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US Passed Up Chance To Bomb Taliban Leaders

From the New York Post:

Funeral ceremony at a Kabul cemetery.

Taliban Gets Bury Lucky

By IAN BISHOP

September 13, 2006 — WASHINGTON – Taliban terror leaders who had gathered for a funeral – and were secretly being watched by an eye-in-the-sky American drone – dodged assassination because U.S. rules of engagement bar attacks in cemeteries, according to a shocking report.

U.S. intelligence officers in Afghanistan are still fuming about the recent lost opportunity for an easy kill of Taliban honchos packed in tight formation for the burial, NBC News reported.

The unmanned airplane, circling undetected high overhead, fed a continuous satellite feed of the juicy target to officers on the ground.

"We were so excited. I came rushing in with the picture," one U.S. Army officer told NBC.

But that excitement quickly turned to gut-wrenching frustration because the rules of engagement on the ground in Afghanistan blocked the U.S. from mounting a missile or bomb strike in a cemetery, according to the report…

Agonizingly, Army officers could do nothing but watch the pictures being fed back from the drone as the Taliban splintered into tiny groups – too small to effectively target with the drone – and headed back to their mountainside hideouts.

Military experts told The Post that rules of engagement are constantly adjusted on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, depending on the severity of the threat posed by the enemy…

Of course if this had happened during the Clinton administration we would have never heard anything about it.

In fact, there is no sign of this story on the wire services or via Google News. (Just the latest articles about the most recent suicide bombers blowing up funerals.)

Besides, this doesn’t fit our media’s portrayal of our troops as wanton bloodthirsty killers who especially target weddings and other tender social events.

  Update!

Here is a US military photo that Kerry Sanders, the NBC reporter who first reported this, says shows the Taliban attending the funeral:

Pred_picture_rq_060909_c

So it looks like the Taliban can organize a one car funeral.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 13th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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