Seemingly taunting Osama bin Laden, President George W. Bush's homeland security adviser said the fugitive al-Qaida leader is "virtually impotent" beyond his ability to hide away and spread anti-American propaganda.
The provocative characterization Sunday came just days after bin Laden attracted international attention with the release of a video in which he ridicules Bush about the Iraq war and reminds the world that he has not been captured.
Ahead of the sixth anniversary of the September 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.
In appearances on two Sunday talk shows, she used the "virtually impotent" reference both times, suggesting the language was chosen with careful purpose.
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