Wednesday, April 20, 2005

What Should We Have Expected? Submarine Navigation Uncertainty Pales

People who know me laugh about my general disdain for lawyers. If there is a choice, I will not vote for a lawyer (especially those who "hide" their law degrees). There are many very good ones, even a few of my blood relatives. Generally, we have far too many in the U.S. (more than 7 million in our workforce) and that is both parasitic to our economy and paralyzing to our culture. Put lawyers in the command and control loop and we get the same degrading effects on our military. The enemy loves our lawyers and political correctness! Read about the Navy’s unfortunate role (to wit) in the early Afghan war:

As reported by The Los Angeles Times - When Air Force targeters in Afghanistan spotted a Taliban convoy near Kandahar they asked permission to strike. A Pentagon lawyer advised against it, fearing civilians might be killed. The convoy moved forward, allowing the Taliban to reinforce troops faced off against the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance.
A week earlier, it was a lawyer, operating at the right hand of commanding Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who at first advised against firing a missile at a line of jeeps that intelligence officials believed was carrying Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. The lawyer feared the attack might violate a policy against assassinating a head of state.

Or, as reported by the Washington Post, Sunday, November 18, 2001 - As many as 10 times over the last six weeks, the Air Force believed it had top Taliban and al Qaeda members in its cross hairs in Afghanistan but was unable to receive clearance to fire in time to hit them, according to senior Air Force officials.

And the ArabNews - The view of Air Force officials is that Franks frequently was swayed by the excessive doubts of his subordinate intelligence officers and his legal adviser. The Central Command’s top lawyer, or JAG—repeatedly refused to permit strikes even when the targets were unambiguously military in nature, an Air Force officer said. At one point in October, a Taliban military convoy was moving north to reinforce positions facing the front lines of the Northern Alliance, the Afghan rebel army. The JAG, Navy Capt. Shelly Young, declined to approve it on the grounds that ”it might be a trick,” the officer said.

What was the Navy trying to prove? That lawyers are genderless? Capt. Young did what should have been expected by the Navy. What would Ann Coulter, also a lawyer, have done? I think we know...a better job.


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