Pakistan's Official Statement on the Killing of Osama bin Laden

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued this statement Tuesday on the actions of the U.S. in raiding the home in Abbottabad and killing Osama bin Laden.

As to Osam'as amily members who were present, some of whom were injured:

They are all in safe hands and being looked after in accordance with law. Some of them needing medical care are under treatment in the best possible facilities. As per policy, they will be handed over to their countries of origin.

As for the U.S.'s dubious assertion that Osama could have chosen to surrender and avoided being killed (something that could only have happened after the commandos were assured he wasn't hiding an IED under his clothes), as one senior congressional aide puts it: ""He would have had to have been naked for them to allow him to surrender." [More...]

Even CIA Director Leon Pannetta said Tuesday:

CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said in an interview on PBS television Tuesday that he did not believe Bin Laden had a chance to speak before he was shot in the face and killed. "To be frank, I don't think he had a lot of time to say anything," Panetta said.

This was a "surgical raid", a kill mission. An assassination. Carried out in a foreign country, without that country's knowledge. Pakistan is right to warn the U.S.:

Also revealed: Bin Laden was essentially retired:

The Al Qaeda leader no longer ran day-to-day operations of the terrorist network he had founded. But he continued to secretly send strategic guidance to affiliate groups scattered around the globe, the officials said.

His advice seemed mainly geared towards the splinter groups, to keep them from fighting amongst themselves.

Bin Laden dispatched written messages by courier to Al Qaeda franchises in Iraq, Yemen and Algeria. ....'Don't get bogged down in local fights,' one official said. He said the messages probably were designed to silence restive factions within the affiliates that wanted to join forces with local insurgencies against governments.

...Officials said the messages suggest that Bin Laden was concerned that without his direction, the far-flung franchises could lose their common purpose against the West and therefore diminish Al Qaeda's strategic power.

Many European leaders and former leaders criticized the kill mission:

"It was quite clearly a violation of international law," former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt told German TV. "The operation could also have incalculable consequences in the Arab world in light of all the unrest."

Ehrhart Koerting, Interior Minister in the city-state of Berlin, said: "As a lawyer, I would have preferred to have seen him put on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC)."

Gert-Jan Knoops, a Dutch-based international law specialist, said bin Laden should have been arrested and extradited to the United States.n Brussels, European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom wrote in a blog: "It would have been preferred to see Osama bin Laden before a court."

In Italy, former prime minister Massimo D'Alema, echoes what I've been saying since Sunday:

You don't rejoice at the death of a man. Maybe if bin Laden had been captured and put on trial it would have been an even more significant victory."

I put it the other day:

Justice is done when someone is apprehended and brought to trial, and convicted or acquitted. Murdering a suspect is not bringing him to justice.

Vengeance is not justice.

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    Unfortunately, (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by robrecht on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:13:58 AM EST
    acts of war are different than court room standards of justice.  War reveals a far more savage side of us, whether we like it or not.  It brings us all down, except for some conscientious objectors and others who exercise a different kind of moral courage.  Retalliation for the murder of 3,000 civillians.  Osama bin Laden could have chosen a different manner to air his grievances.

    dubious? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:01:28 AM EST
    The man responsible for recruiting and training suicide bombers...Is it not reasonable for Seals to assume that he had the room booby trapped?  they hit his wife in the calf showing great restraint in my estimation.  If it were me in the room and i could have never been a member of such an elite team, he flinches and endgame.  They didn't kill everyone, they used a scalpel....

    Counselor, you're quibbling. (3.50 / 2) (#4)
    by Mr Natural on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:41:02 AM EST
    So rather than continuing to whine about President Obama's decision to meet Osama head-on, post a defense of Osama and Osama's actions.

    Quibbling? I think not. (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Anne on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:14:09 AM EST
    No one's saying bin Laden should not have been found, and certainly no one is justifying the acts he claimed credit for; what you are seeing is a reaction from those who feel that a selective end-justifies-the-means policy cheapens, and even threatens, the integrity of our system of justice.

    I, too, would have preferred that bin Laden had been taken into custody and made to stand trial, because that's the way we're supposed to deal with those accused of crimes; we don't unilaterally decide to bypass that system because someone in power decided it was appropriate and not necessary to subject the accused to the process.

