U.S. missile strike targeted top AQ leader — even though kids were present

posted at 11:33 pm on June 19, 2007 by Allahpundit

Something must be up because suddenly it’s raining rockets in Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal areas. The attack that killed the kids happened on Sunday; this morning a U.S. drone cashiered a jihadi training camp in Waziristan, killing 32. No word of any leadership targets involved in the latter but NBC leads tonight with a scoop about the former. Contrary to what military spokesmen have said, U.S. intel did know the kids were there when they ordered the strike. But they had a fish on the hook big enough that they couldn’t afford to throw him back.

They may have gotten him, too.

U.S. special operations forces were targeting the leader of al-Qaida in Afghanistan — one of the organization’s top commanders — when they launched an attack against a compound that killed seven children Sunday in Paktika province of eastern Afghanistan, U.S. officials tell NBC News.

According to several officials, and contrary to previous statements, the U.S. military knew there were children at the compound but considered the target of such high value it was worth the risk of potential collateral damage.

Those same officials tell NBC News the target of Sunday’s attack was Abu Laith al Libi, the al-Qaida commander in Afghanistan and a top lieutenant of Osama bin Laden. The sources report that although six sets of remains besides those of the seven children were recovered, it’s not clear whether Abu Laith is among those killed…

Military officials say special operations forces relied on a relatively new weapons system to carry out the attack — High Mobility Artillery Rockets, or HIMARS. The rockets are fired high into the atmosphere from launchers on the ground. Then, on the way down, they are guided to the target by either GPS or lasers. The officials say as many of five of these HIMARS were used in the attack on the compound. It was the same weapons system used recently in the killing of Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban’s military commander…

Military officials told NBC News the al-Qaida leader was considered such a high-value target it was worth the risk that some children might become casualties of the attack.

Libi has been propagandizing since at least 2002, but his profile has risen in the past few months. He appeared in a video in April railing at Iraqi Shiites for conspiring with Americans in Iraq, then appeared in another one a few weeks ago to eulogize Mullah Dadullah, a.k.a. the Taliban Zarqawi. Allegedly he’s one of the top AQ field commanders in Afghanistan, although no one seems to be sure how much of a role he really plays. He was credited with planning the failed suicide bomb attack on Cheney during his visit to Bagram but it’s doubtful that anyone from AQ knew about that or could have acted so quickly even if they had.

I wonder why the sudden splurge in missile attacks, though. Probably a coincidence, but maybe they’re taking that suicide bomber “graduation” video more seriously than I thought.

Update: “We have jumped the shark,” declares a fragile soul at DU.

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Its not like Islamic murderers hide behind civilians, women and children, after all.

They’d never do that, being the honorable warriors that they are.

Come to think of it, there’s nobody better to be near civilians, women and children than a radical Islamic zealot.

/snark off

Good Lt on June 19, 2007 at 11:36 PM

they’re taking that suicide bomber “graduation” video more seriously than I thought.

You’d think they would have nailed that “graduation” ceremony. I mean, it was a clear day and all from what I saw in the pics…

On a related note, if they think we’ll hit them even if they hide near civilians or children, maybe they’ll stop hiding near them.

“The needs of the many….”

reaganaut on June 19, 2007 at 11:41 PM

There is no solution here, other then not shooting, that will satisfy the MSM or the PC public. I’m taking the shot.
Reserve me a nice comfy spot in the Hague.

Limerick on June 19, 2007 at 11:50 PM

Those kids were the children of al-qaeda terrorists, the women were the wives of al-qaeda terrorists, I don’t feel sorry for them. The kids would’ve grown up to be terrorists and the women would’ve kept on spittin’ out more of ‘em. Those kids would have one day tried to kill MY kid, so screw ‘em. I’m sorry that they were brainwashing these kids instead of teaching them right from wrong and sending them to school to get an education, but I’m not sorry that these future terrorists are dead before they could kill anybody who didn’t deserve it. Is that harsh? Oh well, it’s a harsh world, made worse by these koranimals.

MUST READ: “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell

Tony737 on June 19, 2007 at 11:52 PM

Harsh as it may be, it’s not like children found at an Islamist training camp aren’t being raised to serve as tomorrow’s Jihadists. There’s certainly nothing pleasant about killing children, but there’s nothing pleasant about war to begin with, and if one wishes to level blame, one need look no further than their parents.

