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  • The Bin Laden Killing Was Perfectly Legal

    Let there be no doubt: The decision to kill Osama bin Laden was perfectly legal. The Heritage Foundation’s Cully Stimson explains in National Review Online’s “The Corner” that Congress empowered the president to take action:

    Bin Laden declared war on the United States twice in the 1990s. As the leader of al-Qaeda, he was responsible for September 11, 2001, and numerous other terrorist attacks. By joining in war against the U.S., bin Laden acted to ensure that the law governing police or human-rights law wouldn’t be applicable to his fate.

    In passing the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, Congress gave the president the authority to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against the persons responsible for September 11, 2001. All force includes lethal force. Bin Laden was a lawful military target. As one law of war expert has said, “A lawful target has lost his right to life and may be killed on sight.” The SEALs could have killed him if they found him sleeping or shot him in the back as he ran from them — that is war. Bin Laden would live only if he offered his unambiguous surrender to the SEALs or was hors de combat. The SEALs had no obligation to solicit his surrender.

    Stimson also notes that the killing was legal and justifiable and that “even an unarmed bin Laden was a lawful target.” At the end of the day, it was up to the SEALs to make the call within the rules of engagement.

    Read Stimson’s full article at National Review Online.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to The Bin Laden Killing Was Perfectly Legal

    1. Bobbie says:

      The law can be easily abused, especially if the people are told one thing by those we the people are obligated to rely on regarding matters NOT WITHIN OUR CONTROL and the truth being another.

    2. West Texan says:

      Some say Pakistan's sovereignty was violated with UBL's justified killing. Having arrived for the first time in Gaithersburg, MD the early morning hours of September 11, 2001, I watched our country's sovereignty being violently ignored. After witnessing a low flying CH-53 screaming north with two Falcon escorts, I figured all bets were off. Wherever the enemy was located became fair game, regardless of another country's assistance or invitation.

    3. Tim says:

      Was it legal? Maybe. Was it moral? Probably not. Bin Laden does not seem to have posed any immediate threat to the SEALS, and if he could have been taken alive he should have been. Many other terrorist leaders have been taken alive for questioning, so why not Bin Laden? The information he could have provide about his organization and associates is that much more valuable to us. His assassination seems to have motivated by revenge, not by a nation acting to provide for its self-defense.

    4. Karl, Huntsville AL says:

      In this particular case the legality doesn't bother me as much as the dissembling.

      Also, it seems like the same line of reasoning is dangerously prone to double standards. If we captured a team of Al-Qaeda operatives during a mission to kill the commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces, would we consider their attempt "perfectly legal?" That doesn't sit right with me.

      It's not that I disagree with the action, but the legal waters are way too muddy here to make such a clear declaration. I think it's safe to say that Obama and the involved members of the intelligence community and military will not be prosecuted in United States courts, but our "international laws of war," if such a thing can truly be universally agreed upon and impartially enforced, were made when wars were fought by armies gathering en masse to fight each other, not for wars fought by isolated handfuls of men in 40-minute operations.

    5. Zack says:

      So Bobbie, will you give any credit to President Obama for making the decision to proceed with the operation that captured and killed Bin Laden? Does he get any credit? No? only Bush right? Because Bush actually caught and killed him during the 8 years of his administration right? Was it torture that go Bin Laden? Was the killing of him legal? Yes? No?

    6. Bobbie says:

      Hey Zack, how the heck are you?

      I don't see any big deal in the killing. Yes, Obama gets credit for whatever actually happened! Even if no one makes up their mind of the same account of things, Obama gets the credit for all actions leading up to and taken. But the last I heard from anything "Osama," he had voiced concern over "man-made global warming." I thought he might be showing some…some… something of a change in heart. The economy is in more grave danger of it's own government than Osama was at the time of his claimed demise.

    7. Carol,AZ says:

      Here's a truth, not discussed by the news media.

      The military personnel that got the Intel from water borading, that ultimately led to the capture of B.L, are now being prosecuted for the use" of illegal torture." .

      Who's standing up for their rights, as Obama take credit for this action?

      If this technique, which is psychological torture more than harmful, saves one American life or other counties from terrorist attacks; bring on the the entire flooded Mississippi River until we drain it .

      Have we all forgotten the well staged photo opts of the beheadings of W. Pearl and Buckly and captured military personnel blasted across the media? How quickly we forget and also rush to judgement over the rules of engagement.

      Terrorism should have taught all of us one lesson.

      It kill them or be killed.

