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I’m not sure why anyone thought the Navy SEALs operation against terrorist Osama Bin Laden was anything other than an assassination. As I posted previously, the real world is not like Hollywood, where the bad guy has to shoot first (and miss) for the good guy to own the moral high ground. The SEALs went in and shot Bin Laden. Mission accomplished. Yes? “THE AMERICAN soldiers who killed Osama bin Laden found his two guns only after he was dead, while they photographed his dead body, according to a detailed new account of the al-Qaeda leader’s final moments,” reports. “The Associated Press revelation will add further fuel for critics who say US forces acted illegally in killing the unarmed Saudi fugitive. The Obama administration insists the shooting was lawful.” The latest account after the jump . . .

The US raiding party slipped into Pakistan in five helicopters – two stealth Black Hawks carrying 23 navy seals, an interpreter and a sniffer dog named Cairo, and three Chinooks carrying 24 backup soldiers that landed in a remote mountain area north of Abbottabad, the garrison town where bin Laden was hiding. In recent days, two Pakistani television channels have identified the mountain area as Khala Dhaka, a semi-autonomous tribal area, having interviewed villagers who saw the crafts land and take off.

The soldiers planned to swoop on bin Laden’s house from three sides: sliding down ropes on to the roof, the compound and outside the wall. But the first Black Hawk swayed erratically as it hovered over the compound because of higher than expected temperatures and crashed against a wall. The pilot ditched the plane in bin Laden’s yard and the entire raiding party entered from the ground floor, using small explosives to blow their way through walls and doors.

The AP reported the Americans found “barriers” at each stair landing of the three-storey building, encountered fire once and killed three men and one woman. The account did not specify how many of the dead were armed. On the top floor they found bin Laden at the end of the hallway. They said they recognised him “immediately”. Bin Laden ducked into a room, followed quickly by three seals.

The first soldier pushed aside two women who tried to protect bin Laden, apparently fearing they were wearing suicide vests, while the second opened fire on the al-Qaeda leader, hitting him in the head and chest. Moments later, as the Americans photographed his body, they found an AK-47 rifle and a Makarov pistol on a shelf beside the door they had just entered. Bin Laden had not touched the weapons, according to the AP account.


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  1. Surgical with boots on the ground is always cleaner than a missile strike and the risk of civilian casualties. As for shooting him-oh, well-how many murders must one commit to quell complaints? I’d trade a thousand of him rather than one of our fighting men be harmed.

    • That’s the other crazy thing. It would have been ok to just bomb the compound from a drone, but it’s not ok to not kill everyone in the building and perhaps some neighbors? What if they parked outside the compound and just started lobbing grenades and mortar rounds in, would that have been preferable to shooting the actual target? These people are fucking morons.

    • yep and we would have blow ALL of that sweet juicy intelligence to kingdom come. OBL’s life was not worth the cost of a hellfire missile, a couple of expertly placed rounds did the trick.

    • I am pretty sure that thanks the airport “security” that no one other than the terrorists were armed on Flight 93.

  2. Gee, maybe we should have sent him flowers or some other goodies. Get real….what “warning” did he give the folks at the Twin Towers, Pentagon and the field in PA??? Do you remember the news correspondent that was be-headed in public view or the burned hung bodies hung from a bridge?? One of our GREAT IMM presidents once said, they are like mad dogs and should be treated as such!!

    Sooner or later we are going to have to wake up and realize that P.C. is another word for, DO AS YOU PLEASE TO US AND WE WILL NOT FIGHT BACK OR IN ANY WAY TRY TO STOP YOU…HEAR I AM, A SHEEP AT YOUR DISPOSAL.

    I am not an aggresive person BUT, don’t mess with my family, my country or me.

    If I have offended anyone……oh well.

    • “I am not an aggresive person BUT, don’t mess with my family, my country or me.

      If I have offended anyone……oh well.”

      Sadly we are a minority. ‘Pussy’ is the cool of today. Walk on me all day! I will get on the internet and complain but other then that break my back. People make no sense. Thank God there are a few out there that can see what life really needs to continue its cycle.

  3. The problem here is that an appalling number of people are unable to tell the difference between war and crime.

    If OBL was a criminal and the SEALs were a SWAT team then they absolutely would have acted improperly. Kicking in doors without warning or a warrant and shooting unarmed people without giving them any chance to surrender would be criminal misconduct.

    But OBL wasn’t a criminal, and SEALs aren’t cops. He was an enemy combatant and they are soldiers. Soldiers kill enemy combatants. Ergo, the SEALs killed OBL.

    So simple, and yet so impossible for these nitwits to understand.

  4. Not one of the Armed Intelligentsia is going to call it the illegal act it was? Robert at least said it was an assassination, but it sure sounded like he was saying that’s a good thing.

    What happened to the Rule of Law and about the United States being better than the terrorists? Bad guys are supposed to be arrested and brought to trial, not shot down while unarmed.

    In this Obama is as bad as the Bushies. For political again he ordered a murder and the whole Western world, almost, approved.

    • Uh, no Mike. Illegal combatants aren’t afforded the same rights as American citizens arrested for a crime. Or even uniformed enemy soldiers. They’re either killed or captured. There’s no Miranda warning, arraignment or due process required.

      Capture might have happened if there were no chance of him taking out four or five SEALs with a bomb vest (meaning, he was standing there stark naked). He wasn’t and there was no reason to risk American lives. Better to be sure with the double tap he got.

      For him, it was quick and (relatively) painless. Compared to those in the towers who burned, choked or jumped to their deaths, he got off very easy.

    • I gotta agree with the guys mike… HE called it war against the west.

      Since it’s war…. all is fair.

      The only thing I see wrong is that it took The U S of A 10 years to get a single BG. Shame on us… Shame on all of us. Someone should be held responsible for the 10 years….

      Maybe the oil companies?

  5. Under the laws of war there is no requirement that soldiers can only use their weapons in self-defense. Soldiers in war are permitted to kill the enemy on sight, whether the enemy is armed or not, in uniform or not, resisting or not.

    Think about an Allied squad on patrol in Normandy in June of 1944. They flush out an enemy position and kill two Germans. A third German soldier throws his rifle down and starts running away. Are the Allied soldiers legally allowed to shoot him in the back as he flees? Damn right they are. In fact, they could bayonet an enemy soldier who is peacefully slumbering in his sleeping bag and still be on the good side of the law.

    Now, what if the enemy soldier throws up his hands, falls to his knees and says “I surrender!” At that point – and only at that point – he is protected by the laws of war (unless of course his surrender is a ruse – which is itself a violation of the laws of war, BTW.)

    But until that soldier either surrenders or is taken into custody by soldiers of the opposing army, he is an enemy soldier and can be killed on sight.

    War is not a police operation. It is war.

  6. Devil’s advocate here. Are we are war with the country or residents of Pakistan?
    Do the rules of War apply?
    This was more like a covert CIA assassination? So why were Navy Seals used?

    Personally, I think Obama screwed this up. I’m glad the old turbine head is dead, but I don’t think this was a legal operation.

    • Devil’s advocate here. Are we are war with the country or residents of Pakistan?

      No. We weren’t at war with France, either, but we damn sure dropped a lot of bombs on them (and killed a lot of innocent Frenchment) because that’s where the German Army happened to be. “Collateral Damage” is a military euphemism for “war is hell” or “shit happens.”

      Do the rules of War apply?

      I don’t know why they wouldn’t.

      This was more like a covert CIA assassination? So why were Navy Seals used?

      They used the guys who could get the job done. SEALs, 160th SOAR, SFOD-D, whoever.

      Personally, I think Obama screwed this up. I’m glad the old turbine head is dead, but I don’t think this was a legal operation.

      What would be an example of a “legal” operation? Having our ambassador to Pakistan demand that Bin Laden be arrested and extradited to the US? That hasn’t worked out very well with other terrorists.

