Because they’re humanitarians

They can take the children and run.

But for 12 of the children, last month’s airlift transported them from one uncertain predicament to another. As it turns out, those children — between 11 months and 10 years old — were not in the process of being adopted, might not all even be orphans and are living in a juvenile care center here while the authorities determine whether they have relatives in Haiti who are able to take care of them.

Justification?

When asked what he had done to persuade the administration to grant an exception for the 12 children, Mr. Rendell said in a phone interview, “I don’t know how it happened, but I didn’t ask a lot of questions, and if you had seen the faces of those children as we loaded them onto the airplane, you wouldn’t have asked a lot of questions, either.”

Several administration officials who spoke at length about the rescue effort suggested that they were led by their hearts.

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