      There're NO repsect for human life as we believe and honored it here. That's the hardest lesson to get through the mindset here and in our media.

      Terrorism is called terrorism becasue they believe in the systematic killing of unarmed defenseless poeple.

      Yes as a military family we have loss many friends that have "serve and protected" our counrty and you.

      I certainly don't need Stimson to tell me that the killining of B.L. was legal.

      All I need, is to remember the smell of death, after 911.

      The question we should all be aksing is :

      When do we depose of the rest of the O.B cells?

      Certainly you must realize by now there're set-up and operational all over the world.

      That also includes here.

    8. Zack says:

      Bobbie,

      WOW! no personal attacks against me for providing an opinion. This is a first!

      Carol,

      you stated-

      Here’s a truth, not discussed by the news media, "The military personnel that got the Intel from water borading, that ultimately led to the capture of B.L, are now being prosecuted for the use” of illegal torture.”"

      truth? from who, you? I keep hearing conservatives tell us that torture(which waterboarding is) led to the capture of Bin Laden. first question is if we torture people, what makes us any different then those we call terrorists? second question is if it was torture that you claim led to Bin Laden's capture and death then why was he not caught from 2001-2009. I know its very frustrating for you to hear but why couldn't the previous administration catch him?

      This was a organized operation, from intelligence gathered from one phone call. You nor any conservative has a single shred of evidence to back up any claim that torture had the slightest effect on the recent capture of Bin Laden. What you and other conservatives are doing is trying to justify another failed policy and military action that didn't work for 8 years, didn't work before and will not work in the future. These terrorist are trained to commit suicide before giving any information to anyone and you tell me that this form of torture will get them to open up? Insanity! Each time you defend torture and try to claim that is why Bin Laden was caught, it takes more and more credibility away from you. Also if torture had the slighest effect we would have the evidence presented aside from you and other conservatives on fox news, conservative radio and conservative websites just telling us what you want to hear.

      you stated-

      Who’s standing up for their rights, as Obama take credit for this action?

      If this technique, which is psychological torture more than harmful, saves one American life or other counties from terrorist attacks; bring on the the entire flooded Mississippi River until we drain it .

      -the rights by those men will be protected in a court of law, but torture is torture and our country is no different then our enemies if we continue to torture aside from having no impact on intelligence. There is such a massive gap between torture and the capture of Bin Laden and I find it so wasteful for conservatives to be so desperate to defend torture and try and connect it to the capture of Bin Laden. It will not work because it is just simply not true. Also, if you are ok with it can I turn you upside down, bind your hands and feet, shove your head and slam it on a table and choke you with a wet towel? no? yes? You seem to be ok with it right?

      The real "truth" is you and other conservatives cant stand that Bin Laden was caught under President Obama by the decisions that he made from intelligence gathered under his administration. Those Navy Seals are the best of the best and they get more credit. For 10 years conservatitves have spent so much time and energy on the capture of Bin Laden and President Obama gets him in two years. That's all it is. You cant stand progress and positive outcomes under this President.

    9. Zack says:

      Also, if Waterboarding is not as bad as you say it is then why would it get these terrorists to open up? If it's not torture then they can deal and keep quiet right? Its so funny because this conservative claim is a contradiction in itself. Please stop with this ludacris claim. Just face the fact that the previous administration (that everybody on this website voted for) failed to capture Bin Laden. The tactics that you support failed, the administration that you voted for failed, you failed. Have a great day….oh and if anybody is ok with waterboarding come by, try it out and see if you like it? any takers? :)

    10. Bobbie says:

      Zack, ONE face of evil is off the earth. Good for Obama, good for Osama and good for civil humanity. Why can't you let it go? You interrogate everyone as if you take all into account. You don't. You twist facts. That's ignorant. And if you're going to take that as a personal attack, you need another leave of absence to build personal strength and overcome your sensitivities. .

    11. Carol,AZ says:

      RSVP/ Zack:

      Yes Zack sadly it is, the truth.

      It has nothing to do with "Conservative views" as you have stated.

      However that's a moot point.

      If you listened to Fox News last night, you would of heard also, that several Senator have written letters in support, of these militray personnel, that are now being herded for "being illegal under the laws," for "the" rules of engagement."

      I"ll leave the rest up to you; to do the research, to read and learn and understand regardless of your views on torture, what the truth is over this issue.

      No one here has ever said that's, its a "feel good subject."

      But unlike you I'm not naive.

      American lives must be protected. Maybe your'll too young to remember that terrorisn has gotten thousands of people killed here, and throughout the world.

