by Sam Foster
Seal Team 6 may have been fearless in the face of foreign aggression, but if I were them, I wouldn’t be sleeping easy for a while.
So far the Obama administration is justifying the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and taking responsibility, but it’s pretty weak:
Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that the U.S. military mission that killed Osama bin Laden "was justified as an act of national self-defense" and that Navy SEALs would have had good grounds to shoot bin Laden even if he sought to surrender.
"It’s lawful to target an enemy commander in the field. We did so for instance with regard to [Japanese Admiral Isoroku] Yamamoto in World War II. He was shot down in an airplane. [Bin Laden] was by my estimation and the estimation of the Justice Department a lawful military target and the operation was conducted in a way that was consistent with our law, with our values," Holder said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Holder initially said the U.S. team "obviously" should have accepted if bin Laden attempted to surrender, but after some prodding by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) the attorney general said there'd have been a "good basis" for the SEALs to have killed the Al Qaeda leader if he gave some indication of giving up.
"To those out there who question what happened here, the intelligence and the statements from the man himself said he’d never be taken alive, that he had bombs strapped to himself," Graham said. "The Navy SEAL team had to believe from the moment they encountered bin Laden, whether he raised his hands or not--that could have been a fake surrender, that they were well within their rights and shooting him as soon as possible probably protected everybody, including the SEALs and women and children."
"It was a kill or capture mission. He made no attempt to surrender and I tend to agree with you that, even if he had, there’d be a good basis on the of the part of those very brave Navy SEAL team members to do what they did in order to protect themselves and the other people in that building," Holder replied. "What they did was entirely lawful and consistent with our values."
Clearly, Holder’s argument raises more questions than answers.
Notice how Holder starts the defense with a military argument that absolves responsibility of the Seal Team, but then divulges into his own broken philosophy of military as terrorist police officers. A clear case of an administration that is trying to fit their actions with their childish warped foreign policy beliefs after the deed was done. By his own words, Holder is opening the door to scrutinize the Seal Team as if they were conducting an arrest. Which is to say, it begs the question, if this is a policing action as Holder explains, did Osama try and give himself up and is it really reasonable to assume he would be making a fake surrender?
Leon Panetta was even worse than Holder:
But bin Laden didn’t appear to have been given a chance to surrender himself to the SEALs.
“To be frank, I don’t think he had a lot of time to say anything,” CIA Director Leon Panetta said in an interview airing on PBS NewsHour.
U.S. officials have described a chaotic scene inside the sprawling compound as the SEALs fought running gun battles with militants. When commandos reached the room were bin Laden had been sleeping, they made a quick decision to kill him.
“It was a firefight going up that compound. By the time they got to the third floor and found bin Laden, I think this was all split-second action on the part of the SEALs,” Panetta said in the PBS interview.
Now we conservatives do not worry about such trifles. 9/11 was all the reason in the world to shoot Osama Bin Laden. But, the idea that Obama could access any country and kill anyone is an obvious bridge too far for the left and the media.
Glenn Greenwald was skeptical even when the Administration was touting a firefight as justification and the reporting today seems to have a certain smell of liberal disdain for Bin Laden’s demise.
Whether the media is going to take Obama to task on the issue remains to be seen. However, we’ve seen the Obama Administration prosecute a Navy Seal for striking a terrorist in the heat of a capture operation.
Is it even remotely unlikely that Obama would throw Seal Team 6 under the bus for a double tap kill, if the political winds began to look unfavorable?
Image via. WH Flickr Page