They also stressed a few points about the video:
1. The tone: how Bin Laden avoids military symbols and violent threats and takes a calm, persuasive tone.
2. The suggestion that the battle between Al Qaeda and the West, rather than an inherent and eternal conflict, is a policy-driven one, and can be eneded, resolved, if certain conditions are met.
3. The specific references to US political developments (he references the Florida recount,the Patriot Act), and his critique of President Bush to the American people.
The LA Times has an interesting piece (via www.talkingpointsmemo.com) that ties these observations together and suggests that bin Laden is trying to transform himself from international terrorist to Muslim statesman.
This kind of analysis is worth pursuing; there are a lot of questions about what bin Laden was hoping to accomplish with this message… Personally, I find it fascinating and surreal that he is basically debating President Bush across the world this way, even incorporating some of Bush’s favorite terms (“freedom”) into his own statement.