35
   

What precedent does Bin Laden's killing set?

 
 
oralloy
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 06:37 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
But the war on terror isn't literally war. It's a metaphor, just like Johnson's war on poverty or Nixon's war on drugs.


I disagree. I say we are literally at war against al-Qa'ida and the Taliban.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 06:38 am
@Thomas,
The poor don't attack our embassies overseas, our warships in foreign waters, and our buildings in our own nation. I did not avail myself of Mr. Bush's self-serving mantra about a war on terror. When an individual who claims to speak for an organization which we know to exist (because our CIA helped to create it) takes murderous action against us again and again, i consider that that qualifies as a genuine war--even if Al Qaeda doesn't have any legitimate territorial claims. When the Russians took Berlin and Potsdam, and sacked and partially burned them, did King Frederick cease to be at war? Did he cease to qualify as the head of a nation?
Thomas
 
  4  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 06:44 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
It is because the outcome would have been foreordained that i would consider a trial to be hypocrisy designed only to salve the delicate consciences of the morally squeamish.

The outcome of the Nuremberg trial was never in doubt. But no reasonable person, not even in the Germany of 1946, saw it as a show trial.

Setanta wrote:
As i haven't said that justice has been served, i see no reason why i should respond to your self-righteous screed based on the Nuremburg trials.

Whether Ms Olga was being self-righteous or not, the Nuremberg trials did constitute a counterexample to what you just said. The bully-pulpit thing can be played both ways. Indeed, I would argue that this much more valuable in the "war on terror" than in literal wars: Showing the world that your cause is just helps dry up the substrate of nonviolent ideological sympathizers that terror organizations depend on.
H2O MAN
 
  0  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 06:47 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:



i suspect the FBI could start rounding up and shooting poor folks in Philadelphia and they'd get standing ovations from at least some of the population


The 'poor' that didn't get shot would probably stand and applaud once the shooting stopped, but
I can't think of any other segment of our population that would support what you have proposed.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 06:53 am
@Thomas,
Well, i consider them to have been show trials, by and large--although Albert Speer survived the process despite being so high in Hitler's hierachy. Robert McNamara said that when he and Curtis LeMay were planning the fire bombing of Japanese cities, LeMay told him that if they lost the war they'd be tried as war criminals. I believe that essentially the same thing happened at Nuremberg. Only the Israelis have attempted to track down all the villians, and we not only let so many of them escape, we even employed some of them, and as an example already adverted to, von Braun.

The Nuremberg trials cannot be compared to the prospect of a trial of bin Laden in today's world. There was no ubiquitous television, the effect of radio as compared to the effect of television are significantly different as the Kennedy-Nixon debate showed. There was no youtube, there was no interweb. I submit that there is not a significant substrate of nonviolent ideological sympathizers for an organization such as Al Qaeda, and especially no such substrate upon which they can depend. I personally feel that the international effort to combat terrorism has been largely successful because police agencies, especially in Europe, have followed the money and thereby shut down their sources of supply. I also submit that in the Muslim world, a belief in our hypocrisy is so firmly enshrined that no such trial would have the effect you assert.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 06:57 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I also submit that in the Muslim world, a belief in our hypocrisy is so firmly enshrined that no such trial would have the effect you assert.


you could have left the word muslim out of that sentence
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 06:58 am
@H2O MAN,
you believe what you want, i'll believe what i want



holy ****, is that a unicorn in the garden
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 07:06 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I did not avail myself of Mr. Bush's self-serving mantra about a war on terror. When an individual who claims to speak for an organization which we know to exist (because our CIA helped to create it) takes murderous action against us again and again, i consider that that qualifies as a genuine war--even if Al Qaeda doesn't have any legitimate territorial claims.

I understand that you feel this way, but on what theory of international law do you believe it's true?

Setanta wrote:
When the Russians took Berlin and Potsdam, and sacked and partially burned them, did King Frederick cease to be at war? Did he cease to qualify as the head of a nation?

The law of nations was very different then, so I doubt that the Seven-Years' War can serve as a useful precedent in the first place. But even if I play along with your legal premise that it did, the facts of your case differ. Frederick II always controlled some Prussian territory---certainly more than the Vatican ever did. There was never any doubt that he was the king of something, and that this something was at war with Russia.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 07:16 am
@Thomas,
Well, i don't know what you assert the Vatican has to do with the Seven Years War, but i only offered that as sarcasm, not as serious argumentation.

