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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 09/19/2007

Bin Laden: Rumsfeld Responsible For Vietnam War

By washingtonpost.com Editors
Osama bin Laden
"In the Vietnam War, the leaders of the White House claimed at the time that it was a necessary and crucial war, and during it, Rumsfeld and his aides murdered two million villagers. And when Kennedy took over the presidency and deviated from the general line of policy drawn up for the White House and wanted to stop this unjust war, that angered the owners of the major corporations who were benefiting from its continuation. And so Kennedy was killed." -- Osama bin Laden, video, September 2007

The Facts

Donald Rumsfeld has been accused of many things, but this may be the first time that he has been accused of murdering "two million villagers" during the Vietnam War, albeit with the assistance of unnamed "aides." The most cursory look at the former defense secretary's biography is sufficient to demonstrate the ludicrousness of the claim. After serving in the U.S. Navy between 1954 and 1957, Rumsfeld became a congressional staffer. He worked as an investment banker between 1960 and 1962 when Kennedy began sending U.S. troops to Vietnam under the guise of civilian advisers. He was elected to congress in 1962. After seven years in Congress, he joined the Nixon administration in 1969, but worked on domestic issues, rather than foreign policy issues. Could bin Laden be confusing Rumsfeld with Robert McNamara, defense secretary under both Kennedy and Johnson?

Bin Laden gives too much credit to Kennedy for trying to stop the "unjust war" in Vietnam. After all, it was Kennedy who sent the first U.S. combat troops to Vietnam in the first place. For full transcript of Bin Laden's speech, click here.

The Al-Qaeda leader also distorts the contents of a British film documentary quoting an American soldier in Iraq whom he referred to as "Joshua." According to bin Laden, Joshua "wipes the tears from his eyes and describes American politicians in the sharpest terms." While it is true that the soldier in question accused members of Congress of having "the brains of a two-year-old," video footage of the interview shows that he did not wipe tears from his eyes. According to the filmmaker, Sean Smith, there were no tears. The soldier merely wiped the perspiration off his forehead.

The Pinocchio Test


Osama Bin Laden could not be reached for comment. We award him four Pinocchios. (About our rating scale.)

By washingtonpost.com Editors  | September 19, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  4 Pinocchios, History, Video Watch, War on Terror  
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