FEAR FACTOR. With the American people now soured on the war in Iraq, President George W. Bush today turned his attention to the subject of military tribunals for terrorism suspects, demanding that Congress legislate just what rights are to be granted to evil-doers like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, believed to be the mastermind of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, in those tribunals.

A June Supreme Court decision had left it to Congress to determine the shape of these tribunals, and now on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, and with the midterm elections looming, the president is once again playing the fear card (as well as the patriotism card), using an East Room address to dare Congress to grant rights to 14 detainees that the administration names as party to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

--Adele M. Stan