As far as i know, jus ad bellum criteria do not require the existence of a territorial state--leaving aside the hostem humani generis priniciple alreay alluded to--and it appears that the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy agrees with that position:

Quote:
War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities. Thus, fisticuffs between individual persons do not count as a war, nor does a gang fight, nor does a feud on the order of the Hatfields versus the McCoys. War is a phenomenon which occurs only between political communities, defined as those entities which either are states or intend to become states (in order to allow for civil war). Classical war is international war, a war between different states, like the two World Wars. But just as frequent is war within a state between rival groups or communities, like the American Civil War. Certain political pressure groups, like terrorist organizations, might also be considered “political communities,” in that they are associations of people with a political purpose and, indeed, many of them aspire to statehood or to influence the development of statehood in certain lands.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  4  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 07:17 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I submit that there is not a significant substrate of nonviolent ideological sympathizers for an organization such as Al Qaeda, and especially no such substrate upon which they can depend.

That would be a first among terrorist organizations. Certainly Italy's Red Brigades, Germany's Rote Armee Fraktion, and the Irish Republican Army all depended on a broad social network of people who didn't throw bombs themselves, but provided the terrorists with shelter, money, weapons, and publicity. Hence, before I buy into your submission, I would need better evidence that the logistics of terror have changed all that much since.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 07:26 am
@Thomas,
The red brigades in Italy, Japan or their German counterparts, or the IRA did not have to fly thousands of miles, set up sleeper organizations, take flying lessons, acquire expensive munitions (such as were used against U.S.S. Cole), or acquire expensive vehicles (such as was used in the first atempt on the World Trade Center). Basically, they either operated in their own states, or they were supported by renegade national groups such as Got-Daffy's Libya. I don't consider a dictatorial state such as Libya has been for more than 40 years to be the same as a nonviolent substrate in a population which provides terrorist groups with the wherewithal to prosecute their acts. I acknowledge that you undoubtedly have more information on the German red brigades, but, for example, in the case of the IRA, the more radical elements were trained by Libya, in Libya, and supplied by Libya, or more likely by American sympathizers who were either cozened into thinking they were providing material aid to innocent Irish men and women, or were willing to willfully delude themselves to that effect. Publicity about Noraid and American efforts to broker peace in Ulster have lead the more radical and violent Catholic and Protestant factions into narco-terrorism. They now finance their organizations pushing crack, and are now deteriorated into little more than organized crime groups.

I believe it is correct to say that the Sendero Luminoso were the first narco-terrorists, and since then, yes, the logistics of terrorism have changed dramatically.
Thomas
 
  5  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 07:31 am
@Ceili,
Ceili wrote:
What do our laws mean to a man who obeyed none.

That's the wrong question. The right question is: what do our laws mean to us? Are they worth so little to us that we undercut them for a one-week testosterone rush?
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 07:35 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
Setanta wrote:
I did not avail myself of Mr. Bush's self-serving mantra about a war on terror. When an individual who claims to speak for an organization which we know to exist (because our CIA helped to create it) takes murderous action against us again and again, i consider that that qualifies as a genuine war--even if Al Qaeda doesn't have any legitimate territorial claims.


I understand that you feel this way, but on what theory of international law do you believe it's true?


There is a good body of international law covering wars between a state and a non-state group. The 1977 Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, for example:

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebList?ReadForm&id=475&t=art
http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebList?ReadForm&id=475&t=com

That would seem to be recognition of the validity of such wars.

Also, the US Congress gave approval for the war before it started:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ040.107

And the self-defense nature of the war even makes it pass muster with the UN Charter.
Eorl
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 07:40 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Yes, and perhaps that it is hypocritical and disgusting is actually what i believe. I've not said that justice was served by this killing. I not only don't see that any benefit would accrue from putting him on trial, i have already pointed out that it would provide him what Lash so pointedly described as a bully pulpit, while the outcome was foreordained. It is because the outcome would have been foreordained that i would consider a trial to be hypocrisy designed only to salve the delicate consciences of the morally squeamish. The purpose which has been served has been to kill a high-ranking ememy leader in time of war.

