35
   

What precedent does Bin Laden's killing set?

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 11:51 am
@H2O MAN,
Where in our constitution is such an act prohibited? Do you just make this **** up as you go along?
H2O MAN
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 11:55 am
@Setanta,
Obama makes **** up as he goes along and you accept it as truth.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 11:59 am
@sozobe,
Thanks for the link, Sozobe!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 12:00 pm
@H2O MAN,
You have no idea what i accept as truth. There is nothing in the constitution to prohibit such an action--try actually reading the constitution some time. As for whether or not this violates the rule of law, you're begging the question, because the purpose of this thread is to examine that idea.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  4  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 12:02 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
If you think Wernher von Braun was a mere cog in various countries' war machines, you need to brush up on your history of rocket science. Your SciFi cred is at stake.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  4  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 12:04 pm
@Setanta,
Thanks for the history lesson, Setanta. It seems to affirm the deal I had offered JoefromChicago. Things are bad, and they've always been that way.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 12:07 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I agree with Thomas. Von Braun was actively involved in the NSDAP's rocket program from even before he completed his education. Additionally, he accepted the use of slave labor. Several industrialists in the Ruhr and the Saar refused to employ slave labor, and in fact, i believe it is true that more German industrialists refused to use slave labor than the number who accepted it.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 12:09 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I agree with Thomas. Von Braun was actively involved in the NSDAP's rocket program from even before he completed his education. Additionally, he accepted the use of slave labor. Several industrialists in the Ruhr and the Saar refused to employ slave labor, and in fact, i believe it is true that more German industrialists refused to use slave labor than the number who accepted it.


Sure, but that doesn't disprove my position. We can make meaningful distinctions between a guy like Von Braun and a guy like bin Laden.

Not only that, but it doesn't contradict with my position that the US was arguably wrong to have taken the actions that it did; and a similar action, taken today, would lead to justification for military activity on the part of other countries.

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 12:10 pm
@Thomas,
Yes, i'd go along with that. In the case of the Romans and the Swedes as opposed to the Saxons in 1707, it was clearly "might makes right." One might also allege that with regard to the killing of alleged IRA leaders, given that there was no military power involved who could have defied England in arms. In the case of Heydrich and Yamamoto, though, it was clearly a case of taking calculated risks in time of war.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 12:14 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I not only don't agree with the claim that there are meaningful distinctions to be made between von Braun and bin Laden, i would point out to you that the "V" weapons were intended to be used as weapons of terror. In fact, Hitler used them that way rather than have used them to threaten the tenuous supply lines of the Allies who had invaded France. When the V-1 was first available, launching them at the shipping in the Bay of the Seine would have been roughly equivalent to shooting fish in a barrel. Instead, they were launched at England, they were called vengeance weapons, and you can bet von Braun was well aware of it.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 12:45 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
Fair enough. So things are bad, and have always been bad. Deal?

There are actually some real advantages to having a hegemon dictate the terms of international law (here I'm putting on my political scientist hat). It's similar to what an economist would call reducing transaction costs. Rather than having 100 or so nation-states debating about what international law should be, one nation-state (or a small group of like-minded nation-states) decides that international law is whatever that is consistent with its best interests, and everyone else either falls in line or copes as best it can outside the system.

For example, when the major powers thought that using poison gas in war was a good idea, it became acceptable in international law (despite centuries of prohibitions on the use of poisons in warfare). Later, when the major powers thought that using poison gas wasn't a good idea, it became unacceptable in international law. Compare that with the current lack of an international consensus regarding the use of land mines. There's something to be said for the dominant powers having a dominant voice in the formation of international law.
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 12:53 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
I don't think it's directly comparable, capturing a diabolical and long-missing terrorist, with 'a guy the Chinese government doesn't like.' OBL had no presumed innocence whatsoever, because we a) had overwhelming evidence that he was guilty, and b) he repeatedly and in detail claimed responsibility for the actions that led to his demise.

That's just assuming that we're right. Who's to say that the Chinese, in Thomas's example, aren't also right?

Cycloptichorn wrote:
A major difference here also is that, should such a guy exist - who had caused major terror events in China and admitted it, celebrated it even - the US wouldn't have to rely upon Chinese helicopters to get the guy because we would do it ourselves if they asked.

Maybe. But then again, maybe not. We had a bunch of Uighur separatists at Guantanamo that we refused to hand over to the Chinese, even though Beijing identified them as terrorists.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 01:02 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
I don't think it's directly comparable, capturing a diabolical and long-missing terrorist, with 'a guy the Chinese government doesn't like.' OBL had no presumed innocence whatsoever, because we a) had overwhelming evidence that he was guilty, and b) he repeatedly and in detail claimed responsibility for the actions that led to his demise.

