Next thing you know, we'll learn Osama bin-Laden is really a blonde -- and those jokes will have to stop, too.
24 SEP 01: Didya hear about the new computer game - one that people in BOTH the U.S. and Afghanistan can play? It's called, "Where in the World is Osama bin-Laden...."
Afghanistan's Taliban government claimed Sunday it has no idea where Osama bin-Laden is. They have a special "guest" in their country -- then they lose track of him?!?! Some hosts THEY are! Instead of bombs, let's drop some Martha Stewart books on them.
We heard one report Sunday [NPR] that Osama bin-Laden was seen a week ago, riding his horse into the mountains of Afghanistan. Wow, maybe those "wanted dead or alive" posters are appropriate after all....
Pakistan is divided about whether to back Osama bin-Laden or the fight against terrorism. Some bin-Laden backers burned President Bush in effigy, after Friday prayers. That's a pretty mean thing to do - but at least they didn't add further insult, by spelling words wrong on their signs.
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice scoffed Sunday at Afghanistan's demand for proof of Osama bin-Laden's involvement. She told CNN that country does NOT follow a western standard for justice -- proving the Taliban and right-wing radio talk shows have something in common.
25 SEP 01: President Bush announced another step in the fight against terrorism Monday. He signed an executive order freezing the U.S. bank accounts of 27 people and groups.... Osama bin-Laden DID make the list of frozen bank accounts. So if you happened to have a debt to this man, apparently you don't "OWE-sama" any more....
The world's most wanted man emerged from hiding Monday, as Osama bin-Laden released a fax statement. Now we wish the U.S. government HAD given Afghanistan some high-tech equipment - or at least "caller I-D."
Osama bin-Laden's fax calls on Pakistan to challenge what he calls a "Jewish crusade" led by President Bush. What's bin-Laden trying to do - get on the John Birch Society's mailing list?
The U.S. reward for capturing Osama bin-Laden currently stands at 25 million dollars. Yet no one's been able to bring him out of hiding. You know it's difficult when David Copperfield won't even try that stunt.
The Taliban leaders and the Bush administration DO seem to agree on one thing: Osama bin-Laden's demise will NOT mean the end of terrorism. Today it's al-Qaeda - tomorrow it may be Al Yankovic or Al Martino....
26 SEP 01: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Associated Press his country will NOT go after the Taliban government, if it turns over Osama bin-Laden. In fact, he suggested the Afghanis might even receive Western aid. Now THAT'S the way to promote "compassionate conservative" values -- such as religious tolerance.
27 SEP 01: Mullah Mohammed Omar still refuses to turn over Osama bin-Laden. He says the issues here are Islamic prestige and Afghan honor. We don't get it. Where's the "prestige" in killing 40 times more people than Timothy McVeigh did?
28 SEP 01: A delegation from Pakistan went to Afghanistan Thursday, making a "last request" for Osama bin-Laden. So what happened to the 72-hour "ultimatum" - that expired eight days ago? It looks like wimpy parenting knows no national boundaries....
7-8 OCT 01: Osama bin-Laden's brother happens to be attending college at Harvard. That brother told Sunday's "Boston Globe" he and his family condemn the terrorist acts bin-Laden ordered. If that's true, bin-Laden's will must be unique. Can he leave his fortune to those seven virgins in paradise?
11 OCT 01: As you might guess, the number-one terrorist on the FBI "Most Wanted" list is Osama bin-Laden. How many U.S. residents would love to make him "number one with a bullet"?!?!
The Taliban rulers reportedly have lifted all restrictions imposed against Osama bin-Laden. This is important, since now he can carry as many bags aboard Afghanistan's airlines as he likes.
12 OCT 01: President Bush told reporters five nights of allied air strikes have put Osama bin-Laden and the al-Qaeda network "on the run." This will give U.S. special forces a big advantage inside Afghanistan. The military has sneakers, while the terrorists tend to wear sandals.
