No mention of Bin Laden
WASHINGTON DC: In an interview a few hours ago with Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff revealed two interesting facts: that he is "comfortable" with the status of Pakistan's nukes - "they are in safe hands," he told me, with people "professionally and specifically focused on this".
And secondly, that Osama Bin Laden is now so unimportant, or so low down a list heavy with other concerns, that he did not even get a mention when Admiral Mullen held talks in Pakistan a few days ago.
Not mentioned? That is what he told me. America's senior soldier, holding meetings close to where the nation's top enemy is located and nobody mentions his name? Truly the world has moved on...
UPDATE: An add to those thoughts... The admiral's office (keen blog readers!) call to point out that he himself does not regard Bin Laden as unimportant - of course - the question of his importance or lack of it was posed by me, and the admiral made it clear he is still a high priority.
In fact, I asked whether the trail had gone cold and the admiral said No. But my point is that the whole Wanted Dead or Alive thing, which so dominated the early days of the hunt (in fact that very phrase "the hunt for Bin Laden" sounds rather quaint now doesn’t it?) is no longer something that takes up the time of senior people.
My colleague Matt Frei interviewed President Bush a few hours ago and neither mentioned Bin Laden: he has disappeared mentally as well as physically...