Monday, June 11, 2007

The Chump

David Ignatius at the Washington Post relates how CIA lawyers nixed a proposal to sabotage detonators so that the bombs detonated in their own hands.

The insurgents who kill our young soldiers are ruthless, but we have sometimes been cautious in our response. Take the question of targeting bomb makers:

There may be an unlimited supply of explosives in Iraq, but there is not an unlimited supply of people who know how to wire the detonators. In 2004, CIA operatives in Iraq believed that they had identified the signatures of 11 bomb makers. They proposed a diabolical -- but potentially effective -- sabotage program that would have flooded Iraq with booby-trapped detonators designed to explode in the bomb makers' hands. But the CIA general counsel's office said no. The lawyers claimed that the agency lacked authority for such an operation, one source recalled.

There are technologies that would allow us to detonate every roadside bomb in Iraq by heating the wires in the detonators to the point that they triggered an explosion. But these systems could severely harm civilians nearby, so we're not using them, either. "In our system, we often are not given credit for the fact that we are very concerned about collateral damage," Meigs said.

Now if only the US would actually get credit for these acts of punctilio or humanity then there would be some recompense for their forbearance. How often is it argued that tne enemy is only responding to American barbarism. If only we had climbed to even higher moral ground! We would conquer by our magnificence. Now consider the case above in point. Do you suppose the enemy is bowled over, morally impressed at the American reluctance to booby trap IED detonators so that bombmakers might not lose their hands without due process? Does anyone think the Guardian or the BBC will write a tearful letter of gratitude to the Central Intelligence Agency. No doubt they will be tearful, but they will be tears of laughter.

Acts of humanity, where appropriate, must be practiced for their own sake. Anyone who thinks he can win the admiration of the enemy or the left has another thing coming.


Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Allowing Lawyers near a war would have for example, nixed D-Day because of collateral damage (which was in fact considerable).

More evidence of the fecklessness, idiocy, and stupidity of the Left, the legal profession, reporters, media people in general, and the Bush Administration who coddles them.

Failure to act decisively will only make the death toll when the enemy is finally fought more gigantic.

More to the point, fight lawyering with lawyering. Sue the lawyers, and out them at least, who deep sixed the idea to save American lives at the expense of the bombers.

Their names should be known to every soldier and marine. Everyone in the world. If they're not ashamed of what they did, why not out them?

6/11/2007 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Renico said...

I suppose the CIA wouldn't like my idea for Guantanamo Bay prisoners, either:

Sedate them and implant a GPS chip deep in their bodies somewhere without leaving a noticeable scar. Then release them.

When they return to their terrorist friends (as many have already been documented doing upon release), lock a cruise missile onto the chip's location and fire.

6/12/2007 02:54:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Renico said...

How did that saying go? "The Left won't be happy until American soldiers are Mirandizing captured enemy soldiers on the battlefield", or something like that.

6/12/2007 03:07:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

___More government at its very best

For those who sometimes wonder why the United States is having such difficulty prosecuting the Global War on Terrorism (or whatever it is called this week), consider the following.

Several days ago, I visited the Military Clothing Store at my local military base (one of the largest in the country), looking to purchase some physical training (PT) gear and suit bags (in which to store service dress and other uniforms). Although I needed five suit bags, the store had only one remaining on the rack. When I inquired as to when the store might restock suit bags, the very friendly young lady at the register informed me that I had probably gotten the last one for the foreseeable future, there being a three year unfilled back-order for same. She then directed me to newly posted signage, indicating that the Military Clothing Store could no longer guarantee the availability of battle dress uniforms (BDUs) and Air Force PT gear.

Please, wrap your head around this: despite spending about $600 billion last fiscal year on national defense, the government of the United States cannot promise the delivery of essential clothing to its troops.

Oh, and the young lady from Military Clothing was kind enough to direct me to Walmart for the additional needed suit bags. Now, if only Walmart could carry a line of USAF PT gear and BDUs.

6/12/2007 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...


Time to disband the CIA for good. It has confirmed its status as no longer just useless, but wholly harmful.

You cannot fight a 4G War with lawyers micro-managing everything you do.

6/12/2007 04:39:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

We have the technology & material we lack the spirit.

The terrorists lack the technology & material but have the spirit.

6/12/2007 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger Buckhead said...

Lawyers are not in charge, really. They give advice to the people in charge, who then make the decision.

The lawyers here should take their well-deserved beating.

But this is a failure of leadership as well.

6/12/2007 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger ErnieG said...

This is just speculation, but I wonder if similar technology might have been involved in some of the Palestinian "work accidents" that have been reported. If so, then the IDF doesn't let the lawyers get in the way of getting the job done.

6/12/2007 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Beyond The Rim... said...

Another reason to get rid of all the lawyers...

6/12/2007 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Maybe we should start sewing some of these detonators into the bindings of law textbooks.

6/12/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

The trick is not to let the lawyers control actions, it is to find a way to do what must be done while taking the lawyers' underlying principles into account and satisfying them. After all, the good that is obtained from the detonation field is a great one for everyone, and it is well worth working past the legal obstacle course to deploying it.

One great place to use a detonation field generator is in the vast minefields of rural Afghanistan. A lot of good press could be gotten from this kind of humanitarian work. Pretty soon, there would be cries to deploy it in Iraq.

I'm assuming there is a range to this detonation field. If the range can be dialed back enough, why not have a robot trundle down the middle of the road in the middle of the night and blow up the IEDs at the forward end of its range?

Or... if the minimum range is too big, why not widely broadcast warnings that people should stay away from IEDs and detonators in the middle of the night while they are all neutralized and perhaps blown up? Run the detonator field between 2 and 3am local time for a week. Is the problem that some evildoers will wrap up children in detonators and blame the damage on the US? Wouldn't even the gormless left see through that?

Once you've already blown up all the cached detonators the only new ones will be brought in-country by jihadists. That means it would be possible to run it at all sorts of odd hours. Provincial and National Border crossings should be equipped with the detonation field generator (always on) as a piece of the standard kit.

The detonation field generator should be installed near the Green Zone outer entrances (always on) as well.

6/12/2007 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Crazy Marzouq Redneck Muslim said...

Me thinks govt is trying for stalemate.

Salaam eleikum.

6/12/2007 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger daledog said...

Jihadists read this and conclude that this is the hand of Allah intervening to bless their efforts. Our forebearance is encouraging their savagry. A smart, patriot kid may read this and decide not to enlist because he will be forced to fight with one hand tied behing his back. Our forebearance is hurting our enlistment efforts. 'The Chump' indeed.

6/12/2007 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Adrian said...

Yeah, the CIA and the PAO people really need to trumpet stuff like this a lot more. But my question is - if the law says the CIA can't do stuff like this, why not change the law so that we CAN do stuff like this?

6/13/2007 02:08:00 PM  

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