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connect_icut
02-05-2011, 04:32 AM
Blimey!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13256676

(Official announcement timed to coincide with Trump's Celebrity Apprentice)

Sectionfive
02-05-2011, 05:23 AM
Official announcement timed to coincide 8 years to the day of Bush's "mission accomplished" speech.

Roll on 2012

Sick Boy
02-05-2011, 05:30 AM
George Bush is somewhere in the world having a solemn stiff drink.

Sectionfive
02-05-2011, 05:33 AM
So is Bin Laden probably.

Sick Boy
02-05-2011, 05:44 AM
So is Bin Laden probably.

lol

connect_icut
02-05-2011, 05:52 AM
Official announcement timed to coincide 8 years to the day of Bush's "mission accomplished" speech.

Roll on 2012

Apparently, Hitler's death was also confirmed on May 1st.

baboon2004
02-05-2011, 08:09 AM
Bloody hell, the most mental thread title on Dissensus for a while...

luka
02-05-2011, 08:57 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYkMnjrA6iQ

you need to hear the record for it.

Dr Awesome
02-05-2011, 10:15 AM
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/222488_1761820683014_1163979386_31645542_695304_n. jpg

routes
02-05-2011, 10:19 AM
expect lots more like this tbh

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/obama-bin-laden

Leo
02-05-2011, 02:17 PM
am i the only one who had thoughts of jack bauer and chloe?

nomos
02-05-2011, 02:38 PM
On Twitter: "Uh oh, now I'm the guy who live-blogged the Osama raid without knowing it."

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/05/02/twitter-user-reports-live-bin-laden-raid-knowing/

IdleRich
02-05-2011, 02:45 PM
It does seem strange that they disposed of the body so quickly. Not in a "oh because it's fake" way but because you would have thought that they would have taken any possible steps to prevent people saying that - although there are no steps that would work totally of course.
That tune - can't have just been knocked up today, they must have been holding that killer back ready to release it whenever the news broke.

Sectionfive
02-05-2011, 02:56 PM
Apparently the whole thing was streamed live to the Pentagon.
It was a shoot to kill not capture mission. No chance of a trial or anything silly like that.

nochexxx
02-05-2011, 03:05 PM
It does seem strange that they disposed of the body so quickly. Not in a "oh because it's fake" way but because you would have thought that they would have taken any possible steps to prevent people saying that - although there are no steps that would work totally of course.
.

perhaps i've been watching too many black-metal docs but i reckon they disposed of the body quickly to stop anyone from discovering the brutal torture they more than likely carried out prior to death.

IdleRich
02-05-2011, 03:24 PM
You can imagine that they might think he knows a few things that they want to know.

Shoot to kill missions - what's the legal status of that? I mean, he's the most wanted man on their wanted list but that doesn't prove him guilty of anything in itself. It seems everyone is so excited about his death that no-one is talking about that kind of thing. You might have thought that if there were only a few people there then there was a realistic chance of capturing him alive.

Phaedo
02-05-2011, 03:52 PM
I wonder what else is going on this week that meant the NOW was the right time. Republican's must be gutted.

grizzleb
02-05-2011, 04:08 PM
They kept a sample of his DNA to prove it was him.

computer_rock
02-05-2011, 04:26 PM
Apparently he was 'buried' at sea so not to create a grave/shrine. It was done so quickly (within 48 hours) so to be in accordance with Islamic tradition.

rrrivero
02-05-2011, 04:38 PM
perhaps i've been watching too many black-metal docs but i reckon they disposed of the body quickly to stop anyone from discovering the brutal torture they more than likely carried out prior to death.I might have been watching too much Six Feet Under lately, but I'm pretty sure the US government has the technology to hide all marks of torture for a photo shoot.

There are a ton of loose ends to this thing though for instance how the fuck could Osama reside essentially next to a military academy?


Abbottabad is essentially a military cantonment city in Pakistan, in the hills to the north of the capital of Islamabad, in an area where much of the land is controlled or owned by the Pakistan Army and retired army officers. Although the city is technically in what used to be called the Northwest Frontier Province, it lies to the far eastern side of the province and is as close to Pakistani-held Kashmir as it is to the border city of Peshawar. The city is most notable for housing the Pakistan Military Academy, the Pakistan Army’s premier training college, equivalent to West Point.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/05/notes-on-the-death-of-osama-bin-laden.html <- more to be found in this article here

Nick Kristof's been tweeting some interesting bits: "Look at the forms required in Pakistan for building a home: http://bit.ly/ltvXtw (via @Takhallus) And ISI [Pakistani intelligence agency] didn't know?"

Sick Boy
02-05-2011, 05:50 PM
Shoot to kill missions - what's the legal status of that?

This is likely going to be debated over the next little while, but I think it's not as contentious an issue as some are making it out to be. Osama Bin Laden was the head of a political organization that declared war on the United States. I'm sure the US are going to say that because they were at war, killing him was perfectly legal. What seems less legal to me is the fact his death involved a US armed strike in Pakistani territory. I could be wrong about this though - they just aren't at war with Pakistan.

I actually don't think they intended to kill him as a top priority, i.e. that this was a shoot-to-kill mission. They could've done so much more with him alive, not least destroy his dignity by parading him around in front of TV cameras like they did with Sadaam. I reckon they just figured, after they found him dead, it'd go over better by just saying it was a shoot-to-kill mission. Mission accomplished.

Sectionfive
02-05-2011, 06:03 PM
Its not like any of the states that run around murdering people have ever been to bothered about what boarder they had to cross to do it before. Given what's involved here I don't think we will hear much about it though I can't see Pakistan sending any deathsquads to do business in the US any time soon.

Did he have citizenship anywhere?
He gave up his Saudi pastport afaik.

IdleRich
02-05-2011, 06:23 PM
"Apparently he was 'buried' at sea so not to create a grave/shrine. It was done so quickly (within 48 hours) so to be in accordance with Islamic tradition."

"They kept a sample of his DNA to prove it was him."
Yeah, read all this and it makes sense, it's just that I would have expected them to take as many steps as possible to satisfy conspiracy theorists and even just the slightly sceptical - or maybe they just don't care.
Overall seems to be a surprisingly muted response to this from all sides. Possibly recent events have made him less relevant. Less triumphalism than I would have expected as well although maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.

Leo
02-05-2011, 06:29 PM
There are a ton of loose ends to this thing though for instance how the fuck could Osama reside essentially next to a military academy?

because corrupt factors within the pakistani military and intelligence agency were protecting him.

