Tomahawk = Lawyer?

Ashcroft on Tuesday:

Mr. Ashcroft said that to the contrary, he personally went to the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, on March 7, 2001, and urged her to scuttle what he characterized as an ineffective policy of the Clinton administration specifying that Mr. bin Laden had to be captured, and only in a way that lawyers would approve.

Even if they could have penetrated bin Laden’s training camp, they would have needed a battery of attorneys to approve the capture,” Mr. Ashcroft said sarcastically.

CNN, 8/20/1998:

American cruise missiles pounded sites in Afghanistan and Sudan Thursday in retaliation for the August 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

U.S. officials say the six sites attacked in Afghanistan were part of a network of terrorist compounds near the Pakistani border that housed supporters of Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden.

American officials say they have “convincing evidence” that bin Laden, who has been given shelter by Afghanistan’s Islamic rulers, was involved in the bombings of the east African embassies.

The president [Bill Clinton] said he ordered the strike against bin Laden and his compatriots because of “compelling information they were planning additional terrorist attacks against our citizens and others with the inevitable collateral casualties and .. seeking to acquire chemical weapons and other dangerous weapons.”

… U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen said the goal of the strikes was to disrupt and attempt to destroy the suspected training and support facilities used to train “hundreds, if not thousands, of terrorists.”

“We recognize these strikes will not eliminate the problem,” Cohen said. “But our message is clear. There will be no sanctuary for terrorists and no limit to our resolve to defend American citizens and our interests — our ideals of democracy and law — against these cowardly attacks.”

I can’t figure out how or why, but I suppose this loony conflating of lawyers and cruise missiles somehow means that we can’t defeat the terrorists until and unless we have tort reform.