In the Dead of the Night

Hard choices and high drama for the raid's planners and pilots

It was a sudden strike that leaped live right out of the nightly news. At the precise moment that the three networks began airing their evening newscasts last Monday, U.S. attack planes were roaring toward their five Libyan targets. Out of the black Mediterranean night they came, racing through orange cones of frantic antiaircraft fire to punish the man Ronald Reagan calls the "mad dog of the Middle East." As Americans, transfixed at their television sets, listened to the muffled rattle and thump of the assault filtering over the phone lines of network correspondents holed up in a Tripoli hotel, the...

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