That's just assuming that we're right. Who's to say that the Chinese, in Thomas's example, aren't also right?


Who indeed? If they are, in fact, right, it would - as I said in my original response - provide justification for their actions.

Quote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
A major difference here also is that, should such a guy exist - who had caused major terror events in China and admitted it, celebrated it even - the US wouldn't have to rely upon Chinese helicopters to get the guy because we would do it ourselves if they asked.

Maybe. But then again, maybe not. We had a bunch of Uighur separatists at Guantanamo that we refused to hand over to the Chinese, even though Beijing identified them as terrorists.
[/quote]

Several major differences, not the least of which being the fact that the Uighurs in question claimed innocence, while OBL publicly claimed culpability - repeatedly, for several large terrorist acts. He also publicly and repeatedly claimed to be running the counter-insurgency against us in Afgh. and Iraq.

Cycloptichorn
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 01:16 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body." After a firefight, not in a firefight? So the firefight was over when the Seals killed Bin Laden. They could have taken him alive, but evidently didn't care to. That's not "bringing Bin Laden to justice", as official terminology has it. This was a lynching.
I have argued in the rape thread and elsewhere that Americans are more concerned with retribution than we are with justice or with preserving democratic processes in good health. What we saw with the assassination of Bin Laden is more of that. And it was assassination, you will recall unnamed Obama Admin sources said that Obama was given two options, missile strike or commando assault, and he picked assault because he thought that we needed to take possession of the body. There was never a thought of taking him prisoner, as that was would have been too much trouble and we would have had to delay retribution. The son of a bitch might have even died before we had gotten a chance to kill him.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 01:24 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
There are actually some real advantages to having a hegemon dictate the terms of international law (here I'm putting on my political scientist hat). It's similar to what an economist would call reducing transaction costs. Rather than having 100 or so nation-states debating about what international law should be, one nation-state (or a small group of like-minded nation-states) decides that international law is whatever that is consistent with its best interests, and everyone else either falls in line or copes as best it can outside the system.

I see you're taking a pseudo-Hobbesian view on international law. I'm more of a Lockean myself, or perhaps a Jeffersonian: Governments (national or international) are instituted among constituents to secure their rights, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. This raid did nothing to secure human rights, and happened without the consent of Pakistan's government, which the US deliberately left in the dark. I see no just power in this picture, only nihilistic power.

joefromchicago wrote:
There's something to be said for the dominant powers having a dominant voice in the formation of international law.

That's certainly good news for my hypothetical Chinese assault team in San Francisco. China will soon be the dominant power in the world. It is already the most populous country.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 01:29 pm
@hawkeye10,
I agree, hawkeye.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 01:32 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
And it was assassination, you will recall unnamed Obama Admin sources said that Obama was given two options, missile strike or commando assault, and he picked assault because he thought that we needed to take possession of the body.


God, you do this **** all the time. Have you got a source for that? Oh yeah, i forgot . . . you're not my research assistant . . . you're "Zen."

The best reason for troops to go in in person is that a missle strike could have done a lot of collateral damage, and with no guarantee that bin Laden had actually been snuffed.
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 01:51 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
That's certainly good news for my hypothetical Chinese assault team in San Francisco. China will soon be the dominant power in the world. It is already the most populous country.

When that happens, Americans will suddenly become internationalists.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 01:53 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Several major differences, not the least of which being the fact that the Uighurs in question claimed innocence, while OBL publicly claimed culpability - repeatedly, for several large terrorist acts. He also publicly and repeatedly claimed to be running the counter-insurgency against us in Afgh. and Iraq.

An admission of guilt is largely irrelevant. There are plenty of people in Guantanamo who claim that they're innocent.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 01:58 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Several major differences, not the least of which being the fact that the Uighurs in question claimed innocence, while OBL publicly claimed culpability - repeatedly, for several large terrorist acts. He also publicly and repeatedly claimed to be running the counter-insurgency against us in Afgh. and Iraq.

An admission of guilt is largely irrelevant. There are plenty of people in Guantanamo who claim that they're innocent.


How many claim they are guilty, when they are in fact innocent - and there is a huge amount of evidence that they are guilty? It seems to me that the comparisons being made here are sketchy at best. OBL isn't directly comparable to the Uighur guys we had in Gitmo; he's more like the opposite.

Those who run around claiming culpability for an event ought not to be surprised when they are held responsible for that event. I think that, if anything, the precedent set by this killing is that they will be held responsible.

Cycloptichorn
 

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