There’s been plenty of commentary on Osama bin Laden’s crush on Whitney Houston, but few have actually gone back to the source on this one. The following excerpt from the memoir of Kola Boof, allegedly a one-time bin Laden “sex slave,” has been reprinted in Harper’s, September 2006:
“Why do you wear your hair braided?” he asked.
“Because my braids are beautiful,” I replied.
Osama said only monkeys braid their hair. He told me that the singer Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen and that she never wore her hair braided. “I want you to fix your hair like hers from now on,” he said. “I can’t put my fingers through it when it’s braided.”
He asked me to hit the hookah, but I explained to him that I had a weak system and couldn’t handle drugs. Luckily, he didn’t insist. He talked about America. He laughed and rambled on about his favorite TV shows: The Wonder Years, Miami Vice, and MacGyver. He said the U.S. government was made up of “fanatical crusaders” and that he’d once worked as a mind reader and trained secret agents for the CIA. He even said that he’d had a white, blonde girlfriend back in some state I’d never heard of. He talked about his mother, describing her as something of a feminist. I was bored, but I listened.
Osama kept coming back to Whitney Houston. He asked if I knew her personally when I lived in America. I told him I didn’t. He said that he had a paramount desire for Whitney Houston, and although he claimed music was evil, he spoke of someday spending vast amounts of money to go to America and try to arrange a meeting with the superstar. It didn’t seem impossible to me. He said he wanted to give Whitney Houston a mansion that he owned in a suburb of Khartoum. He explained to me that to possess Whitney he would be willing to break his color rule and make her one of his wives. I tried to hide my outrage at his racist remarks, but it would come to pass that for the entire time that I would be trapped in his palm, Whitney Houston’s was the one name that would be mentioned constantly. How beautiful she is, what a nice smile she has, how truly Islamic she is but is just brainwashed by American culture and her husband—Bobby Brown, whom Osama talked about having killed, as if it were normal to have women’s husbands killed. In his briefcase I would come across photographs of the star, as well as copies of Playboy, but nobody in the West believes me when I tell them this. It’s like they have this totally bogus image of Osama bin Laden. Anyway, it would soon come to the point where I was sick of hearing Whitney Houston’s name.
Later, after he came back from the bathroom, Osama smoked some more marijuana and talked about his children. He said that he’d missed an appointment with his “doctor”—Ayman al-Zawahiri—just to do me.
This takes me back to when Donald Trump slammed President Bush for not being able to find Osama:
“Tell me, how is it possible that we can’t find a guy who’s 6-foot-6 and supposedly needs a dialysis machine?” Trump said. “Can you explain that one to me? We have all our energies focused on one place [i.e. Iraq] – where they shouldn’t be focused.”
These new revelations, if true, add a new dimension to Osama’s profile. Now he’s a 6-foot-6, dialysis-needing, pot-smoking, horny, low-brow American pop culture addict, whose predilection for cheap-ass TV action shows like MacGyver and Miami Vice ought to tell us everything we need to know about his strategic imagination.
But back to Whitney. I believe in homeland security, but I also believe that the Department of Justice sells itself short by infringing personal freedom via the Patriot Act just to conduct surveillance on a 79-year old Quaker grandmother. If it’s going to infringe personal freedom, why doesn’t it do something really definitive and constructive, like kidnapping Whitney Houston and offering her up to Osama in an effort to begin a diplomatic dialogue, or as part of a plan to locate and capture him. Either outcome would probably be worth it — and at the very least Americans who value their privacy and individuality would have the warm feeling inside that comes from knowing that the government is doing everything it can to give a has-been diva the chance to play a useful role in society.
In the meantime, somebody should be trying to figure out what Osama thinks of Britney Spears, because a two-fer might even go further with the guy — and, possibly, with us, too.