Thursday, May 21, 2015

No Copies of Madeline Kahn’s Biography Found in bin Laden Compound, Analysts Say

The bin Laden compound was notably free of movie-star biographies, analysts say.

WASHINGTON -- According to recently declassified papers released this week by the Office of the Director of U.S. National Intelligence, Osama bin Laden’s collection of English-language books at his Abbottabad compound did not include any copies of William V. Madison’s Madeline Kahn: Being the Music • A Life (University Press of Mississippi, 2015).

Four years after the raid that led to bin Laden’s death, intelligence experts analyzing materials seized by U.S. Navy SEALs have noted that the al Qaida leader’s reading interests focused primarily on U.S. foreign policy, international relations, and Islam, but not on biographies of Oscar-nominated comedic actresses from the last third of the twentieth century. Even bin Laden’s personal correspondence, stored in his computer files, shows little mention of the beloved star of Blazing Saddles and Paper Moon.

Intelligence analysts discuss their findings.

“Especially after he realized that her name is spelled K-A-H-N and not K-H-A-N, bin Laden doesn’t seem to have given any thought to the late actress,” Maj. Gen. Fred G. Corey told a reporter. U.S. intelligence sources believe bin Laden had serious reservations about a Jewish woman from New York City who had a sense of humor and who frequently appeared in public without a veil, “except briefly in that scene from Clue,” Corey said. “I’m also given to understand that Ms. Kahn was unmarried for most of her life, and when she did marry, she did so without regard to her estimated value in goats.”

Dr. Carl Becker of the Institute for Advanced Concepts agrees. “Madeline Kahn’s behavior was not that of a woman whom bin Laden would admire or want to read about — and that’s a good thing,” Becker explained. “It’s not going too far to say that reading Madeline Kahn: Being the Music • A Life means standing up for freedom and decency.”

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