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Justice, American Style: Was Bin Laden's Killing Legal?
DER SPIEGEL ^ | May 3, 2011 | Thomas Darnstädt

Posted on 05/03/2011 9:03:22 AM PDT by presidio9

US President Barack Obama gets precious few opportunities to announce a victory. So it's no wonder he chose grand words on Sunday night as the TV crews' spotlights shone upon him and he informed the nation about the deadly strike against Osama bin Laden. "Justice has been done," he said.

It may be that this sentence comes back to haunt him in the years to come. What is just about killing a feared terrorist in his home in the middle of Pakistan? For the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, and for patriotic Americans who saw their grand nation challenged by a band of criminals, the answer might be simple. But international law experts, who have been grappling with the question of the legal status of the US-led war on terror for years, find Obama's pithy words on Sunday night more problematic.

Claus Kress, an international law professor at the University of Cologne, argues that achieving retributive justice for crimes, difficult as that may be, is "not achieved through summary executions, but through a punishment that is meted out at the end of a trial." Kress says the normal way of handling a man who is sought globally for commissioning murder would be to arrest him, put him on trial and ultimately convict him. In the context of international law, military force can be used in the arrest of a suspect, and this may entail gun fire or situations of self-defense that, in the end, leave no other possibility than to

(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: binladen
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1 posted on 05/03/2011 9:03:25 AM PDT by presidio9
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To: presidio9
Justice, American Style: Was Bin Laden's Killing Legal?

[facepalm] I don't know. If some attorney wants to be appointed to represent him at this point, let him come forward and we'll shoot him too. Would that make it adequately legal?

2 posted on 05/03/2011 9:05:52 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: presidio9

So are the left-wingers going to be calling Obama a war criminal and to be put on trial by the International Criminal Court?


3 posted on 05/03/2011 9:06:18 AM PDT by avacado
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To: presidio9

"I will make it legal."

4 posted on 05/03/2011 9:07:05 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: presidio9

A cheesey movie quote will do as a reply:

In certain extreme situations, the law is inadequate. In order to shame its inadequacy, it is necessary to act outside the law. To pursue... natural justice. This is not vengeance. Revenge is not a valid motive, it’s an emotional response. No, not vengeance. Punishment.


5 posted on 05/03/2011 9:07:17 AM PDT by brownsfan (I miss the America I grew up in.)
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To: presidio9
Was the 9/11 attack legal?
6 posted on 05/03/2011 9:07:25 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Under Islam, there is no separation of church and state. The church IS the state.)
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To: Still Thinking

Oh, no, did we hurt a terrorist? Who wasn’t doing any harm/ just hanging out with his wife in retirement?

BOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO.


7 posted on 05/03/2011 9:07:28 AM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: presidio9

Meh, he’s just speaking German.


8 posted on 05/03/2011 9:08:19 AM PDT by Palter (If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. ~ Mark Twain)
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To: presidio9
Ok, I'll go along with it being illegal and someone should be made to pay for such an atrocious act. Let's see, who was it that took full credit for it? Oh, yeah, it was zero. That's one way to get him out of office.
9 posted on 05/03/2011 9:08:19 AM PDT by bgill (Kenyan Parliament - how could a man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
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To: presidio9

I don’t actually care if it was or was not.


10 posted on 05/03/2011 9:09:55 AM PDT by svcw (Non forgiveness is like holding a hot coal thinking the other person will be blistered)
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To: presidio9

Fking german wusses. Its legal to us he was the reason 9/11 happened. You wimpy ass nanny state moral equalizers make me want to vomit.


11 posted on 05/03/2011 9:10:02 AM PDT by MARKUSPRIME
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To: presidio9

Whether it was or wasn’t......I don’t think this country needs to answer Germany in matters of morality and law.


12 posted on 05/03/2011 9:10:17 AM PDT by edpc (Tagline under construction: Your American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars at work.)
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To: presidio9
The REAL question that Der Spiegel is asking is, Would
the United States still come after really old Nazis?

