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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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To: Alberta's Child

"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."

51 posted on 05/03/2011 9:23:39 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: BerniesFriend

meant claus..but who cares..


52 posted on 05/03/2011 9:24:09 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: w1andsodidwe

That is an absolutely relevant point as well. Who was the last Nobel Peace laureate to make a public statement in which he describes authorizing a military mission to kill someone? LOL.


53 posted on 05/03/2011 9:24:17 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: presidio9

Those wacky Germans. They’re either at your throat or at your feet.


54 posted on 05/03/2011 9:24:21 AM PDT by tumblindice (We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready to do violence in the night.)
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To: presidio9

Some dummkopfs have too much time on their hands.


55 posted on 05/03/2011 9:24:26 AM PDT by WinOne4TheGipper (THERE IS NO EXCUSE ANY LONGER.)
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To: FrankR
"WAS 911 LEGAL?"

Yes it was. Technically all of the victimes were evil, greedy corporate or Wall Street types working selfishly to generate personal wealth. Their deaths, while tragic, were acceptable under Sharia law. /Obamabot idiot mode OFF

56 posted on 05/03/2011 9:25:28 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

I’m sure Obama sought approval from the UN prior to authorizing the action.
/s


57 posted on 05/03/2011 9:26:13 AM PDT by seton89 (Aequinimitas per ignorantiam)
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To: presidio9

And Lon Horiuchi sends his best wishes, too.


58 posted on 05/03/2011 9:27:24 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: Alberta's Child
"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. "

Sorry, but I could not disagree more. There is a line, and it's not "fine" at all. In fact, it's enormous - it's called a border - as in Waco happened inside the territorial border of the US, and bin Laden direct action engagement did not. US service members are not allowed to engage in military operations (with some HIGHLY limited) exceptions, under the terms of Posse Comitatus. No such restrictions apply outside our borders.

US military service personnel are not law enforcement agents. They don't, for good reason, have to abide by the same rules of engagement as a LEO. Not to oversimplify it too much, but they can engage an enemy with lethal force so long as that enemy is not injured or in a place that is internationally recognized as a safe-harbor zone - like a hospital or place of worship (generally), or in the process of surrendering. That doesn't (necessarily) mean that the enemy has to be armed. In fact, it's not against the rules of warfare to engage enemies in retreat.

There are, in the rules of international warfare, rules that prohibit such actions outside the theater of combat. But, IMO, those rules are more than a bit anachronistic as they relate to this current threat. Where isn't the battlefield in this war? And, I clearly think that the quasi-tribal areas of northern Pakistan are well-within those battlefield borders.

Having said that, I think your point is meritorious when discussing US service members engaging US citizens outside the confines of the country, and targeting those citizens for "assassination". That, as a US legal matter, becomes much more complicated. I think reasonable people can disagree about its legality.

59 posted on 05/03/2011 9:27:55 AM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: presidio9

Yeah, but we just got tired from waiting for Bin Laden to “off himself” like your dear Fuhrer, Herr Darnstädt.

What is it about WAR that you do not understand?

It looks like you have embraced the bumper sticker philosophy, “What if they gave a WAR and nobody came?”

The problem is that the other side, Muslim jihadists, decided that since they called the WAR, they would keep it up, even if you and your ilk refuse to play.


60 posted on 05/03/2011 9:28:46 AM PDT by BwanaNdege ("Experience is the best teacher, but if you can accept it 2nd hand, the tuition is less." M Rosen)
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To: presidio9

Well at least we will not have to worry about holder deciding that he was one of his people and sweeping the whole thing under the rug.


61 posted on 05/03/2011 9:29:00 AM PDT by chiefqc
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To: Palter
"Side topic. That got in trouble because they suck., ie used their own credit cards. Not because of any leak. "

Yes, that's a fair point. They only - really - have their own incompetence to blame.

In this instance, I'm not worried about the SEALs doing something stupid, but I am worried about this administration doing something stupid.

