PoliBlogger asks the rhetorical question, “Was Janet Reno the worst AG we have ever had, or what?” and notes

a key difference between the Clinton and Bush approaches to terrorism: sending in the FBI to arrest bin Laden is treating the situation from a law enforcement perspective. The Bush “War on Terror” is the more appropriate approach, I would argue.

Especially ironic since Reno treated law enforcement problems like military ones, as in Waco, Ruby Ridge, and Elian Gonzalez.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. craig henry says:

    I agree with your point 100%, but fairness compels me to note that Ruby Ridge was a pre-Reno operation.

  2. James Joyner says:

    D’oh. I just so seems like a Reno Operation. But, yes, it happened months before she took office.

  3. Don says:

    I’d disagree; John Mitchell, Nixon’s AG and Chairman of that legendary Committee to Re-Elect the President, was the worst in our history, IMHO. I think Reno had her flaws to be sure, but I never saw reason to doubt her motivations.

    As for the Bush/Clinton dichotomy with regard to terrorism, I think the Bush approach is the more appropriate one only in the aftermath of 9/11. Besides, Clinton would have been accused of starting a war to draw attention away from the sex scandal had he taken the Bush approach.