Meanwhile, I certainly hope this indicates we’ve found the fortitude to go after these people in ways that aren’t restricted by squeamishness. They’ve certainly demonstrated they aren’t squeamish when coming after us.

Blacklake on June 19, 2007 at 11:53 PM

On a related note, if they think we’ll hit them even if they hide near civilians or children, maybe they’ll stop hiding near them.

reaganaut on June 19, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Wishful thinking on your part, I am afraid. That is one of the only weapons they have, they are not going to give it up so easily. Also the track record on how women are treated in muslims countries is not that great.

That said collateral damage is a given but a sad part of war.

F15Mech on June 19, 2007 at 11:56 PM

Tony737 got it right.

csdeven on June 19, 2007 at 11:58 PM

By the way, since nobody’s mentioned specifically yet, the spin on the NBC story is absolutely sickening. From the emphasis you’d think the US was targeting the children, but got a few adults by accident.

Blacklake on June 20, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Once the Islamo Facists leadership realize woman and children human shields are no longer effective they just might quit using that tactict.

Would the Allies hesitated to bomb Hitler’s bunker because they might have been worried Eva Braun might be inside?

Texas Mike on June 20, 2007 at 12:01 AM

They declared tolal war on each of us. Theu have been killing innicent men, women, and children for centuries.

They have sown the wind and now reap the whirlwind.

georgej on June 20, 2007 at 12:04 AM

For anyone wondering, HIMARS is the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

http://www.army-technology.com/projects/himars/

Blacklake on June 20, 2007 at 12:05 AM

These are the people that want to kill OUR children, because they are our children,I say no .It is sad that their children die, but we do not aim at them, and the jihadists leave us no choice if we want our children to survive.

bbz123 on June 20, 2007 at 12:07 AM

Wishful thinking on your part, I am afraid

Yes, I know. It’s just that they seem so politically astute at times. They know what are weakness is, and they know how to exploit it. Trust me, I got out early because of insane rules of engagement, but I was basically saddled with the same ROE for 18 years, it’s nothing new.

As ass backwards as many of them are in some areas, they are remarkably clever in other areas. It’s like getting in a barfight and following the rules of Olympic Boxing – you’ll get your ass kicked every time.

Hopefully the dipsh–s are letting guys take off the gloves now.

reaganaut on June 20, 2007 at 12:07 AM

Would the Allies hesitated to bomb Hitler’s bunker because they might have been worried Eva Braun might be inside?

Not to mention the Goebbels kids.

Blacklake on June 20, 2007 at 12:11 AM

I think I saw this new missile on “Mail Call” (History Channel), it’s quite an improvement over the MLRS of my generation. Go Army!

Tony737 on June 20, 2007 at 12:11 AM

Meanwhile, I certainly hope this indicates we’ve found the fortitude to go after these people in ways that aren’t restricted by squeamishness. They’ve certainly demonstrated they aren’t squeamish when coming after us.

Blacklake on June 19, 2007 at 11:53 PM

Absolutely! This suggests they may have gotten rid of the JAG crowd, or told them to pi$$ off anyway.

….remember the funeral formation?

91Veteran on June 20, 2007 at 12:21 AM

There’s a problem here?

wccawa on June 20, 2007 at 12:26 AM

Its not like Islamic murderers hide behind civilians, women and children, after all.

Yeah, and it’s not like our command to read the fine print on the Geneva Convention (which places the responsibility on the cowards hiding behind the innocents), and blast away, either. It’s about da** time!

smellthecoffee on June 20, 2007 at 12:35 AM

Maybe Musharaf has tacitly agreed, thinking they’d overtake him soon enough. I was perturbed this morning about NATO and Afghani forces having lost a portion of Afghanistan to the Taliban, for now.

Would they not kill our children?

Actually, politically and otherwise, such actions quiet the lefties, the U.N. and those European ninny forums. Targeting and killing terrorists makes it hard to deny there’s a war on terror. Keep at it!