    I know all the arguments about why it would have been too hard, and too long and too expensive, and how someone like bin Laden didn't deserve to be defended, but our system of justice isn't supposed to shortcut the process for a reason - it's meant to check those in power, not reinforce it.

    Call me crazy, but the real test of our system of justice comes when we are faced with the likes of a bin Laden, or a Timothy McVeigh, or a Charles Manson, and I would prefer that we meet that test, rather than find ways to avoid it.


    I wasn't going to talk openly (5.00 / 6) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:35:13 AM EST
    about the booby trapping that our special forces have to deal with when they are taking these terrorists into custody, but since government officials are talking about it I guess it can be talked about.  Even when we find and then attempt to take into custody someone high level in the Haqqani network, they almost always have suicide vests made special in case they are discovered and their arrest is attempted.  We have lost special forces troops to this, they have been killed attempting to arrest these people.  Bin Laden knows this and he knows the rules, if you are going to be taken alive you come out when you hear the helicopters outside, you remove your clothing so that we can see you aren't booby trapped to kill everyone, and then you can be arrested.  We aren't dying for these people anymore than we already have and I'm not ashamed of that either.  I think it is safe to say I'm finished dying for ANY OF THEM.

    Amen (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:46:02 AM EST

    MT...As always (mostly) in these operations (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by christinep on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:14:59 PM EST
    involving the military & defense of our country, your comments are highly appreciated. I agree with you in this comment.

    While I understand as an American, as an attorney, and as a human being, the qualms of some who would have preferred a cleaner, more jurisprudential "ending," it cannot be emphasized enough that--in al Quaeda--we are grappling with a sworn enemy of our country. And, in bin Laden & al Qaeda, we face(d) massive international acts of terrorism against us & against the citizens of many nations. Not theoretical ideologies or fervent marches or loud declamations. Bloody deaths here & abroad...carried out & proclaimed with bloody bravado.

    For many reasons--political, personal, & primarily spiritual--I do not support the "death peanlty" under any guise. Yet, there are times when we as generations in society may be called upon to come to terms with destruction of other forces/declared enemies in a way that does not nicely (my own understatement) fit who we are & what we believe. For my father's generation, that would have been WWII...and the many horrific events that society participated in, including the still controversial concluding aspect of the bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki.  Today, we witnessed & lived through other events of horror. Foremost among them, hearing of the terror of innocent people caught on planes of destruction on 9?11 and seeing bodies falling from the towers. In many ways...the 9/11 scenes were images portrayed so powerfully in Guernica, images of terror.

    For myself, I can live in my conscience with my shared responsibility as a citizen in the way that the nation conducted the ending, the death of Osama bin Laden. Justice most assuredly was done.


    Thanks for the info! (none / 0) (#12)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:59:28 AM EST
    Then honestly (none / 0) (#13)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:20:29 AM EST
    Getting out of the military might be a good idea.  Because scoundrel presidents are going to send your husband to a war of no point, to get rid of another scoundrel.  As honorable as military service is, that's the reality he's signed up for.

    Then honestly (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:30:55 AM EST
    We really do have some serious terrorism problems that are much more organized than most of the professional left wants to think about or deal with.  It is enough for our soldiers to risk what they do in these situations.  What you have to say about this reflects someone who has stood at the back of the room whenever danger was at hand and reaped the rewards of those who stood up to danger and killers.  Make sure you stand very very far back, I wouldn't want any splatter to get on precious you.

    The safe easy way... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:42:10 AM EST
    is not often the righteous way.

    Thinking of local law enforcement, we require them to take risks when apprehending a suspect when shooting on sight would be a lot easier/safer for them...not unreasonable to expect the same of our soldiers if they are going to be used in an international law enforcement capacity instead of their more traditional war-making capacity.

    Thats why you don't send in troops unless the plan is to totally destroy an enemy who gave you no choice...they aren't cops, but we're using them like cops to chase murderers.


    The real problem isn't that we didn't (none / 0) (#15)
    by Anne on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:45:56 AM EST
    take bin Laden alive and into custody, it's that in the long lead-up to Sunday's event, there's never been anyone at the highest levels of government and politics pounding the podium or filling the media with calls for bin Laden to be arrested and brought to trial - it seems as if it's always been about killing him.  

