Meanwhile, over at the Culture Dump message boards, McMahon just posted reports from the Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency and the state-run Pashtun radio service regarding the capture of Osama bin Laden being the reason for Donald Rumsfeld's trip last week to Pakistan.
Citing a "very reliable" source, Pashtun said, "The capture of the al-Qaida leader has been made sometime before, but (US President George W.) Bush is intending to announce it when the American presidential election is held."
If the reports are true- and I have my reservations as to their veracity- then the Bush administration would be pulling what I have dubbed a "Reagan's first inaugural." This refers to the release of the embassy hostages from Iran about two hours after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President in 1981. Five years later, this was the foundation for the Iran contra scandal. Investigators alleged that the Reagan campaign camp promised arms to the Irani government if they released the hostages, but waited until Reagan was actually sworn in to seal the agreement.
Liberal conspiracy theorists will have a field day with the Pashtun report since any conservative transgression is a wound they never allow to scab over and heal. However, it would be fit the dirty trick m.o. of the Bush administration to wait for an opportune moment to spring the news. Remember, Saddam was captured over the Christmas holiday as sort of a gift from the President to the country. "We haven't found WMD's, but we found the guy we claimed had them." If Osama bin Laden has been captured and the Bush administration sits on this for months, only breaking the news as a means to boost approval ratings, it should be considered a criminal offense.
If credible media outlets start investigating this and find some credence in the Pashtun and IRNA reports, it could force Bush's hand before he's willing. Nothing better could seal his reelection than to show the country that he's captured the "face of evil" on the eve of the election. I, for one, am hoping that if Osama hasn't been captured he's found seclusion in the deepest cave he can find, coming out on the eve of election to say, "Neener, neener, neener!"