Leo
02-05-2011, 06:32 PM
Overall seems to be a surprisingly muted response to this from all sides. Possibly recent events have made him less relevant. Less triumphalism than I would have expected as well although maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.

they were dancing in the streets in times square and washington dc at midnight last night, and crowds paying respects at ground zero today.

you
02-05-2011, 07:02 PM
This is likely going to be debated over the next little while, but I think it's not as contentious an issue as some are making it out to be. Osama Bin Laden was the head of a political organization that declared war on the United States. I'm sure the US are going to say that because they were at war, killing him was perfectly legal. What seems less legal to me is the fact his death involved a US armed strike in Pakistani territory. I could be wrong about this though - they just aren't at war with Pakistan.

I actually don't think they intended to kill him as a top priority, i.e. that this was a shoot-to-kill mission. They could've done so much more with him alive, not least destroy his dignity by parading him around in front of TV cameras like they did with Sadaam. I reckon they just figured, after they found him dead, it'd go over better by just saying it was a shoot-to-kill mission. Mission accomplished.

sorry, but obama's statement declares that 3 years ago he raised the 'death of osama bin laden' as their top priority - he goes on to explain that when he heard of the lead about his whereabouts he gave the go ahead for the mission....... I am very very dubious of this legality in international law - is it legal to order a military to kill an individual before a trial???? I understand they were at war with each other, and deaths occur in war but is it legal for the objective to be an individuals death??? Not capture, or disarm? Also - that aspect of pakistan being pretty much in the dark and unaware of this particular mission reeks of america being a little gun-hoe ( SP - cant be arsed to check )......

Sick Boy
02-05-2011, 07:03 PM
because corrupt factors within the pakistani military and intelligence agency were protecting him.

Yeah. In fact, according to a few sources I've read this morning, the US carried out the whole operation without even alerting the Pakistani authorities which is clearly because they thought if they did so they might find he'd mysteriously disappeared by the time they got there. That's the bit that smacks of being a bit illegal to me.

rrrivero
02-05-2011, 07:10 PM
because corrupt factors within the pakistani military and intelligence agency were protecting him.Yeah I meant that as a rhetorical question. Pakistan's been arming the Taliban in Afghanistan so protecting Osama wouldn't really be a deviation from their allegedly US friendly policies

Leo
02-05-2011, 07:21 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiDyrkU0WAQ

rrrivero
02-05-2011, 07:34 PM
http://www.businessinsider.com/chinese-media-pakistan-killed-bin-laden-2011-5?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_term&utm_content&utm_campaign=fanpage

The Chinese are actually claiming that Pakistani forces killed Osama and that the US just swooped in to steal the glory.

edit: haha that video

HMGovt
02-05-2011, 10:19 PM
http://www.boingboing.net/2011/05/02/7a600ed6dba66390aa10d612fe6a5a56f4a16d2b.gif

HMGovt
02-05-2011, 10:20 PM
http://www.boingboing.net/2011/05/02/JbU2F.jpg

HMGovt
02-05-2011, 10:22 PM
Slightly concerning news that emerged last week - timing? http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8241119/capturing-bin-laden-would-unleash-hell

Sectionfive
02-05-2011, 10:28 PM
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkl76bS3Ha1qat9xfo1_500.jpg



President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Please note: a classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured.


http://motherjones.tumblr.com/post/5141185147/president-barack-obama-and-vice-president-joe

luka
03-05-2011, 10:38 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPMXSQSbIYU

HERE IS A SNIPPET OF RAEKOWN THE CHEF'S TRIBUTE TO OSAMA BIN LADEN.

gumdrops
03-05-2011, 11:27 AM
i did not expect that. tho i cant tell what he thinks of OBL from the lyrics.

this is surely the real soundtrack of the last day -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcmuPc8_SWQ

luka
03-05-2011, 11:30 AM
i shouldnt spoil it by saying this but it was recorded before his death and leaked now for obvious publicity reasons.

gumdrops
03-05-2011, 11:38 AM
im still bothered by that stupid ghostface line 'stand back mr bush we in control of this war' on the wu's iron flag album.

saying that though, that team america song is making me feel all pro america and stuff.

i think he shd have been given a trial though, even tho it wd have been a joke of course, like sadaams trial was.

vimothy
03-05-2011, 02:08 PM
That was totally ninja!

IdleRich
03-05-2011, 03:41 PM
The right are pissed off that it was Obama's regime that found him - the main thing they're saying is that it's a justification for Gitmo which Obama opposed.

Mr. Tea
03-05-2011, 04:03 PM
the main thing they're saying is that it's a justification for Gitmo which Obama opposed

...but has so far failed to do anything about closing.

Corpsey
04-05-2011, 12:46 AM
The right are pissed off that it was Obama's regime that found him - the main thing they're saying is that it's a justification for Gitmo which Obama opposed.

Yeah saw this in 'The Sun' today (here's a piece on it in the Guardian) (http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/may/03/osama-bin-laden-death-us-bush-torture-debate). They were emphasising the whole 'cowardly rat hides behind his wife' angle... Apparently that might have all just been made up though (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/03/osama-bin-laden-final-moments).

droid
04-05-2011, 10:10 AM
Carney added a crucial detail. "Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was not armed," Carney disclosed. Asked how he had resisted if he had no gun, Carney declined to specify but said resistance does not require a gun.

Have the Americans finally embraced the teachings of Gandhi?

you
04-05-2011, 10:25 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/03/osama-bin-laden-soviet-union-baddie

Adam Curtis' response - dope.

akumad1
04-05-2011, 11:26 AM
Have the Americans finally embraced the teachings of Gandhi?

:D

this is a superb account of just what was going on...

balls (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3561865/Children-playing-football-would-kick-balls-over-Osama-Bin-Ladens-wall-and-not-get-them-back-neighbours-say.html)

not sure why his henchmen were willing to approach the kids to pay them off instead of just handing their balls back....but who knows what goes on the minds of these sick madmen:cool:

Mr. Tea
04-05-2011, 12:52 PM
:D

this is a superb account of just what was going on...

balls (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3561865/Children-playing-football-would-kick-balls-over-Osama-Bin-Ladens-wall-and-not-get-them-back-neighbours-say.html)

not sure why his henchmen were willing to approach the kids to pay them off instead of just handing their balls back....but who knows what goes on the minds of these sick madmen:cool:

I saw that too. :) I like to think that if ObL had been taken alive and put on trial, his defence brief would have used this to argue that he's not a bad sort really...

gumdrops
04-05-2011, 01:21 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/03/bin-laden-death-us-patriot-reflex


But to suggest that "justice has been done", as President Obama did on Sunday night, seems perverse. This was not justice, it was an extra-judicial execution. If you shoot a man twice in the head you do not find him guilty. You find him dead. This was revenge. And it was served very cold indeed.

