U.S. Expects Bin Laden Message Near Election
As we race toward Election Day, sources say a number of intelligence analysts have concluded it is critical for al Qaeda's top leader to be seen or heard, if only for public relations purposes. Those analysts believe that if bin Laden is not heard from, he runs the risk of being considered irrelevant or impotent. The U.S. intelligence community has some indication that there is some confusion among Islamic radicals about their leadership.
According to sources, the full weight of the intelligence electronic eavesdropping and human sourcing is right now desperately looking for any hint of a bin Laden statement. So far there is only rumor, no hard evidence a message is coming, officials said.
Well, you know damn good and well that McCain is "desperately looking for any hint of a bin Laden statement". It may be the only 'Hail Mary' that will help him.
Note to McCain: Call Bush. He can get his old family friend Osama to cough something up for you. The last time he did that was for himself, and it worked.
In 2004, bin Laden released a message in the days just before the election. Though some believe that the message affected the outcome in favor of President Bush, exit poll data do not support that notion. Among voters who called the tape "very important" in their vote, Kerry won, 53-47 percent. Among those who called it either very or somewhat important, the vote was 50-50. It was among those who called it unimportant that Bush won, by 56-43 percent.
It helped Bush and hurt Kerry. I'm not sure it would have the same effect on McCain and Obama this time. I hope we don't have to find out.