Killing Osama

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Politicians from across the political spectrum in the United States have been quick to hail the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of US special forces as an act of justice.  The operation may have been many things, but the exercise of the due process of law it was not.

The Obama administration has yet to set out the legal grounds under which the operation in Pakistan was conducted, with senior officials characterizing it variously as an act of national self-defense or a military engagement. From a legal standpoint neither framework is a particularly good fit.

What the operation to ‘kill or capture’ bin Laden resembles most closely is the kind of targeted assassination mission frequently undertaken by the Israeli Defense Forces and this begs the question, has the US now fully embraced a similar policy?

The US has been flirting with such a policy for years – ever since a 2002 drone strike in Yemen killed Abu Ali al-Harithi and five other suspected members of Al Qaeda, including one US national. Since coming into office the Obama administration has greatly ramped up the use of drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

Over the past decade US operations have been at least notionally limited by a tacit sense that such methods are limited to military theaters such as Iraq and Afghanistan and contiguous border areas. That consensus now seems to be breaking down with potentially far-reaching implications.

Congress is currently debating a new National Defense Authorization Bill that contains language aimed at updating the post-September 11th Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which provides the domestic legal basis for the US operations against Al Qaeda.

New language written into the bill by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) in the bill could potentially greatly expand the existing scope of the ‘war in terror’ to include:

“Nations, organization, and persons who— (A) are part of, or are substantially supporting, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or (B) have engaged in hostilities or have directly supported hostilities in aid of a nation, organization, or person described in subparagraph (A).”

Language this broad is open to wide interpretation – especially when one considers just how expansively US courts have already defined the concept of ‘material support’.

The potential widening of the ‘war on terror’ to new fronts is no idle threat.

Only last week five Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to Attorney-General Eric Holder urging him not to pursue a case against Ali Mussa Daqduq, a senior member of Hezbollah detained in Iraq in 2007, in federal court but rather send him for trial before the Military Commissions in Guantanamo Bay.

There are extenuating circumstances but nevertheless explicitly treating a member of Hezbollah under the AUMF framework would represent a dramatic extension of the ‘war on terror’ and if this were to go forward it could create a precedent for other of the forty-eight Foreign Terrorist Organizations designated by the State Department to be similarly targeted. Talk about strategic overstretch!

Even close US allies are concerned at the potentially destabilizing creep of US military operations into new theaters. A report produced in the aftermath of bin Laden’s death by researchers from the United Kingdom’s House of Commons Library highlighted this potential danger:

“A wider implication is that the killing may be seen as a precedent for targeted killings of individuals by any state, across international boundaries, at least where terrorism is involved.”

The report noted that Israel, Turkey and Colombia have all used force against a non-state actor in another sovereign state, in the context of the fights against terrorism, in recent years. The use of such methods is becoming more and more widespread.  Just last month Israel is believed to have been behind a missile strike in Sudan that killed a senior Hamas procurement official.

It is not too great a leap of imagination to see other states using this rubric to silence political opposition abroad. Since 1979, for instance, the senior leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been linked to at least 162 extrajudicial killings of the regime’s political opponents in 19 different countries around the world.

If we let the genie out of the bottle by claiming the right to assassinate potential threats to our security around the world, plenty of other states are going to want to do the same. By making assassination politically acceptable the United States is going to be directly responsible for making the world an even more dangerous place than it already is.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

58 thoughts on “Killing Osama

  1. I agree this may set a bad precedent. Although if I'm not mistaken, the man himself claimed culpability, he should have been tried.

  2. I agree this may set a bad precedent. Although if I’m not mistaken, the man himself claimed culpability, he should have been tried.

  3. It's not right in any sense to invade a sovereign nation's airspace and land with military or paramilitary forces. Nor is it right in any sense to execute or assasinate a human being.

    Of course, our government thinks it's ok, even though it's not legal. Our government also thinks it's ok to kill children with bombs.

    .

  4. It’s not right in any sense to invade a sovereign nation’s airspace and land with military or paramilitary forces. Nor is it right in any sense to execute or assasinate a human being.

    Of course, our government thinks it’s ok, even though it’s not legal. Our government also thinks it’s ok to kill children with bombs.

    .