13 posted on 05/03/2011 9:10:34 AM PDT by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a U.S. Marine.)
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To: presidio9

The mission was to execute an order likely on the shelf for some time to be called up in a minute’s notice. The order was in effect a death warrant signed sealed and requiring only a counter signature

The operation was therefore legal


14 posted on 05/03/2011 9:10:54 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 ....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: presidio9
So now is some dumbass prosecutor in Switzerland going to charge Zero with a war crime, and is the Alfred Nobel Committee going to revoke Zero's Peace Prize?
15 posted on 05/03/2011 9:11:07 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: presidio9
A legal killing..... WHAT A CONCEPT!..
Murdering babies seems to be LEGAL!...
16 posted on 05/03/2011 9:11:07 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: presidio9

Was it legal?

WHO THE F%$# CARES??? WE GOT THE SONOFABITCH!!!!

I mean jeez....we, the United States of America, take out a mastermind of evil, and someone asks if it was LEGAL??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!?!?!!!


17 posted on 05/03/2011 9:11:37 AM PDT by hoagy62 (Help stamp out crack-pull up your pants.)
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To: edpc

amen...Der Spiegel, you guys have historical amnesia in the morality department.


18 posted on 05/03/2011 9:13:05 AM PDT by PAMadMax (Islam is a disease....)
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To: presidio9
Claus Kress, an international law professor at the University of Cologne, argues that achieving retributive justice for crimes, difficult as that may be, is "not achieved through summary executions, but through a punishment that is meted out at the end of a trial."

You people are funny.

There is no such thing as international law. Nations have laws, and sometimes they have treaties. Everything else is blather at international conferences, paid for by taxpayers who are not protected in the least by the conferees' silly, socialistic words. If you attack Americans, we paint a target on your back. Our guys are so good, even a metrosexual waving his hands can't screw up the operation.

I wonder what they actually told him beforehand about the operation or what it would involve. He doesn't know which end the bullet comes out of. How would he ever know if they were BS-ing him?

19 posted on 05/03/2011 9:13:20 AM PDT by SamuraiScot
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To: presidio9
"What is just about killing a feared terrorist in his home in the middle of Pakistan?"

EVERYTHING is just about it. This is not a "feared terrorist". He is a known terrorist, and by his own admission.

20 posted on 05/03/2011 9:13:37 AM PDT by Mich Patriot (Today, if you build a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse. RReagan)
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To: presidio9

OK, if one wishes to treat this a law enforcement operation, consider this. LEO’s arrive to arrest OBL. OBL points a weapon at the LEO’s. Suicide by cop. Good enough for me.


21 posted on 05/03/2011 9:14:09 AM PDT by Fred Hayek (All Hail the No Talent Pop Star pResident.)
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To: presidio9

. What is just about killing a feared terrorist in his home in the middle of Pakistan?

DUH!! Its a war.
He was an enemy combatant.
Pakistan is a terrorist nation that surely knew he was there so screw them and they can get some too if they want......


22 posted on 05/03/2011 9:14:20 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA
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To: presidio9

Since we pay for the World Court, we have nothing to fear. Only the weak nations, such as Serbia, are hauled before that toothless court for defending their territory from invading Muslims.


23 posted on 05/03/2011 9:14:58 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: righttackle44

Since UBL declared war on us, we were essentially at war, so the law professors can kiss my butt re: legality. In war, professor, you destroy the enemy, everything else is supplemental.


24 posted on 05/03/2011 9:15:46 AM PDT by 12Gauge687 (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice)
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To: presidio9

Time for Richard M. Obama to state “when the president does it, it is not illegal.”


25 posted on 05/03/2011 9:16:22 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: presidio9
"What is just about killing a feared terrorist in his home in the middle of Pakistan?"

EVERYTHING is just about it. Let's kill a thousand more of these sick bastards.

