BBC BLOGS - Mark Mardell's America
« Previous | Main | Next »

The White House backtracks on Bin Laden

Mark Mardell | 06:51 UK time, Wednesday, 4 May 2011

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


The White House has had to correct its facts about the killing of Bin Laden, and for some that has diminished the glow of success that has surrounded all those involved in the operation.

Bin Laden wasn't armed when he was shot. It raises suspicions that this was indeed a deliberate shoot-to-kill operation.

Here are the inaccuracies in the first version. The woman killed was not his wife. No woman was used as a human shield. And he was not armed.

The president's press secretary Jay Carney suggested this was the result of trying to provide a great deal of information in a great deal of haste.

I can largely accept that. There is no mileage in misleading people and then correcting yourself. But the president's assistant national security advisor John Brennan had used the facts he was giving out to add a moral message - this was the sort of man Bin Laden was, cowering behind his wife, using her as a shield. Nice narrative. Not true. In fact, according to Carney this unarmed woman tried to attack the heavily armed Navy Seal. In another circumstance that might even be described as brave.

Jay Carney said that Bin Laden didn't have to have a gun to be resisting. He said there was a great deal of resistance in general and a highly volatile fire fight. The latest version says Bin Laden's wife charged at the US commando and was shot in the leg, but not killed. The two brothers, the couriers and owners of the compound, and a woman were killed on the ground floor of the main building. This version doesn't mention Bin Laden's son, who also died.

By this count only three men, at the most, were armed. I do wonder how much fight they could put up against two helicopters' worth of Navy Seals.

Does any of this matter? Well, getting the fact right is always important. You can't make a judgment without them. We all make mistakes, and journalists hate doing so because it makes people trust us less. For those involved an operation like this, time must go past in a confused and noisy instant, and they aren't taking notes. Confusion is very understandable. But you start to wonder how much the facts are being massaged now, to gloss over the less appealing parts of the operation.

And of course there is the suspicion that the US never wanted to take Bin Laden alive. Here at least many see a trial as inconvenient, awkward - a chance for terrorists to grandstand. Look at all the fuss about the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

In the confusion of a raid it's hard to see how the Seals could be sure that Bin Laden wasn't armed, didn't have his finger on the trigger of a bomb, wasn't about to pull a nasty surprise. If he had his hands in the air shouting "don't shoot" he might have lived, but anything short of that seems to have ensured his death.

I suspect there will be more worry about this in Britain and Europe than in the US. That doesn't mean we are right or wrong. It is a cultural difference. We are less comfortable about frontier justice, less forgiving about even police shooting people who turn out to be unarmed, perhaps less inculcated with the Dirty Harry message that arresting villains is for wimps, and real justice grows from the barrel of a gun. Many in America won't be in the slightest bit bothered that a mass murderer got what was coming to him swiftly, whether he was trying to kill anyone in that instant or not.

Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    As a law student in the US, I can say with first hand experience that this is a country deeply concerned with notions of justice and legality. Foreigners whose own opinions of the US are shaped by cultural exports like Hollywood's Westerns and, yes, Dirty Harry, seem to have an almost cartoonish vision of America. It's just not that simple. This is a country that spans a size-able part of a major continent and is home to over 300 million people, of all races, religions, and nationalities.

    I recommend reading "Murder in Tombstone: The Forgotten Trial of Wyatt Earp" for a short lesson in just how surprisingly developed the legal system of the Old West was.

    Yes, this is a nation of high rates of gun ownership, and of capital punishment, but it is wrong to say that this is a nation of "frontier justice." That phrase carries a negative connotation that does a disservice to the America that I know.

  • Comment number 2.

    This just confirms that you should never believe any sort of authority as they always looking out for themselves. Dis-information has become away of life .

  • Comment number 3.

    can anyone clarify the reports of women and children being tied up and taken away by US helicopters

  • Comment number 4.

    I think it's important to recognize that they didn't have to make the corrections at all. They could have said nothing and the world would have gone on believing the original account being none the wiser. Although they clearly should have had all the facts straight before going on record to begin with, they at least deserve some credit for acknowledging the errors and being willing to take the inevitable criticism that would follow.

  • Comment number 5.

    One needs to have been involved in situations under fire to understand that when one’s life is at risk and has a few minutes to accomplish a mission, one cannot make lengthy judgements of a situation. It is easier for people, after the event, to sit on an armchair and think about every detail for hours and even days. I have the experience and suggest that those people should join the next operation and then be subject to judgements.

  • Comment number 6.

    Oversharing! Too much detail. Loss of 20 yards and introduce confusion.

    It's as if every one of the unknown number of seals involved and the boy carrying the water was telling his own version of it.

