Terrorism

Was Killing Bin Laden Self-Defense or Summary Execution?

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The New York Times has more details about the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan, some of which undermine the initial story and some of which bolster it:

Administration officials said that the only shots fired by those in the compound came at the beginning of the operation, when Bin Laden's trusted courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, opened fire from behind the door of the guesthouse adjacent to the house where Bin Laden was hiding.

After the Seal members shot and killed Mr. Kuwaiti and a woman in the guesthouse, the Americans were never fired upon again.

This account is inconsistent with the impression left by White House spokesman Jay Carney and CIA Director Leon Panetta, who said bullets were flying throughout the raid. But the latest version of the story does offer a credible reason for shooting Bin Laden even though he was unarmed:

Because the Special Operations troops had been fired upon as soon as they touched down in the compound, they were under the assumption that everyone inside was armed.

"They were in a threatening and hostile environment the entire time," one American official said.

When the commandos moved into the main house, they saw the courier's brother, who they believed was preparing to fire a weapon. They shot and killed him. Then, as they made their way up the stairs of the house, officials said they killed Bin Laden's son Khalid as he lunged toward the Seal team.

When the commandos reached the top floor, they entered a room and saw Osama bin Laden with an AK-47 and a Makarov pistol in arm's reach. They shot and killed him, as well as wounding a woman with him.

If this account is accurate, the SEALs may have had good reason to shoot Bin Laden before he was able to grab a weapon. The new account also makes sense of President Obama's statement on Sunday night that  the SEALs killed Bin Laden "after a firefight" rather than "during a firefight." But if the president knew as early as Sunday night that no shots were fired at the SEALs after the initial exchange with Bin Laden's courier, why didn't Carney and Panetta know? And what are we to make of Obama's statement on Monday that the raid "resulted in the capture and death of Osama bin Laden." According to the newly revised story, there was no "capture," which would have transformed self-defense into summary execution.

I discussed the raid on RT's Alyona Show yesterday.

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  1. Well, what the hell do ya expect? Wasn’t like there was a dog to shoot like here at home!

    1. Oh semantics, the raid resulted in Bin Laden’s Death and Capture (not the other way around).

  2. By the time the administration is finished walking this story back, will Bin Laden still even be in it?

  3. Let me be clear.

    It depends on what the definition of “after,” uh, “firefight,” is.

  4. Oh, and btw, yeah, we’re pretty much living now with what actually was a no shit, ripped from the pages of Clancy, top level government conspiracy to conduct a targeted assassination up close and personal. However, Donald Belisarius only scripted this little show up to the point of the high fives after the part where the fishies got fed.

    Still, even with a just like Hollywood might imagine it conspiratorial event, those who live to make up stuff about stuff will never, ever be denied their glory.

  5. After the Seal members shot and killed Mr. Kuwaiti and a woman in the guesthouse, the Americans were never fired upon again.

    “Mr. Kuwaiti”? That’s like how they kept calling that guy on Heroes “The Haitian”, even to his face, even while they were actually in Haiti. “I have a name, you know.”

    Anyway, without help from the press, this administration is the absolute worst on message. Rather than getting on the same page, the idiots spouted off as soon as they could about details they clearly didn’t know. And we still don’t have enough information we can trust to decide whether we want to call this was self-defense.

    1. Gotta get yer PR on as soon as you can, dude!

      1. Spin, baby, spin!

        1. Ahem. OK, here’s what we’ve got: the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people, under the supervision of the reverse vampires — have kidnapped OBL in order to clone a race of, shall we say, Clone Jihadis.
          We’re through the looking glass, here, people…

          1. I DID THIS YESTERDAY ARRRRG

            You can’t steal my reverse vampires reference!

            1. dear GILMORE, you can’t own an idea!? Reverse vampires for errybody!

              1. Well neither of us own the freaking idea. The Matt Groening/Fox/Cthulu cooperative is the actual IP holder in this case.

                But bitch is still biting my style.

          2. Clonhadis!

          3. Attack to destroy!

  6. We are at war with Al Qaeda, in war are you obligated to capture rather than kill the leader of your enemy? For example, if we stormed Hitler’s bunker and he threw up his hands and said “I give up” would it be immoral to have shot him?

    1. For example, if we stormed Hitler’s bunker and he threw up his hands and said “I give up” would it be immoral to have shot him?

      Of course it would be! Just because you don’t like someone and think they’ve done horrible things in the past isn’t grounds for murder.

      It is interesting to see the same people who thump their chests about the horrors of execution after trial and conviction in our criminal justice system, now turn around and endorse execution with no trial whatsoever.

