A blistering attack on corporate cash in politics, on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, on lobbyists in Washington and New York; and a call to action over global warming.
A Bernie Sanders stump speech? No, these were the views of the late Osama Bin Laden.
In a remarkable open letter to the American people, one of 113 declassified documents found following his 2011 death, the world’s then-most-wanted man had much to say about money, politics, and even Thomas Paine.
The undated document, likely written either in 2009 or early 2010, refers to the “higher court adjudicating their support of political financing by corporations.” The founder of the
Islamist terror network also condemned the U.S. campaign finance system in terms remarkably similar to the rhetoric of campaign finance critics in the United States.
Sanders, a Vermont senator who is currently trailing Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, did not respond to requests for comment on the apparent thumbs-up from the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
Bin Laden's comments were apparently in reference to the landmark Citizens United court case. In its January, 2010 decision, the Supreme Court overturned legislation barring corporations and unions from paying for political advertisements made independently of the campaigns of candidates.
Bin Laden likened the decision by the court to the American colonial period, when the British controlled the appointment of judges and local political leaders.
America needs a Paine-like figure to point out the similarities between then and now, the terror chief said, comparing the British monopoly on tea to corporations today.
“Similarly, the corruption is deep rooted now in all higher authorities, thus giving authorities over these offices to corporations,” bin Laden claimed. “Subsequently, the higher court adjudicated their support of political financing by corporations under such circumstances.”
The letter was reportedly issued as bin Laden was hiding out in his compound in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad, where he was killed in a U.S. raid in 2011. Although bin Laden issued a number of letters to the American public after 9/11, the one released this week has not previously been published.
“The subject of my talk to you is the overwhelming control of capital and its effect on the ongoing war between us," bin Laden wrote. "I direct my talk specifically to those who support real change, especially the youth.”
He goes on to rail against the “tyranny of the control of capital by large companies,” claiming it has harmed the economy, and he reveals an apparent concern for U.S taxpayers.
Referring to the 2008 financial collapse, bin Laden said the administration “reverted to using taxpayer's money to rescue the vultures by using the assets of the victims.”
He also referred to the Obama administration, speaking in almost warm terms about the president’s “good intentions,” but someone who can do little when dealing with lobbyists.
“The course of the policies of the present administration in several areas clearly reveals that whoever enters the White House, even with good intentions to safeguard the peoples' interest, is no more than a train operator,” bin Laden wrote.
“His only task is to keep the train on the tracks that are laid down by the lobbyists in New York and Washington to serve their interests first, even if it is counter to your security and economy," he said. “Any president who tries to move the train from the lobbyist's tracks to a track for the American people's interests will confront very strong opposition and pressures from the lobbyists.”
Bin Laden called for a revolution “to free the White House and to free Barack Husayn (sic) so he can implement the change you seek. It does not only include improvement of your economic situation and ensure your security, but more importantly, helps him in making a rational decision to save humanity from the harmful (greenhouse) gases that threaten its destiny.”