Political News & Commentary
Talk Show America 9/10/2007
President Bush's homeland security adviser said Sunday the fugitive al-Qaida leader is "virtually impotent" beyond his ability to hide away and spread anti-American propaganda.
Ahead of the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes, White House aide Frances Fragos Townsend made a clear attempt to diminish the influence—or the perception-of the man who masterminded those attacks.
"This is about the best he can do," Townsend said of bin Laden. "This is a man on a run, from a cave, who's virtually impotent other than these tapes."
"We know that al-Qaida is still determined to attack, and we take it seriously," Townsend said. "But this tape appears to be nothing more than threats. It's propaganda on their part."
Townsend said experts are doing a technical analysis, looking for clues about bin Laden's health and whereabouts.
"There's nothing overtly obvious in the tape that would suggest this is a trigger for an attack," she said.
She emphasized another finding from the intelligence estimate released in July-that worldwide counterterrorism efforts have constrained the ability of al-Qaida to hit the U.S.
"We ought to remember, six years since the tragedy of the September 11th, we haven't seen another attack," Townsend said.
"We are safer than we were in 2001," she said.
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