The Washington Post has the story, and they really bury the lead:
Intelligence officials think that bin Laden is hiding in the northern reaches of the autonomous tribal region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. This calculation is based largely on a lack of activity elsewhere and on other intelligence, including a videotape, obtained exclusively by the CIA and not previously reported, that shows bin Laden walking on a trail toward Pakistan at the end of the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, when U.S. forces came close but failed to capture him.We had bin Laden, the most deservedly hated man in American history, and we let him get away because we diverted troops to prepare for the invasion of Iraq - a war of choice that had nothing to do with 9/11, protecting us from weapons of mass destruction, or spreading democracy to the Arab world. This Administration is not interested in fighting a smart war on terror - they are only interested in getting elected. Theirs is a long record of failure, and is five years of failure enough? If you think they're headed in the right direction, vote Republican. If you think we need a new direction so that we can get some results, vote Democratic.
On the videotape obtained by the CIA, bin Laden is seen confidently instructing his party how to dig holes in the ground to lie in undetected at night. A bomb dropped by a U.S. aircraft can be seen exploding in the distance. "We were there last night," bin Laden says without much concern in his voice. He was in or headed toward Pakistan, counterterrorism officials think.
That was December 2001. Only two months later, Bush decided to pull out most of the special operations troops and their CIA counterparts in the paramilitary division that were leading the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for war in Iraq, said Flynt L. Leverett, then an expert on the Middle East at the National Security Council.
"I was appalled when I learned about it," said Leverett, who has become an outspoken critic of the administration's counterterrorism policy. "I don't know of anyone who thought it was a good idea. It's very likely that bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn't done that."Several officers confirmed that the number of special operations troops was reduced in March 2001