  5. R U out of your freaking heads or have your heads and rectums changed places ??

    Osama was a Brutal Terrorist and had to be eliminated for the betterment of the Human Race. No one should question it. There is a huge difference between Terrorists and Humans and Terrorists are a menace + a curse for the Human race – they need to be eliminated at any cost – See Sri Lanka.. How many innocent people died before Terrorist Prabakaran was killed and How many died afterwards ??? I can without fear say that After the Terrorists death, there were ZERO deaths due to war.

  6. R U out of your freaking heads or have your heads and rectums changed places ??

    Osama was a Brutal Terrorist and had to be eliminated for the betterment of the Human Race. No one should question it. There is a huge difference between Terrorists and Humans and Terrorists are a menace + a curse for the Human race – they need to be eliminated at any cost – See Sri Lanka.. How many innocent people died before Terrorist Prabakaran was killed and How many died afterwards ??? I can without fear say that After the Terrorists death, there were ZERO deaths due to war.

  7. Don't care. Glad he's dead. I know — speaking as a humanist — that that's wrong, but I don't care. Die die again, Osama.

  8. I just have a question, you quote above "New language written into the bill by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) in the bill could potentially greatly expand the existing scope of the ‘war in terror’ to include:

    What does 'war in terror' mean, I have heard on 'war on terror' but not 'war in terror'

  9. The actions taken against the terrorist organization (Al-Qaeda) and it's leader (Osama bin Laden) was completely legal and justified. There is a BIG difference between nation-states using the death penalty on political prisoners and nation-states carrying out military operations against known terrorist organizations that have killed thousands of people for it's own political reasons. If this is the direction that Amnesty International is going to take then I'm going to have to remove it's bumper sticker from my car and start donating money to other non-profit organizations that have a stronger moral compass.

  10. There is a difference between a military operation against a declared enemy of a nation who openly murders innocent people and a police operation against a common criminal. Osama was not a common criminal. Perhaps on moral grounds trails should be conducted during all wars before anyone is killed, but I don't think it is feasable.

  11. Amnesty is choosing the wrong example to highlight the problem of political assassinations. Bin Laden openly took credit for 9/11. He himself declared that he was at "war" with America. He was a legitimate military target. There is a big difference between Bin Laden and others who are killed daily by repressive regimes around the world. Right issue (political assassinations) but wrong example (Bin Laden). Amnesty should instead focus on pressuring the USG and other states to establish clear rules as to when and how and why a target is considered a LEGITIMATE military target and the protocols to make sure that transparency is not sacrificed. Bin Laden knew clearly that he was going to be stopped, either dead or alive.

  12. Don’t care. Glad he’s dead. I know — speaking as a humanist — that that’s wrong, but I don’t care. Die die again, Osama.

  13. I just have a question, you quote above “New language written into the bill by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) in the bill could potentially greatly expand the existing scope of the ‘war in terror’ to include:

    What does ‘war in terror’ mean, I have heard on ‘war on terror’ but not ‘war in terror’

  14. The actions taken against the terrorist organization (Al-Qaeda) and it’s leader (Osama bin Laden) was completely legal and justified. There is a BIG difference between nation-states using the death penalty on political prisoners and nation-states carrying out military operations against known terrorist organizations that have killed thousands of people for it’s own political reasons. If this is the direction that Amnesty International is going to take then I’m going to have to remove it’s bumper sticker from my car and start donating money to other non-profit organizations that have a stronger moral compass.

  15. Dear AI,

    You first say he was a "legitimate military target".

    Next moment you say govts should FIRST establish the rules to make such assassinations "legitimate".

    You have yourself just demolished this murder's claims to legitimacy .

    ***

    Dear Joseph,

    You assert the assassination was "legal".

    You give no grounds for this statement.

    Why "legal" ? Because you say it was a "military operation" against a "terrorist" group "that killed thousands for its own political reasons ?"

    Calling your enemy "terrorists" is a political step, not a legal one.

    If it was a "military operation", then all military operations fall under the laws of war, which are themselves subject to 3 principles :

    Necessity. Proportionality. Chivalry.

    In the attack on bin Laden's compound, only one man fired once at the soldiers. He was shot dead.

    Then the US soldiers shot this man's wife dead. "Legal" ?

    Then they entered the main house.

    An unarmed man appeared on the ground floor.

    They shot him dead.

    "Legal" ?

    An unarmed 18 – year old boy appeared on the stairway.

    They shot him dead.

    "Legal" ?

    Then they found their real target on the fourth floor. Unarmed. In his pajamas.

    They photographed him for subsequent identification. Then they blew half his skull away. Then shot him in the chest.