IdleRich
04-05-2011, 01:51 PM
That's true of course but Obama can't say that can he, he has to claim that objective justice was delivered. Ironically, I reckon that if Bush had still been in power his statement which would have probably been much more ill-considered, personal and have alluded more to revenge than justice, would have also been nearer to the truth.

Leo
04-05-2011, 02:19 PM
OBL wasn't armed with a gun, but there was always a possibility he'd be wired with explosives, or the room booby-trapped. he was found with 500 euros and two phone numbers sewn into his sleeping garment, so it's not entirely far-fetched that he might also be constantly prepared in other ways as well. this team 6 aren't the sort of commandos who were going to take that chance.

that being said, this was clearly a kill mission.

IdleRich
04-05-2011, 02:29 PM
"he was found with 500 euros and two phone numbers sewn into his sleeping garment"
You would have that thought the evil super villain mastermind who has confounded the West for so long would have been capable of remembering two phone numbers.

lanugo
05-05-2011, 12:05 AM
Top Government Insider: Bin Laden Died In 2001, 9/11 A False Flag (http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/05/top-government-insider-bin-laden-died.html)


Top US government insider Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, a man who held numerous different influential positions under three different Presidents and still works with the Defense Department, shockingly told The Alex Jones Show yesterday that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001 and that he was prepared to testify in front of a grand jury how a top general told him directly that 9/11 was a false flag inside job.


Pieczenik cannot be dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist”. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations, Nixon, Ford and Carter, while also working under Reagan and Bush senior, and still works as a consultant for the Department of Defense. A former US Navy Captain, Pieczenik achieved two prestigious Harry C. Solomon Awards at the Harvard Medical School as he simultaneously completed a PhD at MIT.


“This whole scenario where you see a bunch of people sitting there looking at a screen and they look as if they’re intense, that’s nonsense,” referring to the images released by the White House which claim to show Biden, Obama and Hillary Clinton watching the operation to kill Bin Laden live on a television screen.

IdleRich
05-05-2011, 03:28 PM
“This whole scenario where you see a bunch of people sitting there looking at a screen and they look as if they’re intense, that’s nonsense,” referring to the images released by the White House which claim to show Biden, Obama and Hillary Clinton watching the operation to kill Bin Laden live on a television screen.
Seems that they're no longer claiming to have watched it live so he's right on that part at least.

crackerjack
05-05-2011, 08:23 PM
Top Government Insider: Bin Laden Died In 2001, 9/11 A False Flag (http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/05/top-government-insider-bin-laden-died.html)


shockingly told The Alex Jones Show....

Pieczenik cannot be dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist”.

That's the definition of an oxymoron right there.

craner
05-05-2011, 08:41 PM
I reckon the ISI delivered him up to the CIA -- either that, or someone in the compound betrayed him for US $$$s. The official version doesn't make much sense, even in its new, revised form.

Sectionfive
07-05-2011, 06:38 PM
Chomsky

http://www.guernicamag.com/blog/2652/noam_chomsky_my_reaction_to_os/

vimothy
08-05-2011, 02:54 PM
In a war, no one gets a trial. There is no due process--that's what makes it war. Chomsky and Younge are more than wrong, they are incoherent.


For many years (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/05/bin-laden-the-rules-of-engagement.html#ixzz1Llb7vhff), soldiers have also been permitted to kill people because of who they are, rather than what they are doing—such people are “status-based targets.” During the Second World War, an American infantryman could shoot an S.S. officer who was eating lunch in a French café without violating the Law of War, so long as he did not actively surrender. The officer’s uniform made it obvious that he was the enemy

No doubt Chomsky would have called this a violation of elementary norms of international law. Which begs the question: where did these norms come from, exactly, if not state practice?

vimothy
08-05-2011, 03:25 PM
Anyone interested in the actual legality of the operation could do worse than read this: http://opiniojuris.org/2011/05/05/should-john-brennan-or-eric-holder-simply-have-quoted-harold-koh/

And lemme quote Koh, the chief international and foreign relations legal counsel to the US, as Ken Anderson suggests:


Some have argued that the use of lethal force against specific individuals fails to provide adequate process and thus constitutes unlawful extrajudicial killing. But a state that is engaged in an armed conflict or in legitimate self-defence is not required to provide targets with legal process before the state may use lethal force ….

The principles of distinction and proportionality that the US applies are … implemented rigorously throughout the planning and execution of lethal operations to ensure that such operations are conducted in accordance with all applicable law ….

Some have argued that our targeting practices violate domestic law, in particular, the longstanding domestic ban on assassinations. But under domestic law, the use of lawful weapons systems — consistent with the applicable laws of war — for precision targeting of specific high-level belligerent leaders when acting in self-defence or during an armed conflict is not unlawful, and hence does not constitute ‘assassination’.

The debate around the issue in the press is a certainly bizarre and not particularly well informed, but the Obama admin has kind of done this to itself. I think that it would have been better if they'd just owned up to what everyone intuitively understands: they went there to kill him, and kill him they did.


Suppose that faced with that initial, and entirely predictable, question — did the SEALs attempt to capture Bin Laden? — Brennan had instead brooked no opposition and snapped back with visible irritation — of course they were not attempting to capture him, they were there to attack and kill him, to attack him with lethal force. This was an armed lethal attack upon a a criminal adversary of the United States in an armed conflict, without cavil or apology. They were sent to attack and kill him as someone who was targetable with lethal force and no warning at any time. Which, as explanations go, and (at least as it appears at this particular moment) does have the virtue of being true, as well as legally sound.

continuum
08-05-2011, 03:32 PM
isn't the problem though still that there is no credible evidence connecting him to the 9/11 attack?

vimothy
08-05-2011, 03:36 PM
No.

EDIT: OBL was a member of a group taking part in an armed conflict in Afghanistan, and arguably in Pakistan as well. Therefore, it was legal to kill him under the Laws of War (IHL).

continuum
08-05-2011, 03:39 PM
you have evidence he did it?

vimothy
08-05-2011, 03:47 PM
The US doesn't need to prove anything. Again, in war, there is no due process. Since there is a war (i.e. the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan), and since OBL was a member of a party in that conflict (i.e. AQ), the US could legally kill him.

continuum
08-05-2011, 03:50 PM
but the armed conflict he was taking part in was started illegally by the US and UK.

vimothy
08-05-2011, 04:00 PM
That's wrong. (What is your source for the illegality of the war in Afghanistan?) But even if it were correct, US soldiers could still legally kill OBL.


