But strategically, it looks even better:
The coverup of the CIA's 9/11 report- which unlike the "other" one, actually assigns blame- is going to be the "My Pet Goat" moment for Bush.
Oct. 20, 2004 | It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.
"It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed," an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that "the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward."
When I asked about the report, Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said she and committee chairman Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., sent a letter 14 days ago asking for it to be delivered. "We believe that the CIA has been told not to distribute the report," she said. "We are very concerned."
According to the intelligence official, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity, release of the report, which represents an exhaustive 17-month investigation by an 11-member team within the agency, has been "stalled." First by acting CIA director John McLaughlin and now by Porter J. Goss, the former Republican House member (and chairman of the Intelligence Committee) who recently was appointed CIA chief by President Bush.
The official stressed that the report was more blunt and more specific than the earlier bipartisan reports produced by the Bush-appointed Sept. 11 commission and Congress.
"What all the other reports on 9/11 did not do is point the finger at individuals, and give the how and what of their responsibility. This report does that," said the intelligence official. "The report found very senior-level officials responsible."
By law, the only legitimate reason the CIA director has for holding back such a report is national security. Yet neither Goss nor McLaughlin has invoked national security as an explanation for not delivering the report to Congress.
So, clearly it's a coverup. This is the next sinker issue for Bush (after the draft, social security, the vaccine scandal, ...)
In other good strategic news, Kerry's signaled that even if the Repubs try to re-steal the election, Kerry will be on duty.
WASHINGTON - Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites), bracing for a potential fight over election results, will not hesitate to declare victory Nov. 2 and defend it, advisers say. He also will be prepared to name a national security team before knowing whether he's secured the presidency.
In short, the Democratic presidential candidate has a simple strategy for Nov. 3 and beyond: Do not repeat Al Gore (news - web sites)'s mistakes.
"The first thing we will do is make sure everybody has an opportunity to vote and every vote is counted," said Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter. "We will be ready to hit the ground running and begin a fresh start in this country, given that so many critical issues are before us."
The prospects for another contested election loom with every poll showing the race neck and neck.
Six so-called "SWAT teams" of lawyers and political operatives will be situated around the country with fueled-up jets awaiting Kerry's orders to speed to a battleground state. The teams have been told to be ready to fly on the evening of the election to begin mounting legal and political fights. Every battleground state will have a SWAT team within an hour of its borders.
The Kerry campaign has recount office space in every battleground state, with plans so detailed they include the number of staplers and coffee machines needed to mount legal challenges.
"Right now, we have 10,000 lawyers out in the battleground states on Election Day, and that number is growing by the day," said Michael Whouley, a Kerry confidant who is running election operations at the Democratic National Committee (news - web sites).
Meanwhile freepers are in deep, deep denial,...actually giving credence to Gallup polls that were off so much previously.
This is going to hurt them I suspect, when it's a Kerry landslide...