    Do you think this assassination, & the killings of the woman, boy & unarmed man, violates the laws of war's principles of necessity, proportionality, & chivalry ?

    To hide the coldblooded & deliberate nature of the deed, the US government later said he'd been killed in a firefight.

    Later this proved a lie.

    Then they said he'd reached for an AK – 47.

    Later this proved a lie.

    Why the lies ?

    To hide the illegality of the deed under the laws of war ?

    PS. Dear John :

    Do you still think an arrest & trial in this case was not feasible ?

    NOTE :

    The laws of war were framed with ALL POSSIBLE situations & emergencies in mind.

    Hence they rule out ANY & ALL excuses & justifications for their violation.

  16. There is a difference between a military operation against a declared enemy of a nation who openly murders innocent people and a police operation against a common criminal. Osama was not a common criminal. Perhaps on moral grounds trails should be conducted during all wars before anyone is killed, but I don’t think it is feasable.

  17. Dear Cindy,

    Still happy ?

    Did you see yesterday's CNN interview with Musharraf, Pakistan's exPresident ?

    How he repeatedly declared that the US military operation that resulted in this assassination is an ACT OF WAR against Pakistan ?

    Do you know he was simply representing his entire country's feelings on this issue, knowing America doesn't give a damn about his or any other country's sovereignty ?

    The sovereignty that's the CORNERSTONE of all national & international law ?

    & do you know the overwhelming MASS of fuel supplies for America's military in Afghanistan comes THROUGH Pakistan, & these supply lines are TOTALLY vulnerable to political & military earthquakes in Pakistan ?

    Do you feel America can afford your momentary happiness now that she's digging herself into yet another hole ?

  18. Amnesty is choosing the wrong example to highlight the problem of political assassinations. Bin Laden openly took credit for 9/11. He himself declared that he was at “war” with America. He was a legitimate military target. There is a big difference between Bin Laden and others who are killed daily by repressive regimes around the world. Right issue (political assassinations) but wrong example (Bin Laden). Amnesty should instead focus on pressuring the USG and other states to establish clear rules as to when and how and why a target is considered a LEGITIMATE military target and the protocols to make sure that transparency is not sacrificed. Bin Laden knew clearly that he was going to be stopped, either dead or alive.

  19. Dear AI,

    You first say he was a “legitimate military target”.

    Next moment you say govts should FIRST establish the rules to make such assassinations “legitimate”.

    You have yourself just demolished this murder’s claims to legitimacy .

    ***

    Dear Joseph,

    You assert the assassination was “legal”.

    You give no grounds for this statement.

    Why “legal” ? Because you say it was a “military operation” against a “terrorist” group “that killed thousands for its own political reasons ?”

    Calling your enemy “terrorists” is a political step, not a legal one.

    If it was a “military operation”, then all military operations fall under the laws of war, which are themselves subject to 3 principles :

    Necessity. Proportionality. Chivalry.

    In the attack on bin Laden’s compound, only one man fired once at the soldiers. He was shot dead.

    Then the US soldiers shot this man’s wife dead. “Legal” ?

    Then they entered the main house.

    An unarmed man appeared on the ground floor.

    They shot him dead.

    “Legal” ?

    An unarmed 18 – year old boy appeared on the stairway.

    They shot him dead.

    “Legal” ?

    Then they found their real target on the fourth floor. Unarmed. In his pajamas.

    They photographed him for subsequent identification. Then they blew half his skull away. Then shot him in the chest.

    Do you think this assassination, & the killings of the woman, boy & unarmed man, violates the laws of war’s principles of necessity, proportionality, & chivalry ?

    To hide the coldblooded & deliberate nature of the deed, the US government later said he’d been killed in a firefight.

    Later this proved a lie.

    Then they said he’d reached for an AK – 47.

    Later this proved a lie.

    Why the lies ?

    To hide the illegality of the deed under the laws of war ?

    PS. Dear John :

    Do you still think an arrest & trial in this case was not feasible ?

    NOTE :

    The laws of war were framed with ALL POSSIBLE situations & emergencies in mind.

    Hence they rule out ANY & ALL excuses & justifications for their violation.

  20. Dear Cindy,

    Still happy ?

    Did you see yesterday’s CNN interview with Musharraf, Pakistan’s exPresident ?

    How he repeatedly declared that the US military operation that resulted in this assassination is an ACT OF WAR against Pakistan ?

