On Wednesday the White House released a list of the books, articles and other documents that were found among Osama bin Laden’s belongings after U.S. Navy SEALs killed him in May 2011. The al-Qaida founder was shot in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, to which he had been traced.

One of the readings included in the list, which the Obama administration labeled “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf,” was a 2005 Los Angeles Times op-ed column titled “Is Al Qaeda Just a Bush Boogeyman?” The article was penned by Robert Scheer, now the editor-in-chief of Truthdig.

The L.A. Times pulled up the piece from its archives following the White House’s dispatch on Wednesday. Here’s an excerpt:

The fact is, despite the efforts of several government commissions and a vast army of investigators, we still do not have a credible narrative of a “war on terror” that is being fought in the shadows.

Consider, for example, that neither the 9/11 commission nor any court of law has been able to directly take evidence from the key post-9/11 terror detainees held by the United States. Everything we know comes from two sides that both have a great stake in exaggerating the threat posed by Al Qaeda: the terrorists themselves and the military and intelligence agencies that have a vested interest in maintaining the facade of an overwhelmingly dangerous enemy.

When Scheer got wind of the news about his story figuring into bin Laden’s final chapter, he quipped, “At least someone was reading my column.”

On a more serious note, he said he stands by what he wrote, as “the rise of ISIS in opposition to al-Qaida confirms the point of the column, which is that we did not face a monolithic terrorist entity.”

Peruse the contents of “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf” in full here.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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