As i haven't said that justice has been served, i see no reason why i should respond to your self-righteous screed based on the Nuremburg trials.


Corrrect me if I'm wrong (pfft, like you need permission), but I think the same argument was made against having the Nuremburg trials, and that it was America who insisted they happen.
raprap
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 07:45 am
I've always been afraid that 9/11 mirrored Pancho Villa and Columbus (?) New Mexico. After the incident, with much saber rattling Black Jack Pershing was sent into Mexico and effectively placing the capital under Marshall law. Poncho on the other hand was never caught---it seems he was watching Black Jack and the first modern (mechanized) cavalry. The whole Mexican thing was ended when the US ramped up to go Europe in 1917.

This changes the outcome--Pancho is dead---his head will be placed on a media pike. Perhaps now we can avoid another war in Europe.

As for Al Qaeda--it's cellular. The face of a leader doesn't have to be real.

IMO--some people deserve to be buried in a pigskin, I don't like him polluting the ocean---there are too many honorable people buried there.

Rap
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 07:59 am
The "bully pulpit" argument is more real for Bin Laden than the Nuremburg trials. The cause of those on trial in Nuremburg had already ended (Germany was totally defeated). Bin Laden's organization is still actively fighting for their cause.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  5  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 08:08 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
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.

As Thomas pointed out, OBL took responsibility for the 9/11 attacks but he never claimed that he was a terrorist. That was our interpretation of events. We don't execute "freedom fighters" without due process of law. Hell, we don't even extradite them. So to say that we can kill terrorists with impunity merely begs the question. After all, who gets to decide who's a terrorist?
dlowan
 
  0  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 08:11 am
@joefromchicago,
In real politik? The one with the most power.


0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 08:49 am
@Eorl,
Well, i've not said that anyone or any nation was or was not responsible. I'm not laying blame here--but given that England and the United States did not hunt down all the Nazis, did not try all the military officers, and in fact even employed some of them, is a measure of the hypocrisy. I don't know why you bring up to me who did or didn't insist they be held.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 08:57 am
Quote:
What Was the Legal Basis for the Bin Laden Strike?
(Terry Beckett, The Blog of Legal Times, May 2, 2011)

The killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is engaging some of the thorniest questions of the United States' post-Sept. 11 campaign against terrorism, including the government's legal justification for carrying out the targeted killing of suspected terrorists.

Lawyers who specialize in national security said today that the United States had several possible legal justifications for carrying out Sunday’s strike. But the operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, raises other issues, too.

John Bellinger III, who served as the State Department’s top lawyer during President George W. Bush’s second term, said the strike was on solid legal footing. Under domestic law, Bellinger said the strike falls in the “sweet spot” of the 2001 congressional authorization for the use of military force against al-Qaeda. Under international law, he said it’s justified by the United States’ right to defend itself and because of the ongoing armed conflict with al-Qaeda.

Bellinger, a partner at Arnold & Porter, wondered whether the Obama administration would nevertheless receive criticism about its use of force.

“The Bush administration was roundly criticized for this idea of a global conflict, as has been the Obama administration to a lesser extent,” he said, “so it will be interesting to see whether [human rights activists] claim this was an illegal use of force against bin Laden in Pakistan.”

Other national security lawyers agreed with the idea that bin Laden’s killing had a firm legal justification.

“The administration using the power it has under the [2001 authorization] and under the Constitution could properly justify this action as a legitimate act of self-defense,” said John Radsan, a professor at William Mitchell College of Law who was an assistant general counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency from 2002 to 2004.

Even though Sunday’s attack took place on Pakistani soil without that nation’s prior consent, the Pakistani government has generally gone along with other U.S. operations. And a 1976 executive order that bans assassinations doesn’t apply here, the lawyers said, because the United States is at war with al-Qaeda.

The 1976 order refers to "the kind of assassinations that the CIA attempted in ’60s and ’70s,” said Jeffrey Smith, an Arnold & Porter partner who was CIA general counsel in the mid-1990s. “Here, it’s fundamentally different. Here, Osama led a non-state actor group that had openly directed attacks against the United States.”
 

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