    Do you know he was simply representing his entire country’s feelings on this issue, knowing America doesn’t give a damn about his or any other country’s sovereignty ?

    The sovereignty that’s the CORNERSTONE of all national & international law ?

    & do you know the overwhelming MASS of fuel supplies for America’s military in Afghanistan comes THROUGH Pakistan, & these supply lines are TOTALLY vulnerable to political & military earthquakes in Pakistan ?

    Do you feel America can afford your momentary happiness now that she’s digging herself into yet another hole ?

  21. We as a nation need to keep progressing with forward momentum and never put aside the responsibility to remain just with everything we do. America will only cease to be GREAT if we cease to be GOOD.

  22. We as a nation need to keep progressing with forward momentum and never put aside the responsibility to remain just with everything we do. America will only cease to be GREAT if we cease to be GOOD.

  23. Discussing the ethical implications of the death of bin Laden is an ugly, but worthy debate. Don't blame Amnesty for asking the question.
    The real controversy is the increased use of drone strikes. Sadly, If the bin Laden compound had been taken out by a drone strike killing his wives and children as well, there would be less of an issue.

  24. Crey !

    1. Is Amnesty representing Humans or Terrorists?
    2. Does Amnesty representatives have brains to think beyond what's put on paper (Letter of Law as oppose to Spirit of Law)??

    1. Terrorists acts against humans – See the examples of Bin Laden, Prabakaran, Mulla Omar etc… Did they care two hoots for any human life including their own? Why send your own troops on suicide missions if you value Humanity for a second?? Humans should stand up against such brutal inhumane people and save the human race from such retards.

    2. Amnesty should clearly use their brains to distinguish Humans from Terrorists and help Humans stand against Terrorists. They should not put undue pressure on governments that helped the world get rid of Retarded Terrorists who went on killing innocent civilians.

    A(ss) Savage – SHUT UP ! U are a Whiner and make no sense.

  25. Discussing the ethical implications of the death of bin Laden is an ugly, but worthy debate. Don’t blame Amnesty for asking the question.
    The real controversy is the increased use of drone strikes. Sadly, If the bin Laden compound had been taken out by a drone strike killing his wives and children as well, there would be less of an issue.

  26. Crey !

    1. Is Amnesty representing Humans or Terrorists?
    2. Does Amnesty representatives have brains to think beyond what’s put on paper (Letter of Law as oppose to Spirit of Law)??

    1. Terrorists acts against humans – See the examples of Bin Laden, Prabakaran, Mulla Omar etc… Did they care two hoots for any human life including their own? Why send your own troops on suicide missions if you value Humanity for a second?? Humans should stand up against such brutal inhumane people and save the human race from such retards.

    2. Amnesty should clearly use their brains to distinguish Humans from Terrorists and help Humans stand against Terrorists. They should not put undue pressure on governments that helped the world get rid of Retarded Terrorists who went on killing innocent civilians.

    A(ss) Savage – SHUT UP ! U are a Whiner and make no sense.

  27. Our post raises the concern that if the US embraces the policy of killing terrorist targets wherever they are found it will have started down a slippery slope that breaches international law, undermines US legitimacy around the world, and will most likely end in disaster.

    The US is certainly not the first democracy to start down this path with the best of intentions, determined only to target terrorists and protect its citizens. The problem is that things tend to escalate out of control pretty quickly and soon it can be difficult to tell both sides apart.

    In July 1973 a Mossad hit team tracking members of the Palestinian armed group Black September responsible for planning the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre shot dead a man they believed to be organization’s operations chief, Ali Hassan Salameh, in the town of Lillehammer, Norway.

    But Mossad got it wrong. The man they gunned down as he walked home from the cinema with his pregnant wife was a Moroccan waiter called Ahmed Bouchiki who had nothing to do with Black September whatsoever.

    In the mid 1980s Spanish intelligence agents created their own hit squad – Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberacion (GAL) – targeting members of the Basque separatist organization ETA living across the border in France.

    GAL started targeting individual suspects but was soon bombing public spaces on French territory like the Trinkete tavern in Ciboure. In all, twenty-seven people were murdered by GAL and still more maimed, yet many of GAL’s victims, like three-year-old Nagore Otegui, had no known connection to ETA.

    In 1985 French intelligence agents planted a bomb on the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbor, New Zealand, to prevent the non-violent environmental organization protesting the test detonation of a nuclear device on Moruroa Atoll.