    Couldn't we have had a simple message, and then shut up? This may be Obama's biggest mistake - explaining the story after telling it.

    The Republicans in the House will be dragging the Arabian Sea for evidence of misdoing.... just watch.

    KScurmudgeon,
    howling in pain.

  • Comment number 7.

    As to the method of the operation. Surely one concerned with the value of human life, whether "innocent" life or not, must prefer this sort of operation to some sort of aerial strike, where the collateral damage could have been much greater.

  • Comment number 8.

    Isn't this simply what America does - try to justify its actions by blaming the other side? Check out the initial reports on the death of Linda Norgrove - strikingly similar.

  • Comment number 9.

    Does any of this matter?

    Of course it doesn't. The fact that there were armed "body guards" (Read as Pakistani troops) a few hundred metres away in the military compound that could have been called upon to interfere with the operation meant that it had to be as swift as possible. There just simply wouldn't have been the time to sit a debate on the morals of taking prisoners.
    Picking things like this out of such a high risk operatin to rid the World of one tyrant is just simply laying bait for the conspiracy theorists and his supporters.
    At least his death wasn't uploaded to Youtube, his head was still attached to his body and he wasn't just dumped in the desert like his unarmed victims were.

  • Comment number 10.

    As for Dis-information all I ask is that the BBC is at very least "balanced" on its reporting of the death of Osam Bin Laden. We all know how they respect the feelings of the Islamic Fundamentalists in the UK who have lost one of their heros.The anti American sentiments of many of the editors on this website must be watched carefuly by the hierachy and they must not be allowed to get their own opinions across by using " moderation" as their excuse in not publishing articles praising the USA and displaying leaders by contibuters vehemently opposed to the USA and its policies.

  • Comment number 11.

    Why all the supposed surprise that Bin Laden was killed in cold blood.... Listen to the President's announcement....

    ... compound... stormed........a fire fight ensued...... AFTERWARDS Bin Laden was shot dead.....

  • Comment number 12.

    Thanks Mark - another balanced report and one which highlights the difference in culture. To see the crowds in Times Sq looking no different to crowds in the centre of Teheran in venting their anger. The use of the word "revenge" too in so many articles makes poor reading and hope that this world will ever change more remote than ever. This just confirms for both governments and terrorists alike that violence really does get results.

  • Comment number 13.

    Long gone are the days when the news media or "reporters" reported the news. Today the news is created by these entities. The headlines Bin Laden slain in ferocious fire fight sells more copies than Bin Laden executed while asleep. Who really cares what the details were the population is only interested in the outcome. I would guess that Hollywood is already scrambling to make a film about the action and the last thing they want to see is the the headlines "Worlds most wanted terrorist executed in cold blood while asleep". Let's be quite clear in some circumstances the end does justify the means, however in this case the declarations by J.Carney must now raise the question, was Bin Laden really executed and buried at sea or is he actually stashed away in one of the C.I.A.s covert torture camps being milked for every last bit of information on his terrorist organisation? to be executed and disposed of later on? No questions asked as he is "officially" dead already. Please do no get the idea that I am complaining about this possibility but it would be nice to be told the truth occasionally. Lets face it it is the tax paying public of many countries who are paying the salaries of these "public servants" and the armed forces who executed the raid.

  • Comment number 14.

    I recommend Mr Mardell review his own nation's activities in Ireland in the period known as the Torubles which is not too distant.

    a great Brit said: 'We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.'

    This is no frontier justice; this is reality.....get with it

  • Comment number 15.

    Nice post, spot on.

    One doesn’t take notes when engaged on such an “exercise”….and really, why bother to take notes. The MO is clear, just do it and end it. To debate or explain the rationale and sequence of events plays into the hands of those that wish to criticise it. A simple statement should have been read out and be the end of it.

    #1. Jay-Dubs
    So, when a US President says “We have saying out west wanted dead or alive”..that wasn’t frontier talk?
    US law is not about justice nor legality, US law is more cornered with portioning blame, providing a clear black and white “answer” to a person’s grievance. Laws are supposed to be for the protection of individuals, no matter who they are. Heading off to with the sole intent to short to kill, where is the justice there? There is none. That is the cultural aspect, the US view on an eye for an eye, which does not ring with the same resonance in the EU/UK, as it does in the US.

  • Comment number 16.

    It is partially the administrations fault that lots of people, especially those from the left seem to have a lot of trouble distinguishing between law enforcement and warfare. Osama declared war on the USA. He ran a super-national paramilitary organization. Therefore, he was a legal, military target. As such, Mark was right to say that his only chance of survival would have been to put his hands in the air and yell, “I surrender!" as soon as he saw a SEAL. There were no rules broken in his death, but (to reiterate) the Obama WH has a fixation with lawyers and court-rooms whether they are warranted or not. However, as klh said above, the WH deserves credit for editing the original message, especially when it is not to their benefit to do so.