      1. But if we killed him with a bomb giving him no opportunity to surrender, that’s golden?

        1. Nope. Unless he was currently engaged in some sort of military action or planning against us.

          1. I’m pretty sure that Hitler was engaged in some sort of military action or planning against us.

            1. *currently*

              1. Well, the hypothetical mentioned shooting Hitler in his bunker so I presumed the timeframe of the hypothetical was WWII and that the bombing that theoretically killed him was, too.

                I agree it would be silly to shoot or bomb Hitler currently.

                1. “I agree it would be silly to shoot or bomb Hitler currently.”

                  But what if he were really, really sick and wanted to end his life with dignity?

        2. You do realize that your attempted reductio also applies to surrendering soldiers on the battlefield, no?

          It’s definitely OK to shoot, blow up, and/or incinerate opposing soldiers from far away, but once you get close to them and they throw their hands up it would be a war crime to kill them.

          War is full of paradoxes, ain’t it?

          1. I think the concept of a war crime is pretty silly, given the context, and largely a function of the winners making the definitions.

            Arbitrary rules about what’s acceptable when people are killing each other are full of paradoxes.

            There may well be practical reasons why you don’t want to shoot surrendering soldiers but I don’t think it can or should be ruled out. “No quarter,” like war, is pretty serious business.

            1. At least you’re honest about your approval of shooting would-be POWs.

              I’m not sure how rules against this favor the victors in a war, as it’s more likely that the victors have more POWs than the losers.

              1. At least you’re honest about your approval of shooting would-be POWs.

                I don’t “approve” it and I see some very practical reasons why it would be a bad policy for those doing it. I’m just saying that when people are potentially fighting to the death I’d be more worried about winning (if not taking prisoners could somehow help with that) than a trial after the war.

              2. At least you’re honest about your approval of shooting would-be POWs.

                Would be, could be, should be.

                A soldier at war fighting an enemy that is known for using children as suicide bombs should give no presumption as to their enemy’s honesty in surrendering.

                The Geneva convention does not prohibit a soldier from defending themselves against known enemy tactics.

                1. I don’t see how killing an unarmed Osama prevents a kid from wearing a suicide bomb, but whatever.

            2. “I think the concept of a war crime is pretty silly, given the context, and largely a function of the winners making the definitions.”

              We respectfully disagree.

              1. I don’t think the Holocaust really had anything to do with war, with the killing of combatants, or with the killing of civilians who provide direct or indirect support of the combatant states.

                It looks to me like it was industrial-scale murder and that, while political, wasn’t like the war crimes I meant. I was implicitly referring to stuff like the Geneva Convention though, since I haven’t read all of it, it could also contain rules about the wholesale slaughter like the Holocaust.

                1. The Nazis had Polish and Soviet POWs in the death camps too.

              2. Really? Even given your handle, it’s important to realize that there was plenty of debate about the idea of a “war crimes” trial even at the time of Nuremberg. IIRC, Churchill himself preferred the idea of just putting the Nazi brass up against a wall and shooting them, without the rigmarole of a trial. Basically, “crime” and “trial” implies that there is a law, which implies that there’s some kind of polity. But there isn’t any such thing in the international sphere. The argument, to which I am sympathetic, is that one actually does more damage to the rule of law by pretending to adhere to it but actually making it up as you go along, than is done by plainly acknowledging that you are acting outside the sphere of law.

                1. Osama has been indicted in absentia for several crimes under US criminal law. So all the faux-concern about how there’s no law to apply is misplaced.

          2. You do realize that your attempted reductio also applies to surrendering soldiers on the battlefield, no?

            There is no presumption of honesty for surrendering soldiers.

            If I was a soldier fighting Al Quada my assumption would be to shoot any combatant who puts their hands up.

            1. So you are in favor of shooting surrendering troops who don’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they’re honest. Would you accept recommendation letters as proof of honesty?

              These threads are a big time drain, but they are useful for showing people’s true colors. Those of you who support Osama’s killing, but rail against capital punishment saying the govt isn’t qualified to determine who deserves to die, better shut your mouths next time around.

      2. Don’t you understand, Commodore? It’s all dependent on who ordered the killing. If it was the guy for your TEAM, everything is hunky dory. If it was the other TEAM, it’s baaaaaad.

        1. How many Team Red people have you seen saying it was baaaad to kill Bin Laden?

  7. Was Killing Bin Laden Self-Defense or Summary Execution?

    At this point, I’ll have to say “False dichotomy”. 8-(

  8. Um, the embed didn’t take, Jacob.

    1. Oh, wait. There it is.

  9. Does anyone give a shit? I know I don’t.

    1. Nope. Just liberal hand-wringing and vaginal bleeding.

      1. not us. USA! USA! USA!