    The French believed they were acting to protect their national security – Greenpeace and the New Zealand government saw it rather differently. A Dutch freelance photographer, Fernando Pereira, was killed in the attack.

    Killing bin Laden, who by his own account was responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent people, may be emotionally satisfying but this is not the only consideration.

    States have to act within the law – to do otherwise is to encourage international anarchy with every authoritarian regime around the world claiming the same right to hunt down and kill those they fear.

    Bin Laden’s death, while clearly significant, isn’t likely to have any more long-term impact on the threat of violence from Takfiri extremists, than killing Abu Musab al Zarqawi had on the intensity of the insurgency in Iraq. Indeed, by inflaming public opinion in Pakistan over the violation of Pakistani sovereignty, it may even make things worse.

    Smart counter-terrorism has to balance short-term tactical advantage against long-term strategic gain and in counter-terrorism legitimacy is coin of the realm.

    Furthermore, bear in mind that not every US operation is going to go as smoothly as the SEAL assault in Abbottabad. Just this weekend we have seen an off-target NATO airstrike in Afghanistan kill 12 children and two women by mistake.

    Finally, just ask yourselves how Ahmed Bouchiki’s widow and orphaned child, Nagore Otegui’s traumatized parents, or Fernando Pereira’s friends and family would describe what happened to their loved ones. It looks and feels a lot like terrorism and that is not a position we want to find ourselves in.

  28. Mr Parker's excellent roundup outlines worldwide state actions that are nothing but terrorism in practice under the name of crushing "terrorism".

    But i'd like to point out that bin Laden's alleged claim of being behind 9 / 11 is in a video that has never been authenticated.

    My own words above contain a couple of errors as well.

    One concerns the 3 basic legal principles governing warfare, which are :
    Military necessity. HUMANITY. Chivalry.

    These principles incorporate the 2 main categories qualifying militaries' use of violent force under the laws of war — ( 1 ) proportionality ( how much force may be used ) & ( 2 ) discrimination ( the way in which this force may be used ).

    Hence proportionality is a category incorporated in the principles governing warfare, not a principle itself.

    Deep apologies for the unintended mistake.

  29. This issue is now way beyond the killing itself.

    The asassination signals a stunning new revision of the rules of warfare, a whole new way in which warfare is now being fielded by America.

    Mr Parker speaks only in the context of counterterrorism.

    But bin Laden's killing involves an entirely different evolutionary stage in modern warare — for it's an open act of war, an invasion, by one nation state of another's territory & sovereignty.

    Obama … the onetime scholar of constitutional law ….. has now openly announced this killing is only the beginning of what amounts to an entirely new level in the worldwide "war on terror".

    He declares in effect he will unhesitatingly step beyond any nation's sovereignty with unilateral military missions.

    This is a new doctrine, the Obama doctrine, in which shock & awe has been overwritten by undeclared warfare combining intelligence wings with Special Forces ops.

    The target will not be al Qaeda alone.

    It will now include far larger organizations & networks like the Taliban … & who knows who else in the future. Hezbollah ? ? FARC ? Hamas ? ….

    & like bin Laden's killing … sans proof, sans corpse, sans grave, sans everything save the stark FACT alone …. the public will be privy to neither decision, consultation, nor actual revelations behind the scenes.

    It's the beginning of the breakdown of the Western legal system as the world knew it til now.

    & that is bin Laden's final triumph.

  30. Our post raises the concern that if the US embraces the policy of killing terrorist targets wherever they are found it will have started down a slippery slope that breaches international law, undermines US legitimacy around the world, and will most likely end in disaster.

    The US is certainly not the first democracy to start down this path with the best of intentions, determined only to target terrorists and protect its citizens. The problem is that things tend to escalate out of control pretty quickly and soon it can be difficult to tell both sides apart.

    In July 1973 a Mossad hit team tracking members of the Palestinian armed group Black September responsible for planning the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre shot dead a man they believed to be organization’s operations chief, Ali Hassan Salameh, in the town of Lillehammer, Norway.

    But Mossad got it wrong. The man they gunned down as he walked home from the cinema with his pregnant wife was a Moroccan waiter called Ahmed Bouchiki who had nothing to do with Black September whatsoever.

    In the mid 1980s Spanish intelligence agents created their own hit squad – Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberacion (GAL) – targeting members of the Basque separatist organization ETA living across the border in France.

