Comment: Was the Killing of Osama bin Laden Legal?

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden

The reaction of Americans to news of the assassination of Osama bin Laden has been overwhelmingly jubilant. Many will say that the killing of al-Qaeda’s founder was justified. But was it legal? Responding to news of the killing, famed linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky suggested that “we might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic”. Commenting from a different viewpoint, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin argues that the legal complications of arresting bin Laden would have been immense, and would have perhaps signaled “the most complex and wrenching legal proceeding in American history”.  We could would add to this that the White House was probably concerned about a prolonged state of heightened security for American embassies and civilian or military installations around the world, which could have lasted for as long as bin Laden’s hypothetical trial continued —which could have been years. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #325

  • CIA investigator sentenced. CIA employee Kerry Gerdes, who falsified interview reports while performing background checks on CIA employees and potential employees, has been sentenced to two months in prison and six months of home confinement.
  • President Ford authorized warrantless wiretaps, memo shows. Even though he replaced Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign the US Presidency over intelligence abuses, Gerald Ford secretly authorized the use of warrantless domestic wiretaps soon after coming into office, according to a declassified document.
  • Yemeni court upholds alleged spies’ sentences. Three Yemenis, who were accused last year by the government of having “links to Israeli intelligence”, have had their sentences upheld by an appeal court.

Bookmark and Share

%d bloggers like this: