Osama Bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011 during a raid by U.S. troops in Pakistan. Now many are questioning the legality of the killing.
The White House administration claims they acted under the full jurisdiction of international law. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the raid “was conducted in a manner fully consistent with the laws of war.”
The soldiers involved in the raid had full authority to kill Bin Laden if he resisted in any way. If he had thrown his hands up in surrender, they were to capture him. Initial reports indicated that Bin Laden was armed during the raid. Officials have since retracted this statement, saying that he was not armed but did put up a fight.
It is essentially a question of the facts surrounding the raid. If Bin Laden acted in any way that made US soldiers fear for their livelihood, then the killing was justified under international law.
Cherif Bassiouni, a former UN war crimes investigator feels that “it is necessary for the Navy to conduct an internal investigation into the appropriateness of the use of armed force. However, it is also important not to make the Navy SEALs be the scapegoats for (any) secret orders which the public is unaware of to simply kill bin Laden no matter what.”
“I can’t imagine the president being called to an international war tribunal for this,” says Criminal Defense Attorney, Avery Appelman. “Similarly, there will be no investigation because it’s all on tape—we know because Obama was watching it as it happened. Bottom line: Obama will not be prosecuted.”