    GAL started targeting individual suspects but was soon bombing public spaces on French territory like the Trinkete tavern in Ciboure. In all, twenty-seven people were murdered by GAL and still more maimed, yet many of GAL’s victims, like three-year-old Nagore Otegui, had no known connection to ETA.

    In 1985 French intelligence agents planted a bomb on the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbor, New Zealand, to prevent the non-violent environmental organization protesting the test detonation of a nuclear device on Moruroa Atoll.

    The French believed they were acting to protect their national security – Greenpeace and the New Zealand government saw it rather differently. A Dutch freelance photographer, Fernando Pereira, was killed in the attack.

    Killing bin Laden, who by his own account was responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent people, may be emotionally satisfying but this is not the only consideration.

    States have to act within the law – to do otherwise is to encourage international anarchy with every authoritarian regime around the world claiming the same right to hunt down and kill those they fear.

    Bin Laden’s death, while clearly significant, isn’t likely to have any more long-term impact on the threat of violence from Takfiri extremists, than killing Abu Musab al Zarqawi had on the intensity of the insurgency in Iraq. Indeed, by inflaming public opinion in Pakistan over the violation of Pakistani sovereignty, it may even make things worse.

    Smart counter-terrorism has to balance short-term tactical advantage against long-term strategic gain and in counter-terrorism legitimacy is coin of the realm.

    Furthermore, bear in mind that not every US operation is going to go as smoothly as the SEAL assault in Abbottabad. Just this weekend we have seen an off-target NATO airstrike in Afghanistan kill 12 children and two women by mistake.

    Finally, just ask yourselves how Ahmed Bouchiki’s widow and orphaned child, Nagore Otegui’s traumatized parents, or Fernando Pereira’s friends and family would describe what happened to their loved ones. It looks and feels a lot like terrorism and that is not a position we want to find ourselves in.

  31. Mr Parker’s excellent roundup outlines worldwide state actions that are nothing but terrorism in practice under the name of crushing “terrorism”.

    But i’d like to point out that bin Laden’s alleged claim of being behind 9 / 11 is in a video that has never been authenticated.

    My own words above contain a couple of errors as well.

    One concerns the 3 basic legal principles governing warfare, which are :
    Military necessity. HUMANITY. Chivalry.

    These principles incorporate the 2 main categories qualifying militaries’ use of violent force under the laws of war — ( 1 ) proportionality ( how much force may be used ) & ( 2 ) discrimination ( the way in which this force may be used ).

    Hence proportionality is a category incorporated in the principles governing warfare, not a principle itself.

    Deep apologies for the unintended mistake.

  32. This issue is now way beyond the killing itself.

    The asassination signals a stunning new revision of the rules of warfare, a whole new way in which warfare is now being fielded by America.

    Mr Parker speaks only in the context of counterterrorism.

    But bin Laden’s killing involves an entirely different evolutionary stage in modern warare — for it’s an open act of war, an invasion, by one nation state of another’s territory & sovereignty.

    Obama … the onetime scholar of constitutional law ….. has now openly announced this killing is only the beginning of what amounts to an entirely new level in the worldwide “war on terror”.

    He declares in effect he will unhesitatingly step beyond any nation’s sovereignty with unilateral military missions.

    This is a new doctrine, the Obama doctrine, in which shock & awe has been overwritten by undeclared warfare combining intelligence wings with Special Forces ops.

    The target will not be al Qaeda alone.

    It will now include far larger organizations & networks like the Taliban … & who knows who else in the future. Hezbollah ? ? FARC ? Hamas ? ….

    & like bin Laden’s killing … sans proof, sans corpse, sans grave, sans everything save the stark FACT alone …. the public will be privy to neither decision, consultation, nor actual revelations behind the scenes.

    It’s the beginning of the breakdown of the Western legal system as the world knew it til now.

    & that is bin Laden’s final triumph.

  33. I don't know if Ive been banned from the site, which is just sad if true that Amnesty is censoring me on their site after I have been regularly commenting here for 3 years while at the same time Amnesty demands complete free speech from others, but here goes anyways.

    I understand Amnesty has an absolutist position in moral opposition to capital punishment in all cases, which is applied consistent and across the board and I respect it for it's lack of hypocrisy. Now assuming Bin Laden was deliberately killed when he could have been captured, so executed in other words, don't you think this an extreme example of the utilitarian argument of " the greatest good for the greatest number" which should overrule Amnesty's basic opposition to capital punishment?

    I understand Amnesty would even oppose theoretically the execution of the worst serial child rapist killers even. I get it. Fair enough. That is your position.

    But imagine if Bin Laden were not killed and just arrested, and what if his followers, who are known to commit mass casualty killings obviously, started suicide bombing civilians by the hundreds in every major western city across the world till Bin Laden were freed?

    Would it really be worth it? Just to maintain your absolutist moral stance against the death penalty, you would condemn to horrible deaths the mass these thousands of innocents who may have been murdered as part of his followers efforts to free him? In this extreme case is it not more morally just to just go ahead with the summary execution as it seems may have occurred and by doing so avoid the whole scenario where efforts to free him by his followers could involve frequent mass terror attacks and hostage takings had he been taken alive and held for a trial?

  34. Tom Parker, the "slippery slope" argument is an informal fallacy. This same flawed logic has been used against every group fighting FOR basic human rights. Why would you think people would fall for the "slippery slope" argument in this instance?

  35. I think it would be helpful if we posited a hypothetical…would it be acceptable for someone from Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq to kill President George W. Bush? After all, from their point of view, he initiated war against their countries and is responsible for the deaths of thousands.

    I'm not advocating this, mind you. I would have much preferred that we had captured bin Laden, put him on trial, and then imprisoned him for life.

  36. The roman Catholic priesthood/Vatican/ religious orders/ hierarchy throughout their hisotry has raped tortured and murdered more people than osama bin laden.. yet they are bowed down to and their crimes eespecially crimes against children appear to be rewarded by our government..
    Why???

  37. I don’t know if Ive been banned from the site, which is just sad if true that Amnesty is censoring me on their site after I have been regularly commenting here for 3 years while at the same time Amnesty demands complete free speech from others, but here goes anyways.

    I understand Amnesty has an absolutist position in moral opposition to capital punishment in all cases, which is applied consistent and across the board and I respect it for it’s lack of hypocrisy. Now assuming Bin Laden was deliberately killed when he could have been captured, so executed in other words, don’t you think this an extreme example of the utilitarian argument of ” the greatest good for the greatest number” which should overrule Amnesty’s basic opposition to capital punishment?

    I understand Amnesty would even oppose theoretically the execution of the worst serial child rapist killers even. I get it. Fair enough. That is your position.

    But imagine if Bin Laden were not killed and just arrested, and what if his followers, who are known to commit mass casualty killings obviously, started suicide bombing civilians by the hundreds in every major western city across the world till Bin Laden were freed?

    Would it really be worth it? Just to maintain your absolutist moral stance against the death penalty, you would condemn to horrible deaths the mass these thousands of innocents who may have been murdered as part of his followers efforts to free him? In this extreme case is it not more morally just to just go ahead with the summary execution as it seems may have occurred and by doing so avoid the whole scenario where efforts to free him by his followers could involve frequent mass terror attacks and hostage takings had he been taken alive and held for a trial?

  38. Tom Parker, the “slippery slope” argument is an informal fallacy. This same flawed logic has been used against every group fighting FOR basic human rights. Why would you think people would fall for the “slippery slope” argument in this instance?

  39. I think it would be helpful if we posited a hypothetical…would it be acceptable for someone from Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq to kill President George W. Bush? After all, from their point of view, he initiated war against their countries and is responsible for the deaths of thousands.

    I’m not advocating this, mind you. I would have much preferred that we had captured bin Laden, put him on trial, and then imprisoned him for life.

  40. The roman Catholic priesthood/Vatican/ religious orders/ hierarchy throughout their hisotry has raped tortured and murdered more people than osama bin laden.. yet they are bowed down to and their crimes eespecially crimes against children appear to be rewarded by our government..
    Why???

  41. Bush jr. is viewed by many as a human rights abuser. What would the US do if he were assasinated by a foreign individual, say an Iraqi whose family was killed because of the illegal invasion? Many nations would celebrate his death just like many nations celebrated bin Laden's death.

  42. Don't tell me that Bush is not a terrorist. What right does the US have to just do whatever it thinks is right? Because it's the most powerful nation on earth? Well, it is not, never was and never will be.

