A new "hard-hitting" video released today by the Democratic National Committee slams Bush's "new found interest" in Osama bin Laden on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and two months before the mid-term elections, after "years of hardly mentioning" the al Qaeda leader.
The video shows the "Bush Administration's willingness to use fear and smear tactics to gain political advantage in a tough election year," according to a DNC press release.
"Specifically, after years of hardly mentioning Osama bin Laden, saying that 'he wasn't that concerned about him,' and closing down the CIA office charged with his capture, President Bush seemed to have a new found interest, citing the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks seventeen different times in a speech this week," the press release continues.
Mark Paustenbach, Deputy Press Secretary for the DNC, told RAW STORY that the video, for now, would be a web-only release, and that there were no plans to use it for any future fund-raising purposes.
'Bin Laden been missing'
The video opens with white words superimposed on a black screen, "In 2001, Bush said he would get bin Laden," as driving electronic music plays in the background.
Footage from September 17, 2001 is then shown with the president saying, "And there's an old poster out west, as I recall, that said, "Wanted: Dead or Alive."
"But only 6 months later, Bush was not 'concerned,'" say words that fill the screen.
"And I don't know where he is," Bush is shown saying back on March 13, 2002. "I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."
The video then shows a quick segment from an MSNBC Hardball report this past July about the Central Intelligence Agency's "shut down" of the unit that focused on hunting down "public enemy #1" Osama bin Laden.
("The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to reinstate a special CIA unit hunting for Osama bin Laden as it passed a $469 billion Pentagon funding bill," Reuters reported today. "Senators unanimously backed an amendment pushed by Democrats to add $200 million to reinstate an intelligence team dedicated to finding bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader behind the September 11 attacks.")
Quick edits then show President Bush repeating Osama's name seventeen times during a speech he gave on Wednesday, six days before the five year anniversary of 9/11.
"So is it really a Bush Administration priority, or just another way to scare voters before a tough election?" the video asks at the end.
Yesterday, Al Jazeera aired a previously unreleased video shot some time over five years ago which purportedly showed Osama bin Laden plotting the 9/11 attacks with former lieutenant Mohammed Atef and Ramzi Binalshibh. Atef was killed five years ago in a U.S. launched air strike, while Binalshibh was captured in 2002 and detained in a CIA "secret prison" somewhere outside the United States before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay on Wednesday.
"Faced with tough prospects this November, the Bush Administration seems to have found a new interest in making sure the American people remember Osama bin Laden," said DNC Press Secretary Stacie Paxton in the press release. "What it actually reminds people is that five years after 9/11, Osama bin Laden is still on the loose, making video tapes and plotting against America because the Bush Administration has failed to capture him."
"Democrats offer a new direction in fighting the war on terror," continued Paxton. "We want to aggressively fight the war on terror, capture Osama bin Laden and hunt down the terrorists where they are so we can keep Americans safe at home and around the world."