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Commentary: Will U.S. find bin Laden?

  • Story Highlights
  • Brown: Bush the cowboy made a pledge to the American people
  • But as he leaves office, the job is left undone, she says
  • Now, Brown says, there are warnings things in Afghanistan are going to get ugly
  • Meanwhile, bin Laden is promising more terror, Brown says
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Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Wednesday night's broadcast.

CNN's Campbell Brown says President Bush is now a chastened cowboy.

CNN's Campbell Brown says President Bush is now a chastened cowboy.

(CNN) -- It was one of the best known lines President Bush ever uttered. Just a few months after the September 11 attacks, who can forget what he said about catching Osama bin Laden:

President Bush: I don't care, dead or alive either way. I mean I uh, it doesn't matter to me. Secondly, I don't know if we're gonna get him tomorrow or a month from now, or a year from now, but we're gonna get him.

That was Bush the cowboy with a pledge to the American people. At the time, it felt as though there was no bigger priority. But it's now eight years later. Listen to President Bush talk about bin Laden now, at the end of his presidency, a chastened cowboy at best:

Larry King: ...Are we ever, ever going to find bin Laden?

Bush: Yes, of course. Absolutely.

King: You are confident, based on --

Bush: Because we have a lot of people looking for him, a lot of assets out there. He can't run forever. Just like the people who allegedly were involved in the East African bombings, couple of them were brought to justice recently.

King: Did we ever come close?

Bush: I don't know. I can't answer that.

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King: You don't know.

Bush: I really don't know. I'm not trying to hide anything.

You would think that of all people, he would be able to answer that question.

So looking ahead -- well frankly, the view seems pretty grim.

Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham are just back from a Middle East tour, including visits to Iraq and Afghanistan.

They are giving President-elect Barack Obama a dire warning -- the fight in Afghanistan is about to get ugly.

This comes as Osama bin Laden's first recording in eight months promises new terror, no matter the changes in the White House.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Campbell Brown.

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