Imagine that Timothy McVeigh had managed to avoid capture six months after his 1995 murder of 168 innocent people in Oklahoma City. Suppose President Clinton had said that not capturing McVeigh didn't matter very much. Americans would be outraged. Our country can't be safe if would-be terrorists think they can get away with mass murder. The families and friends of the victims would demand justice.
Forward to March 14, 2002, six months after Osama bin Laden murdered 2,750 innocent persons in New York City. President Bush is responding to criticism for having failed to capture bin Laden when he and thousands of al-Qaida fighters had fled to the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan in December 2001. Gen. Tommy Franks had decided not to use American ground troops to surround bin Laden. Instead, he relied on Afghan militias who let bin Laden escape with most of his men. Here is how Bush responded to the criticism: "Terror is bigger than one person. (Bin Laden)'s a person that's now been marginalized." He added: "I truly am not that concerned about him." Never mind justice for the 9-11 survivors. Never mind the perception among would-be terrorists that you can get away with the mass murder of Americans.