Russert dissects Bush's call for military tribunals

Tim Russert appeared on the Today Show to discuss Bush's admission of secret CIA prisons and his sudden call for military tribunals for suspected terrorists. Why Bush would admit the prisons now and call for Congress to quickly pass legislation to give him new powers to bring suspected terrorists to trial are the questions everyone is asking.

The LA Times has an answer:


"When President Bush on Wednesday urged Congress to provide him new legal authority quickly to bring suspected terrorists to trial, he may have answered a political riddle: what issue would Republicans use to sharpen their contrasts with Democrats over national security in the approaching mid-term election.
Bush's push for new legal authority could reshape the legislative landscape on the question of trying terrorists and inject a volatile new dispute into the 2006 election, analysts say."
Josh Marshall expands on this theory:
"It occurred to me a couple days ago that maybe the last Hail Mary pass these jokers in the White House would come up with was engineering a bum's rush October congressional debate on the rules to govern trials of captured enemy combatants and accused terrorists.
"You can pretty much figure how it would work. Come up with a bill that would be pretty much impossible for Democrats to vote for. Maybe the procedure would involve allowing Dick Cheney to evaluate the evidence and determine whether a particular individual was a threat…. In any case, you intentionally write a bill that Democrats can't stomach. Then you figure some Dems just won't be willing to vote against it, so you split those folks off and sow dissension and acrimony in the opposition. Then you cue up the 30 second commercials, customizable for each candidate, 'Terrorists are at our gates and ENTER CANDIDATE NAME HERE voted against President Bush's terrorist punishment bill. We can't trust ENTER CANDIDATE NAME HERE. On November 7th, vote for ENTER GOP CANDIDATE NAME HERE.'"
In this video clip, Tim Russert also has similar thoughts on the Karl Rove-esque political strategy involved.

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