Megyn Kelly on Thursday condemned the parents of young people who recently ‘discovered’ Osama bin Laden’s 2002 defense of the 9/11 attacks, saying they had failed to educate their children.
Discussion of the ‘Letter to America’ has surged on TikTok in recent days, with young people describing the screed as revelatory and insightful. Bin Laden justified the terror atrocity by arguing that America’s support for Israel’s right to exist made Americans legitimate targets.
TikTok is working to remove the videos using the hashtag, but Kelly said the fault lay with parents.
‘To the parents of all of these losers suddenly persuaded by the deranged musings of the man who murdered 3k American innocents: you failed,’ she wrote on X.
‘You were likely boozing, marching for some L-wing cause and/or simply ignoring your kids.
‘You failed to teach wrong from right, a proper moral code, a love of country and perspective on America’s role in the world.’
She also used her podcast to excoriate the parents.
‘Get off your f****** iPhone. Pay attention to your child. Look at your kids lessons,’ she said.
‘Step down from the Women’s March which by the way, it was totally anti-Semitic when we called it out, as did many at the time.
‘Do some parenting if you’re going to bother having a child and stop indoctrinating your own children to those of you who are on the left in this pernicious woke ideology because this is where it lands.
‘I’m very fired up about it. We’re forgetting 9/11. And it’s, you know what’s going to happen? It’s going to happen again.’
Kelly, who is mother to Edward, 13; daughter Yardley, 12; and son Thatcher, 9, said that she was dismayed her children – who she vowed would be kept off TikTok – would ‘have to deal with these cretins who hate America’.
‘We have so lost the youth of this country that now 20 years later they want to look back and rewrite the history of Osama bin Laden because Palestine, because deconstructing colonization, because there’s been a mind meld on college campuses that has corrupted and infected and toxified an entire generation,’ she said.
‘Just a note to those morons. Three thousand Americans died on 9/11. Four planes were hijacked, thanks to bin Laden and his evil plan. Children as young as two and a half were murdered on board the aircraft that took the lives of innocents who just went to work that day.’
In the ‘Letter to America,’ Osama bin Laden accused the US of being complicit in the ‘oppression’ of Palestinians and of spreading AIDS throughout the world
At bin Laden’s direction, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed on 9/11 in New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania
With barely-concealed fury, Kelly said their attitude was ‘unbelievable’, and said it was a damning indictment on American society.
‘Their parents failed them, their educators failed them, corporate America continues to fail them, the media continues to fail them, and it’s the fight for our lives,’ she said.
‘If you don’t think this is coming to a school near you, or a community near you, you haven’t been paying attention.’
The White House expressed dismay at the resurgence of interest in the letter.
‘There is never a justification for spreading the repugnant, evil, and antisemitic lies that the leader of al Qaeda issued just after committing the worst terrorist attack in American history – highlighting them as his direct motivation for murdering 2,977 innocent Americans,’ said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the White House.
‘And no one should ever insult the 2,977 American families still mourning loved ones by associating themselves with the vile words of Osama bin Laden.
‘Particularly now, at a time of rising antisemitic violence in the world, and just after Hamas terrorists carried out the worst slaughter of the Jewish people since the Holocaust in the name of the same conspiracy theories.
‘Like President Biden said this year in remembrance of the Americans who lost their lives because of Osama bin Laden, ‘it’s more important now than ever that we come together’ against a ‘rising tide of hatred and extremism.”
TikTok said they will be removing all content invoking the letter.
‘Content promoting this letter clearly violates our rules on supporting any form of terrorism,’ TikTokPolicy wrote in a post to X, formerly Twitter.
‘We are proactively and aggressively removing this content and investigating how it got onto our platform.’
The video-sharing platform claims the number of videos on TikTok is ‘small’ and ‘reports of it trending [on the] platform is inaccurate.’
The trend appears to have started with TikToker Lynette Adkins who posted a video on November 14 telling her followers to read the manifesto
Hundreds of members of Generation Z posted videos in which they seemingly confused the hateful diatribe for an intellectual think piece
Smoke still rises from ground zero of the collapsed World Trade Center two days after the attack
Clare Baron lays a rose for her cousin Mark Whitford at the National September 11 Memorial during an annual ceremony to commemorate the 22nd anniversary
Family members of victims attend a ceremony observing the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the Pentagon
‘This is not unique to TikTok and has appeared across multiple platforms and the media,’ the post added.
Videos with the hashtag ‘LettertoAmerica’ have been viewed 7.3 million times.
Extraordinarily the majority are claiming support for bin Laden’s reasoning – without a thought for the freedoms he criticizes.
The letter began to gain traction online after UK newspaper The Guardian linked to a 2002 article, which translated it in full, in a piece about the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
It was subsequently deleted, with the outlet explaining to DailyMail.com that it was being shared ‘without its original context.’
The letter continued to spread on X but was prevented from spreading on Reddit.
The Guardian did not explain further as to how the link was made between the current conflict in the Middle East and a verbatim letter from bin Laden that was more than 20 years old.
The link to the letter spread, with hundreds of TikTokers posting videos in response to reading it, in which they appear to confuse the hateful diatribe for an intellectual think piece.
The letter was originally posted with an article explaining that the original version was in Arabic in a website used by al-Qaeda to ‘disseminate messages and ‘was sent to hundreds of subscribers to an email list run by Mohammed al-Massari, the UK-based Saudi Arabian dissident.’
The message added that the US government was included on the list.
