Obama gave orders to kill, not capture, Bin Ladin

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2011
Obama gave orders to kill, not capture, Bin Ladin
Mon, 05-02-2011 - 4:56pm

I know a lot of people (myself included) are happy that Bin Ladin is no more.

There is a disturbing article from Reuters that the goal was to kill, not capture Bin Ladin. I'm not certain, but believe this is an extra judicial assassination. Either an assassination or a war crime, take your pick. I know many were not happy when Bush was invading Iraq. I'm uncertain if our President, on his own authority, can or should ever order a summary execution of an individual. It is doubtful Bin Ladin would surrender, and it is for the best that he is gone. However, establishing a doctrine that a President can kill someone via our military without any judicial or other process (than his own judgment) seems dangerous to me.

My concern is Obama may be targeting and killing people, who could be taken alive for trail and debriefing. IF Obama is killing people to avoid repopulating Gitmo, I believe we have a war crime. If not, then it may just be a debate about what is a war crime. I know when Bush targeted people, many news stories were published about armed drone use as being a war crime.

The story is here http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/02/us-binladen-kill-idUSTRE7413H220110502

(Reuters) - The U.S. special forces team that hunted down Osama bin Laden was under orders to kill the al Qaeda mastermind, not capture him, a U.S. national security official told Reuters.

"This was a kill operation," the official said, making clear there was no desire to try to capture bin Laden alive in Pakistan.

Regardless of the figures used, the case that extrajudicial killings are justified is extremely weak, and the number of civilian casualties is far too high to justify their continued use.

A further twist to the Obama Doctrine is the breaking of a taboo that the Bush administration balked at – the concept of treating US citizens outside of the US constitutional process. During the Bush era, the treatment of detainees such as John Walker Lindh, Yasser Hamdi and Jose Padilla showed reluctance by officials to treat their own nationals in the way it had all those of other nationalities (by, for instance, sending them to Guantánamo Bay and other secret prisons). The policy of discrimination reserved for US citizens showed that there was a line the US was not willing to cross.

At least, today, we can strike discrimination off the list of grievances against the current president. The National Security Council of the US has now given specific permission to the CIA to target certain US citizens as part of counter-terrorism operations. Specifically, Anwar al-Awlaki has been singled out for such treatment, as it has been claimed that he was directly involved in the planning of the Major Hasan Nidal killings and the Christmas Day bomber attacks. Indeed, it is claims such as this that bring the entire concept of targeted assassinations into question. The US would like us to believe that we should simply trust that they have the relevant evidence and information to justify such a killing, without bringing the individual to account before a court.

The assumption that trust should be extended to a government that has involved itself in innumerable unlawful and unconscionable practices since the start of the war on terror is too much to ask. Whatever goodwill the US government had after 9/11 was destroyed by the way in which it prosecuted its wars. Further, the hope that came with the election of Barack Obama has faded as his policies have indicated nothing more than a reconfiguration of the basic tenet of the Bush Doctrine – that the US's national security interests supersede any consideration of due process or the rule of law. The only difference – witness the rising civilian body count from drone attacks – being that Obama's doctrine is even more deadly.

Another discussion contrasting Bush and Obama doctrines is here http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/apr/11/obama-national-security-drone-guantanamo


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2011
Tue, 05-10-2011 - 3:53pm
I recall a war against Iraq and Afghanistan authorized by Congress, including folks like Hillary Clinton. The war was in response to terrorism or suspected terrorism. The leaders of the nations in question were given an opportunity to cooperate.

The result of those wars, in Iraq we have instituted a functional Democracy and provided that women have more rights secured than in any other Arab nation.

In Afghanistan, we seem to be slowly creating the first true nation in the territory. Instead of tribes, Afghanistan is slowly becoming a country.

Many millions now live in freedom who were oppressed.

As to people who are concerned about shoot to kill, or killing terrorists that could be detained. It isn't really a conservative position.

Michael Moore is concerned, as is Rosie O'Donnell. Those aren't exactly raving conservatives.

Snips from news stories about them follow


Michael Moore: 'Bin Laden Was Executed'

Osama bin Laden wasn’t killed by a Navy SEAL team -- he was straight up executed, Michael Moore told TheWrap on Wednesday.

