With my success in cataloging what Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan did not contain (The Things He Didn’t Carry, Nov 1, 2011), the Agency asked me to help with what it did contain — reams of documents to be translated and analyzed.
I quickly said yes and was assigned Bin Laden’s diaries. Unlike his letters, which focus on the state of al-Qaeda, the diaries focus on domestic details, with occasional comments on tactical issues and even cosmic questions that his physical isolation gave him time to contemplate. Following are a few representative excerpts:
Terrible acne outbreak. All over forehead and behind parts. The Holy Qur’an gives no guidance. How can it be that someone who prays five times a day and fights to establish God’s will on earth should be afflicted so? Is God angry with me?
Told Abdallah to get hummus, pita, tabouleh, Baba ghanouj, rice, lamb and one container of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream for My Birthday! The idiot also brings back a half-bushel of brussel sprouts, may God curse him. It is My Birthday and I’ll eat what I want to!
Reading on-line that the infidel Hawking says the universe is expanding. Probably a big lie, but, if true, a big big problem for jihad: we could not possibly increase recruitment fast enough to keep up. And, if God is planning some gigantic explosion that we could never equal, what use is jihad anyway? Perhaps God really is angry with me.
Money getting tight. Crusader operations cutting off access to funds. Decided to play Mega Millions when jackpot was at $656 million. Picked 2-4-23-38-46, Mega Ball 23 (derived, by qabalah, from “Allahu Akbar”). Missed by one number (“Allahu Akbak”). Curse the cheating Crusaders!
Caught Sa’ad (BL’s 13-year-old son) on-line looking at ladies without the niqab (face mask). He argued that at least they had on the hijab (full-body covering), unlike some web-sites. Does he know something I am missing?
Speaking of ladies, came across Barbra Streisand on YouTube, singing “The Way We Were.” Not bad for a Jewess, though maybe a little flat.
After months and months cooped up in the compound, I slipped out one evening, hid behind a tree until dawn and blended into a big crowd headed to a sporting match, something called “cricket.” Spent the entire day, bored to distraction, only to find out that it was a draw! Where is a good suicide bomber when you need him?
Idea: After reading a translated edition of the story of the famous horse, Seabiscuit (reminder to self: find out what is a real seabiscuit — could be good with lamb, but NOT brussel sprouts!), I thought: if you could pack a racehorse with dynamite, you could blow it up right at the finish line, or, better yet, in the winner’s circle.
Too much junk e-mail. Most selling something called “male enhancement.” (Sa’ad!) Uncertain of meaning; clicked on link. OMA! It looks like a kebab packed with dynamite! Hmmm, could be even better than exploding Seabiscuit!
(Note: Last entry, dated May 2, 2011): Sounds of helicopters and local disturbance. Probably a riot at the cricket grounds after yet another draw. Ridiculous. They should all be shot …