If you haven’t yet read Rich’s column today, do. His argument—that we had to kill Bin Laden rather than capture him in order to avoid the legal complications—is backed up by today’s New York Times story about how the administration prepared for the operation. The story includes this gem:
In revealing additional details about planning for the mission, senior officials also said that two teams of specialists were on standby: One to bury Bin Laden if he was killed, and a second composed of lawyers, interrogators and translators in case he was captured alive. That team was set to meet aboard a Navy ship, most likely the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea.
I suppose lawyers are listed first there just by coincidence, but we should probably be grateful we didn’t need to find out.
Gabe Schoenfeld offers some perspective on the lawyering up of our military in the spring issue of National Affairs.