  10. the only shots fired by those in the compound came at the beginning of the operation, when Bin Laden’s trusted courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, opened fire from behind the door of the guesthouse adjacent to the house where Bin Laden was hiding.

    Let me guess, if al-Kuwaiti was suspected of being a drug dealer based on an unconfirmed CI tip and all they ended up finding was a half-smoked joint, this blog post would have been about the dangers of no-knock raids.

    1. well, yeah. It’s not like we don’t already our own citizens with just as much vigor and shootin’stuff as Osama Bin Laden got. Perhaps this is one of the ways Obama is “spreadin the wealth around”.

      I can get into this. Can we do Sarkozy next?

  11. How many weeks are these nitpicking articles going to run for?

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    1. Jesus, dude it’s been three days. There’ll be time for the celebrations of bloodlust in the future. There are matters of legality to consider first.

      1. Yeah, dbcooper wouldn’t call it nitpicking if he was the international terrorist mastermind who got his ambiguous comeuppance.

    2. How many weeks are these nitpicking articles going to run for?

      If it is anything like the mosque story, I would put the over/under at 12.

      1. Osamabating?

  12. If this account is accurate, the SEALs may have had good reason to shoot Bin Laden before he was able to grab a weapon.

    Oh come on Jacob. If a SWAT team had shot a suspect during a raid because there were weapons near him, you would be bitching up a storm, and rightly so.

    Yes, I know the military isn’t law enforcement, but that’s not relevant to the question of whether a shooting is in self-defense.

    1. If what the administration meant when they said bin Laden “resisted” was that he was going for a gun that was within arms-reach, then I could see the moral justification for using deadly force in order to protect the lives of the SEALs.

      Now, if only we could get the fucking administration to tell if this was INDEED what happened Sunday instead of sealing-off evidence from public scrutiny.

      1. we ordered him to freeze. he moved. he died. end transmission

      2. Their original explanation included the line that “you don’t have to be armed to resist.” It’s kind of odd to say that someone was “unarmed but resisting” if they were reaching for a weapon.

        It seems likely that they’re refusing to release the pictures of ex-OBL because once they do, they lose a lot of freedom to make up details to cover their asses.

        1. Plus they may show that he was shot through the back of the head instead of the front.

  13. Was Killing Bin Laden Self-Defense or Summary Execution?

    Who cares?

    1. ^This.

      OK, let’s assume by some cosmic comet strike that it was a straight-up assassination… what will change? Is that member of that SEAL team going to jail? The commander of the raid? Obama? No, no, and Hell NO.

      What’s the point of even bothering? Even the snickering afforded by pointing out that the Democrat In Shining Armor got a Peace Prize to go on to bomb Libya and order an assassination will be ruined by excuses and hand-waving.

      1. SF,

        This is when it pays to have a Democrat running things. It cuts the opposition in half. Half the people who would be bitching and moaning about this had a President McCain done it are now out chanting U.S.A. because it was done by someone on their team. When there is really dirty work to be done, better to have a Democrat do it.

        1. True. It really takes the sting out of that little Vietnamese girl’s skin when its Democrat napalm. Because they care.

          1. whoops – that was nixon napalm
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phan_Th?_Kim_Ph?c

            1. And since a republican was president at the time, it was widely publicized and condemned as one of the horrors of ‘Nixon’s’ war. Try to keep up, moron.

              1. i posted to sugarfree’s comment dumas

                1. Watch it there, buddy. There’s supposed to be a b in that word.

        2. A lot of Republicans are questioning the Libya kinesis’ constitutionality.

          1. I think Obama is using a UN resolution as justification. Bush jr. did the same with Iraq and UN res 1441.

            1. Bush had an AUMF passed by Congress, which I personally don’t think is enough for a war, but it’s more than Obama has.

              1. Against AQ? I think Congress passed something that authorized the President to after them wherever they were during the Clinton admin.

                1. Never mind, I’m confusing my threads.

                  Obviously.

      2. If it was a straight up assassination, why send a SEAL team in instead of using an airstrike? Paki’s would have dug through the rubble and found his body for us, and we’d have saved ourselves a $40 million chopper.

        1. Sorry… left out some words…

          *OK, let’s assume by some cosmic comet strike that it was proved to be a straight-up assassination…*

    2. I certainly don’t!

    3. I care. If it could have remotely, possibly qualified as self-defense it would mean that some extremely brave, extremely valuable SEALs were exposed to some modicum of unnecessary risk for some modicum of time. That is unacceptable.

      Besides, that scum maggot needed him some executin’.

      1. “”it would mean that some extremely brave, extremely valuable SEALs were exposed to some modicum of unnecessary risk for some modicum of time. That is unacceptable.””

