Osama Bin Laden’s Journal Was Really More of a Diary


With reports that U.S. officials seized Osama bin Laden’s handwritten notes in a bound book with blank pages comes a semantic debate: “journal,” “notebook,” or “diary.” Reports indicate that the pages were filled with ideas and “details of operations,” not unlike anyone else in this world in charge of something or with big dreams, however horrible. (In recent years, many keeping such Moleskines have switched to computers, blogs even, but have you seen this man’s television? Anyway, the U.S. raid gathered 100 flash drives and five computers, too, from the Abbottabad compound where he was killed.) “Bin Laden has long been known to record his thoughts and had been thought to keep a diary,” TIME reports, and Fox called the writings “aspirational.” So, yes, “diary” it is.