Military officials are backing off previous claims that we'd get bin Laden this year. The AP
The U.S. military pulled back Saturday from an earlier prediction that Osama bin Laden would be captured this year, even while preparing its largest force to date for operations along the Pakistani border where the al-Qaida chief is suspected to be hiding.
Oh well, not like it was important anyways...
Catching bin Laden and other top fugitives remains a priority of the expanding American operation in Afghanistan, a spokesman said, but the growing mission is "not about just one or two people," a spokesman said.
"We remain committed to catching these guys. It's pretty much ... just about everything that we do here," Lt. Col. Matthew Beevers said.
But he declined to make any new predictions of when the fugitives might be behind bars.
Beevers insisted the military in Afghanistan was "still confident" of capturing its top targets, but added: "At the end of the day, it's not about just one or two people. It's about ... ensuring that there is stability and security throughout Afghanistan."
Expert Bushologists know that his standard operating position is to lower expectations, and then exceed them. So put on your tinfoil hat for this one...
Those remarks, and talk of a spring offensive in Afghanistan by Washington defense officials, triggered speculation bin Laden had been located.
But now the military has followed Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's lead in appearing to lower expectations that a top fugitive would be unveiled during an election campaign in both the United States and Afghanistan.
"Close doesn't count," Rumsfeld said as he stood alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai during a February visit to Kabul. "I suspect that we'll find that it is accomplished at some point in the future, but I wouldn't have any idea when."