Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes appeared on Fox this morning to discuss his recent meeting with President Bush in the Oval Office. The key takeaway for Barnes was that “bin Laden doesn’t fit with the administration’s strategy for combating terrorism.” Barnes said that Bush told him capturing bin Laden is “not a top priority use of American resources.” Watch it.
Bush’s priorities have always been skewed. Just months after declaring he wanted bin Laden “dead or alive,” Bush said, “I truly am not that concerned about him.” Turning his attention away from bin Laden, Bush trained his focus on Iraq — a country he now admits had “nothing” to do with 9/11.
Capturing bin Laden, as Rep. Nancy Pelosi recently pointed out, will not necessarily make America safer because it would come five years too late. Yet, capturing or killing the man responsible for 9/11 should remain a high priority.
More from The Carpetbagger Report.
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.