Michael Scheuer: Why Bin Laden Was Reading My Book ‘Imperial Hubris’

by | May 22, 2015

From Sky News to CNN, media are asking Michael Scheuer why Osama bin Laden would have a copy of Scheuer’s book Imperial Hubris. The question arose because Scheuer’s book is included in a list of books seized in a 2011 US military raid on bin Laden’s dwelling in Abottabad, Pakistan. The list was released Wednesday by the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In an interview with host J.D. Hayworth on Newsmax TV, Scheuer, who published Imperial Hubris anonymously while working at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), provides a particularly enlightening answer to the media’s persistent question.

After deflecting Hayworth’s suggestion that bin Laden might have had a copy of Imperial Hubris because the book contains some positive comments regarding the al Qaeda leader’s bearing and capabilities, Scheuer offers instead the following reasons:

What attracted him to my book was that I had listened to what he had said for a better part of six years, and I correlated what his organization did in response to what he said they were going to do, and that was a very high correlation.

The second thing I believe that attracted him is that I wrote very clearly — and I would write it again today — that the war we’re fighting has nothing to do with women’s rights; it has nothing to do with democracy or elections or liberty or freedom, at least from the perspective of the people that declared war on us. They wouldn’t have that stuff in their own country. But what they hate of the United States is not even the American people; they hate the American government because of its interventionist policies in the Middle East, and that’s been borne out completely by all of the documents that have been released by the government since that raid. There’s not a word about the Americans are debauched, they’re sick on pornography, the women wear short skirts — none of the stuff that Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton have told the American people.

Scheuer, a member of the Ron Paul Institute Academic Board and the former chief of the Osama bin Laden unit at the CIA, continues in the interview to make other interesting observations regarding al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS), and the US government’s Global War on Terrorism. The seven-minute interview wraps up with Scheuer’s conclusion that “we should do whatever we can to get out of the Middle East.”

Watch the complete Scheuer interview here:


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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