26 posted on 05/03/2011 9:16:22 AM PDT by Mich Patriot (Today, if you build a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse. RReagan)
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To: presidio9

WAS 911 LEGAL?


27 posted on 05/03/2011 9:16:32 AM PDT by FrankR (A people that values its privileges above its principles will soon lose both.)
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To: avacado
"So are the left-wingers going to be calling Obama a war criminal and to be put on trial by the International Criminal Court?"

Puhleeze.

But, I do worry quite a bit about the names of those operators getting into the public domain - not so much because of retaliation by terrorists (although that's not unimportant) but because of legal targeting by leftist governments.

I'm thinking of those CIA operators who bagged several people in Italy for rendition. Their names leaked out, and they are now persona non grata pretty much everywhere except Canada - and even a trip to Canada probably isn't without risks.

You can bet the same would happen to these SEALs if their names were leaked.

28 posted on 05/03/2011 9:17:09 AM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: presidio9

I suspect Claus Kress wouldn’t have approved my method of ending the “WOT” on Sept 12, 2001.


29 posted on 05/03/2011 9:17:09 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. De Vattel)
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To: presidio9
This is actually a very interesting and relevant question, unpopular though it might be here on FreeRepublic. Questions like this should always be approached from the standpoint of: "What is the relevant governing jurisdiction?"

Once you get past that first question, things start to get very interesting. We may not like to admit this, but there's a very fine line -- or maybe no line at all -- between a Navy SEAL operation in Pakistan and an FBI/ATF raid on a Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

30 posted on 05/03/2011 9:17:17 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: bgill
Ok, I'll go along with it being illegal and someone should be made to pay for such an atrocious act. Let's see, who was it that took full credit for it? Oh, yeah, it was zero. That's one way to get him out of office.

Exactly what I was thinking when I posted this. Thanks to our own clown car media, this obviously isn't going anywhere, but it sure would be fun to watch. OTOH, if GWB were in office, this column would also appear in today's NYT.

31 posted on 05/03/2011 9:17:27 AM PDT by presidio9 ("Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask rather what you can do for your country." -Cicero)
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To: presidio9
IMHO, war has but one purpose and one rule.
Its only purpose is to win, and its only rule is that there ain't no rules.
32 posted on 05/03/2011 9:17:33 AM PDT by ComputerGuy (HM2/USN M/3/3 Marines RVN 66-67)
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To: presidio9

Being lectured on the morality of war by a German is as funny as being lectured on military tactics by a French military expert.

Neither makes a bit of sense.


33 posted on 05/03/2011 9:17:36 AM PDT by texmexis best
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To: presidio9

Will they demand he return the Peace Prize?


34 posted on 05/03/2011 9:17:56 AM PDT by w1andsodidwe (Barrak has now won the contest. He is even worse than Jimmah.)
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To: presidio9

Again?

Who cares.

He is dead. Good.


35 posted on 05/03/2011 9:18:18 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: hoagy62
"Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!?!?!!!"

I see what you did there...nicely played sir!

36 posted on 05/03/2011 9:18:41 AM PDT by Mich Patriot (Today, if you build a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse. RReagan)
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To: presidio9

DER SPEIGEL, Wir waren nur folgende Aufträge!


37 posted on 05/03/2011 9:18:53 AM PDT by hflynn
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To: bert

Applying the standard that Obama and Holder apply to the Guantanamo detainees, then it was clearly illegal. It was an execution, without trial, in a situation where they very likely could have captured Usama alive.

Applying the sane standard of “enemy combatant” (with which I am in full agreement), then the action was entirely justified whether or not Usama posed a real threat to those involved in the operation. It’s the same standard that would not extend the US Constitution to the Guantanamo detainees and which justified the waterboarding (which, incidentally, were critical in obtaining intelligence which led to Bin Laden’s demise).