        If one has a problem with risk, they shouldn’t be a SEAL in the first place.

        My money goes on notion that not only are they aware of risk, but thrive off of it too.

        1. Of course they shouldn’t and of course they do. I said nothing to the contrary.

          1. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding what it is that you find unacceptable.

            1. Any modicum of unnecessary risk. Like that risk that would be obviated by shooting the sonofabitch the instant you see him instead of waiting around to shoot him in self defense.

              1. Then my original post stands. SEALs are aware that they must deal with all risks, including unnecessary.

                1. I certainly agree that it should stand – especially since I agreed with it the first time around.

    4. Israel cares. Look at how the world (including the Bush administration) reacted to the IDF killing of Ahmed Yassin.

    5. Copy and paste that into a thread about a SWAT raid on a drug dealer/possessor here at H&R, and see how you get flamed.

      1. But…but we were in fear for our lives!

  14. ….an unauthorized action by a rogue SEAL team…..

    1. …yes, that’s our backup position….

  15. As someone said on the morning links thread “how big of a motherfucker do you have to be in order for the Dalai Lama to say it was okay to shoot you?”

    I think the human rights activists are barking up the wrong tree. No one outside Shikha and her family and friends really care that we kille Bin Ladin. And they are too busy high fiving each other over the latest IED blast in Kabul to cause too many problems.

    It would be nice if these dumb bastards could at least pull off the one political assasination in the history of the world no one will care was committed. They can’t stay on message. All they had to do was claim, they came into the room and thought he had a gun and shot him for the safety of the team. Who is going to doubt that?

    Jesus Christ a fucking local SWAT team can pull off a cover story better than these clowns.

    1. Well the local SWAT teams have a lot more practice concocting cover stories.

    2. Some of us care about the rule of law, even for motherfuckers. Mr. Lama is not that great of a fellow either IMHO.

      1. Rule of what law? US law? Can you point to some appropriate international law for this stateless person?

        1. The law of the country on whose behalf the SEALs were acting.

          Nice to see you guys still have a hardon for exploiting loopholes in the Geneva conventions though.

          1. You should bring a court case. It will give you an opportunity to use your expertise in US law.

            1. Just once I want to have a discussion with someone here without getting argumentless ad hominems in response.

              1. You could try structuring an argument first! Just saying “rule of law” is not an argument.

                1. What exactly is your beef here, cooper? Do you not care about the rule of law, or do you not think the behavior of US agents is/should be governed by any law once they leave US territory? As it stands you’re just sitting there saying nuh-uh.

                  1. No, what I want is for the people who are saying that that this action was illegal to indicate the specific laws that they believe were broken.

                    Many people here love to shout “rule of law!” or “the constitution!” but are unable to provide any detail because they have zero specific knowledge.

                    Do you think that these troops were subject to a US law, at that time and place, that they broke by killing bin Laden or by other actions? If so, what law and when/where does it apply?

                  2. The SEALS are governed by the UCMJ, I would guess. I don’t think any other US court would be considered to have jurisdiction.

                    If Osama Bin Laden is an “enemy combatant” in the Global War On Terror, it doesn’t matter (legally speaking) if he was sitting on the john, masturbating in bed, or sound asleep on the floor. The only time you cannot shoot enemy soldiers is during or after surrender. The rest of the time? Fuck ’em. They can be completely unarmed and fleeing in terror and you can shoot them in the back. This is settled case law under Geneva and Hague.

                    The only question is whether or not you think Osama qualifies as an enemy soldier.

                    1. this is correct. if he was surrendering, as i understand the law, it would be a bad shoot. if he resisted AT ALL, it would not.

                      fwiw, even in civilian shootings, you CAN shoot somebody in the back in certain circ’s. we had a guy who had been indicted (actually “informationed’ since WA doesn’t have grand jury) for murder, and was in a neighborhood looking for a witness he had threatened to kill.

                      he ran. we chased. IF we shot him in the back, it would have been entirely justified. he tripped about 100 yards into the foot pursuit and we didn’t have to. but we COULD have. legally.

                      regardless, the point is clear. it would not be legal to shoot OBL *if* he surrendered. otherwise, yes

                    2. “”The SEALS are governed by the UCMJ, I would guess. I don’t think any other US court would be considered to have jurisdiction.”‘

                      Being in the military does not mean you’re exempt from US, State, or local laws.

                    3. Jurisdiction. Not exempt. You can’t get tried for a murder in Pakistan in a state or local court. I also don’t think a straight-up murder in Pakistan would violate federal law, so no joy there. Again, UCMJ seems like the applicable court of jurisdiction.

                    4. “”The only time you cannot shoot enemy soldiers is during or after surrender. The rest of the time? Fuck ’em””

                      I would hope the SEALs didn’t give OBL a chance to surrender. The mission was to kill.

                    5. The rest of the time? Fuck ’em. They can be completely unarmed and fleeing in terror and you can shoot them in the back.

                      That’s actually not the case. Retreating soldiers are off limits as well.

                      Long ago, I took a course in college that covered the conventions and treaties, so I can’t cite chapter and verse of what treaty bans this, but I do recall distinctly that attacking a retreating army is not permitted.

                      I’ve googled a bit, but haven’t found anything as yet.

                    6. Keep looking. Either the Army lied to me in those interminable law of land warfare briefings or you’re wrong. I’m betting on the latter. The conventions apply to the sick, wounded, POWs and civilians. Regular military? suck it up and deal, pal.

                      Basically, if you still have the physical ability and intention to continue combat, you’re fair game.

                    7. Well it’s certainly alot less risky to shoot them in the back – especially after they’ve thrown down their weapon and are running away. Makes for great video, too.

                    8. The conventions apply to the sick, wounded, POWs and civilians. Regular military? suck it up and deal, pal.

                      The 4th Geneva Convention, of which we are a signatory, deals with soldiers “removed from combat.” While it doesn’t mention retreating armies specifically, it’s been interpreted to mean that as well, since a that fits the definition.

                      http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebART/375-590006

                      In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

                      (1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed ‘ hors de combat ‘ by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
                      To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

                      (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

                      (b) taking of hostages;

                      (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

                      (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

                    9. To be serious, “interpreted by who?”, is the relevant question. Nobody in the US military gives much of a damn what the Hague or the Red Cross says on the subject of the Conventions. To get a US service member tried, you have to convince the appropriate branch of service what was done is a violation. That’s usually a higher hurdle than what the rest of the world thinks is a violation. I’m assuming the nice JAG officers weren’t lying to me, so the US interpretation of the Conventions may not mesh with everyone else’s. This comes as a great surprise to all, I’m sure.

                    10. Well then T, I guess the US military can’t complain too much when the enemy doesn’t give a shit about treaties and conventions either.

                    11. you are refering to him as a “retreating soldier”? sorry, the analogy doesn’t hold.

                      he (was) the leader of al qaeda, an unlawful enemy combatant and the mastermind behind the UNLAWFUL act of war that was 9/11

                      contrast 9/11 with, for example, pearl harbor (an obviously military target).

                      he surrenders or he gets shot.

                      period. analogy does not hold

                    12. Keep up dunphy, will ya?

                      T specifically mentioned “fleeing” soldiers.

                      And yeah, unless OBL was actively shooting at them, killing him where he stood was against the Geneva Convention.

                    13. “he (was) the leader of al qaeda, an unlawful enemy combatant”

                      Was he? If Al Qaeda was a state, would his role be considered civilian or military? That is, was he primarily doing finance, politics, and PR, or did he get involved in operational details?

                    14. “”That’s actually not the case. Retreating soldiers are off limits as well.””

                      Really? GWHB firebombed a crapload of them as they were fleeing Kuwait.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_of_Death

                    15. Really? GWHB firebombed a crapload of them as they were fleeing Kuwait.

                      Well, that must make it legal then.

                    16. Vic–Make of this what you will. I find it persuasive, despite invoking Maroon Dowd.

                      http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-death.htm

              2. “Just once I want to have a discussion with someone here without getting argumentless ad hominems in response.”

                The first thing we do, let’s kill all the MNG’s.

                1. Tulpa is MNG?

                  1. “…hors de combat…” Haha, sounds like our two major political parties!

  16. Okay, isn’t it obvious now.
    OBL was killed 8 to 9 years ago in tora bora.
    This was staged by Obama and the Pakistani military to give Obama credit in exchange for Obama to keep the aid coming, in which the military steals about 80 to 90 percent of.

    AGAIN WHERE IS THE PROOF THAT OBL WAS KILLED EARLY MONDAY MORNING? WHERE IS THE BODY OR PICTURES OF THE BODY

    1. THE OBVIOUS IS ALWAYS WHAT CONSPIRACISTS SAY IT IS!!>!>>! IN BOLD TYPE!!

      1. ALL-CAPS IS THE IMPRIMATUR OF LEGITIMACY! AS IS A LACK OF COMMAS!

        1. STEVE SMITH ALWAYS RAPE IN ALL-CAPS! WITH NO COMMAS!!

          1. LOUD YELLING!

            1. DEEEEEP HUUUURTING!

    2. If the Pakistanis had anything to do with it they would have made sure it was said to have taken place in Waziristan rather than just outside the capital.

      Also, Obama was a state senator when you claim this conspiracy was going on, so I doubt he was in a position to consort with Musharraf.

      1. What? Talking about right now.
        Obama wants to get re-elected and Musharraf can help.
        Simple deal, just business, and to hell with principles and democracy.

        1. Musharraf is in exile in England.

        2. The wheels in your conspiracy theory begin turning 8-9 years ago. So you’re not talking about Obama making deals with the current Pakistan govt, you’re talking about Bush and Musharraf, neither of whom benefits from this deal.

    3. AGAIN WHERE IS THE PROOF THAT OBL WAS KILLED EARLY MONDAY MORNING?

      His daughter is a living reliable witness to Osama’s death (and his life since tora Bora) who has given testimony to that fact.

      I sure hope you are only trolling for laughs.

      1. Her testimony was coerced, joshua. She doesn’t want to end up getting fed to the fishes off the fantail of the Vinson, either.

        I’m only partially joking. I’d take her testimony with a side order of “please don’t shoot me in the head” and some salt.

      2. And that is his daughter and you have proof?
        Believe it or not, kids can act and most, especially girls, do what they are told.
        But why do we need to go there?
        Because Obama made it, very quickly, impossible for there to be an independent verification of OBL’s death.
        Why did he do that?

        1. Believe it or not, kids can act and most, especially girls, do what they are told.

          Are you available to babysit my kids this, and every, weekend?

          5$ an hour and you can help yourself to whatever is in the fridge.

          1. His daughter is 12 or 13, not between 1 and 8.

  17. We are at war with Al Qaeda, in war are you obligated to capture rather than kill the leader of your enemy?

    Yamamoto. There, does that answer your question, as it should?
    (With apologies to that great man just in case anyone might think I am comparing him to the scum OBL.)

    1. great? u mean executing/ordering a sneak attack WHILE japanese diplomats were in DC pressing for non-agression?

      1. He didn’t order that attack but he certainly did execute his orders like good military man would do. I can’t give you Yamamoto’s bio within the limits of this forum but you should take a look at it and perhaps you will then understand his greatness. And, oh yeah, sneak attack, schmeak attack.

        1. You know who else’s good military men were just following orders?

    2. The only declaration of war proposed in Congress since 9/11 never made it out of committee, so I’m wondering which war you’re referring to.

      This wasn’t an immediate response to an attack either, so don’t give me that bullshit excuse.

      1. Neither was our hit on Yamamoto.

        And, I’ve proffered no excuses of any kind for anything.

  18. The fact that we didn’t put a flaming chainsaw up his ass for an hour before we shot him in the eyeballs is a sign of america’s great forebearance and dignity.

    Seriously people, you want to pick nits about how we sent him to hell? Have at you. It’s fucking gay though. A lot of people have died because of him. Now he’s dead because we killed him. Cold blood. Good riddance. You can debate the finer details of it all you want, but it doesn’t make a fucking difference and we’d do it again, justifiably, exactly the same way in a heartbeat.

  19. There were no stealth chainsaws available.

    1. Give it 12 hours, I’m sure one will pop up the next time the narrative “evolves.”

  20. If this account is accurate, the SEALs may have had good reason to shoot Bin Laden before he was able to grab a weapon. The new account also makes sense of President Obama’s statement on Sunday night that the SEALs killed Bin Laden “after a firefight” rather than “during a firefight.”

    No one who’s discussing this has the clearance to know what actually happened, so it’s all just a pile of speculation and bullshit.

    There was no real alternative. Arrest him and then put him on “trial?” It would have been an obvious sham trial – from the start, it’s clear the US would never accept a not guilty verdict of any sort. That kind of trial, complete with Saddam Hussein levels of grandstanding, would only do damage. The man had almost a decade to surrender if he wanted to end up in prison at The Hague; killing him was the only reasonable approach the US had.

    1. No one who’s discussing this has the clearance to know what actually happened, so it’s all just a pile of speculation and bullshit.

      So you want us to shut up and trust the government. Got it. Maybe you typed the wrong address in?

      That kind of trial, complete with Saddam Hussein levels of grandstanding, would only do damage.

      Please specify the damage that such a trial would do, that outweighs the need to respect American legal tradition and the rule of law. Better an attempt at fairly trying OBL than just killing him.

  21. One thing you can count on: a story like this to bring all the tuff guys out to play.

  22. Wow, the Stupid Cunt and the Dumb Fuck Show! What a circus trying Bin Lden would have been. How do you think a private army owned by, say, the Koch brothers, would have handled it? Moronic fucking libertoid assholes.

    1. arf! arf!arf!arf!arf!

      1. I suspect there’s a DRINK somewhere in there.

    2. are going to be very mad at you for using that kind of language about them, MaxiePad.

  23. If Bin Laden wanted his day in court, he should have turned himself in. This was the result that he was looking for, and the only likely outcome.

  24. I think they missed a great propaganda opportunity when they didn’t make the claim that OBL’s gay lover pulled out of OBL’s ass and they both went for their guns, but unfortunately, they were both too drunk on liquor and love to reach them in time.

    1. …but unfortunately, OBL slipped on a carelessly discarded strip of raw bacon, crashing onto a liquor bottle and dying from the resulting blood loss.

      Bacon and Slapstick, two great tastes that taste great together.

    2. I think it would be funniest if we just were like, “‘bin who?’ We were just killing random pakistanis. If we killed someone of importance it was purely by accident.”

  25. Another reason why they don’t want to release the photos, and mysteriously don’t have any video….

  26. This is extremely disturbing for me. I feel strange that it’s all bringing out some existential angst inside of me.

    To achieve some sense of justice, our society had to torture kids probably around the age of 20 to find out information about a feeble old man who was really just the organizer of the organization connected to a terrorist attack (as awful as it was) and was found defenseless and unarmed.

    What is more, the killing was not some shootout, it wasn’t even fog of war, it was execution, after which the body of the man was disgraced and disparaged.

    For all of this, people celebrated in the streets as though their country gained some independence. What is this? Is this civilization? Is it right? I don’t know. I feel like most people believe it was right and I’m in an extreme minority left sympathizing with someone I only see as a human being, but for this sympathy am I equally detestable? The world hated a man so much that they broke into chants at his disgraced body. What would they do to me? What would they do to anyone that was made to be a villain? Is there any dignity or am I the one without morality?

    1. It’s a definite “this is worse than Mordor!” moment for sure.

    2. You are the monster. Look in the mirror and behold your craven twisted visage. That is the face of evil. I will pray for you.

    3. Disturbed troll is disturbed.

    4. I’m feeling the same way. There’s no honor or courage or cause to celebrate in the summary execution of an unarmed man, no matter how many atrocities he has planned or committed himself. It sickens me to see people celebrating an illegal, immoral, and uncivilized act and I sense that whatever moral high ground I imagined this country once held is now gone forever.

      1. What makes you think it was a “summary execution”?

        1. yeah, I don’t even think we blindfolded him. That is uncivilized.

        2. The other night I was playing cod:black ops. My friend had run out of bullets – I still shot him.

          No sympathy for obl – that is what happens when you attack us – we come got you. No regrets.

          1. So you approve of killing soldiers who attempt to surrender?

            1. How the fuck did UBL meet the definition of a soldier? He was an illegal combatant according to your precious Geneva conventions, and therefore subject to summary execution under those ‘rules’.

            2. Did OBL attempt to surrender?

              1. Probably not, but I’m digging for the principle here. The current argument for the pro-kill people is that war means all bets are off, which would seem to include a lot of stuff that would make libertarians squirm.

                1. Look, here’s the crux of our kill/no-kill issue: are we in a state of war with a hostile military force? Or are we executing some sort of worldwide law enforcement warrant? If it’s that first one, than OBL is an enemy commander and what was done is perfectly appropriate and legal. If the second, it’s probably not.

                  This is more than a failure of US policy to explicitly define what we’re doing, it’s more a failure of the Westphalian system in general. The treaties and conventions are literally not constructed with a stateless guerilla army like Al Qaeda in mind. We are kind of shoehorning what we’re doing into an existing framework that wasn’t intended to cover the situation, and as usual, making a hash of it. Nobody wants to address the underlying inadequacy because a lot of people, including our national security apparatus, find the gray area awfully convenient.

                  If it’s not spelled out in black letter law or treaty, all the players can operate in the margin and claim it’s legal according to their interpretation. Fun for everyone, right?

    5. I am reminded of something I read years ago. I forget where.

      Two guys are ship wrecked and after days at sea, finally make it to land. After resting up a bit, they begin exploring the place and when they come upon a guillotine one of the men immediately says, “Thank God, Johnson! We’ve washed up upon the shores of a civilized country!”

    6. I’m not thrilled with the dancing in the streets (unless you knew someone killed on 9/11–in which case…whatever makes you feel better…).

      Are you equally detestable? Of course not. That’s a stupid question and you probably know it. You are somewhat detestable though. You see him only as a human being. How enlightened of you. The planner of mass murder met a fitting end. You are detestable for pitying a mass murderer. Save your pity for the innocent.

  27. The bloodlust/revenge/just desserts crowd seems to be missing the point. You don’t capture and try an unarmed suspect instead of gunning him down because there may be some shred of doubt about his guilt, you do it because it’s the civilized thing to do, to show that you’re not a primitive society, and to keep some sort of legal restriction to prevent your elected leader from sending hit squads against anyone he says deserve it.

