From the comments at HuffPo:
Bush uses the spector of bin-Laden just as elections approach in order to manipulate the public's emotions. One moment bin-Laden is a wanted man (dead or alive). The next he is disappears from the scene (still lurking around in the subconscious) ready to be brought out when votes are needed. bin-laden is truly an enemy and should be captured or killed. But for Bush, bin-Laden is more useful as a political prop. Check out the following:From the same comments:
Bush -- (September 17, 2001)
I want justice. There's an old poster out west, as I recall, that said, "Wanted: Dead or Alive."
Bush -- (March 13, 2002)
[bin Laden] is -- as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide -- if, in fact, he's hiding at all. So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you.
Bush -- (October 13, 2004 debate with John Kerry)
KERRY: When the president had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, he took his focus off of them, outsourced the job to Afghan warlords, and Osama bin Laden escaped.
Six months after he said Osama bin Laden must be caught dead or alive, this president was asked, Where is Osama bin Laden? He said, I don't know. I don't really think about him very much. I'm not that concerned.
We need a president who stays deadly focused on the real war on terror.
SCHIEFFER: Mr. President?
BUSH: Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations.
Of course we're worried about Osama bin Laden. We're on the hunt after Osama bin Laden. We're using every asset at our disposal to get Osama bin Laden.
Bush -- (January 25, 2006)
All I would ask them to do is listen to the words of Osama bin Laden and take him seriously. When he says he's going to hurt the American people again, or try to, he means it. I take it seriously, and the people of NSA take it seriously.
July 3, 2006 · Nearly five years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Osama Bin Laden is still a free man. U.S. officials are not sure where he is, although it has long been assumed that he is hiding in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. Although the U.S. government says the hunt is still on, the CIA recently closed its Bin Laden unit.
Bush -- (September 5, 2006)
"Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is: Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say?" Bush said, adding that "we're taking the words of the enemy seriously."
Great article by Arianna. Even better post by Gandhi...Well, shucks! Was it something I said?
Ghandi and several other of the bloggers messages have been spot on...
Let us hope that the US media follow Bush's lead and finally allow themselves to report on what Bin Laden has said.
It could be quite interesting. We might even get back to a missed opportunity post-9/11: Bin Laden's major motivation for the 9/11 attacks was the imperialistic US presence in the Middle East, particularly their support of repressive regimes.
Rather than acknowledging this as a justifiable grievance, however, the USA ignored it. Since then, they have pursed the same policies (with a new spin, of course) and Bin Laden's fundamentalist anti-US support has only grown.