      The Navy Seal,Team 6 did their job, and like you, they have my unending respect for "mission acomplished."

      What do you think whould happened to these men IF they were capture ?

      Do you think they did this dangerous mission without Intel?. Where do you think they got that Intel from?

      Do you think PK handed over B.L, to Seal Team 6?

      B.L was living there for six years. Maybe, you can further question, who the enemy is, when we commit our military personnel to: "serve and protect."

      As for your rant on Pres.Obama: and giving him credit or not, for the capture of B.L.

      Yes, it did happen on his watch..As you said, " it was progress."

      But here's some friendly advice from me to you.

      Don't you ever tell anyone here, " to keep quiet."

      That would also include, Bobby's comments.

      If you have a moral issue about any form of torture my advice is to start educating yourself .

      Read the history of WW II.

      Specifically: what the Japanese did to the various populations in the Philippines and throughout other islands to unarmed cilivians and to catured: American, English and Australian prisoners of war.

      Here's a best seller for you;" Unbroken ", by Laura Hillenbrand, it's been on the N.Y.Times best seller list for weeks. Once you have read it, as compared to waterboarding, the word "Torture" as difficult as it is to discuss, will be redefined, IF you read the book.

    12. Zack says:

      Bobbie,

      I have seen just about every comment you have made for the last 2 years. Nothing is more mean-spirited then your comments against the President and Democrats. Aside from all of that, you never provide solution, your never provide links, references, evidence, anything to anything you ever comment about. You have the most ridiculous comments I have ever read.

      Carol,

      What is the truth? What? that torture led to the capture of Bin Laden? That is the claim you made and you have yet to provide specific evidence as to how? No I don't listen to fox news, now I know you do and thats the problem, keep watching fox news because it is a very credible media outlet, they never spin information and they always tell the "truth"

      Research? I have done plenty of research. I assume your research is wathing fox news? no? Too young? how does age have anything to do with this subject? Naive? your the one buying into this insane claim by conservatives that torture led to his capture and that makes me naive?

      American lives must be protected at the expense of over 100,000 iraqi citizens? Rant? how is Bush's failure to capture Bin Laden a rant? please explain? Conservatives keep telling us it was torture without providing a spec of evidence and they also say Bush should get credit…for what? not capturing Bin Laden?

      Who did I tell to "keep quiet" now your just making up things. Go ahead and read some of Bobbie's comments and see for yourself. Educate myself? I'm well educated and have a very clear knowledge regarding history of war and our military. As far as torture, can I waterboard you? I love how you are trying to provide books and references to something you seem to know nothing about. Will you provide evidence as to how torture led to the capture of Bin Laden? Will you provide evidence as to how torture has worked in our countries favor for anytime in history? anything?

      Have you read any of the books or studied your history about how our american soldiers treated the Japanese in our personal concentration camps, the Vietnamese? it was exposed all over the media during vietnam, What about Hiroshima and Nagaski, was that justifed? What about Abu Ghraib? does that make us look any different then our enemys? Again, what about the 100,000 + that have already died in Iraq, is that justified? It seems your solution for peace is war and torture, using the military for peace is the entire reason most of the world hates us.

      The bottom line is you spewed out the typical claim that torture led to Bin Laden's capture without providing a shred of evidence. I asked for you to provide evidence, you have not. This claim is on you to provide evidence. Do you have evidence to support your claim or will you just throw out more references, assume im too young to know anything and tell me something you heard on fox news.

      provide evidence to you claim or you will just waste more of my time.

    13. Zack says:

      Carol,

      http://npowebsite.net/pp/pp.asp?Mode=Flyer&ID

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_a

      http://www.ussboston.org/VietnamMyths.html

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese-American_in

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_H

      you tell me how any of these action led to peace? these actions put us in the same place as the enemies we are fighting and thats the real "truth"

      Dont waste my time with your pitiful claims…

    14. Carol,AZ says:

      Yes, under the word WAR people get killed.

      That's why it's called, WAR.

      Our use of the atomic bomb, was a decisive military decision,TO END the war and TO SAVE thousands of Americans troops, that would otherwise have faced certain death, had we invaded Japan, to END WW II.

      Germany had already surrendered.

      This was understood by our military leadership and also President, Franklin Roosevelt.

      It worked:.Japan surrendered.

      Your other ref:.

      The USA, is not without blame for it's own military astrocities. No country in the world has a flawlwss history when war is decussed. NO such histroy exist .

