May 21, 2003

Reno Strikes Again

Was Janet Reno the worst AG we have ever had, or what?

Jack Cloonan, a former FBI agent who is now an ABCNEWS consultant, said that federal agents seeking bin Laden had developed a plan to have a plane fly in and attack a compound in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where the terror leader was believed to have been holed up back in 1998--three years before the devastating attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But when the plan went up the chain of command for approval, it was killed by then-Attorney General Janet Reno.

"They came to the decision that this plan was probably too dangerous, that the loss of life on the ground would have been significant," Cloonan said. There was concern that people around the bin Laden compound would be killed."

This also underscores a key difference between the Clinton and Bush approaches to terrorism: sending in the FBI to arrest bin Laden is treating the situation from a law enforcement perspective. The Bush "War on Terror" is the more appropriate approach, I would argue.

Source: Plan to Catch Bin Laden Was Called Off

Posted by Steven Taylor at May 21, 2003 10:37 AM | TrackBack

Especially ironic since Reno treated law enforcement problems like military ones, as in Waco, Ruby Ridge, and Elian Gonzalez.

Posted by: James Joyner at May 21, 2003 10:42 AM

No joke.

Posted by: Steven at May 21, 2003 10:45 AM

Actually, not Ruby Ridge--which happened before she took office. It does seem very Janet Reno, though.

Posted by: James Joyner at May 21, 2003 11:20 AM

Let's not forget the first WTC bombing, in which the Clinton Administration sought out only the specific guys involved, tried and convicted them, and then smugly thought "case closed".

Posted by: Nick at May 21, 2003 11:39 AM

Dumb thing is that, given what we know about bin Laden, the people around the bin Laden compound were also likely to be people we wanted killed too. The guy doesn't hang out in baby milk factories... or does he?

Posted by: John Lemon at May 21, 2003 11:58 AM
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