To add interest about Bush's actions,post 9/11:
At nearly every turn, President George W. Bush acted – presumably with incompetence, not complicity – in ways that enabled bin Laden to remain free, and the terrorist leader repaid the favor by surfacing at key political moments to scare the American people back into Bush’s arms.
Although Bush talked tough about getting bin Laden “dead or alive,” he consistently failed to follow through. In November 2001, when bin Laden and his top lieutenants were cornered at the Tora Bora mountain range in eastern Afghanistan, Bush ordered the U.S. military to prematurely pivot toward planning the next war with Iraq.
According to a later Senate Foreign Relations Committee (link at bottom), Bush’s order to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to freshen up the plans for an Iraq invasion literally pulled Gen. Tommy Franks, head of the Central Command, away from planning the assault on Tora Bora.
The White House also rebuffed CIA appeals for the dispatch of 1,000 Marines to cut off bin Laden’s escape routes, the report said. Denied the extra troops to catch bin Laden, U.S. Special Forces couldn’t nab the terrorist leader before he made his getaway to Pakistan. The hunt for bin Laden was soon put on the back burner. As the Washington Post reported on Friday, “A few months after Tora Bora, as part of the preparation for war in Iraq, the Bush administration pulled out many of the Special Operations and CIA forces that had been searching for bin Laden in Afghanistan, according to several U.S officials who served at the time.”
I recommend the Senate Foreign Relations Report. It's fascinating.
It's fairly obvious that Bush was more preoccupied with Iraq than with Bin Laden even after 9/11. Who knows what might have happened if, post 9/11, Bush had focused on capturing Bin Laden instead of worrying about Saddam Hussein? There would have been one war on one front and it might have been won at Tora Bora. So many lives might have been saved.
I supposed, as the old cliche goes, history will be the judge (especially since many of the related documents have not all been released).