Al Qaeda is a CIA funded terrorist organization and bin Laden is one of their rats.
I would put it slightly differently.
Al Qaeda is a CIA database, which includes the name Bin Laden, in one of it's fields.
The reason why people make such a big thing about the beard, is that some sources claim Bin Laden has been dead for some time now. How does a dead man make videos?
Bin Laden videos are shown in the media, to encourage the idea that the war in Afghanistan is worthwhile. They are not going to say the war is needed because of the drugs and oil coming from the country. They are not going to say that the drugs coming from there, were virtually stopped by the Taliban, just before the war. They are not going to point out, that the drugs being grown there are at a record high now (excuse the pun lol). They are also not going to say that the US economy has only lasted as long as it has because it is boosted by drug money.
From The Wilderness: Information on Peak Oil, Sustainablility, and the events surrounding 9/11