62 posted on 05/03/2011 9:29:34 AM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: brownsfan

“Do not kill, do not rape, do not steal, these are principles which every man of every faith can embrace. These are not polite suggestions — these are codes of behavior. And those of you that ignore them will pay the dearest cost.

There are varying degrees of evil, we urge you lesser forms of filth not to push the bounds and cross over into true corruption, into our domain. But if you do, one day you will look behind you and you will see we three and on that day you will reap it. And we will send you to which ever god you wish.”


63 posted on 05/03/2011 9:29:40 AM PDT by ScreamingFist (Quiet the Idiot)
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To: presidio9

It probably wasn’t legal.

Bin Laden was unarmed, as they are now saying. He was not a combatant. He was in Pakistan, the government of which says they never gave permission for the mission. There really isn’t a declared war with any state here.

Obama is a war crminal. Try him at the Hague.

No blood for a poll bump.


64 posted on 05/03/2011 9:29:52 AM PDT by MichiganConservative (We would all be better off if the federal government just decided to end itself.)
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To: presidio9

Truthers should be outraged that their man in DC just killed an innocent man.


65 posted on 05/03/2011 9:30:11 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: presidio9

I have two words for Thomas Dahmstadt,
UP YOURS!!!


66 posted on 05/03/2011 9:31:24 AM PDT by certrtwngnut
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To: brownsfan

Oh no you didn’t


67 posted on 05/03/2011 9:32:39 AM PDT by sigzero
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To: fireman15
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!

There are parts of the story "they" are not telling us, of course. You can figure some of them out, by what seems totally out of character for a Navy SEAL team. Like bugging out with surviving enemy combatants still in the compound and only taking UBL's corpse. Of course they took the two "couriers," and probably anybody else they thought might know how UBL liked his cornflakes. I'm also hoping that we buried a sack of potatoes in the Indian Ocean, and will be keeping UBL's body in the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" warehouse, "just in case."

68 posted on 05/03/2011 9:32:51 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: OldDeckHand
Indeed. I don't want the whole dam world to know our sources and methods on tracking down OBL. But, every time I turn on the radio and TV, some technocrat is talking about it.
69 posted on 05/03/2011 9:33:03 AM PDT by Palter (If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. ~ Mark Twain)
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To: presidio9
Claus Kress, an international law professor at the University of ...

...and that's as far as I got.

70 posted on 05/03/2011 9:33:19 AM PDT by pigsmith
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To: presidio9

War is not aged to determine who is right. War is waged to determine who is left.


71 posted on 05/03/2011 9:33:25 AM PDT by IamConservative (Political power; the most evil thing devised by man. It corrupts morals and judgment.)
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To: PAMadMax

Would seem so. While I understand there are few left in Germany that had anything to do with The Third Reich, it’s only because of this nation they’re now able to express this new outlook.


72 posted on 05/03/2011 9:33:54 AM PDT by edpc (Tagline under construction: Your American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars at work.)
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To: presidio9

Obama = War Criminal

Start the impeachment immediately if not sooner.


73 posted on 05/03/2011 9:34:07 AM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: presidio9

Just as I predicted. The FReepers are defending their War President. Why don’t you all go sign up for Organizing for America.

Why exactly are you defending Obama? The federal government breaks laws, acts immorally, and breaks the customs of common decency against Americans on a daily basis. So easy to manipulate you people.


74 posted on 05/03/2011 9:35:23 AM PDT by MichiganConservative (We would all be better off if the federal government just decided to end itself.)
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To: skeeter

Liberals are immune from the standards they impose on others. It’s illegal to kill “innocent civilians”, unless you’re a liberal President in need of a boost in the polls. See also: Clinton and his “wag the dog” moment.


75 posted on 05/03/2011 9:38:41 AM PDT by littleharbour
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To: fireman15
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.

THIS. Notice that there aren't too many people talking about Birth Certificates, college transcripts or $5 gas anymore.

76 posted on 05/03/2011 9:41:13 AM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: MichiganConservative

George Bush had Saddam handed over for trial.

In WWII, there was a trial for Nazi war criminals.

This is the way of the leftis with their fetish for “black ops”.

