Der Spiegel is asking whether the killing of Bin Laden was legal, and the United Nations Human Rights Council chairman is demanding more information so that the operation’s conformity with international law can be determined.
Let’s put aside the argument that the U.S. President is sworn to uphold American law first and foremost. That should be enough for most politicians, but it probably isn’t for a coterie of internationalists and multilateralists, or those who care about the feelings of European bureaucrats. As usual, its armchair proponents in Europe must be highly selective in their reading of international law force it to march in step with their own tendentious political opinions.
Five years ago, in the context of the Israel-Hezbollah war, I published a piece in National Review, arguing that not only is assassination legal, but we should also embrace assassination as a key national security tool. It was a controversial piece, but international legal experts who reviewed drafts said the legal interpretation was correct. Let’s hope that President Obama doesn’t shrink from the inevitable chorus of global naysayers and will prioritize now and in the future a strategy that, used carefully, can not only enhance American national security but also can dis-incentivize rogue behavior and avert far greater bloodshed.