Now that it seems that we may be coming down to the wire in our hunt for bin Laden (see post below) this historical note is worth contemplating.
Steve Coll writes a must-read story in the Washington Post about how the Clinton administration tried to handle the search for bin Laden as a law enforcement problem. Many things are clarified: the paralyzing disputes, the lawyers (and Janet Reno), the CIA’s demand that it get a written authorization from Clinton, and so on. Once told in full, it will make for a messy story. Read the story. I should also note that while I am all in favor of getting bin Laden, inclding killing him, I am not opposed to capturing him--for intelligence purposes--but I am opposed to treating this as a law enforcement issue.