‘An assassination is “to murder (a usually prominent person) by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons.” An additional definition is “the act of deliberately killing someone especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons.”
This is exactly what US has done.
US has been very dignified about “Osama’s Killing’ till now.
‘Kill or Capture Mission’ is all right when you are at war.
No doubt ,the world is at war with Osama bin Laden.
But Pakistan is not US territory nor Pakistan an US Vassal( at least officially)
You are not at war with Pakistan, but are “Strategic partners in fighting terrorism”
‘He is an enemy Commander‘
Equally true is that he was not in enemy’s soil.
Nobody disagrees with the US action.
The justification is in bad taste and could have been avoided.
It is better to keep your mouth shut and make the other wonder whether you are a fool than to open your mouth and confirm that you are one.
Holder told the BBC the raid on bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan on May 2 was a “kill or capture mission” and that his surrender would have been accepted if offered, but that the safety of US Navy commandos was paramount.
“What happened to bin Laden was not an assassination,” Holder said.
“I think the action that we took against him can be seen as an act of national self-defence. You have to remember it is lawful to target an enemy commander,” he said.
The top US legal official said there was no indication that bin Laden was going to surrender and it was believed he could be wearing a suicide vest.
“It was a kill or capture mission. If there was a possibility of a feasible surrender that would have occurred, but their protection, that is the protection of the force that went into the compound, was uppermost in their minds,” said Holder.
Israel has established itself as something of a market leader on this score, as seen by the way Mossad dealt with Hamas commander Mahmoud al Mabhouh last year. The incident was taken so seriously in London that then foreign secretary summoned the Israeli ambassador to the Foreign Office for a bollocking.
It’s not that David Miliband had much of a problem with Israel bumping off dodgy Palestinians or anything. But travelling on false UK passports was judged a step too far.
It’s always impossible to provide proof on such matters, but it remains a reasonable surmise that the Russian government had a hand in poisoning Alexander Litvinenko with polonium-210. There is ample evidence that Syria did for Lebanese prime minister Rafic Hariri.
The British state has had a hand in ‘targeted killings’ – to use the accepted euphemism – in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. Former MI5 officer David Shayler claims British involvement in a plot to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi, for instance.
Those who disapprove of such practices have no alternative but to disapprove of their latest instantiation. It’s not that I shed any tears for OBL; while the world is obviously a better place without him, the reality remains that there will be plenty of others ready to step into his shoes.
But target killings breach the principle of respect for human life. Whatever the hypothetical moral case for them in urgent situations, where there are no other means to avoid given imminent harm, the criteria do not appear to have been met on this occasion. What the US did was wrong, and thus worthy of censure.