Entelechy on June 20, 2007 at 12:44 AM

even though kids were present

I don’t see a problem with that. One (or two or three or four) less kid that might grow up with a grudge and an AK-47.

infidel4life on June 20, 2007 at 12:56 AM

Notonly do they use them as human shields, and want to make suicide bombers out of them to kill our children, they kill their own children at checkpoints in the back of cars, and kill as many innocent iraqi women and children as they can when they blow up car bombs in the marketplace.

They kill as many as they can, whenever they can, and the more innocent the happier they are about it.

We only kill when a target is there in order to stop them from killing.

Every AQ/insurgent we kill, we save hundreds of lives.

JustTruth101 on June 20, 2007 at 1:03 AM

I am deeply saddened that children were killed in this war, but let’s soberly focus on those responsible for their deaths: the scum terrorists that led them.

Jaibones on June 20, 2007 at 1:04 AM

It’s the target’s fault for mixing with non-combatants.

As this war drags on for decades we’ll see it more and more for the culture war that it is. We’re all gonna have to go medieval to fight these freaks and win.

Mojave Mark on June 20, 2007 at 1:13 AM

But the Muslims respect childhood! They would never do that to American kids!

pat on June 20, 2007 at 2:44 AM

U.S. missile strike targeted top AQ leader — even though kids were present

If the Americans and other free peoples were keeping up with muslim peoples’ birthrates, I wouldn’t have to be pleased when the demographic gap is narrowed in this way. So you see, my turpitude is America’s fault, just like everything else!

Kralizec on June 20, 2007 at 2:57 AM

Contrary to what military spokesmen have said, U.S. intel did know the kids were there when they ordered the strike.

“Children” here equals children of terrorists and future suicide bombers.

This is a very good sign. Perhaps they are finally waking up to the fact that we cannot win a politically correct, sensitive War on Terror.

For example, according to the Washington Post, we had the technology and ability to surreptitiously flood Iraq with certain faulty bomb making equipment so that bombmakers would have the bombs they were making blow up in their faces. This program was nixed because the CIA higher ups were too sensitive. We might hurt children nearby the bombmakers. So we take thousands of casualties in return for our sensitivity. This has got to stop.

januarius on June 20, 2007 at 6:58 AM

These cowards hide among women, children and innocents relying on the civilized not to take them out. On the other hand, they would pile a mountain of children’s bodies to get on the news.

Israel has been fighting this same situation for decades. There’s no way around it. If they are going to use human shields, the USA will do everything in its power to avoid killing children.

War is horrible. Look at the body counts in Germany and Japan when we had to eliminate evil there for the good of mankind.

Hening on June 20, 2007 at 8:01 AM

Januarius, if true, that is frickin’ infuriating!

I also wish we would’ve gotten that ‘gay love’ bomb to work. They all would’ve killed each other for turning gay! hahaha

Tony737 on June 20, 2007 at 8:06 AM

I think we just upped the ante…that will give the other side worry. We start fighting like them and we win by TKO.

right2bright on June 20, 2007 at 8:10 AM

I understand that collateral damage is unavoidable, but this:

We start fighting like them and we win by TKO.

quite frankly, is a ridiculous comment. Do you want to become as savage as our enemy? Do you simply condone actions such as this or do you believe we need to start bombing markets and carpet bombing cities?
Like I said, collateral damage happens in war but we don’t want to become as savage as our enemies.

SouthernDem on June 20, 2007 at 8:42 AM

…the Goebbels kids.

Blacklake on June 20, 2007 at 12:11 AM

Is that a series like The Little Rascals or the beneficiary group of a telethon?

James on June 20, 2007 at 8:42 AM

And democrats and other leaders around the world will be shocked and dismayed. They have to know that they will have no place, no time or no one to hide behind.

tomas on June 20, 2007 at 8:43 AM

Do you want to become as savage as our enemy? Do you simply condone actions such as this or do you believe we need to start bombing markets and carpet bombing cities?

Do you honestly think that both of our current campaigns in this war would’ve lasted this long if we had? Which is more humane in the final analysis…hand-wringing about individual casualties to the point where the war drags on for a decade or more? Or achieving victory quickly, imposing the associated conditions for continued peace, and letting all involved countries rebuild?

James on June 20, 2007 at 8:48 AM

Empathy before enforcement. That is how the problem has been framed by the government and media for the last 50 years, and we fell for it. Good business for everyone. As a society we could claim how forgiving we are while pocketing the profits. Rule of law? Which one? The ones that say ‘send-em-packin’ or the ones that say ‘let-em-stay’? Choose the first one and you are a bigot. Choose the second one and you are a team player. Here, watch this show, and have some fruit, we are taking care of the problem.

Limerick on June 20, 2007 at 8:53 AM

Wrong thread again Limerick. Sorry HA

Limerick on June 20, 2007 at 9:05 AM

U.S. missile strike targeted top AQ leader — even though future jihadists were present

FIXED!

DwnSouthJukin on June 20, 2007 at 9:11 AM

And my Jesus Christ have mercy on their little pagan souls!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on June 20, 2007 at 9:12 AM

James on June 20, 2007 at 8:48 AM

I’m not hand wringing over individual casualties – I understand the necessity in this case – I’m arguing against fighting in the same manner as the Islamists, as some here have suggested.

SouthernDem on June 20, 2007 at 9:22 AM

Meh…so there are a few less potential terrorists in the world. I weep not.

Pulchritudinous Patriot on June 20, 2007 at 9:24 AM

Grim at Blackfive said it “best.”

In quotes because it’s a terrible (if necessary) thing to contemplate. But I’ve had that link saved since he wrote it.

hindmost on June 20, 2007 at 9:32 AM

I don’t relish in the thought of their deaths, but we didn’t win the second world war by being humane or nice. I hate that it is coming to that but the world has once again tried to hide from reality.

tomas on June 20, 2007 at 9:36 AM

I’m not hand wringing over individual casualties – I understand the necessity in this case – I’m arguing against fighting in the same manner as the Islamists, as some here have suggested.

SouthernDem on June 20, 2007 at 9:22 AM

We aren’t suggesting that…we aren’t suggesting hijacking airplanes or strapping suicide bombs to our soldiers. We’re suggesting fighting a traditional Clausewitzian war a-la WWII, or at the very least a Warden ‘Centers of Gravity’ war. That the effects may look on the surface to be similar is irrelevant.

James on June 20, 2007 at 9:38 AM

According the to jihadists’ ill-logic, their children who die under such tragic circumstances go directly to Muslim paradise as martyrs.

So, when Palestinian mothers send their kids off to be suicide bombers, they are congratulated.

Thus, I expect Muslims to congratulate us for doing the same favor for their kids.

By their own ill-logic.

profitsbeard on June 20, 2007 at 9:53 AM

Those crazy AQ leaders!

Don’t they know this war would be sooo much easier for us if they would just come out of hiding and stand in an empty field where we could then target and kill subdue negotiate capitulate to them in the most politically correct manner?

Lawrence on June 20, 2007 at 9:55 AM

If it saves just one American life, I say do whatever is necesary and don’t worry about it. It’s time to let the big boys fight the war and send wimps home.

Gooch on June 20, 2007 at 10:32 AM

US targeted AQ leader and seven recruits are confirmed dead. We should do this more often. I have no sympathy for any of them.

kcluva on June 20, 2007 at 10:33 AM

That DU thread is priceless; those people are simply ill-equipped to function in a dangerous world, incapable of responding beyond their own infantile sensibilities.

We not only killed some kids, unfortunately (because scumbags hide amongst them), we’re killing the inner children of pampered leftist squishes.

Kensington on June 20, 2007 at 10:38 AM

SouthernDem on June 20, 2007 at 8:42 AM

Do you want to become as savage as our enemy?

No I want to be 100 times more savage than our enemies, I want us to be so brutal that our enemies piss their pants at the very thought of engaging our troops, I want us to be so savage that our enemies have no will to engage us in any way shape of form. I want us to be so ruthless that our enemies would kill themselves before allowing one of their own to attack us.

doriangrey on June 20, 2007 at 10:41 AM

If they didn’t want thier kids to die by US missles, they shouldn’t have attacked US cities.
We should be a bit more indescriminate in how we deploy our firepower. Remind people of the consequences for supporting our enemies. These people already hate us, its past time for them to fear us.

