That's "MISTER" bin Laden to You!

August 17th, 2005 5:16 PM

As Clay Waters points out in his previous posting, a New York Times article by Eric Lichtblau sheds some interesting light on warnings issued by the State Department to the Clinton administration back in 1996 concerning Osama bin Laden's move from the Sudan to Afghanistan:

In what would prove a prescient warning, the State Department intelligence analysts said in a top-secret assessment on Mr. bin Laden that summer that "his prolonged stay in Afghanistan - where hundreds of 'Arab mujahedeen' receive terrorist training and key extremist leaders often congregate - could prove more dangerous to U.S. interests in the long run than his three-year liaison with Khartoum," in Sudan.
On the one hand, it is quite shocking that the Times would publish a story so critical of President Clinton.

Yet, maybe most surprising is the continuous reference to America's Public Enemy Number One as "Mr. bin Laden". In fact, thirteen times in this article, Osama is so respectfully referred to.

Are the Times editors compensating for their tremendous discomfort with publishing an article critical of their favorite modern president by raising Osama to a level deserving of the title "Mister"?