Let the games continue

Given that some point in the next few months, the Supreme Court is extremely likely to hand the Bush Administration its third loss (in a row) with respect to issues associated with its warehousing of overwhelmingly innocent men it is holding at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, one continues to be amazed (disappointed but not surprised, actually) at the Bush Administration’s refusal to back down with respect to its favorite gulag. Now, we learn that the Administration intends to use its time machine to pretend that it never tortured anyone, and, relying on magically “clean evidence” obtained by the FBI years after all of the relevant suspects (who have now been moved from CIA torture chambers and dungeons to GTMO) have been abused in ways that would have made Torquemada a bit squeamish, plans on relying on these new and improved and magically certified organic and “clean” confessions to… wait for it… seek the death penalty against half a dozen men.
Notwithstanding the extraordinarily flawed and controversial nature of the kangaroo military commissions that have been made up as it goes along, the Bush Administration presses on with efforts to use yon kangaroo kommissions to impose the death penalty. And the timing of this seems (naturally) designed to sway the electorate at a key moment– or at least, to sway some key portions of it. Specifically, the tactic concerns Obama. Not only is the Democratic front-runner a Black man (and the Republicans will benefit greatly from the Clinton team’s efforts to tell us– falsely– that Obama is himself a Muslim– though he is not) but this announcement seems clearly packaged to convey to us that Sen. Obama is somehow “soft on terror”, because Obama will likely point out that he has “problems” with the Bush Administration’s approach, seeing as it countenances torture and all (whether he announces that he does…or not). Sen. McCain, himself a torture victim, might be vociferously against this as well… but he has already sold his soul just to get the nomination, so I wouldn’t expect much from him on this… and as to Sen. Clinton… just don’t get me started.
And so the Bush Administration goes back to its old tricks of cynical button pushing. The fake terror alerts don’t seem to be working much this cycle. Even the rhetorical bomb throwing re: Iran… isn’t going well. And no one buys that the SurgeTM has been working (other than people who support Republicans, period, facts be damned, i.e. around 30-40% of the electorate)… who, right now, aren’t all that psyched about the once-Sainted John McCain. Sure, he’s campaigning as an almost parody of a psychotic Republican warmongering tax-cutting abortion-banning maniac… but his own party’s people, at least, don’t think he is enough of those things to energetically support him!
And hence, the Bush Administration goes back to the drawing board that one might have expected to engage in, say, in the ’06 cycle, had its heart been in it. We needs us a good public execution, we does. Even if, other than David Hicks’ kangaroo konfession and 9 month sentence notwithstanding, the majority of the GTMO “worst of the worst” have been sent home, 5 are dead (1 of medical neglect, 1 likely of medical neglect and called “suicide”, and three of “asymmetrical warfare” self-hangings)… in six years of holding hundreds, no more than a dozen have ever been formally charged, and none ever tried to verdict (if you can call these kangaroo kommissions “verdicts” in any sense other than the Alice in Wonderland one).
Will enough of the media and the American people buy this outrage anyway for it to serve its ultimate purpose (to wit, undermining Obama’s campaign, either in the primaries or the general, and of course, its other purpose of diverting attention from “the Bush legacy” of leaving bin Laden and Zawahiri and A.Q. central by and large still out there, uncaptured, while instead we are bogged down in Iraq)? One is not particularly optimistic on this point, given the general levels of intelligence and goodwill of many Americans… and most especially, that of their media.
This has been “Let the games continue.”