Nearing Bin Laden?

Are American forces truly getting any closer to finding Osama bin Laden? Two weeks ago, Lieut. Colonel Bryan Hilferty, U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, raised hopes when he boldly announced he was "sure" bin Laden would be captured by the end of the year. His statement also prompted the inevitable speculation during an election year that the Bush Administration was somehow trying to orchestrate an October surprise: namely, the capture of the terrorist mastermind just before voters go to the polls in November.

In fact, military sources in Afghanistan tell TIME, Hilferty's statement was not based on concrete new information. But...

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