    Is that because those who are on the inside of the power bubble have always known that bin Laden was never going to allow himself to be captured alive?  I have no idea, but whether we believe any suspect does or does not want to be taken alive shouldn't absolve us of the responsibility to try to do otherwise, as best we can, and with the safety of those involved in the mission/operation always in mind.

    Messaging has been the real problem with this event all along, starting with the wildly divergent details provided on the record.  Admittedly, I haven't watched a lot of the coverage, but I don't get the sense that anyone has emphasized that our goal throughout the planning of the operation was to take bin Laden alive if we could.  

    I think most of us get that this was not a run-of-the-mill situation, but the administration, rather than feed into a desire for bloody vengeance, should have been taking a much higher rhetorical road than it has; I think they have only themselves to blame for the negative reaction coming their way.


    Bin Laden was always a military target. (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:51:40 AM EST
    as the leader of the agressors, as the chief adversary, he was always a military target. He never surrendered.

    As to what happened within the compound? A lot of things happened, and it was confusing, stressful and scary for those on the ground. This wasn't the police entering to take down a hostage holder. I will lose no sleep over this military operation. I'd prefer it be a military operation than a CIA or mercenary one.

    Now comes the surgeon, Dr. Zawahiri (isn't that his name?), who wants chemical, biological and/or nuclear weapons. Scary.


    I'm not questioning the mission, Jeff, (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Anne on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:13:53 AM EST
    as much as the message that has accompanied it; considering the precision and detail that had to exist for this operation to work, I can't understand why those in government responsible for disseminating information about it have been unable to get their stories straight.  Yeah, we all know that there's only so much they can tell us, but what is served by telling us one thing (and another and another) and then contradicting that hours later?

    They needed to be taking the rhetorical high road on this, and they didn't.  It's not appropriate to equate killing someone with justice, that's putting us on the level of those who think they are arbiters of justice, too, and can kill those they believe deserve it.  It's not seemly for Leon Panetta to be musing about who will play him in the movie.  It's not appropriate to lump killing someone with our can-do American spirit.

    This is where they have failed, in my opinion, not that they finally were able to find bin Laden, not that whatever was going on in those few minutes resulted in his death - but how they have handled the after-action rhetoric and messaging.


    I agree, Anne. (none / 0) (#25)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:23:33 AM EST
    The messengers act as though they haven't read an after action report.

    I'm betting that this cock-up comes from people supposedly in the know not kknowing what they are talking about.

    Air assault missions are scary businesses. At the end of it, the CO writes the AAR.

    But if you believe the nonsense published in the papers, JSOC doesn't write AARS, because they are 'black ops.' Nonsense.

    Too many people are involved in that incestuous Washington relationship between the pols and the press.


    Yes, if we could put on trial (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Towanda on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:18:33 AM EST
    the killers of nine million in the Holocaust, we could put on trial the killer of thousands at Ground Zero.  The killing of Osama is an example of revenge -- a form of justice, but not ours.  As Bacon put it, "revenge is a kind of wild justice."

    That we resort to wildness is not a sign of progress.


    The Nuremberg Trials were held 6 months after (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by steviez314 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:54:58 AM EST

    I must have missed the part about Al-Qaeda's unconditional surrender and Bin Laden giving himself up.

    It may be an asymmetrical war, without uniforms and front lines, but Bin Laden was still an enemy combatant, not a local drug dealer who got his door knocked down without a search warrant.


    You must have missed (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Towanda on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:32:56 AM EST
    the posts from our host here and the coverage elsewhere of continuing trials of former Nazis.

    And please stop shouting.


    It's such a stupid, illogical comparison (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 04, 2011 at 04:15:09 PM EST
    sometimes there's nothing to do but shout.

    How's this, though; Germany surrendered.


    yup. (none / 0) (#34)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 04, 2011 at 04:28:53 PM EST
    I agree (none / 0) (#8)
    by loveed on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:58:43 AM EST
    FYI: Juan Cole is not bemoaning OBL's fate... (2.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Mr Natural on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:57:09 AM EST
    FYI: Juan Cole, a middle east expert and unrepentant lefty, is not whining about the demise of OBL.


