Insight into killing of Osama Bin Laden

4 May 2011

Still there is big buzz about killing of LTTE terrorist leader Piripahara in the battle front of Nandikadal. All of a sudden, it has now reported that Al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden was killed by an attack on a civilian house in Pakistan. Here comes the multi-billion dollar worth question. Is killing of terrorist leaders like Osama Bin Laden and Piripaharan war crimes?

It is first reported in USA mainstream media like New York Times that, USA military intelligence has revealed suspicious location, a large house in a suburb north of Islamabad at the end of a long dirt road with no phone and no internet, during summer 2010.

On May 2nd, USA claimed that Bin Laden was killed by a combined air raid and ambush conducted by USA. It further stated that the US tier-one counter-terrorism, Seal Team Six (ST6) led the assault. Together with this story, the main stream Western media start publishing a photo claimed to be the face of the dead body of Bin Laden killed in air strike.

The USA military officials were initially silent about the photo since it was well fit into the story. These so called RESPONSIBLE Western media were not at all worried about the source of the photo.

All of a sudden, people with analytical mind start questioning the genuineness of the photo with clear evidences. Then it all started to turn around.

On May 2nd, White House counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan said that Bin Laden had used one of his wives as a human shield and was "engaged in a firefight" with Navy SEALs when he was shot.  Brennan riffed on the human-shield detail, suggesting that it had revealed Bin Laden's true character.

On May 3rd, White House spokesperson Jay Carney said that this first report was incorrect. Instead, Carney said, one of Bin Laden's wives had rushed toward a SEAL and was shot in the leg and that Bin Laden himself had been unarmed when he was shot.

The latter story has raised questions about whether the U.S. acted "legally."  (Storming someone's house in the middle of the night and shooting and killing people).

Although the White House's changing story is frustrating, the questions about the "legality" of Bin Laden's killing are absurd. This is a man who killed nearly 3,000 Americans a decade ago and has spent much of the past decade promising to kill more. Whatever protections the "laws of combat" provide, Bin Laden certainly hadn't followed them himself. And if Bin Laden had really wanted to surrender, he could have done so at any time in the past 10 years. Instead, he stayed in hiding, and kept inciting more violence.

In short, Osama Bin Laden had long since forfeited any right to be treated in accordance with any "laws of combat." And it wasn't worth even the tiniest risk of harm to another American to give him the benefit of a doubt.

References:
- http://www.businessinsider.com/white-house-changing-its-story-and-shooting-bin-laden-unarmed-2011-5
- http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/world/asia/04raid.html?hp

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Adaderana Sinhala

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