There are two sides to the strike, and both the jus ad bellum and the jus in bello are relevant to the legality of the operation. But only the JIB is relevant to the legality of killing bin Laden. The two areas of law protect different interests: the JAB protects a state’s sovereignty; the JIB protects (among other things) combatants and civilians in armed conflict. As I said the post, as long as IHL applies and the U.S. forces complied with the rules of IHL, the killing was not illegal. And it was not illegal even if the use of armed force against Pakistan violated the JAB.

Consider a hypothetical situation. Assume that Obama invades Mexico tomorrow and seizes its oil. During the invasion an American soldier shoots and kills a Mexican soldier guarding one of Mexico’s oil wells. That killing is not murder, nor is it a war crime, because IHL applies to the conflict (IHL is automatically triggered whenever one state attacks another state) and IHL does not prohibit one combatant from killing another. And that killing is not murder and not a war crime even though the U.S. attack clearly violated the jus ad bellum. That does not mean that the JAB violation is irrelevant; Mexico is entitled to protest the violation of its sovereignty, and Obama (and other U.S. political and military leaders) may be guilty of the crime of aggression under customary international law. But the illegality of the invasion does not affect the right of combatants in the resulting armed conflict to kill in ways permitted by IHL.

Does that help?

http://opiniojuris.org/2011/05/04/quick-thoughts-on-ubls-killing-and-a-response-to-lewis/

continuum
08-05-2011, 04:03 PM
That's wrong. (What is your source for the illegality of the war in Afghanistan?) But even if it were correct, US soldiers could still legally kill OBL.


You're right I was thinking of the war in Iraq.

IdleRich
08-05-2011, 07:34 PM
"Nothing serious has been provided since. There is much talk of bin Laden’s “confession,” but that is rather like my confession that I won the Boston Marathon. He boasted of what he regarded as a great achievement."
The difference being that claiming to win the Boston Marathon isn't gonna make you a target (except possibly of the real winner). It may not exactly be a moral argument but it's fair to say that claiming to be responsible for something like Sept 11th is going to make life pretty difficult for you in the future and isn't something to be done lightly. If he wasn't involved then it was ultimately a pretty stupid thing to do.

baboon2004
09-05-2011, 12:48 AM
If he wasn't involved then it was ultimately a pretty stupid thing to do.

Suicidal.

Mr. Tea
09-05-2011, 09:13 AM
If OBL wasn't behind 9/11, there is no reason whatsoever for him to claim 'credit'. Think about it on his own terms: if he'd just been sitting there in Afghanistan minding his own business, perhaps planning some new terror attack (but nothing on the scale of 9/11) and then suddenly his face is all over every news channel in the world, linking him to the biggest and most audacious terror plot in history, what would he do? Exactly what Bush/the CIA/ZOG (or whoever) want him to do, and claim responsibility? Wouldn't you, if you were bin Laden, rather say "Nothing to do with me, your own government did this to you!"? Imagine if he'd said that. Bush would have had to deploy the National Guard and/or regular army to put down a spontaneous armed uprising, would be my guess!

The only way around this, for 'hard' Truthers (i.e. those claiming some arm of the US Govt actually carried out 9/11) is to assume OBL himself is part of the conspiracy. Which just illustrates one aspect of the unfalsifiablility of conspiracy theories: they go arbitrarily 'high up', there is no-one who cannot be said to be 'in on it'.

Regarding the recent actions in Pakistan, it does seem pretty clear that those guys went in with the express intention of killing OBL although I'd have thought Obama would want the propaganda coup of parading him on TV as a live prisoner. I suppose they must have had a good (I mean, militarily/politically justified) reason for wanting him dead ASAP.

Will there be a Wikileaks revelation about the OBL mission, do you think? Or are would-be leakers too scared after what's happened to that poor bastard Manning?

baboon2004
09-05-2011, 09:27 AM
Regarding the recent actions in Pakistan, it does seem pretty clear that those guys went in with the express intention of killing OBL although I'd have thought Obama would want the propaganda coup of parading him on TV as a live prisoner. I suppose they must have had a good (I mean, militarily/politically justified) reason for wanting him dead ASAP.


i thinkt hey just wanted to end it, without ANY possibility that something would go 'wrong'. i mean, thinking about it, after 10 years of searching for this elusive, become quasi-mythical entity (OBL), there must be some serious aura around him in the US military imagination. Why take the risk of not killing him when you have the chance?

Mr. Tea
09-05-2011, 09:28 AM
Yeah, good point. Maybe it would have been different if they'd captured him (much) sooner after 9/11.

droid
09-05-2011, 10:01 AM
No.

EDIT: OBL was a member of a group taking part in an armed conflict in Afghanistan, and arguably in Pakistan as well. Therefore, it was legal to kill him under the Laws of War (IHL).

So you would see no legal problems with the US bombing London or sending special forces into Manchester to kill a target as long as their target was (allegedly) participating in a 'war' with the US?

Presumably then you would also see no legal problem with Hamas doing the same, or Yemen, or Libya, or Israel etc...?

BTW, the US is not at war with Pakistan, or Afghanistan. There was never a declaration of war.

Chomsky, is, as usual, correct.

Putting aside the question of whether OBL was a 'combatant' and was therefore eligible for execution, even if unarmed and surrendering, the question of sovereignty is paramount:


In other words, extra-territorial jurisdiction in any such matters would normally be unlawful as a state's sovereignty is absolute - no other country's armed forces can enter or carry out a military operation without the local state's authorization. Using force against the territorial integrity and independence of a foreign state is strictly prohibited under the international law and, prima facie, with the way the operation was carried out, the U.S. government clearly violated the national security of Pakistan, and set a very dangerous precedence that greatly poses a threat to the international peace and security.

However, in this case the U.S. government is right in making the "self defense" justification because the al Qaeda is engaged in a continuous act of war against the U.S. and Pakistan, more or less, has allowed its territory to be used as a base of operation for future terrorist crimes against the United States and other countries.

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/142448/20110507/osama-bin-laden-killing-legal-violate-international-law-experts-lawyers-divided.htm#ixzz1LqRLfmPe

Given the examples above, its clear that this is not an accepted norm. If it was Cuba could be 'legally' bombing Florida, North Korea could 'legally' be bombing South Korea, The UK could have 'legally' bombed Dublin and Boston during the 80's... the list goes on. This is just good, old fashioned US exceptionalism.

baboon2004
09-05-2011, 10:37 AM
Yeah, good point. Maybe it would have been different if they'd captured him (much) sooner after 9/11.

Definitely. Perhaps displaying him as a prisoner would have backfired too - I think they partly believed he was a little super-human after evading detection for so long!

vimothy
09-05-2011, 10:50 AM
Weird how Chomsky is right and all the experts in the field of, you know, international law and the laws of war--the ones with the actual qualifications and letters after their names--are wrong. Perhaps they haven't read Chomsky's article yet and so don't realise he disagrees with them and hence the magnitude of their error.

