<ul><li>We are lucky that Bin Laden was taken out by the American military. I tremble at the thought of what would have happened had he been killed by Israeli forces. </li></ul><ul><li>Would there not have arisen a deafening outcry against cold-blooded murder without a trial? </li></ul><ul><li>Would there not have been calls to investigate whether bin Laden could have been captured unharmed, to be put on fair trial, where he could defend himself judicially? </li></ul><ul><li>Would not the soldier who had shot him be indicted, because perhaps he could have merely wounded bin Laden by shooting at his legs, thus avoiding an unnecessary loss of human life? </li></ul><ul><li>And what about those other “collateral” deaths in the compound? Was it really necessary to kill THOSE people without even putting them on trial? </li></ul>
Let us bear in mind that the operation was carried out in the territory of a friendly foreign country allied to the US – Pakistan. Since when can a country just go in and kill suspects in another country that has its own police and courts? One must keep in mind that at this stage bin Laden was merely a suspect – since he was never convicted of any crime by any court, including for the destruction of the WTC towers in the US. Under the circumstances, should not the US forces have warned him and demanded his surrender before opening fire, and - if such a warning was given to bin Laden - was it a sufficient warning?
<ul><li>To all these “questions” others would then be added. </li></ul><ul><li>Under such sensitive circumstances, is it really appropriate for the US military itself to examine its own behavior and performance? </li></ul><ul><li>Would it not be better to have some outside commission of investigation, one that will enjoy public trust? </li></ul><ul><li>Indeed, a local commission of investigation would be insufficient and surely many would demand an international investigation, one in which the international community could place its faith! Like one by the UN or its commission on human rights. </li></ul>
<ul><li>There are other issues. </li></ul><ul><li>How did the Americans decide to toss bin Laden’s carcass into the sea without first consulting bin Laden’s own family members and violating his human right to a dignified burial? </li></ul><ul><li>And why did the American government do all this without even soliciting a single learned scholarly legal opinion from an international expert on human rights? </li></ul>
And I almost forgot. In such an important matter it is unthinkable that action should have been carried out without first petitioning the Supreme Court, which in Israel at least routinely interferes whenever the military wants to assassinate terrorist leaders. Hence the Supreme Court should contemplate who should now be indicted for the abuses in the operation, after the commission of investigation completes its work.
And even that is not the end of the story. The names of the soldiers and officers involved in the operation must be made public at court order, because of their involvement in the killings. The individuals involved might someday seek public office. Even more important is the fact that one day it may be desirable to conduct a thorough legal evaluation of these people, given the fact that their behavior produced human deaths.
From Israeli News Paper Yediot Aharonot, by Prof. Daniel Friedmann (Prof of Law; served as Minister of Justice ) Translated from Hebrew by Steven Plaut for “THE JEWISH CHRONICLE ONLINE” http://thejc.com/blogs/jonathan-hoffman/suppose-israel-had-taken-bin-laden-out