As a retired Army officer and a person who works daily with prison inmates, I can tell you that the best way to bring a potentially violent situation to a close with the least danger to everyone concerned is with overwhelming force.
Military, police and correctional doctrine is in complete agreement. Only then do lawbreakers see that resistance is futile and, even if they don't, they can be subdued with minimum injury.
The Miami relatives held Elian Gonzalez for almost 7 percent of his life. Five months is a long time for a 6-year-old. I could see no end in sight as they wanted to force a confrontation; that was pretty evident to me based on the news information.
The Miami relatives wanted a sensational picture -- that's why they had Elian in a closet with the rescuing fisherman and a cameraman at the ready ... It's ludicrous to hide in a closet ...
I doubt if your editorial writer, good-looking Phil Kent, has much police or military experience. If he did, he would be less critical of the attorney general's decision to conduct the removal of the Cuban boy from his captors in the way she permitted experienced, law-enforcement personnel to do. Janet Reno has a difficult assignment and is doing an excellent job. There is no way everyone was going to like her decision; she put the boy's welfare first, as it ought to be.
Glenn Link, Evans
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