This matters, mostly because it exposes a new level of cynicism in the Bush Administration. One really has to ask whether the administration actively avoided pulling in big names during politically non-advantageous times.
The New Republic Online: July Surprise?: "Introducing target dates for Al Qaeda captures is a new twist in U.S.-Pakistani counterterrorism relations--according to a recently departed intelligence official, 'no timetable[s]' were discussed in 2002 or 2003--but the November election is apparently bringing a new deadline pressure to the hunt. "
It does suggest that the conspiracy theory that bin Laden is already moldering in a cell, waiting for an October announcement, is probably really just a theory.
Of course, this story will also provide rebuttal ammunition when the administration does hype arrests or killings, and then claims outrage at such a scurrilous and unfounded accusation.