"It's generally accepted as fact among Washington's closest allies that the U.S. targeted the wrong site, probably on the basis of faulty intelligence," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. "But nobody's too upset because it's also widely accepted that Sudan has hosted terrorists, dabbled in chemical weapons and is conducting a genocidal civil war in the south." U.S. officials publicly maintain the attack was valid, but they've also retreated substantially from their original explanation of the attack. Sudan's tarnished reputation may have minimized the political fallout from the strike, but Mr. Idris's lawyers believe they may have enough evidence to take the government to court. Then again, a jury may not be too sympathetic to a plaintiff whose own experts concede that many of his business interests are linked with Sudan's Military Industrial Corporation -- considered by the U.S. to be running that country's chemical weapons program.
Luckily for Washington, Sudan has no powerful friends. Lawyers hired by Salih Idris, owner of the Shifa pharmaceuticals factory destroyed by U.S. missiles last August have assembled scientific evidence to back their claim that the U.S. targeted the plant in error. But thus far nobody in Washington is listening.