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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Legal Questions: Killing Bin Laden & Invading Afghanistan - Justified?

By Joseph Foster
Email Joseph Foster at jfoste3@aol.com  for a free book summary. My book, ‘’Destruction of America", subtitled "Stand up for America" will be available May 2012 at all major bookstores. Visit my blog Stand Up for America! for more articles.

Legal Question on the killing of Bin Laden. Is the invasion of Afghanistan justified?

Bob legal opinion is in conflict as to whether it was legal to kill Bin Laden, the conflict will never be resolved one way or another, and if all of the facts were presented to our nine learned U.S. Supreme court judges, there will never render a unanimous decision.

There are many questions that need to be answered before anyone could come to the conclusion that the killing was legal or illegal. Question such as were the U.S. Navy Seals instructed to capture him alive if possible without any danger to the men sent on the mission, or were told to kill him immediately even if he did not pose a threat. Another factor these men upon coming face to face with the man that has been wanted for the last 10 years and knowing in their mind that he is the head of Al-Qaeda, that in itself will frighten the sealers to react quickly to kill him in case their mission fails, and Bin Laden somehow gets immediate support from those guarding him.

To me these men were sent on a very dangerous mission to them time is of the essence, and their heroic act has to be commended. Mr. Ferencz, British law professor Philippe Sands QC says it is impossible to make a definitive legal judgment without knowing precisely what happened. But he says the case for the raid's legality has been weakened. "The question to ask is: were the measures taken in the actual situation that pertained reasonable and proportionate given the circumstances in which the [Navy Seals] found themselves?" he told the BBC, "The issue here is whether what was done was an act of legitimate self-defense," said Benjamin Ferencz, an international law specialist who served as a prosecutor during the Nuremburg trials and argued that it would have been better to capture Bin Laden and send him to court.” Killing a captive who poses no immediate threat is a crime under military law as well as all other law.

US Attorney general Eric Holder is basing his argument on military Law by saying it’s lawful to target an enemy commander in the field” putting the case for the legality of the raid on Wednesday, US Attorney General Eric Holder said it was "conducted in a way that was consistent with our law, with our values". I do not accept the comments he made ‘’with our values’’ he as a legal scholar,  should know laws are not based on our values, during the era of the conquest of the west our values was to shoot the Indians, such values never became part of the American legal system.

Some legal experts have backed up Holder position. “I don't think that this is an extrajudicial killing," Philip Bobbitt, a specialist on constitutional law and international security, told the BBC's World Tonight programmer. "I think this is part of an armed conflict authorized by the United Nations, authorized by both houses of Congress. “Based on International Law, a country is not free to enter on a broader level, US officials have justified Bin Laden's killing as an act committed as part of an armed conflict with al-Qaeda. Mr. Holder said Bin Laden's killing was "an act of national self-defense", calling the al-Qaeda leader "a lawful military target" who had acknowledged his role in the 9/11 attacks. "It's lawful to target an enemy commander in the field," he said.

What trouble me was the US has misinterpreted a criminal act committed in the 9/11 attack, and made the act similar to that of an attack by a sovereign state against the US. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was commissioned by the government of Japan.

Bin Laden does not represent a government of any state; he was a terrorist that sought refuge in another country. If at the beginning  we had allowed rational thinking after the 9/11 attack,  we would have labeled the act criminal,  and as such sought out his capture by clandestine operation thereby saving our agony into a war of conflict that has been going on for ten years. The Israeli government in their pursuit of Adolf Eichmann the Nazi war criminal, and one of the organizers of the Holocaust who fled to Argentina they used covert and clandestine operation. He was captured by Mossad operatives in Argentina,  and taken to Israel to face trail In an Israeli court on fifteen criminal charges, including crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was found guilty as charged, and was executed by hanging in 1962. Eichmann murdered perhaps millions compared to Bin Laden.

People of the world that share human values and condemn all criminal activates shall be grateful to the men of the US Navy Seals that performed the mission, we are all grateful for their heroic effort a job well done. This is no time for us to continue to debate their action given the extreme danger that these heroic men faced during their task.

Is the invasion of Afghanistan justified?
In my book not yet published I wrote a chapter titled ‘’The Afghanistan War’’ The end of Bin Laden now puts into question was the invasion necessary, I said it was not necessary prior to the killing of Bin Laden, some of the high level officials of the Bush administration are today disturbed that with the death of Bin Laden it will cause the US to withdraw from Afghanistan, these men that are talking should immediately volunteer to serve on the front line in the Afghanistan war. My grandson did serve for two years and fortunately he is back and alive, but witnessed many of his buddies were killed on the front line.

One wise man once said, there will be fewer wars if the politicians that made the decision to go to war were required to be involved in the fighting.

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