First of all, the prosecution has been put in an impossible position. They have to get a conviction to avoid massive anger by the public, and they have to do it with a likely uncooperative CIA etc, as the evidence may both make these agencies look bad in the public eye for reasons such as water-boarding etc. as well as the fact that a great deal of the evidence may compromise existing operations and tip off various groups both within the US and terrorist cells overseas. This was one of the reasons given that the one person so far taken to a civilian court over 911 was allowed to walk from a German court. So its quite possible that the agencies with the evidence will not provide it. Other reasons will likely include the fact that this evidence was never collected with the methods standards or intentions of a criminal proceeding. So it most certainly will not make the cut unnecessarily embarrassing all in the process.
It should also be noted that intel agencies have turned on US administrations before. The FBI for instance had a grudge against Nixon and supplied one major US newspaper with a carefully crafted series of leaks which became known as ‘Watergate’.
Some years later, the CIA was displeased with G. W. Bush’s choice on how to conduct the Iraq war and leaked material to the NYT in order to create hostile public sentiment and it worked rather all too well.
I can easily see an environment where the constraints placed on security agencies by the Bush admin, and now being turned against them by the Obama admin, will make them happily take the only logical course open to them.
Refuse to cooperate with the prosecution, allow Mohammed to walk, and see the fastest decline in popularity of a US president in all of history.
As I see it, public perception will be that the refusal to cooperate with the prosecution will be on orders from the white house. People typically see the government as monolithic hence the preponderance of 911 conspiracy theorists. When the prosecution has no decent evidence to convict, and they likely would have had none even if the CIA and so on wished to cooperate, it will be seen as evidence of an administration that does not have American interests as front and centre.
I suspect that the CIA would rather see Khalid walk because he wasn’t read his Miranda rights as opposed to walk after a humiliating 8 month massively public condemnation of the nature and methods of the CIA itself, when it was actually doing its job according to the rules of the previous administration.
Eeyore for Vlad. Nov 17 2009
Please feel free to comment, add corrections or alternate ideas.
Here is a radio interview on point. Description and link below: