I think it would have looked a lot like this. Behold the current DefSec's response to the taking of American hostages in Algeria:
Panetta said he was “confident” that the United States would ultimately decide to provide military assistance to France, but that the Obama administration first needed to conduct a careful legal review to ensure that it has the authority to become involved in the conflict.
“One thing I’ve learned is every time I turn around, I face a group of lawyers,” Panetta told reporters. “Lawyers basically have to review these issues to make sure they feel comfortable that we have the legal basis for what we’re being requested to do. And I understand the need for that.”
Jeepers. Put a little "Cowboy" in it, for the love of country. I bet those terrorists are just quaking at the thought of lawyers coming at them.