    1. prevent your elected leader from sending hit squads against anyone he says deserve it.

      Unfortunately we’ve already lost that battle, but that doesn’t mean we have to rejoice in it as many in America are.

    2. Sometimes I’m not so hungry for dinner so I get “just desserts”. But if I eat too much chocolates I get a tummy ache. Obama already said he can kill you if he wants you dead, like a year ago, even if you’re a US citizen. Nothing has changed except all the desserts are given me a stummy ache. Mmmm…chocolate creme wafer cookiessss.

      1. Obama said that a year ago, huh?

        Hmm. I seem to recall something earlier…

    3. The “let’s arrest him and try him” crowd seems to be missing the point. What makes you think arresting him was an option?

      Put yourself in the SEAL team’s shoes: You are in a foreign country, on a covert mission to capture or kill a high value AQ target. One of your helicopters has crashed, you have engaged in a firefight, and you come upon the high value target, OBL no less. Finally, after clearing the rest of the house during which time four of his henchmen have been shot dead, you are in a bedroom with him. There is an AK47 within arm’s reach of OBL. Is he armed? You can’t tell for sure, maybe he has a pistol in his waist band and out of sight. Is the bedroom rigged with explosives? Will OBL detonate the explosives and kill himself, and you? He twitches a bit. Do you shoot him to death, an action which is fully allowed by law and your orders, or do you risk dying in a shootout or IED blast?

  28. One of the problems with the “let’s give everyone a full trial even if they’re members of an international terrorist conspiracy during wartime” arguments that we’ve heard over the last ten years is that it creates situations like this where killing is highly incentivized over capture.

    While there’s good arguments to make about giving enemy combatants habeas or other rights, that comes with the incentive to kill some SOB if you don’t want Ramsey Clark grandstanding for the next 20 years of trials and appeals.

    1. The same thing happens with police who feel a particular suspect might get off on a technicality if brought to trial.

      The solution to potential state agent misbehavior is to train agents not to do such things and punish those who do, not remove the encrustations of civilization.

      1. Is he a criminal suspect or a soldier? Make up your mind.

      2. No, here it wasn’t the cop deciding to go Charlie Bronson all on his own.

        Here it was the Commander in Chief telling the cops to make sure there isn’t a trial. Make sure this guy isn’t filing habeas petitions when his halal chicken is overdone.

        And he told them that because he basically didn’t want to live up to his lip service to human rights that he spouted back when he had no authority and no responsibility.

        1. Here it was the Commander in Chief telling the cops to make sure there isn’t a trial.

          I’m not so sure it actually was Obama. It might well have been The Bitch and some others in the administration.

          1. Your second link is a fun article. Total tinfoil hat stuff, but fun. The author, “Ulsterman” has a 4/28 post http://newsflavor.com/politics…..civil-war/ where he writes:

            [Jarrett] pushed out Rahm, she’s alienated many of the most influential Congressional Democrats, she’s pissed off the military ? oh that’s another story I’ll have to share with you soon. That one is still playing out right before our eyes though, so we gotta let that one turn out first. She’s gonna get burned on that too.

            Interesting reading.

  29. Seems he got a trial. There are two courts in this world – one were procedure and rules rule the day – sometimes justice Is served sometimes not. The other courtroom, well it is a bit less formal, more brutal, and like the other court – sometimes justice sometimes not. Obl got a trial – on the battlefield.

  30. The illegality of Assassination during a time of war seems to me to be a reflective of the time of the writing of the Geneva conventions when tyrant Kings still ruled much of the world.

    By the way what does the Geneva conventions say about Dresden?

    It would not surprise me in the least that it allows the wholesale slaughter of civilians but prohibit the assassination of tyrants and terrorist leaders.

    1. Geneva says you can’t do shit like firebomb cities.

      4th Geneva, specifically. The one adopted in 1949 after Dresden and Tokyo.

      1. Didn’t Geneva get modified yet again during the Cold War to exempt from summary execution non-uniformed guerillas like those responsible for “workers’ wars of liberation?”

        1. Dunno. Have at. Annex I to Protocol I looks relevant.

  31. Gunishment (definition): Punishment doled out to paedophiles and/or international terrorists in order to de-wrong their brains. (credit: Chris Morris, circa 2001)

  32. Panetta and the SEAL team were the fall guys in case of failure.

  33. Unless ObL was actively screaming “don’t shoot, I surrender” or something along those lines, shooting him was kosher.

  34. “Print|Email
    Was Killing Bin Laden Self-Defense or Summary Execution?”

    Yes.

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