    And if the US is so free, why do most have a problem having a black president and why care if he happened to be muslim (he's not). Didn't Christians kill lots of people? I don't see anyone against a Christian president although what the heck does it mean to be Christian in the first place. Does it mean being anti-Muslim? Seems to be…

  43. Just remember, if you hate islam you hate Christianity as well. Don't quote from the bible if you don't believe it. If you hate Allah, you hate God, Jesus or whatever you prefer to call him.

  44. Bush jr. is viewed by many as a human rights abuser. What would the US do if he were assasinated by a foreign individual, say an Iraqi whose family was killed because of the illegal invasion? Many nations would celebrate his death just like many nations celebrated bin Laden’s death.

  45. Don’t tell me that Bush is not a terrorist. What right does the US have to just do whatever it thinks is right? Because it’s the most powerful nation on earth? Well, it is not, never was and never will be.

    And if the US is so free, why do most have a problem having a black president and why care if he happened to be muslim (he’s not). Didn’t Christians kill lots of people? I don’t see anyone against a Christian president although what the heck does it mean to be Christian in the first place. Does it mean being anti-Muslim? Seems to be…

  46. Just remember, if you hate islam you hate Christianity as well. Don’t quote from the bible if you don’t believe it. If you hate Allah, you hate God, Jesus or whatever you prefer to call him.

  47. judonimh's argument is Zionism's sole & perrenial plaint : Holocaust, NOW ! !

    His scenario : If "He" had been merely captured, there'd now be attacks on EVERY big Western city, THOUSANDS dead, hostage takings, bombings ….

    This is the VERY specter bin Laden used so spectacularly .

    The specter of the Possible, the Imminent .

    He periodically issued announcements issuing threats that conjured such specters, such ghosts.

    Why ?

    The strategy is to focus the enemy on the specter ALONE, & thus SPREAD OUT his forces ……. & BLEED him.

    BLEED him of his strength & energy.

    BLEED him of his domestic democracy & legal system ( & hence, his global support ).

    & BLEED HIM, above all, of TRILLIONS of dollars in security measures & operations.

    The Soviet Union was BLED TO DEATH exactly in this way … in Afghanistan.

    Al Qaeda in Yemen now even JOKES about this.

    It boasts ( rightly ) that it can bleed America financially & tie up all its airports simply by making threats, thus raising the specter of imminent attack.IT DOESN'T HAVE TO DO MUCH ELSE.

    It knows America will chase after the specter, see only the specter… & gradually, losing the way, will ultimately BLEED to death.

    Like its chief strategist, al Qaeda has immense patience.

    It must, for it doesn't have the actual POWER to do what judonimh threatens you with … this very same specter that al Qaeda uses against you.

    If it had SUCH power & reach, al Qaeda might have kept bin Laden beyond reach as well.

    No wonder Israeli strategists & generals are performing so poorly these days.

    They've been facing children for too long.

  48. judonimh’s argument is Zionism’s sole & perrenial plaint : Holocaust, NOW ! !

    His scenario : If “He” had been merely captured, there’d now be attacks on EVERY big Western city, THOUSANDS dead, hostage takings, bombings ….

    This is the VERY specter bin Laden used so spectacularly .

    The specter of the Possible, the Imminent .

    He periodically issued announcements issuing threats that conjured such specters, such ghosts.

    Why ?

    The strategy is to focus the enemy on the specter ALONE, & thus SPREAD OUT his forces ……. & BLEED him.

    BLEED him of his strength & energy.

    BLEED him of his domestic democracy & legal system ( & hence, his global support ).

    & BLEED HIM, above all, of TRILLIONS of dollars in security measures & operations.

    The Soviet Union was BLED TO DEATH exactly in this way … in Afghanistan.

    Al Qaeda in Yemen now even JOKES about this.

    It boasts ( rightly ) that it can bleed America financially & tie up all its airports simply by making threats, thus raising the specter of imminent attack.IT DOESN’T HAVE TO DO MUCH ELSE.

    It knows America will chase after the specter, see only the specter… & gradually, losing the way, will ultimately BLEED to death.

    Like its chief strategist, al Qaeda has immense patience.

    It must, for it doesn’t have the actual POWER to do what judonimh threatens you with … this very same specter that al Qaeda uses against you.

    If it had SUCH power & reach, al Qaeda might have kept bin Laden beyond reach as well.

    No wonder Israeli strategists & generals are performing so poorly these days.

    They’ve been facing children for too long.

  49. All the people celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden are those poor people who still don't know 911 was an inside job.

  50. All the people celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden are those poor people who still don’t know 911 was an inside job.