    Cole is a Professor of History. How is that relevant? Because history is made by people who get off their butts and make things happen.

    Will Talkleft support a killer? (1.00 / 0) (#37)
    by Andreas on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:58:06 PM EST
    Jeralyn has already anounced that she will support  Barack Obama in the next presidential elections.

    Yes I will (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 06, 2011 at 03:35:10 AM EST
    he's better than the Republicans.

    Consequence (none / 0) (#39)
    by Andreas on Fri May 06, 2011 at 02:48:20 PM EST
    he's better than the Republicans.

    As far as the capitalist class is concerned this currently is true. He still is more capable in neutralising the so called liberals. That is the main difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.

    Supporting the alleged lesser evil has its logic (demonstrated in history again and again). In the end it paves the way for an even larger evil - and that is not simply the Republicans but a regime in which no democratic or other rights are left.


    Targeted Killing (none / 0) (#1)
    by jarober on Wed May 04, 2011 at 05:55:43 AM EST
    While the circumstances differ, what is your opinion on the 1943 raid that took out Admiral Yamamoto?  That was also a targeted assassination, not an act of war.

    Shooting down Yamamoto (none / 0) (#36)
    by cal1942 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 02:34:12 AM EST
    was most assuredly an act of war.

    Since when is a top military commander not a combatant.

    Shooting down Yamamoto's plane was not an assassination, it was a combat operation.


    Best Osama Zombie Movie (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talktruth on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:34:00 AM EST
    On the dubious assertion (none / 0) (#6)
    by vicndabx on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:03:20 AM EST
    Everyone from the president on down has said the mission was to kill bin Laden.

    we knew they would kill (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by loveed on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:21:05 AM EST
    It's the changing of the facts. That's makes americans and the  world question what happen. Obama should have put Panetta out first.  

    We should be talking about all the files, computor hardrives,papers,records ect..

    There PR sucks

    Pakistan it's the nukes!!!!


    I have to wonder (none / 0) (#16)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:49:23 AM EST
    I have to wonder why they took Saddam Hussein alive....wouldn't he potentially have boobie traps too?

    He surrendered, (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:53:28 AM EST
    was stripped before being taken prisoner. I've spoken with two of the soldiers directly involved in his capture.

    There was the chance of booby traps, but he wasn't wearing any.


    Saddam Hussein (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by CST on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:55:46 AM EST
    was a dictator not a "freedom fighter"/"terrorist"

    Completely different mentality.  He doesn't strike me as the type to martyr himself.


    Me neither. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:03:03 AM EST
    Agree about the mindset. A national leader instead of a stateless leader, Saddam was about his power, not ideology.

    ready to leave ? (none / 0) (#23)
    by loveed on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:17:55 AM EST
    With 750.00 get real. I always thought that he live in plain site. 25 mil. reward no takers. This tell you alot about the people of pakistan,money is not as important as there belief.
    He seemed comfortable, surrounded by family.No personal security.
     Amreican had been watching him for months.Someone in pakistan probally turned him in.No has said whether this reward wil be paid.
     And what did Hillary mean, when she praised pakistan for there assistance.
     There alot of question still.There's no question OSBL is died.

    Dalai Lama, talking w/students (none / 0) (#29)
    by brodie on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:43:36 AM EST
    at USC (and wearing the traditional Trojan cardinal and gold), suggests killing of Ben Laden justified.

    Dalai Lama (none / 0) (#31)
    by star on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:30:27 PM EST
    asked Bush to FORGIVE Bin laden immediatly after 9/11 ...so ...

    Link (none / 0) (#32)
    by star on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:37:21 PM EST
    on Dalai Lama's Opinion on killing Bin Laden before the this week


    Dalia Lama's Statement on the Killing of OBL (none / 0) (#35)
    by RonK Seattle on Wed May 04, 2011 at 05:58:29 PM EST
    One of the kindliest old souls you're ever likely to meet, yet he opines:

    "If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures."

    ... in the same spirit that he may refrain from swatting a mosquito - but not where there is risk of malaria.