      I don’t really understand the “legality” arguments. “International law” is a nebulous concept at best, and we’re fools if we think we can win a street brawl by fighting under Marquess of Queensberry rules. It’s not like there’s some cosmic “2nd place” trophy in the clash of civilizations, or a “good sportsmanship” award in existential warfare.

      • Obviously the legalities of this are above my pay grade, but I worry about giving an administration the ability to simply “declare” someone to be an enemy combatant, then have them killed. What a horrible precedent this might set.

        What if Mexico decided to do that to one of our residents? Say they thought some politician from Texas or Arizona was helping the cartels. We wouldn’t stand for a foreign armed force to cross our borders and warrantlessly kill one of our residents.

        • Obama didn’t declare Osama to be an enemy of the US, and neither did Bush, nor Clinton before him.

          Osama himself made that declaration. Repeatedly. In writing, in video, and in audio. And then he backed up that declaration with words. What more do you need?

  7. Of course, the laws of war (like any other laws) have their own inconsistencies, too. I remember in one LoW class the issue of whether or not you could shoot at parachutists came up. The answer (and I believe it’s still accurate) is that if the parachutist is a distressed airman (IOW, a crewmember of an aircraft who has ejected or parachuted from his damaged aircraft) he is considered to no longer have the capacity to fight and therefore you cannot shoot at him legally. OTOH, if it’s a paratrooper, you can shoot at him because the paratrooper is not “in distress.” (I guess it’s similar to the difference between a sailor who has fallen into the water and is thus in distress, vs. a frogman who is swimming towards you with a machine gun.)

  8. And the best treasure trove of information, that between OBL’s ears, was lost. If they feared the woman had suicide vests on, why weren’t they given a double tap to the head?

    Obviously Obama did not want OBL alive. He was protecting his Pakistani mentors and he sympathized with them. Don’t forget BHO’s trip to visit the Pakistani elite when he was in college.

    A few flashbangs in the room would have gained us the world in intelligence on Al Queda. It was lost. Also lost was the joy of seeing OBL swing from the end of a rope.

    • Also lost was the absolute inevitability that Osama’s trial would become a twelve-ring circus, a security nightmare, and a cost to the US taxpayers well into seven figures.

      I think we got the best possible outcome here.

  9. Do you really think OBL would just start spilling secrets? And where on earth could he possibly get a “fair” trial? Not to mention the absolute circus his trial would be.

  10. “Bin Laden ducked into a room, followed quickly by three seals.”

    Now THAT would have been something to see. However, I have it on good authority that Bin Laden was not followed quickly by three pinnipeds balancing red rubber balls on their shiny noses. Nor was there a duck in the room.

  11. Sorry, I’m against government assassination. In this case, they realistically had to shoot him for the potential of a bomb vest, but as someone else commented: why didn’t they shoot the women?

    Still amazed that people here think the government should assassinate those they suspect as terrorists.

  12. Too bad no one ever went through with the Osama Fish Food branding idea.

    It would cause all these bleeding hearts for the Fuhrer of 9/11 such moral pain. Legalities and all.

  13. The answer to the above question on parachutes. You cannot shoot a pilot as his plane was probably shot down and he is no threat, but you can shoot a paratrooper because he is and will be a “combatant” once on the ground.

    Osama was simply “euthanized” for the good of mankind. Period. I don’t care if he was reaching for a sharp tooth pick when the Seals came through the door he should have been shot. Period.

    The difinition of the rules of engagement in war were already covered in a statement above. War is H*ll. That’s why the call it War.

  14. Its was a murder of a former CIA agent without a trial, on the ‘say so’ of a corrupt gov’t. Tyranny and Police State are now the best descriptions of the US, meanwhile adult children continue to wave their flags and praise the fascism.

  15. I seem to recall several thousand unarmed victims of Bin Laden
    PS Chuck
    take your Media Matters/Van Jones talking points and take a flying leap


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