Yesterday, President Bush called for war-crime trials for 14 major terror suspects previously being held in secret by the CIA, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, the Al Qaeda operative behind the 9-11 attacks. The president also sent Congress legislation proposing new rules for the commissions that would try the suspects.
Reporter David Sanger's Thursday morning front-page "newsanalysis" displays typical Sangercynicism about Bush's war on terrorism, suggesting the president is trying to "divert voters from the morass of Iraq."
"Mr. Bush had more than one agenda at work when he announced on Wednesday that the country should 'wait no longer' to bring to trial those seized by the C.I.A. and accused of planning the Sept. 11 attacks.
"He is trying to rebuff a Supreme Court that visibly angered him in June when it ruled that his procedures for interrogation and trials violated both the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions.
"And he is trying to divert voters from the morass of Iraq and to revive the emotionally potent question of what powers the president should be able to use to defend the country.
"Mr. Bush must have known that his call for trials would prompt a standing ovation from the relatives of the Sept. 11 victims who were invited to the East Room for the announcement. It did. What he doesn't know for sure is whether the transfer of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other terror suspects will create the pressure on Capitol Hill to give him the legal latitude he says he needs."