Former W. German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt: Shooting Bin Laden Was A “Violation Of International Law”
Was it legal to shoot an unarmed Osama bin Laden? Many are saying, “no.”
Former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt told German TV the operation could have incalculable consequences in the Arab world at a time of unrest there. “It was quite clearly a violation of international law.”
This was a view echoed by high-profile Australian human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson.
“It’s not justice. It’s a perversion of the term. Justice means taking someone to court, finding them guilty upon evidence and sentencing them,” Robertson told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television from London.
“This man has been subject to summary execution, and what is now appearing after a good deal of disinformation from the White House is it may well have been a cold-blooded assassination.”
…Gert-Jan Knoops, a Dutch-based international law specialist, said bin Laden should have been arrested and extradited to the United States. “The Americans say they are at war with terrorism and can take out their opponents on the battlefield,” Knoops said. “But in a strictly formal sense, this argument does not stand up.”
A senior Muslim cleric in New Delhi, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, said U.S. troops could have easily captured bin Laden.
“America is promoting jungle rule everywhere, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan or Libya. People have remained silent for long but now it has crossed all limits.”
Attorney General Eric Holder says it was legal, reasoning, “He was the head of al Qaeda, an organization that had conducted the attacks of September the 11thThe operation against bin Laden was justified as an act of national self-defense. It’s lawful to target an enemy commander in the field. We did so, for instance, with regard to Yamamoto in World War II, when he was shot down in a plane.”
John Bellinger III, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a legal adviser to the Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration, said killing bin Laden was lawful under both U.S. and international law.
“The U.S. government’s legal rationale will be similar to arguments used by both the Bush and Obama administration to justify drone strikes against other al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan and elsewhere,” he wrote in a post on the council’s website on Monday. “The Authorization to Use Military Force Act of September 18, 2001, authorizes the president to use ‘all necessary and appropriate force’ against persons who authorized, planned, or committed the 9/11 attacks.”Click here for reuse options!
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