From G.W. Bush:
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.
But once we set out the policy and started executing the plan, he became -- we shoved him out more and more on the margins. He has no place to train his al Qaeda killers anymore. And if we -- excuse me for a minute -- and if we find a training camp, we'll take care of it. Either we will or our friends will. - White Hosue Press Briefing, March 13, 2002
In a more realistic time, we realized that while Osama bin Laden was a financier and figurehead of Islamic terrorism, he was not its cause. its cause was people in the middle east feeling safe from American military intervention after almost a decade of "don't-get-involved" Clinton.
Killing OBL is good for headlines, and makes the proles happy, but it wasn't what kept us safe.