The “Fahrenheit 9/11” director has been setting Twitter aflame Wednesday afternoon urging the Obama administration to come clean about the circumstances surrounding the terrorist leader’s death -- particularly in light of the White House’s shifting account of last weekend’s firefight in Abbottabad.

Also read: Bin Laden Videos Show Terror Leader Watching Himself on TV

The Oscar-winning director has been tweeting about his belief that Bin Laden should have received a trial, and his theory that Pakistan was keeping the Al Qaeda head under house arrest. TheWrap grilled Moore about his controversial views.

Is Obama lying about how Bin Laden died?

Common sense tells you he was executed. That was the plan all along. Just tell us that and quit treating us like children.

I have a lot of faith in Obama, but we’ve received three different stories in three days. We heard, "There was a firefight." "He used a woman as a shield." Now it turns out none of these things were true. He wasn’t armed.

Does it matter if he was executed? Do you think he deserved a trial?

I am a Catholic, and the position of the Catholic Church and the Pope is that we are 100 percent against the death penalty unless it is in self-defense. Look at the Nuremberg Trials. We didn’t just pop a bullet in the heads of the worst scum in history. We thought it was important to put them on trial and expose their evil. In a democracy we believe in a system of justice and we believe in a judicial system that gives people a day in court...and then we hung them.

It doesn’t mean we can’t hang them afterward.

Obama takes some criticism over bin Laden raid

There are a few critics of President Obama's decision to raid Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

Take Rosie O'Donnell, for instance.

The comedian and actress, a radio talk show host, didn't like the celebrations by "drunken fraternity boys" and others that followed bin Laden's death.

She said bin Laden should have had "due process," reports Mediaite:

"You can also be upset about the fact that he didn't have due process, that he didn't get tried, that he wasn't, you know, brought to The Hague for a war crime tribunal. ... Many, many people, including now on the Twitter feed say, 'Well, Rosie, it was illegal for them to fly planes into the twin towers.' I'm fully aware of that. Because other people are capable of criminal acts on our soil doesn't equate to 'therefore, we are allowed to do criminal acts on their soil.'"

O'Donnell said, "You don't want to become what you loathe, wasn't the whole point of this is that we are not monsters?"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 4:46pm

I am remembering a war of U.S. aggression which was initiated at the behest of BushCo, for a tenuous casus belli which was never verified. WMD. 4400+ U.S. troops died, and hundred thousands of Iraqis. No WMD. An overwhelmingly greater cost than the toll of 9/11. To my mind, that's more than ample justification to indict and condemn Bush as a war criminal. On the topic of Iraq, there's been a weird media silence but the elephant under the rug isn't going to be invisible just because some wish it so.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2011
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 3:42pm

I don't believe Bush or Obama should be tried. However many progressives wanted Bush to be tried as a war criminal. In one of the links I provided, the war crime would be assassination. Other supposed war crimes (for Bush) included not sending bodies home, not advising those detained of their legal rights. For Bush use of drones was a war crime, not so much for Obama.

My point is more that we shouldn't have shoot to kill without regard to the target being armed. The additional point is many have a different standard for Obama than Bush, and that the world may not see it as progressives in the U.S. do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 3:17am

And it seems to me that I've seen a deck of cards that we were using as wanted posters? But as far as I know it was Bush who put a bounty on OBL head not Obama. OBL wasn't the head of some country, he was just a terriorst who thankfully is dead. So it's not important who gave the order to shot to kill (and I beleive the wanted poster I saw for him said Dead or Alive) it's done with now

~~Sam stitches well with others, runs with scissors in her pocket. Cheerful and stupid.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Wed, 05-04-2011 - 3:34pm

When Eric Holder wanted to have civil trials for Guantanamo detainees, Republicans protested en masse.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Wed, 05-04-2011 - 1:50pm
Well said!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Tue, 05-03-2011 - 9:49pm

You have no proof whatsoever that Obama ordered a kill to avoid detaining and trying OBL.

What war crime are you trying to insinuate should be attributed to Obama? HE did not order a war of pre-emption, nor did he authorize his government to use rendition or "enhanced interrogation techniques".


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2002
Tue, 05-03-2011 - 4:03pm

If the UN wants to bring charges against Obama, I would support that. But, given what the previous administration ADMITTED to, and got a free pass on, it's highly doubtful.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2011
Tue, 05-03-2011 - 1:52pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2011
Tue, 05-03-2011 - 1:50pm