The various trending videos about the letter include no context around bin Laden’s life as a jihadist.
In other sections of his correspondence, bin Laden blames the US government for spreading AIDS throughout the world, described homosexuality as ‘immoral’ and sought to turn America into an oppressive religious state similar to Afghanistan.
The trend appears to have started with TikToker Lynette Adkins who posted a video on November 14.
‘I need everyone to stop what they’re doing right now and go read – it’s literally two pages – go read ‘A Letter to America,” she said.
In his infamous letter, Bin Laden ranted that the treatment of Palestinian people had to be ‘revenged’ and expressed justifications for the killing of civilians in the name of jihad.
Bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs in a raid on his compound in Pakistan in May 2011.
‘The American people are the ones who pay the taxes which fund the planes that bomb us in Afghanistan, the tanks that strike and destroy our homes in Palestine, the armies which occupy our lands in the Arabian Gulf, and the fleets which ensure the blockade of Iraq,’ bin Laden wrote.
For this reason, the Saudi Arabian terrorist wrote, all Americans and Jewish people were culpable for ‘the crimes committed by the Americans and Jews against [Muslims].’
Bin Laden wrote that AIDS was a ‘Satanic American Invention’ and repeatedly made anti-Semitic remarks including suggesting that American society was infiltrated by Jewish people who ‘control your policies, media and economy.’
In response to the letter going viral, Florida Senator Marco Rubio mocked the TikTok users in a post on X.
‘Now trending on social media (especially TikTok) people saying that after reading bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America,’ they now understand terrorism is a legitimate method of resistance against ‘oppression’ and America deserved to be attacked of 9/11,’ wrote Rubio.
Meanwhile, The Guardian said in a statement on the removal of the letter: ‘The transcript published on our website 20 years ago has been widely shared on social media without the full context.
‘Therefore we have decided to take it down and direct readers to the news article that originally contextualized it instead.’
The page that greets users who Google: Osama bin Laden letter
Bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs in a raid on his compound in Pakistan in May 2011
New York City Police Officer Danny Shea, a military vet, salutes at the North pool of the 9/11 Memorial
How terrorist Osama Bin Laden was a mass murderer who masterminded 9/11 murdering 2977 people
Osama bin Laden was the 17th of 52 children born into an extremely wealthy family in Saudi Arabia.
Around 1979, he became radicalized as he joined the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan to repel the Soviet Union’s invasion.
In 1988, he founded his terror network al Qaeda or The Base. The goal of the group was to wage holy war against the western world.
Bin Laden largely turned his hatred towards the US in the early 1990s during the first Gulf War as American troops are stationed close to holy sites in Saudi Arabia.
Between 1992 and 2001, bin Laden supported various strikes against the US military in Africa and Middle East. During his period, he was expelled from his homeland and took refuge in Afghanistan.
On September 11, 2001, 19 al Qaeda members carry out a series of attacks in the US, flying planes into various buildings, including the twin towers in New York City.
Shortly after the devastation of 9/11, bin Laden is named as the prime suspect by US authorities. The US military overruns Afghanistan but he remains on the run.
Despite multiple rumors that he died in the intervening years due to a years long battle with kidney disease, bin Laden is finally tracked down to a compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.
On May 2, 2011, the mastermind was shot dead by US Navy SEALs on the orders of President Barack Obama. He was given an Islamist funeral and buried at sea.
The Guardian website page that previously hosted the letter in full now displays a message reading: ‘This page previously displayed a document containing, in translation, the full text of Osama bin Laden’s ‘Letter to the American People,’ as reported in the Observer on Sunday 24 November 2002. The document, which was published here on the same day, was removed on 15 November 2023.’
A viral TikTok post on the article’s removal said that it was a prime example of ‘narrative control.’
‘Narrative control and censorship are not things you do to a society you want being able to deeply consider the things happening around them,’ the user said.
The letter’s reemergence after all these years comes as Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu refutes allegations that the military has committed war crimes in Gaza, with reports that the death toll in the enclave having surpassed 11,000.
The region has been embroiled in conflict since Hamas invaded Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people.
One TikToker said: ‘Come back here and let me know what you think. Because I feel like I’m going through like an existential crisis right now, and a lot of people are.
‘So I just need someone else to be feeling this too.’
That video prompted more than 5,000 replies.
‘Just read it… my eyes have been opened,’ one person responded.
‘I think this has made a lot of people realize that even ‘villains’ can speak the truth,’ another wrote.
‘We’ve been lied to our entire lives, I remember watching people cheer when Osama was found and killed.
‘I was a child, and it confused me. It still confuses me today. The world deserves better than what this country has done to them,’ another person said.
On her TikTok bio page, Lynette Adkins has a link to a fundraising page for ‘Palestinian rights.’
Adkins followed up her original post with several others. In one she celebrates TikTok’s influence on America’s youth.
‘TikTok is going to save this generation.’
Her reasoning is that older people are ‘programmed to think a certain way.’
In September 2023, Adkins’ meteoric rise from lowly Amazon employee to influencer was the subject of a Los Angeles Times feature.
In another video, Adkins recommends her followers watch three documentary films, including one, Out of Shadows, which prompted one reviewer to remark: ‘The so-called documentary is merely a mask for a hodgepodge of conspiracy theories associated with QAnon and its linear ancestor, Pizzagate.’
Another movie promotes 9/11 conspiracy theories, including one that suggest the US was behind the attack.
In her latest post, Adkins said that ‘America is losing the PR war bad’ and that ‘they’ were trying to shut TikTok down.
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