  • Comment number 17.

    I was appalled yet not surprised at the revised accounts of te american propaganda machine. To sum it up just look at Clinton's facial expressions whilst watching her wonderful country murder an unarmed (yet to be proven criminal). How disgusting to hear the state propaganda machine suggest he was armed and cowering behind a women, This was clearly a pathetic attempt at debunking what has become (wrongly) an iconic figure for anti western values [OBL]. The look on Clinton's' face should be challenged. Come on BBC ask the question no doubt she was worried her well trained stormtroopers were going to break a fingernail or two. What was she really grimacing at? America has done it again its WMD part 2 or is that 3, 4, or 5, I have lost count on the untruths this nation spews out as the truth and nothing but truth.

  • Comment number 18.

    "Well, getting the fact right is always important. You can't make judgement without them. We all make mistakes, and journalists hate doing so because it makes people trust us less."

    Well, in theory, but in practice.....

    At the end of the day i'm as liberal as but imho i'm not fussed if it was a shoot to kill operation.

    And there's going to be fog around this. How they found him, how they couldn't trust Pakistan etc. etc.

  • Comment number 19.

    If Mardell is correct in stating that Europeans are so averse to what he calls "frontier justice," why is that the French do the same things in the Ivory Coast (using French helicopters to try and kill Laurent Gbagbo under the guise of the UN protecting civilians) or the British do the same things in Libya (sending secret SAS commando missions into the country without any UN mandate)?

    Those countries certainly have never shown an aversion to so-called "frontier justice" if they have always practiced the same types of covert activities the US does. Though I admit Mardell's assessment may be the case for countries like Germany or Spain which have been protected by the military might of others for many years now.

  • Comment number 20.

    #4 suggests they didn't have to make any corrections. . . . i think that's a touch naive. . . IF they produce photos and perhaps video footage or stills then their account needs to be consistent with what we will be shown . . . .

    that said, MM's point is very well made that it's almost impossible to know at the time whether OBL was armed or able to retaliate . . . we are all right to question the US and hold them to the high moral standards that should govern those protecting and defending us. . . the deep empathy with this position is what separates Obama and his administration from the previous thugs who were in charge in Washington . .

  • Comment number 21.

    PR Mistakes or no PR mistakes, the fact is that the man is no longer around to plot and plan the murder of innocent people. Don't lose sight of who he was and what he did. In my mind, he was the modern day equivalent of Hitler and we all know where that went. Do I care about the circumstances of his demise? Or the finer details of the deaths of the people surrounding him? Not in the least bit - and why should I? He was a murderer and any one supporting is really just as guilty. I am OK with the fact that he was shot. Maybe as a result of this, my kids will live longer. For now, the world is a slightly safer place for people of all races and religions. Although how long this will last only time will tell.

  • Comment number 22.

    They shot a woman in the leg who charged at a US SEAL....?
    I'm sure these guys can shoot a bird in the eye flying, so why not shoot Bin Laden in the leg also?
    Instead they shot his head and he was un armed.....?

    Very noble of them to go back and correct the orignal story, but there are too many questions being raised by the original facts, let alone the second version.

    Either that or he's alive, in captitvity.
    I know this isn't Call of Duty, but a flash bang grenade and a rugby tackle of an unarmed old man by a super fit, highly trained Navy SEAL in his prime, shouldn't be that difficuly surely.

  • Comment number 23.

    I think the news of Bin Laden, whilst unarmed, being shot twice in front of his 12 year old daughter diminished the glow of success for me. After hearing this, I find it very difficult to understand how the U.S can claim to have any moral high ground.

  • Comment number 24.

    if they'd dropped a 1000lb bomb on him and confirmed his death we wouldnt be agonising over whether or not he couldve been taken alive. the reason they sent guys in was to confirm 100% that he was dead not to bring him to trial.

    the west is killing taleban commanders with targeted raids and air/drone strikes regularly (you dont see any off them getting a trial), this had a higher profile target but was no different.

  • Comment number 25.

    Frontier justice? Such baseless assertions! You forget yourself, good sir! The honour of our nation must be avenged! Pistols at twenty paces!

    This new information makes me a little disappointed, but such is the reality of the maelstrom that is fighting, though I wouldn't claim to understand it myself. I can't imagine it will do much to change my view on the killing - more concerning to me is the violation of territorial sovereignty that it entailed. Maybe it won't matter - do we still like Pakistan? What about what the rest of the international law-abiding world? Perhaps those are the questions we should be asking ourselves.

  • Comment number 26.