Obama is clearly hypocritical on this point. He decided that getting Bin Laden’s scalp would give him foreign policy credibility with the independents and cheers from conservatives, which would more than compensate for any blowback from his loyalists on the left. Remember, he’s a maxist. The ends justify the means. If he has to park his “principles” for political gain, it’s entirely acceptable as long as it further’s the bigger goal of remaining in power.

I haven’t had a chance to hear Judge Napolitano’s take on this. He’s a Constitutional purist who believes enemy combatants are entitled to full protection of the US Constitution, which would prohibit waterboarding - even if that practice would prevent a nuclear attack on a US city.


38 posted on 05/03/2011 9:18:59 AM PDT by littleharbour
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To: presidio9

I am sure the UN will tell us if it was not legal ...and to them I say “ Yea and...”


39 posted on 05/03/2011 9:19:05 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: kittymyrib
Since we pay for the World Court, we have nothing to fear. Only the weak nations, such as Serbia, are hauled before that toothless court for defending their territory from invading Muslims.


40 posted on 05/03/2011 9:20:48 AM PDT by presidio9 ("Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask rather what you can do for your country." -Cicero)
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To: presidio9

Was flying two planes into a couple of office towers legal? Was flying a plane into the pentagon legal? Was anything al Qaeda ever did legal?


41 posted on 05/03/2011 9:20:49 AM PDT by WinOne4TheGipper (THERE IS NO EXCUSE ANY LONGER.)
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To: presidio9

So let’s see if I have this straight. Under Obama’s policies US forces who encounter a terrorist can put two bullets in his brain but are not allowed to pour water up his nose?


42 posted on 05/03/2011 9:21:06 AM PDT by csmusaret (Sarah says "Drill baby drill." Obama says "Drill in Brazil.")
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To: Palter
"Meh, he’s just speaking German."

He's speaking New German, certainly not the German that his grandparents spoke.

43 posted on 05/03/2011 9:21:12 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: svcw
I don’t actually care if it was or was not.

If the question ever gets to the Supreme Court the yes or no answer will be a unanimous YES. However the opinions will be 5 "for" and 4 "for" but reading the opinions without knowing the question you would have no idea what the issue was all about.

44 posted on 05/03/2011 9:21:33 AM PDT by immadashell
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To: presidio9

I am going to make my reply to this nonsense short and sweet -—

Hey DER SPIEGEL - F.O.A.D.


45 posted on 05/03/2011 9:21:57 AM PDT by commish (Freedom tastes sweetest to those who have fought to preserve it.)
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To: presidio9

“Justice, American Style: Was Bin Laden’s Killing Legal?”

As legal as murdering 3,000 unarmed civilians


46 posted on 05/03/2011 9:21:57 AM PDT by SMARTY (Conforming to non-conformity is conforming just the same!)
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To: presidio9

If it wasn’t, are they going to un-kill him?


47 posted on 05/03/2011 9:22:13 AM PDT by Tax-chick (We learned to be cool from you, JP2.)
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To: presidio9
This whole spectacle is a political stunt. We have known his location for months if not years. His compound most certainly has been under surveylance in every imaginable way for intelligence gathering. Obama made the decision to cash in his political chips now probably because of sagging poll numbers. I hope that Osama actually is still alive and having every ounce of information sucked from him using the most barbaric means imaginable. That would make more sense. A bullet in the brain is basically painless; and his followers will believe he died with his boots on. Stupid!
48 posted on 05/03/2011 9:22:23 AM PDT by fireman15 (Check your facts before making ignorant statements.)
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To: presidio9
Let's all laugh at Cless..


49 posted on 05/03/2011 9:23:19 AM PDT by BerniesFriend (Sarah Palin-"Lord knows she's attractive" says bitter Andrea Mitchell and the rest of the MSM)
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To: OldDeckHand
Their names leaked out

Side topic. That got in trouble because they suck., ie used their own credit cards. Not because of any leak.

50 posted on 05/03/2011 9:23:27 AM PDT by Palter (If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. ~ Mark Twain)
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