Iblis on June 20, 2007 at 1:40 PM

Key story here, that many are missing…

MSNBC once again gives political and propoganda help to our enemies, with help from someone in our own government.

We will NOT be defeated by our external enemies… its our internal traitors that I truly worry about.

Romeo13 on June 20, 2007 at 3:18 PM

I guess there are some men left in Washington after all. But then a lot has changed (but not enough, unfortunately) since Clinton didn’t have the guts to pull the trigger on Osama. Hopefully this is a sign of more involvement by the warfighters and less by the politicians.

I don’t follow links to DU or any of the other moonbat fever swamps any more, but somehow I don’t think the wailing of Generation Surrender would surprise me any.

ReubenJCogburn on June 20, 2007 at 4:16 PM

Its not like Islamic murderers hide behind civilians, women and children, after all.

They’d never do that, being the honorable warriors that they are.

Come to think of it, there’s nobody better to be near civilians, women and children than a radical Islamic zealot.

/snark off

Good Lt on June 19, 2007 at 11:36 PM

I recall a saying…something about Good Muslims being Dead Muslims…but I can’t remember the exact words right now….

Tim Burton on June 20, 2007 at 5:31 PM

LOL! DU thinks we are monsters, what do they think of those terrorists foot-soldiers of Mohammed are?

What do they think those children would have grown up to be? Rocket Scientists, Democratic Voters, or Muslim POS terrorists?

Tim Burton on June 20, 2007 at 5:34 PM

Hmmm… just had a thought, what was the AGE of these “children”?

16? 15? 14?… if so, while the West considers these children, they consider them Soldiers…

Romeo13 on June 20, 2007 at 6:51 PM

New rules of engagment. Whoever,Wherever,However. This is the only way we can win against these unconventional battle hardened barbarians. These people have shown they are unscrupulous and beyond insane. They are Satan incarnate. Mass extermination is an option I would consider to eradicate this modern day scourge from the face of the earth. These guys are mighty brave with a hog tied hostage and outnumber him even at that. Without a gang these guys are weak kneed burka wearing punks. Just look at the video of the Cat Meat Mufti when approached by that cameraman and comedian trying to tape his mouth shut. Yeah that dude is the supposed leader of 300,000. The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave aren’t lyrics in our National Anthem for nothing. At least not for me!

sonnyspats1 on June 20, 2007 at 8:11 PM

So, What is the problem here?

robo on June 20, 2007 at 11:32 PM

They know what are weakness is, and they know how to exploit it. Trust me, I got out early because of insane rules of engagement, but I was basically saddled with the same ROE for 18 years, it’s nothing new.

As ass backwards as many of them are in some areas, they are remarkably clever in other areas. It’s like getting in a barfight and following the rules of Olympic Boxing – you’ll get your ass kicked every time.

Hopefully the dipsh–s are letting guys take off the gloves now.

reaganaut on June 20, 2007 at 12:07 AM

I completely agree with the above statement and assessment, especially the fact they (the Jihadis that want us dead) count on us to conduct our war against them in a PC manner, this makes us weak and makes them stronger, they know this and count on it. If we don’t hit them they live on to fight and kill us, if we do hit them and “innocent civilians” are killed in the process then they use it as propaganda and cry to the world about how we are the “true terrorists!”

For our enemy using “innocent civilians” as human shields is an effective tactic but only because we allow it to be effective by holding ourselves to some higher standard of civilized behavior when war is anything but civilized.
I’m not saying we should stoop to their level and start suicide bombing innocent men, women, and children at bus stops, not at all, that’s barbaric, however, as long as we continue to wage this war in a PC manner and allow the politicos to meddle with how the war is being prosecuted by dictating ridiculous PC rules of engagement to our military commanders it only serves to tie our own hands behind our backs and makes it easier for our enemies to defeat us.

If our military had the same rules of engagement during WWII we would all be speaking Japanese of German right now!
I have said this many times to anyone that will listen, YOU DON’T WIN WARS BY BEING PC, WAR IS NOT PC, NEVER HAS BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE!