The US has not formally declared war since WWII (wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_war_by_the_United_States)). Nevertheless, it has engaged in numerous "armed conflicts" that have been authorised by Congress and/or relevant international bodies. Re Afghanistan, see: AUMF (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ040.107); also, UNSCR 1368 (http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3c4e94557.html) and UNSCR 1378 (http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3c4e945615.html).

I don't find the targeted killing of Bin Laden problematic. It seems like a textbook case of how to do something like this right. Dropping a JDAM on some random house in Pakistan would have been problematic. By all appearances this was proportionate and demonstrated distinction, which is what you ask from a state at war (i.e. the relevant legal restrictions).

If Bin Laden had sincerely surrendered then his killing would have been illegal. But the US was not required to make some kind of an offer before they shot him. (He did have ten years to come to a decision on this front). See the comments by Navy JAG Alan G. Kaufman and targeting law scholar Ian Henderson on the Opinio Juris post I linked to earlier for a discussion about this point. Whether Bin Laden was armed is irrelevant to the legality of the operation. When you drop a bomb, it doesn't pause mid-flight to check to see if the targets are armed, or to offer quarter. It falls, people die. That's brutal, but that's war. Lesson: be careful about who you declare war on.

craner
09-05-2011, 10:53 AM
If Pakistan is having sovereign territory violated by foreign special forces, it has brought this catastophe on by itself -- the military and ISI have always managed to maintain a fluid concept of a national border along the nominal FATA-Afghanistan division, thus maintaining a haven and corridor for the Pakistani Taliban, al-Qaeda and Haqqani fighters they have been arming and shovelling back into Afghanistan. They have been happy to play this game for nearly ten years despite severe blowback, like massive suicide bombings and assissinatons inside Pakistan, the Red Mosque battle, etc. Frankly, the US spent too long trying to protect Musharraf by not violating NWFP and FATA "sovereignty".

vimothy
09-05-2011, 11:07 AM
It is okay to enter a country that is unable or unwilling to deal with the threat. See Pakistan’s Sovereignty and the Killing of Osama Bin Laden (http://www.asil.org/insights110505.cfm) by Ashley Deeks, currently a fellow at Columbia Law School, but until recently, the Assistant Legal Adviser for Political and Military Affairs at the State Department.

The article droid links to also makes this clear:


According to Dworkin, it wasn't a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. "I think there is a reasonable argument that this was not a violation of Pakistani sovereignty because there is a legitimate argument for self-defense for US action against bin Laden; Pakistan has also made it clear after the event that it does not object to US action in this case and that Pakistan has previously given at least tacit consent for US action against senior al-Qaeda members on its territory," Dworkin said.

Agrees John B. Bellinger III, who was the legal adviser to the State Department under the Bush administration. Bellinger acknowledges that under the United Nations Charter, the United States would normally be prohibited from using force inside Pakistan without obtaining Pakistan's consent. But there is one caveat: that the host country is both capable and willing to deal with problems itself.

And, this was a special circumstance that gave the U.S. government a legal justification for not doing so (obtaining consent).

"The U.S. was justified in concluding that Pakistan was unwilling or unable to stop the threat posed by Osama bin Laden, and that Pakistan's consent was not necessary because of past concerns about the close ties between Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban," Bellinger said, "and the fact that bin Laden was in a house, on a street right down the road from a Pakistani military base."

There's no way in hell the US could have risked sharing this with Islamabad and getting permission before hand.

craner
09-05-2011, 11:23 AM
Unless they had already agreed to this "violation".

droid
09-05-2011, 11:40 AM
It is okay to enter a country that is unable or unwilling to deal with the threat. See Pakistan’s Sovereignty and the Killing of Osama Bin Laden (http://www.asil.org/insights110505.cfm) by Ashley Deeks, currently a fellow at Columbia Law School, but until recently, the Assistant Legal Adviser for Political and Military Affairs at the State Department.

The article droid links to also makes this clear:



There's no way in hell the US could have risked sharing this with Islamabad and getting permission before hand.

OK, so Cuba is therefore legally entitled to launch special forces operations and bombings in Florida as the US has clearly been unwilling to deal with the problems of terrorist acts committed against Cuba by actors residing in Florida?

Its clearly ludicrous, but this is the position you support.

Chomsky makes the same point:


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. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.

Would you have supported such an act from a legal standpoint?


Weird how Chomsky is right and all the experts in the field of, you know, international law and the laws of war--the ones with the actual qualifications and letters after their names--are wrong. Perhaps they haven't read Chomsky's article yet and so don't realise he disagrees with them and hence the magnitude of their error.

Its absolute nonsense and a misguided appeal to authority to suggest that every 'expert' on international law agrees with you. In fact, the only reference you've supplied prominently features a US military lawyer.


I don't find the targeted killing of Bin Laden problematic. It seems like a textbook case of how to do something like this right.

Yes, but as previously noted, you dont see the use of state terror and WP on civilians as problematic either.

droid
09-05-2011, 11:46 AM
If Pakistan is having sovereign territory violated by foreign special forces, it has brought this catastophe on by itself -- the military and ISI have always managed to maintain a fluid concept of a national border along the nominal FATA-Afghanistan division, thus maintaining a haven and corridor for the Pakistani Taliban, al-Qaeda and Haqqani fighters they have been arming and shovelling back into Afghanistan. They have been happy to play this game for nearly ten years despite severe blowback, like massive suicide bombings and assissinatons inside Pakistan, the Red Mosque battle, etc. Frankly, the US spent too long trying to protect Musharraf by not violating NWFP and FATA "sovereignty".

Wow... they brought it on themselves... I havent heard this argument in a while. This is what they said about the secret bombing of Laos and Cambodia isnt it?

craner
09-05-2011, 11:55 AM
This is what they said about the secret bombing of Laos and Cambodia isnt it?

Sort of, although that was cleary a world-historic smear to justify actions of state terror, whereas in the case of Pakistan the self-destructive duplicty of its military and secret service is widely and deeply documented and has led directly to the near-destruction of the Pakistani and Afghan states without any need for US carpet-bombing or incompetence to do the job.

droid
09-05-2011, 12:01 PM
Sort of, although that was cleary a world-historic smear to justify actions of state terror, whereas in the case of Pakistan the self-destructive duplicty of its military and secret service is widely and deeply documented and has led directly to the near-destruction of the Pakistani and Afghan states without any need for US carpet-bombing or incompetence to do the job.

Ah, I see. So its the duplicity and evil of the Pakistan military and secret service which has brought about the 'near-destruction of the Pakistani and Afghan states', and not 30 years of US and Soviet intervention, the support of militant elements and military dictators followed by a comically misguided and viciously destructive invasion by the West.

