The Obama administration is considering a change in the law for the military commissions at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that would clear the way for detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial.They must not feel confident about getting convictions of the 9/11 five without giving up intel/sources or re-stirring the Pelosi pot. Republicans just came swarming out of a meeting the other day touting the successes of EIT amidst protesting Democrats, who seem to be starring in their own made-for-TV role-reversal reality show based on outrage over intelligence leaks.
The provision could permit military prosecutors to avoid airing the details of brutal interrogation techniques. It could also allow the five detainees who have been charged with the Sept. 11 attacks to achieve their stated goal of pleading guilty to gain what they have called martyrdom.
But is quick death the way to go? Won't that piss off the torture base? Would the specter of an international firing squad or hanging enhance his reboot with the "Muslim world"? Even he can't be arrogant enough to believe one speech has forever tamed the Arab street. Of course he did say America would "stand with those who stand for peace", presumably meaning we won't stand with those who don't, like KSM. But did the audience get that nuance?
Perhaps he feels a hanging could bring some much-needed closure in the War on Terror. Some would obviously enjoy seeing KSM on the end of a rope, well, aside from most of his base and those who think Bushco blew the towers.
But it seems more likely he's running out of time on his own self-imposed political deadline and cannot possibly allow these guys to walk over torture tainted evidence with midterm elections looming. Not only that, but any discovery items that leaked would probably bolster Cheney's contentions about EIT and remind everyone how dangerous these guys really are before they won their freedom. Sounds like this might be a last best option, unless it's a ruse to call KSM's bluff.