Our politicos need to take the leash off and allow our military to do what it’s trained to do, kick our enemies ass wherever they are until they unconditionally surrender, then and only then should politics be involved. Any nation that prosecutes a war through the shackles of being PC or politics in anyway will not be victorious and Vietnam is “the proof in the pudding!” It was this type of PC mentality that allowed Bin Laden to go on living when the Clinton Administration had him dead in their sites, it’s no way to run a war let alone win it!

I hope this wasn’t a one time deal and it’s a sign that our government is FINALLY taking the gloves off of our military when it comes to fighting these fanatical butchers! Also, the bottom line is these monsters choose to base their operations among civilian populations and/or have their family with them in their training and operations camps the resulting innocent deaths is their responsibility, not ours, they’re the cowards hiding behind skirts, besides, it’s ok because it is their religious duty!

While I do feel pity for the children that are killed the bottom line is in war they cannot be considered “innocent civilians.” If we change our tactic to not hesitating to hit targets even if “innocent civilians” may be killed and stop worrying about our “image” around the world (they hate us anyway) then we no longer fight with our hands tied behind our backs and our enemies will soon learn that their tactic of conducting military operations from within civilian populations is no longer a “win-win” for them, it will put them in a state of constant fear and put them off balance wondering when the next one is coming, and that’s how it should be!

This includes Mosque’s as well, if they don’t want their Mosque turned to rubble then they better not conduct military operations from it! Seriously, could you imagine what Patton would have said if he were given these ridiculous rules of engagement…he’d probably shoot the messenger right between the eyes, then he’d blow the SH*T out of the Mosque he was being attacked from regardless of who was in it!

We need another Patton…God rest is soul, he’s rolling over in his grave right now seeing how our politicos are prosecuting this war! I say no more safe refuge for our enemy, hit them hard, hit them anywhere, anytime, and often!

Liberty or Death on June 21, 2007 at 1:14 AM

A great result in this case but we shouldn’t get too excited yet. As an Army lawyer I can tell you it is likely just a good result from a very objective balancing test. If the target value is high enough the value of collateral damage is less. That is a principle that will run across the board. Our targeting capability is much greater than it was in WWII and by virtue of that, our hands will seem tied more. It seems realistic to me though to consider these “gentlemen” legit targets wherever and whenever we find them as their modus operandi is to be a radical jihadi in one moment, and then melt into the populus in the next. I agree with most posts here in the hope that we start leaning forward in the foxhole in that regard. It has been my sentiment from the beginning.

warriorlawyer on June 21, 2007 at 10:34 AM

It is mind-numbingly stupid to allow the enemy to use civilians as shields – and the Geneva Convention (as has been mentioned previously) recognizes this.

Sissification has taught us all that we should do ANYTHING to avoid harming civilians, and moral equivocation has led us to the point where we can’t tell the difference between harming people and targeting them.

The enemy hides behind civilians for two reasons – because they don’t draw the same distinctions as we do, and because it works, much of the time.

The only reason they complain about collateral damage is because our press reacts to it – they obviously don’t care much aboutr innocent victims if they strap their kids into bomb-cars to avoid searches and target schools and markets for attacks.

Properly, we don’t TARGET innocents or third-parties. We should also not allow the enemy to use innocents as shields – there is no positive consequence to that action at all.

In both cases, the civilian deaths are the result of the enemy’s actions. To blame us is simply lawyering for the enemy – because if we allow the enemy’s use of civilians as shields to succeed, we simply allow them more time to continue targeted attacks on us – and innocent civilians and third-parties.

Merovign on June 21, 2007 at 2:59 PM

doriangrey on June 20, 2007 at 10:41 AM

A strong show of force is a deterrent to the Kim Jong Il’s of the world. That deterrent saves lives in the long run. When we handicap our military and make them tentative in killing the enemy, it puts more lives at risk, and lowers the threat value of force.

jeffNWV on June 21, 2007 at 4:10 PM

Had to be done. Important targets like this have to be hit or else we risk even more innocent losses in the future. Also, I imagine any kids at this camp were probably learning how to be tomorrows jihad fanatic. Their fate is tragic in two ways really in that they were killed and that they were put in this position in the first place by their fanatical parents.

Yakko77 on June 21, 2007 at 10:20 PM