Thanks for clearing that one up.

craner
09-05-2011, 12:27 PM
No problem -- glad to help!

After 9/11, Musharraf and his generals had a golden opportunity to help rebuild and stabilise Afghanistan and liberalise the Pakistani state, and instead they chose to intensify the Kashmir conflict to the point of nuclear war, destabilise Afghanistan because of paranoia about India, destroy Balochistan, and protect and rebuild the Afghan Taliban, al-Qaida and other jihadi allies (Haqqani, Hikmetyar, etc. etc). The CIA and the Pentagon allowed Musharaf and the ISI to do all of this, just as they prefered to work with warlords rather than civilians in Afghanistan -- but these were terrible tactical and strategic blunders, which was obvious even to the Bush Administration and the ISI by late 2007.

droid
09-05-2011, 12:35 PM
No problem -- glad to help!

After 9/11, Musharraf and his generals had a golden opportunity to help rebuild and stabilise Afghanistan and liberalise the Pakistani state, and instead they chose to intensify the Kashmir conflict to the point of nuclear war, destroy Balochistan and protect and rebuild the Afghan Taliban, al-Qaida and other jihadi allies (Haqqani, Hikmetyar, etc. etc). The CIA and the Pentagon allowed Musharaf and the ISI to do all of this, just as they prefered to work with warlords rather than civilians in Afghanistan -- but these were terrible tactical and strategic blunders, which was obvious even to the Bush Administration and the ISI by late 2007.

Uh-huh, and the US and its allies could have taken the Taliban's offer to hand over Bin Laden in 2001 (in return for evidence of his involvement in 9/11), avoided a disastrous war, and as a result, also avoided the rise of rogue elements in a Pakistani military (which was greatly boosted by US military spending and involvement in the region), avoided its counterbalancing nuclear alignment with India in 2005, and generally avoided all the horrible shit that comes from launching an ill-thought out war in probably the most intractable region of earth, which has resulted in making the world a much more dangerous place.

craner
09-05-2011, 12:53 PM
No, because the Taliban had no way of handing over Osama bin Laden in 2001 -- besides which, Musharaf, the army and the ISI were all desperate to save the Taliban and keep them in power, so if he could have been handed over then, he presumably would have been. As if the US were itching to invade Afghanistan and destabilise Pakistan! Quite the opposite.

These rogue elements were not so "rogue" -- they were the backbone, the culture of the army and the ISI. This ain't Turkey! Military training academies were pumping out troops educated in anti-Indian, pro-jihadi propaganda -- obvisiously as long as the army wasn't deliberately attacked or destabilised by the US or USSR they would be free to do so. Presumably you would be against the idea of any such external pressure being exerted on the Pakistnai military.

The counterbalancing nuclear alignment with India was exactly the correct policy for the US to take and it should have taken it all along. I was heartened when it happened and it was the best thing Rice did as Sec of State. The Pakistani military elite needed to pay a price for their ideological and destructive actions in Kashmir, FATA, NWFP, Balochistan and Afghanistan and this was the big price they paid. It took their own cities coming under attack from their former (and in some cases current) patrons to realise that their dual-track policy had, shall we say, gotten out of hand. India is the obvious regional ally for the US, not Pakistan.

droid
09-05-2011, 01:01 PM
No, because the Taliban had no way of handing over Osama bin Laden in 2001 -- besides which, Musharaf, the army and the ISI were all desperate to save the Taliban and keep them in power, so if he could have been handed over then, he presumably would have been. As if the US were itching to invade Afghanistan and destabilise Pakistan! Quite the opposite.


Dear god Craner, your historical myopia is getting worse. The Taliban offered to apprehend and handover Bin Laden, the US refused point blank. Its a matter of fact. The Taliban knew where he was, didn't particularly like him and had the capability to capture and hold him.


Bush rejects Taliban offer to hand Bin Laden over

President George Bush rejected as "non-negotiable" an offer by the Taliban to discuss turning over Osama bin Laden if the United States ended the bombing in Afghanistan.
Returning to the White House after a weekend at Camp David, the president said the bombing would not stop, unless the ruling Taliban "turn over, turn his cohorts over, turn any hostages they hold over." He added, "There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty". In Jalalabad, deputy prime minister Haji Abdul Kabir - the third most powerful figure in the ruling Taliban regime - told reporters that the Taliban would require evidence that Bin Laden was behind the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, but added: "we would be ready to hand him over to a third country".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/14/afghanistan.terrorism5


[B]U.S. Refusal of 2001 Taliban Offer Gave bin Laden a Free Pass
by Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON - When George W. Bush rejected a Taliban offer to have Osama bin Laden tried by a moderate group of Islamic states in mid- October 2001, he gave up the only opportunity the United States would have to end bin Laden's terrorist career for the next nine years.

The al Qaeda leader was able to escape into Pakistan a few weeks later, because the Bush administration had no military plan to capture him.

The last Taliban foreign minister, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, offered at a secret meeting in Islamabad Oct. 15, 2001 to put bin Laden in the custody of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), to be tried for the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, Muttawakil told IPS in an interview in Kabul last year.

The OIC is a moderate, Saudi-based organisation representing all Islamic countries. A trial of bin Laden by judges from OIC member countries might have dealt a more serious blow to al Qaeda's Islamic credentials than anything the United States would have done with bin Laden.



President Bush Rejects Taliban Offer To Surrender Osama Bin Laden (The Independent – 15 October 2001)

Second week of bombing begins; Media visits village hit by missile

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Monday, 15 October 2001

After a week of debilitating strikes at targets across Afghanistan, the Taliban repeated an offer to hand over Osama bin Laden, only to be rejected by President Bush.

The offer yesterday from Haji Abdul Kabir, the Taliban’s deputy prime minister, to surrender Mr bin Laden if America would halt its bombing and provide evidence against the Saudi-born dissident was not new but it suggested the Taliban are increasingly weary of the air strikes, which have crippled much of their military and communications assets.

The move came as the Taliban granted foreign journalists unprecedented access to the interior for the first time. Reporters were escorted to the village of Karam in southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban said up to 200 civilians were killed in an American bombardment last Wednesday.

The reporters saw clear evidence that many civilians had been killed in the attack, though they could not confirm the number of deaths. “I ask America not to kill us,” pleaded Hussain Khan, who said he had lost four children in the raid. In the rubble of one house, the remains of an arm stuck out from beneath a pile of bricks. A leg had been uncovered near by.

Another old man said: “We are poor people, don’t hit us. We have nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. We are innocent people.” Washington has not commented on the bombardment.