President Bush admitted it could take a year or two to bring Osama bin-Laden to justice. Some U.S. residents probably don't like to hear that. Take those Democrats in Congress, who want to win back the House next fall....
15 OCT 01: President Bush rejected a new proposal from Afghanistan's government Sunday. The Taliban offered Osama bin-Laden, in exchange for an end to bombing and evidence of his involvement in the skyjackings. Doesn't the President remember his days with the Texas Rangers? We thought trades and deals made that team a contender.
One report Sunday [NPR News] claimed the military alliance is after the Taliban army's "55th Brigade." That group includes the troops who surround Osama bin-Laden. This proves the government's suggestion about "staying alive at 55" has been completely forgotten.
16 OCT 01: Q: What do Osama bin-Laden and Fred Flintstone have in common?
A: Both can look out their windows, and see "Rubble!" [Thanks, Sandy Collins!]
Besides, a Taliban diplomat told "Meet the Press" the other day a U.S. trial of Osama bin-Laden would be a "joke." President Bush already has publicly declared bin-Laden guilty - and how many evangelists will be waiting for bin-Laden outside the courthouse every day?
17 OCT 01: Despite ten days of bombing, U.S. intelligence experts suspect Osama bin-Laden still is alive in Afghanistan. Many people hope the attack has done a LITTLE damage, though - such as bringing him down to his last two turban changes.
CNN announced Tuesday it has given the "Al-Jazeera" Arab news network a list of questions for Osama bin-Laden to answer. The White House staff privately hopes one of the questions is, "What are you doing a week from Saturday night?"
18 OCT 01: We should have seen this coming - an e-mail offer for "Osama bin-Laden toilet paper!" We assume this paper works a bit differently. For instance, when you finish unwrapping a roll, there should be a person's head in the middle.
(There's one thing we do NOT expect with Osama bin-Laden toilet paper -- any promises about softness, if you know what we mean.)
19 OCT 01: Q: What do Osama bin-Laden and Hiroshima, Japan have in common?
A: Nothing - YET! [Thanks, Sandy Collins!]
22 OCT 01: Sunday's "Washington Post" reported President Bush has given the CIA approval to kill Osama bin-Laden. Wow, the President IS desperate about this - not even waiting to bring him to the U.S., to strap in an electric chair.
26 OCT 01: The U.S. Defense Department will announce the winner today of a five-year contest to build the next generation of fighter jet. This jet can land vertically, after flying at supersonic speeds. But if it doesn't recognize Osama bin-Laden's face, what good is it?
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld admitted Thursday the hunt for Osama bin-Laden is like looking for "a needle in a haystack." We applaud the Secretary for his careful choice of words. He could have used the phrase, "needle in a stack of turban towels."
29 OCT 01: Lesley Stahl of "60 Minutes" pointed out Osama bin-Laden is a Wahhabi Muslim, while Iraq's population is mostly Sunni Muslim. So it's no wonder fundamentalism doesn't catch on - too many Iraqis have a Sunni outlook on life.
31 OCT 01: In several countries, the "hot costume" for adults this Halloween is none other than Osama bin-Laden. We hope that's NOT the case in the U.S. - because police still are recovering from all those bogus anthrax calls.
1 NOV 01: State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said if the Taliban wants proof Osama bin-Laden is a terrorist, it should watch his video statements. Trouble is, the Afghan leaders have banned television -- so we hope some U.S. pilot drops a big-screen TV on Kabul soon.
2 NOV 01: The Al-Jazeera cable system presented a statement Thursday that reportedly came from Osama bin-Laden. It says the world is divided into two camps - one with "the banner of the cross," the other with "the banner of Islam." Aw, c'mon! If someone suggested putting a cross on the Star-Spangled Banner, civil liberties groups would sue in no time.
SCHEDULED TUESDAY: The women who asked me for a date.... and more....
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