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Senator Grassley's Election Forecast: We'll Get bin Laden

The Hill

He doesn't bother to attend secret CIA briefings of his fellow senators because he seldom learns anything he hasn't read in the newspapers, but Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is convinced the U.S. will track down the elusive mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks before November.

"Obviously, he'll be caught between now and the election," Grassley said Monday when asked if he's disappointed that Osama bin Laden hasn't been killed or captured.

"I think they're on his trail now in a way they haven't been all year," Grassley said. "It will happen because we will be able to divert more resources [to hunting down bin Laden]."

Grassley, who's an overwhelming favorite to win a fifth term in November, declined to say why he's so confident that bin Laden will be brought to justice. But it certainly didn't come from one of those secret CIA briefings.

"I think it's legitimate for me to question all of our intelligence information because that I never learned anything from those briefings that I hadn't learned in the newspapers. If they don't know anything more than they're telling us, what's the use of having an intelligence agency, and why bother to brief us?"

Although President Bush's re-election prospects would no doubt be boosted if bin Laden is found, Grassley said Democrats may have a better chance if Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) wins his party's presidential nomination rather than the current front-runner, Sen. John Kerry (Mass.).

" I would say that Senator Kerry is more of a threat than [Howard] Dean but less of a threat than Senator Edwards" because of the latter's strength in the South, he said.

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