      But if your looking for more moral issues :You might consider the inability by our governemt, to free our captured POW's, held prisoners of war, in Hanoi, for seven years.

      Your've heard the expression ,"freedom has never been free."

      These POW's paid the ultimate price for all of us, least we forget.

      That's also why, our American flag has a red stripe.

      This is also where this discussion ends.

    15. Zack says:

      Actually the discussion already ended when you threw out the insane claim that torture led to the capture of Bin Laden. Your idea that peace can only be through military action is ludacris, as well as your justification for two atomic bombs that killed over 100,000 innocent japanese civilians.

      Now back to the real subject and your claim. Do you have any evidence to prove that torture led to the capture of Bin Laden? Do you have anything aside from your claim? This is on you to provide evidence to your claim is is not?

      you stated-

      “The military personnel that got the Intel from water borading, that ultimately led to the capture of B.L…"

      -waiting for evidence…..

    16. Zack says:

      good boy. good boy. doggie gets a treat :)

      way to go moderators!

    17. Bobbie says:

      Zack, your arguments are as weak as ever. No one with a narrow mind is going to think anything of what I write so thanks for your compliment. Anybody that sees my comments as mean spirited, may be effected by your same mental illness. I'm honest and your illness falls to a weakened state of nonacceptance of honesty. Facts are important and how they came to be is even more important, Zack. ONLY IF YOU WANT TO LEARN AND FIND SOLUTIONS TO CORRECT!

      For all the torturous acts America used to draw out information for the good intent of safety and protection of America, seems a little odd that you're complaining more then those tortured AND some people from each of those American torture ridden, water boarded countries chose to reside here in America yet, it's not vice versa with foreign kinds of torture that lead to beheading in the same countries we use water boarding? Did influxes of Americans move there?

      Why don't you want America to hold other countries accountable to their own actions? Too sensitive? You and them? They're equally human, Zack. Fully capable of reason and accepting other human life. Why do you expect so little of them and your own President? Why don't you want to see their human weakness grow strong with honesty and good will towards life? The only way to develop that is accountability which you hold none to the President of America as all of your comments reflect, or the countries you state as torture ridden because of America.

    18. Zack says:

      you stated-

      "Facts are important and how they came to be is even more important, Zack"

      -when have you ever, in any blog presented a single fact with evidence to support. you have nothing but "talking points", thats it. What facts have your presented?

      you stated-

      "For all the torturous acts America used to draw out information for the good intent of safety and protection of America"

      you, Carol and many conservatives keep using that same claim…do you have evidence to support this claim? I know exactly who fed you that claim, Fox News, Heritage and conservative media-they are the only ones basing that claim and you bought right into it.

      you stated-

      "Why don’t you want America to hold other countries accountable to their own actions? Too sensitive? You and them? They’re equally human, Zack. Fully capable of reason and accepting other human life"

      -oh, like the invasion of Iraq which had what to do with 9/11? the 100,000 iraq citizens died for what? you tell me? our freedom at their expense?

      you stated-

      "Why do you expect so little of them and your own President?"

      -do you mean the President and Administration which completed the job that the previous President and Administration that you voted for failed to do- capture the man that was the entire reason we have been fighting terrorism, specifically for the last 11 years?

      you stated-

      "Why don’t you want to see their human weakness grow strong with honesty and good will towards life?"

      -torture is now considered "good will toward life"? now your just confusing yourself. what a moronic statement that was!

      you stated-

      "The only way to develop that is accountability which you hold none to the President of America as all of your comments reflect, or the countries you state as torture ridden because of America."

      -President Obama captured Bin Laden, the job which the people you voted for and supported failed to do. I hold President Obama very accountable for the progress he has made since Jan. 20th, 2009. I hold President Obama very accountable for the capture and killing of the 9/11 mastermind.

      your comments are becoming extremely akward and confusing, its a shame that you follow Heritage for all your claimed facts.

      You, Carol, or anybody that can provide evidence as to how torture(which waterboardng is) led to the capture of Bin Laden. you cant just follow conservative media and let them tell you how to think, now that is a true sign of weakness :)

      provide evidence to your claim regarding torture and the capture of Bin Laden or stay of the keyboard.

      waiting…….