They just wish they could use it on you.

We didn’t send SEAL teams to assassinate escaped Nazis in Argentina.

UBL should have been apprehended, especially since he did not shoot or use a human shield, and brought to the US for trial, then hanged.

That’s how civilized people do it.


77 posted on 05/03/2011 9:44:00 AM PDT by MichiganConservative (We would all be better off if the federal government just decided to end itself.)
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To: IamConservative

War is not aged to determine who is right

"We will sell no war, before its time..."

78 posted on 05/03/2011 9:44:50 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: MichiganConservative
This is the way of the leftis with their fetish for “black ops”.

Clearer:

This way Osama was dispatched is the way of the leftist with their fetish for “black ops”.

79 posted on 05/03/2011 9:46:13 AM PDT by MichiganConservative (We would all be better off if the federal government just decided to end itself.)
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To: presidio9

Who cares if it’s legal? Would we be worried if someone killed Hitler “illegally” during WWII?


80 posted on 05/03/2011 9:48:10 AM PDT by PATRIOT1876 (The only crimes that are 100% preventable are crimes committed by illegal aliens)
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To: presidio9

When an organization commits a domestic act of war killing thousands of your citizens and takes refuge in sympathetic countries, it is a political not a legal matter. The only controlling law if force of arms. At least for now.


81 posted on 05/03/2011 9:48:25 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: subterfuge
THIS. Notice that there aren't too many people talking about Birth Certificates, college transcripts or $5 gas anymore.

For the next couple of weeks or so. I agree with some others on this thread that we've known about this compound for quite some time. I'm sure the president would have liked to put this attack off for the next 17 months or so, but something changed to force his hand at this particular moment. Otherwise, I just can't see him releasing the birth certificate the same week as this mission.

82 posted on 05/03/2011 9:48:28 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

I believe our intelligence community knew about the compound for far longer than they let on, naturally. Maybe even years. I’d like to assume they were monitoring the communications and gathering even more info, but with obama in charge, who can say?


83 posted on 05/03/2011 9:51:44 AM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: Alberta's Child
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.

I'm fairly sure OBL wasn't an American citizen entitled to BOR protections and also that Davey Koresh and his homies never admitted to blowing up 3K innocents on a single day. Maybe we could use that as a line. If that's not good enough, we could also use domestic vs. overseas operations as a distinguishing factor.

84 posted on 05/03/2011 9:56:39 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: littleharbour
It is not popular to discuss the legalities and the hypocrisy on this topic because most around here just wanted him dead and don't care how it was done.

HOWEVER, notice they won't release how Osama resisted. He had no gun. I don't have a problem with the Navy Seals following orders. But now we need to get to HOlder and Obama and see if this was legal. But here is what I think...no way the CIA would ever allow this man to trial. He had been involved with the CIA in past.

85 posted on 05/03/2011 10:00:09 AM PDT by RummyChick
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To: MichiganConservative
The FReepers are defending their War President.

Nobody cares about your prediction ...

Stuff a sock in it, and pretend to be a conservative somewhere else.

86 posted on 05/03/2011 10:01:13 AM PDT by 08bil98z24 (Say NO to the WOD ------ NObama ---- Equal Opportunity Politician Basher)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; presidio9

Ethically, does two wrongs make it RIGHT??


87 posted on 05/03/2011 10:01:40 AM PDT by danamco (-)
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To: hoagy62
I agree and if the rest of the world don't like it they can just go to hell. By the way, haven¡t heard anything from Russia yet, they usually have something to say.
88 posted on 05/03/2011 10:01:47 AM PDT by Americanexpat (Everytime I see that guy's face ot)
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To: 08bil98z24
Stuff a sock in it, and pretend to be a conservative somewhere else.

Thanks for proving my point.

89 posted on 05/03/2011 10:04:00 AM PDT by MichiganConservative (We would all be better off if the federal government just decided to end itself.)
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To: RummyChick
HOWEVER, notice they won't release how Osama resisted. He had no gun. I don't have a problem with the Navy Seals following orders. But now we need to get to HOlder and Obama and see if this was legal. But here is what I think...no way the CIA would ever allow this man to trial. He had been involved with the CIA in past.

