No week would be complete without a "conspiracy theory" from me and this is a great one. In fact I have two. If the video is not a fake, over at my place I can think of some compelling reasons why bin Laden would have made it. However, I think Booman Tribune makes a good case for it being a forgery.
Osama Bin Laden's widely publicized video address to the American people has a peculiarity that casts serious doubt on its authenticity: the video freezes at about 1 minute and 36 58 seconds, and motion only resumes again at 12:30. The video then freezes again at 14:02 remains frozen until the end. All references to current events, such as the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, and Sarkozy and Brown being the leaders of France and the UK, respectively, occur when the video is frozen!
Read the rest there. I have to admit, I have become so suspicious of this administration that my first thought on hearing of the tape's release was that it was somehow a product of the Pentagon's new PR branch. The timing is so convenient and so are the references to the Democrats. Taken in context of how the White House used doctored photos to sell the invasion to Congress in the first place, it doesn't seem all that far-fetched a notion to me.
But even assuming that this is solely a product of AQ, which is admittedly more likely, I still think the motive behind it is clearly to keep us in Iraq, not to get us to leave. [h/t Jules]