...and so on.

vimothy
09-05-2011, 01:30 PM
OK, so Cuba is therefore legally entitled to launch special forces operations and bombings in Florida as the US has clearly been unwilling to deal with the problems of terrorist acts committed against Cuba by actors residing in Florida?

No. Unless Cuba can make the case that it is legal (e.g. continuous armed conflict, present threat & operational linkages between target and belligerent organisation, etc, etc--that could satisfy the JAB. Then the operation itself would need to satisfy the JIB), in which case, er, obviously yes.


Its clearly ludicrous, but this is the position you support.

Yes, you've really caught me out here.


Chomsky makes the same point:

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. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.

Would you have supported such an act from a legal standpoint?

Iraq is not at war with the US, and even if it were, Bush is obviously no longer a military target in any serious sense.

If you go back to the quote I posted from Heller explaining the distinction between the JIB and JAB, this might be a bit clearer. The entire war might be totally illegal (violate the JAB), but combatants can still legally attack targets with military value. The legality of Bin Laden's death does not depend on the legality of the operation.


Its absolute nonsense and a misguided appeal to authority to suggest that every 'expert' on international law agrees with you. In fact, the only reference you've supplied prominently features a US military lawyer.

On the contrary I've linked to blog posts with discussion from several prominent international law scholars. For example, here again is Kevin Jon Heller (http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/index.cfm?objectid=F9D2D075-B0D0-AB80-E2BC989969E28989&username=Kevin%20Jon%20Heller): "First, with regard to the UBL question: I have no doubt that killing UBL was legal." Or Marko Milanovic (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/law/staff-lookup/Marko.Milanovic): "Was the Killing of Osama bin Laden Lawful? (http://www.ejiltalk.org/was-the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden-lawful/) Yes. I wouldn’t say beyond any doubt, but for practical purposes very nearly so." Robert Chesney (http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/profile.php?id=rmc2289): "[O]f course the US Government (http://www.lawfareblog.com/2011/05/the-legality-of-the-ubl-operation-responding-to-the-der-spiegel-criticism/) did not purport to be pursuing UBL strictly as a matter of dispensing retributive justice for a past crime... it could not be clearer that the government asserts that it is acting in self-defense, consistent with Article 51 of the UN Charter, in attempting to stop al Qaeda from carrying out further atrocities." Gabor Rona (http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/about-us/staff/gabor-rona/): "All in all (http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2011/05/05/was-killing-osama-bin-laden-legal/), probably a legal kill assuming the official version is true." John B. Bellinger III (http://www.cfr.org/experts/international-law-national-security-and-defense/john-b-bellinger-iii/b6133): "The U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden (http://www.cfr.org/terrorism/bin-laden-killing-legal-basis/p24866?cid=rss-terrorism-bin_laden_killing__the_legal_b-050211&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+issue%2Fterrorism+%28CFR.org+-+Issues+-+Terrorism%29%27) in Pakistan was lawful under both U.S. domestic law and international law." I could go on.


On the other hand, you haven't linked to a single IL scholar who says that the US operation was illegal, or that the killing of OBL itself was illegal. I suppose this isn't necessary because expert opinion represents a misguided appeal to authority. Much better to rely on the opinions of Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT.


Yes, but as previously noted, you dont see the use of state terror and WP on civilians as problematic either.

Ah yes, the argument Tu quoque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque) (aka "And you are lynching Negroes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_you_are_lynching_Negroes)").

Nevertheless, the mission to kill Bin Laden clearly demonstrated proportionality and discrimination. (I think there were about 20 survivors in the compound, IIRC. And obviously, if the US had dropped thousands of pounds of ordinance, the whole neighbourhood would have been flattened, with no proof that Bin Laden was even there.) Targeted killing>>>>>indiscriminate killing.

craner
09-05-2011, 01:37 PM
The offer was made -- I actually remember watching it on TV! -- but was rejected because it was obvious bollocks and bluster and time-playing. Musharraf, if you remember, told Colin Powell he would help persuade Omar to hand over bin Laden, when, in fact, his leverage over the Taliban was at a low-point, and al-Qaida influence on Omar and the Taliban at its peak. Omar wasn't willing to hand over bin Laden and wouldn't have been able to if he had; Musharraf ditto. In fact, the A-Q camps were largely dismantled and evacuated by 9/11. Also, as the US was preparing to invade, the Pakistanis were preparing to evacuate their prime terrorist and Taliban assets back to FATA and Quetta. Unbelievably, they were able to do this in the middle of the US offensive with the direct permission of Dick Cheney, who didn't quite realise what he had permitted! Bin Laden was never going to be just "handed over"; he could never have been.

vimothy
09-05-2011, 01:40 PM
The discussion of surrender in the Opinio Juris thread by operational lawyer types is relevant again here.

vimothy
09-05-2011, 01:48 PM
Also, the obvious worry/counter-factual is not Cuba invading the US, but India unilaterally killing another of the ISI's "strategic assets" (and according to Wikipedia, the third richest criminal in history) Dawood Ibrahim (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawood_Ibrahim).

vimothy
09-05-2011, 02:32 PM
This is a useful article: http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/05/05/the_bin_laden_aftermath_why_obama_chose_seals_not_ drones


Why did the United States choose to launch a raid against al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, rather than bombing it? It wasn't because of a "law enforcement mindset." And it wasn't compelled by human rights law. Rather, it was the best option based on the military objectives, available intelligence, and the law of armed conflict.

...

A second issue prompting the raid was that the Obama administration was worried about collateral damage....

[T]he issue may have been the uncertainty over whether bin Laden was even in the compound. Nation-states are simply not permitted to drop bombs in the hope they will kill the right person; they need to be reasonably certain they are attacking the right target...

Most contemporary discussions of collateral damage skip the threshold legal question likely posed by the Obama administration, namely whether bin Laden or some other lawful military target was actually inside the compound. Unless that question could be answered to a reasonable degree of certainty, any bombing operation would have been unlawful, even with no or minimal collateral damage to surrounding persons and objects.

This reality flows from the principle of distinction, (or "positive identification" in U.S. military parlance) a fundamental tenet of the law of armed conflict. Armed forces are required to "at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives." Positive identification, according to U.S. policies, requires that commanders know with reasonable certainty that "a functionally and geospatially defined object of attack is a legitimate military target." In short, directing attacks against civilians (in this context, non-uniformed personnel) is not permitted, unless they are directly participating in hostilities.

This requirement closely tracks with the text of Protocol I Article 52(2), of the Geneva Conventions, which defines military objectives as "those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to the military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage." This definition, by implication, includes enemy personnel as legitimate military objects. In the case of "civilians," such as bin Laden and those with him in his compound, this identification task also required that those civilians meet the requirement that they are "directly participating in hostilities." As al-Qaeda's leader, bin Laden would easily satisfy this definition, as would his bodyguards and couriers, if only they could be positively identified.

