This article from the New York Post will pop the blood pressure cuff right off your bicep:
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.
Pentagon officials declined comment and referred The Post to Central Command officers in Afghanistan, who did not respond to a request for comment or explanation.
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.
Read the rest of the story at the link. Democrats introduced a motion today requesting that President Bush fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for incompetence. In light of this New York Post story even Republican congresspersons are going to find it hard not to vote for it. One wonders how many American kids are going to die because somebody thought it just wasn't proper in the midst of a war to kill terrorists in a cemetery, of all places. If these Taliban cutthroats had all been gathered in a soccer stadium surrounded by live civilians the military would have pulled the trigger and chalked the civilian casualties up to unfortunate collateral damage, but we dare not take them out if they're surrounded by dead people. That would be uncivilized.
Here's a picture of the Post's front page showing a picture taken from the Predator drone of the ranks and files of the Taliban leadership all lined up like ducks in a row. Looks like several hundred of them. Perhaps they're engaged in a prayer of thanksgiving to Allah that the American officer who has to decide whether to unleash a missile on them was busy spinning the propeller on his beanie.