One of the left’s conspiracy theories holds that Osama bin Laden is already in custody and that his capture (or death) will be announced just before the election. This one even gets the occasional wink on Leno. I haver never seen this one as a particularly ‘good’ strategy for the administration. I believe that, had they captured bin Laden or had proof of a kill, that they would have announced immediately.
To me, an item in The New Republic Online has much more credibility. The article states that, as the President’s poling numbers on the war on terror have deteriorated, the administration has increased pressure on Pakistan to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, his deputy Aymen Al Zawahari, or Mullah Omar—all believed to be hiding in Pakistan’s tribal region. Although the administration denies that its war on terror is tied to the election cycle, sources within Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence Agency (ISI) say that Pakistan has been told that killing or capturing a high-value target before the election—better yet during the Democratic convention—would be highly desirable. Gotta love those photo-ops.
The administration would have better polling numbers had they at least put in a U.S. blocking force at Tora Bora, and later put in sufficient force in Afghanistan and finished the job there rather than invading Iraq.