If the U.S. cannot positively identify a lawful target, the law of war and U.S. policies instruct that no bombing operation can take place. This is not to say that the law of armed conflict requires perfection in positively identifying a target (look to America's ongoing CIA drone campaign in Pakistan to see examples of when mistakes have been made); rather, the drafters of the law of armed conflict intended these rules to be a guide to decision-making in warfare, and recognized that bright line rules and fixed borderlines between civilian and military objectives might be difficult to distinguish. However, in the case of uncertainty about identity, the law stands firmly in favor of presuming civilian status, hence the U.S. requirement of positive identification. Thus, the burden is on the attacker to exercise discretion and caution, and they are judged by whether they acted reasonably and honestly in the exercise of those responsibilities.

The positive identification test does not involve any balancing of potential collateral damage against military advantage. Instead, the focus in this case would be on whether the target is a civilian directly participating in hostilities, whose killing furthers a definite military advantage.

vimothy
09-05-2011, 07:27 PM
Unless they had already agreed to this "violation".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/09/osama-bin-laden-us-pakistan-deal


The US and Pakistan struck a secret deal almost a decade ago permitting a US operation against Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil similar to last week's raid that killed the al-Qaida leader, the Guardian has learned.

The deal was struck between the military leader General Pervez Musharraf and President George Bush after Bin Laden escaped US forces in the mountains of Tora Bora in late 2001, according to serving and retired Pakistani and US officials.

Under its terms, Pakistan would allow US forces to conduct a unilateral raid inside Pakistan in search of Bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the al-Qaida No3. Afterwards, both sides agreed, Pakistan would vociferously protest the incursion.

"There was an agreement between Bush and Musharraf that if we knew where Osama was, we were going to come and get him," said a former senior US official with knowledge of counterterrorism operations. "The Pakistanis would put up a hue and cry, but they wouldn't stop us."

(...)

A senior Pakistani official said it had been struck under Musharraf and renewed by the army during the “transition to democracy” – a six-month period from February 2008 when Musharraf was still president but a civilian government had been elected.

Referring to the assault on Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, the official added: “As far as our American friends are concerned, they have just implemented the agreement.”

baboon2004
10-05-2011, 08:03 AM
No. Unless Cuba can make the case that it is legal (e.g. continuous armed conflict, present threat & operational linkages between target and belligerent organisation, etc, etc--that could satisfy the JAB. Then the operation itself would need to satisfy the JIB), in which case, er, obviously yes.


What's the JIB/JAB?

vimothy
10-05-2011, 09:56 AM
Sorry, I mean the two aspects of international humanitarian law: the jus ad bellum, which governs when states can resort to war, and the jus in bello, which governs state conduct in war.

vimothy
10-05-2011, 10:16 AM
Bin Laden’s killing is very likely justified under the laws (such as they are) of war. But, as best as I understand them, these laws are not intended to conduct towards justice; instead they are intended to conduct towards a minimization of those regrettable little side-effects (massacres of prisoners; the deaths of multitudes of civilians &c) that tend to go together with military disputes. It may also possibly be justified in purely pragmatic terms – very possibly, many more people would have died over the longer run had he been captured rather than killed. But it cannot be justified in terms of the procedural requirements of justice as practiced by democracies, which usually do require trials, evidence, judgments that can be appealed and so on

http://crookedtimber.org/2011/05/09/justice-like-the-hawk/

Leo
10-05-2011, 04:49 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfF1vkMQ0h0&feature=player_embedded

vimothy
10-05-2011, 06:28 PM
Osama bin Laden, America's most wanted man, will not face capture in Pakistan if he agrees to lead a "peaceful life," Pakistani officials tell ABC News.

The surprising announcement comes as Pakistani army officials announced they were pulling their troops out of the North Waziristan region as part of a "peace deal" with the Taliban.

If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden "would not be taken into custody," Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, "as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen."

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2006/09/pakistan_gives_.html

HMGovt
16-05-2011, 04:50 PM
They just got the DNA results back for Bin Laden.

24% cocoa, 18% sugar, 52% coconut and 6% milk.

Experts say this is probably due to the Bounty on his head.

lanugo
06-08-2011, 10:55 PM
More than 20 SEALs involved in the alleged "killing" of Osama Bin Laden die in helicopter crash. (http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/08/06/general-us-us-afghanistan-seals_8606117.html)

This story just gets better and better.

pattycakes
07-08-2011, 11:22 AM
and thus the old adage of 'don't put all your seals into one helicopter' rings true.

e/y
22-03-2012, 05:06 PM
guess this thread will do...


Attorney General Holder defends execution without charges


In a speech at Northwestern University yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder provided the most detailed explanation yet for why the Obama administration believes it has the authority to secretly target U.S. citizens for execution by the CIA without even charging them with a crime, notifying them of the accusations, or affording them an opportunity to respond, instead condemning them to death without a shred of transparency or judicial oversight. The administration continues to conceal the legal memorandum it obtained to justify these killings, and, as The New York Times‘ Charlie Savage noted, Holder’s “speech contained no footnotes or specific legal citations, and it fell far short of the level of detail contained in the Office of Legal Counsel memo.” But the crux of Holder’s argument as set forth in yesterday’s speech is this:


Some have argued that the president is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or associated forces. This is simply not accurate. “Due process” and “judicial process” are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.

When Obama officials (like Bush officials before them) refer to someone “who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or associated forces,” what they mean is this: someone the President has accused and then decreed in secret to be a Terrorist without ever proving it with evidence. The “process” used by the Obama administration to target Americans for execution-by-CIA is, as reported last October by Reuters, as follows:


American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions . . . There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council . . . Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

As Leon Panetta recently confirmed, the President makes the ultimate decision as to whether the American will be killed: “[The] President of the United States obviously reviews these cases, reviews the legal justification, and in the end says, go or no go.”

So that is the “process” which Eric Holder yesterday argued constitutes “due process” as required by the Fifth Amendment before the government can deprive of someone of their life: the President and his underlings are your accuser, your judge, your jury and your executioner all wrapped up in one, acting in total secrecy and without your even knowing that he’s accused you and sentenced you to death, and you have no opportunity even to know about, let alone confront and address, his accusations; is that not enough due process for you? At Esquire, Charles Pierce, writing about Holder’s speech, described this best: “a monumental pile of crap that should embarrass every Democrat who ever said an unkind word about John Yoo.”

(cont)

http://www.salon.com/2012/03/06/attorney_general_holder_defends_execution_without_ charges/