That would make this idiot (and perhaps Eric Holder, if he had a spine) LeBoeuf, the CIA Mattie Ross, and the SEALs Rooster Cogburn, I guess.

90 posted on 05/03/2011 10:07:27 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: OldDeckHand

I would have loved to have been the one to put a bullet in ol bennie’s head. I just wished they had removed his head and brought it back in a gunny sack or a sand bag.


91 posted on 05/03/2011 10:08:59 AM PDT by Americanexpat (Everytime I see that guy's face ot)
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To: MichiganConservative; 08bil98z24
Thanks for proving my point.

Watch how fast the left turns on this one on priciple after they notice how much most of us approve of it.

92 posted on 05/03/2011 10:10:45 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: danamco
Ethically, does two wrongs make it RIGHT??

I don't know, DOES they?

93 posted on 05/03/2011 10:11:45 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: MichiganConservative

Why in the hell would we want to try him in the haque? Why put ourselves through that crap. This is the best way, he is dead, the muzzies will be pissed for awhile, then in a few months he will just be a memory.


94 posted on 05/03/2011 10:12:49 AM PDT by Americanexpat (Everytime I see that guy's face ot)
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To: presidio9

Legal? Who cares. It was the right thing to do.


95 posted on 05/03/2011 10:13:08 AM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: Americanexpat

Wait.

I was talking about trying Obama at the Hague.

Obama is alive and well.


96 posted on 05/03/2011 10:14:23 AM PDT by MichiganConservative (We would all be better off if the federal government just decided to end itself.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I don't know, DOES they?

No need to be so critical of what a fellow man do.

97 posted on 05/03/2011 10:14:57 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
I don't know Der Speigel, was Auschwitz illegal?
98 posted on 05/03/2011 10:16:39 AM PDT by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: OldDeckHand
You raise a number of excellent points. At the risk of creating a lengthy post, I'm going to address a number of them point-by-point.

There is a line, and it's not "fine" at all. In fact, it's enormous - it's called a border - as in Waco happened inside the territorial border of the US, and bin Laden direct action engagement did not. US service members are not allowed to engage in military operations (with some HIGHLY limited) exceptions, under the terms of Posse Comitatus. No such restrictions apply outside our borders.

Right. That's exactly why the issue of "governing jurisdiction is so important. The legal limitations for U.S. military personnel under U.S. law aren't terribly important in the Waco example I've used. It's not as if we'd feel any better about the whole matter if the Branch Davidians had been incinerated during a raid by Brazilian commandos, right?

There are, in the rules of international warfare, rules that prohibit such actions outside the theater of combat. But, IMO, those rules are more than a bit anachronistic as they relate to this current threat. Where isn't the battlefield in this war? And, I clearly think that the quasi-tribal areas of northern Pakistan are well-within those battlefield borders.

This is why a clear declaration of war by Congress is so critical, not some half-@ssed "authorization of force" that can be construed to mean anything a civilian or military leader wants it to mean. As for the question I've highlighted from your post, you obviously believe there are places that are not part of the "battlefield" in this "war" (e.g., Waco, Texas).

Having said that, I think your point is meritorious when discussing US service members engaging US citizens outside the confines of the country, and targeting those citizens for "assassination". That, as a US legal matter, becomes much more complicated. I think reasonable people can disagree about its legality.

That's right, but keep in mind it also has to do with non-citizens who are acting inside or outside the U.S. That's part of the whole dilemma here. If Osama bin Laden is targeted because he's an enemy of the United States, then does it make sense that he can be "legally" killed in Pakistan but must be apprehended and subject to prosecution if he had been living on a compound in Dearborn, Michigan?

99 posted on 05/03/2011 10:17:06 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: MichiganConservative

Oh well, damn my eyes, carry on then. :>)


100 posted on 05/03/2011 10:17:59 AM PDT by Americanexpat (Everytime I see that guy's face ot)
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