QUESTIONING THE TIMING
Were they putting off dealing with the cases of these guys for so long just so they could use their trials to give Junior's administration a big dramatic finish?
Military prosecutors are in the final phases of preparing the first sweeping case against suspected conspirators in the plot that led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, and drew the United States into war, people who have been briefed on the case said.
The charges, to be filed in the military commission system at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, would involve as many as six detainees held at the detention camp, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the former senior aide to Osama bin Laden, who has said he was the principal planner of the plot.
The case could begin to fulfill a longtime goal of the Bush administration: establishing culpability for the terrorist attacks of 2001. It could also help the administration make its case that some detainees at Guantanamo, where 275 men remain, would pose a threat if they are not held at Guantanamo or elsewhere. Officials have long said that a half-dozen men held at Guantanamo played essential roles in the plot directed by Mr. Mohammed, from would-be hijackers to financiers....
This is also intended to be an ongoing McCain campaign rally, meant to fire up the base (and it would have been a Giuliani rally or Romney rally or Thompson rally if things had worked out that way). Even legal setbacks --
Lawyers have said that two of those are men whose treatment in American hands would inevitably be a focus of defense lawyers in their cases.
One of them, Mr. Mohammed, known as KSM, was subject to the simulated-drowning technique known as waterboarding while in secret C.I.A. custody, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, confirmed this week.
-- will be treated as evidence of the dangers we'll face if those Code Pink/MoveOn Democrats win the White House.
It's all that plus the ego boost of reinforcing the narrative Bush keeps in his head of his own presidency -- "I vanquished the evildoers."