Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Just a Thought: Reading Mark Bowden's fascinating article in the Atlantic on torture and coercion tactics, and specifically their place in the terror war, I stopped at a passage in which Bowden mentions how many terrorists (particularly Khalid Sheikh Mohamed) were declared "captured" long after the actual apprehension (to keep their underlings from cutting bait, presumably). I thought, What if George Bush has the ultimate October surprise in store? Namely, Saddam -- or his head on a stick anyway. Of course, October is a long time from now. If you had Saddam secretly in custody (perhaps coerced into making his scratchy "jihad" tapes in support of the flypaper strategy), when would you let the cat out of the bag? If I took Howard Dean seriously as a candidate, which Karl Rove must be increasingly inclined to do, I might pull the old goat out right around the NH primary, blunting the publicity coup Dean will pick up with a victory there and implicitly reminding America that Dean was against the war.

Far-fetched, to be sure, but you know Bush and Co. would love to have that ace (of spades, no less) up their sleeve.

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