Letting Iran off the Hook

Global superpowers aren't supposed to feel powerless. But despite its hegemony, the U.S. could not stop the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers barracks in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 American servicemen, and last week the Bush Administration all but admitted that it is unable--or unwilling--to punish the crime's masterminds. Even though Attorney General John Ashcroft said the attack was "inspired, supported and supervised" by Iran, none of the 14 people indicted were Iranian. The indictment does allege that an Iranian military officer directed the Saudis' pre-bombing surveillance activities, and U.S. officials tell TIME it was Ahmad Sharif, a general in...

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