Ohio Senator: Make Bin Laden Tape Public

By MALIA RULON, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Mike DeWine of Ohio says the Bush administration should release a video that shows Osama bin Laden talking about the terrorist attacks so the world will see he is a "despicable human being."

DeWine, a Republican, viewed the tape and heard a translation Tuesday morning with other members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Privately, two senior administration officials have said that President Bush wants to let the world see the tape. However, they said he was holding off on a final decision while intelligence officials authenticate their Arabic translation with experts and recheck anything that might betray intelligence-gathering methods.

DeWine said the tape makes it clear bin Laden knows substantial details about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The senator said bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the plot, was "smiling, happy and very proud" of the horror he inflicted.

"When you watch the tape, you can't help but be repulsed," DeWine said. "This is a despicable human being and this tape just drives that home. He is an evil man who delights in being evil."

The tape was discovered about 10 days ago in an abandoned apartment in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, and appears to be made by an amateur using a handheld camera.

Speaking in Arabic, bin Laden reportedly says he tuned into news shows and waited for reports of the first strikes on the World Trade Center and then told companions there was more to come -- evidently a reference to the planes that later crashed into the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

"A picture is worth a thousand words. And a picture along with audio is even better," DeWine said. "It is very telling."

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)