or maybe not.
president bush, september 17, 2001:
q: do you want bin laden dead?
bush: i want justice. there's an old poster out west, as i recall, that said, "wanted: dead or alive."
q: do you see this being long-term? you were saying it's long-term, do you see an end, at all?
bush: i think that this is a long-term battle, war. there will be battles. but this is long-term. after all, our mission is not just osama bin laden, the al qaeda organization. our mission is to battle terrorism and to join with freedom loving people.
we are putting together a coalition that is a coalition dedicated to declaring to the world we will do what it takes to find the terrorists, to rout them out and to hold them accountable. and the united states is proud to lead the coalition.
q: are you saying you want him dead or alive, sir? can i interpret —
bush: i just remember, all i'm doing is remembering when i was a kid i remember that they used to put out there in the old west, a wanted poster. it said: "wanted, dead or alive." all i want and america wants him brought to justice. that's what we want.
president bush, march 13, 2002:
q: but don't you believe that the threat that bin laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?
bush: well, as i say, we haven't heard much from him. and i wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. and, again, i don't know where he is. i — i'll repeat what i said. i truly am not that concerned about him. i know he is on the run. i was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. i was concerned about the fact that he was basically running afghanistan and calling the shots for the taliban.
president 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? america and our coalition partners have made our choice. we're taking the words of the enemy seriously. we're on the offensive, and we will not rest, we will not retreat, and we will not withdraw from the fight, until this threat to civilization has been removed.
fred barnes, editor, the weekly standard, september 14, 2006:
host: alright fred, you and a few other journalists were in the oval office with the president, right? and he says catching osama bin laden is not job number one?
barnes: well, he said, look, you can send 100,000 special forces, that’s the figure he used, to the mountains of pakistan and afghanistan and hunt him down, but he just said that’s not a top priority use of american resources. his vision of a war on terror is one that involves intelligence to find out from people, to get tips, to follow them up and break up plots to kill americans before they occur. that’s what happened recently in that case of the planes that were to be blown up by terrorists, we think coming from england, and that’s the top priority. he says, you know, getting osama bin laden is a low priority compared to that.