    19. Zack says:

      http://ezkool.com/2011/05/john-mccain-torture-did

      http://www.politicususa.com/en/waterboarding-bin-

      http://stoogeland.blogspot.com/2011/05/sorry-tort

      http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/surveilla

      http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM

      http://hanafi-sat.kazeo.com/News-Politique/Bin-La

      The weirdest part is I dont think any of you conservatives even care if your claim is true or not, you just cant stand that something you supported for so long does not actually work, It's quite strange to support something after not being able to support your claims with a single shred of evidence for over a decade now. It's ok to admit that these torture policies failed, you can say it, just say it, its not that hard, just say you supported failure. This insane claim is failing apart each time you bring it up. It's funny that you hold Bush and conservative republicans accountable for the capture of Bin-Laden (after you had power) yet not for the economy(that tanked during your power) You guys are just TOO FUN! :)

      Please, please, please continue with this ridiculious claim! Last I heard conservative economic policies and social standing had been doing really well these last two years and it looks like you might even lock up a sure election victory in 2012……except for not at all. Your finished and the worst part is you know it.

    20. Zack says:

      Call me childish and egotistical but what the heck, you guys are done. Conservatism is done. Thank god all mighty! Your policies, social justice and horrible economic and legislative history is coming to an end. Thank god all mighty! I'm so happy its finally falling apart. Americans can finally know what a "true" democracy is. Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, tax cuts for the rich, torture, social intolerance, ignorant policy, mockery of the 1st ammendment, hypocrits, liars, spins, etc. It's all over! Farewell to conservatism and not soon enough!

    21. Bobbie says:

      What do you have against talking points, Zack? Talking points find areas of consideration where pointless talk or no talk wouldn't. What kind of person are you that doesn't appreciate that?

      What's MY claim, Zack? That “same” claim? Don't presume to know who's “exactly” feeding me. YOUR FEED YOU MANIPULATE AND MISINTERPRET!

      isn't it fortunate how the strength of truth builds the personal strength of Americans, childish one?…you said I could call you that, don't take it back you'll gain personal strength if you choose.

      The invasion of Iraq had alot to do with a less than human who had an insatiable will to kill the people who lived under his leadership along with further intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction. You blame bush instead of appreciating the riddance of this murderous man of 100,000 lives and a certainty there was no threat of mass destruction? Who's side are you on?

      Don't EVER suggest to me the actions of one person is the fault of another, ZACK! PITIFULLY WEAK!

      It happened to be after 9/11 America was able to get the pig. It wasn't the intent to kill any innocent Iraqi lives! Why would you see your country to be so low? Don't you want people of the world to be able to live for themselves under freedom and a respectable, accountable, responsible, practical leadership that recognizes and promotes the tools necessary to live that freedom?

      When leadership refuses their ability to reason they have to be held accountable! If intelligence of a country is going to give the wrong intelligence, THE UNINTENDED WILL ALWAYS HAPPEN!

      You stated: -torture is now considered “good will toward life”? Why would you misinterpret what I wrote to reflect such a falsity? You're the only one confused, Zack.

      I do apologize for leaving out your convenient thinking that does hold the President with great accountability to the one thing he did to divert our attention from all other domestic disasters growing rapidly under him. My human error! Please learn to accept and don't let it ruin the rest of your life.

      It's a shame you don't value truth and ignore the state of facts that aren't manipulated like your said claims. Just because you believe what you're told don't assume to know what I believe, you're mindset doesn't reflect actuality, whereas ACTUALITY does.

      Zack, freedom and personal strength is over with this kind of leadership. You're ignorance helps alot.

    22. Bobbie says:

      Torture is considered when damage or scars are left to the body, Zack. Every Navy Seal has been water boarded, Zack!

    23. Zack says:

      you stated-

      "Torture is considered when damage or scars are left to the body, Zack. Every Navy Seal has been water boarded, Zack!"

      -what an moronic statement. are you in the Navy? every seal has been waterboarded? evidence? besides, can I waterboard you? your friends? your family? since its not so bad are you up for it Bobbie? your ignorance sickens me!

      let me try this again.

      Bobbie,

      what evidence do you have that will support your claim that torture is the reason President Obama was able to instruct the capture and Killing of Bin Laden.

      wating…..

      here are some links that im sure you didn't bother to look at. let me try this again.

      the only people telling us torture works are the same people that tell us we should invade iraq for the threat of wmd's. both claims were did wrong, not are, were dead wrong. history is one my side of the debate, conservative spun media is one your side.

      http://ezkool.com/2011/05/john-mccain-torture-did

      http://www.politicususa.com/en/waterboarding-bin-

      http://stoogeland.blogspot.com/2011/05/sorry-tort

      http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/surveilla

      http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM

      http://hanafi-sat.kazeo.com/News-Politique/Bin-La

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