Just think about it. Think about how they could re-direct the outrage into more of the 'Hate Bush' fuel that has served him so well. Let's face it, the administration has had no successes yet. Not in foreign policy, not in domestic, policy, and not with the economy. This guy is slowly beginning to realize that he can't fix things just by walking into the room. He is also beginning to realize that he did not win the election, but that George W Bush lost the election, even though he was not running.
It is win/win for Obama if KSM is set free, or at least has charges dropped. Obama will take the moral high road in an attempt to grab more of that international 'rock star' love that he craves. It could even spark another apology tour. I can hear it now:
"We Americans need to use this as a teaching moment. By using tactics that terrorists, and every other army in history has used, we have brought this upon ourselves. If only the previous administration had not engaged in the unacceptable treatment of detainees, we would not have to deal with the ugly reality that because of the Bush administration, we are not safe"Perfect! Brilliant! See! Bush didn't keep us safe for the eight years after 9/11, he made it worse, and KSM will be the proof. The intensity of the hate Bush / blame Bush flame has died down to low to be of any help, and so this would be the perfect accelerant to make that fire burn bright once again.
Also, the perceived out reach and act of fairness towards the Muslim world is another reason Obama could see this as a winning strategy. It won't work of course. Just like appeasing Russia by scrubbing missle defense yielded nothing, just like direct talks with Iran have gone nowhere the reality is that the United States will look weaker in the eyes of the world. The world will love him for it. Power is like matter, it is neither created or destroyed. By yielding power to others they make express appreciation, but don't expect favorable treatment for it.
“Guilty as hell, free as a bird—America is a great country”