    "And of course there is the suspicion that the US never wanted to take Bin Laden alive". There is no doubt about that, and the US is not making that a secret. The comments by Leon Panetta (CIA) as reported on CNN, makes this clear:

    "The U.S. also considered running a high-altitude bombing raid from B-2 bombers or launching a “direct shot” with cruise missiles but ruled out those options because of the possibility of “too much collateral,” Panetta says. The direct-shot option was still on the table as late as last Thursday as the CIA and then the White House grappled with how much risk to take on the mission."
    http://swampland.time.com/2011/05/03/cia-chief-breaks-silence-u-s-ruled-out-involving-pakistan-in-bin-laden-raid-early-on/?hpt=T1

  • Comment number 27.

    Isn't this pot calling the kettle black ? I agree it's annoying for journalists not to be given "the facts", but they're also jolly good at making up facts themselves half the time. Before reporting on it, maybe they should have double-checked their facts first ... hmm ... ?

    As far as whether it was a shoot-to-kill operation or not, I don't honestly see how the US could have done anything else. A trial would have been an absolute disaster.

  • Comment number 28.

    Few logical questions come to my mind:

    1, I would expect the compound would be heavily armed - 40 minutes of firefight. How much damage to the walls and surroundings can be caused by firearms during 40 minutes fight? I could not see any holes on the video. (It can take you to walk through whole compound maybe in a 5 minutes in everyday situation) 40 minutes that`s a long time.

    2, Usually the whole action is streamed by cameras on soldiers helmets (must been if Obama was watching it) whats the deal with releasing the whole video including OBL being shot? It`s not a wedding video to be cut and edited.

    3, So what`s the story about dropping soldiers on the roof by helicopter? True or not? Noise? Alarm? Precautions from OBL`s side?...

    4, I really do not understand how did the carrier who brought US soldiers to the compound (compromised OBL) get into the action and get shot. Did the US military leave him to just walk around? I would expect from the carrier: "Ok, this is the house. Now go and do your job. I`ll wait here or just in case wait hundreds of meters away to do not get shot." If I overlook the fact to just showing the compound on the map or satellite images.

    This looks like an very amateur lye, which fixing is making it looks even worse.

  • Comment number 29.

    Firstly, I admire the USA for finally telling the truth. Sadly the response to all modern conflicts is now mindless violence. Killing un-armed people in cold-blood means that you are no better than the perpetrators of terrorism. One man`s freedom fighter is another man`s terrorist. The UK did simmilar in N. Ireland. It is a sad fact of life that we have been regressing away from civilisation in the late 20th/early21st century. The USA does not pretend to treat anyone with kit gloves. If you are the enemy of the USA, you will be killed. Maybe it will be another 1000 years before we may become civilised. Telling the truth is a step in the right direction.

  • Comment number 30.

    I can't see how producing a photo of a dead man disfigured by the circumstances of his death will prove anything to anyone. Release of the live video feed streamed from the attacking SEALs to the White House may be more persuasive. But I am still troubled by the fact that the man was shot first and identified only later. What if they had got the wrong man? Would that just have been shrugged off as 'colateral damage' in the war on terror? The myth that this is a US administration pathologically concerned with legalities should be laid to rest.

  • Comment number 31.

    It is important to get the facts right, yet also understandable when the instant reactions called for in this 24-hour media world cannot be 100%.

    I'm not an American, but I also think the 'frontier justice' bent to this is a bit unfair too. If it was British soldiers in the same position in the exact same circumstances, I don't think I'd hold it against them for shooting first in such a potentially volitile position. For all they know, he could've had the place or even himself rigged to explode, for instance.

  • Comment number 32.

    'correct its facts'

    Nice one. Hope that notion gains traction across the whole politico-media infirmament. Jon Humphrys first?

    For the life of me I can figure out why the White House/US is falling over itself to mouth off, and then wonder why it's finding its own feet in there.

    Announce a few pertinent, relevant, necessary aspects... and then shut up.

    What... was the worst that could then happen?

    It was a clandestine raid to 'get' a pretty unpleasant person rather oddly secured in the heart of another, in-theory allied country. And by most measures the result was not unsatisfactory. With a lot of messy stuff that could easily be left to the nutters, obsessives, priority-challenged and the ratings-addicted MSM (if different) to chew on ineffectually for a while. Almost all else involved seem pretty invested in 'moving on'.

    About the only fly that could have spoiled this ointment was the man himself turning up later, which most seem to accept is unlikely.

    Now, to paraphrase Wilde, we seem to have the unspeakable in pursuit of the incredible. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.

  • Comment number 33.

    I can see that Osama was probably ready for his death and shouted 'Allah Akhbar', and if I was a Seal faced with that, I would probably shoot. Who knows what Osama could do, or what explosives were in the house. But until we see or hear the video we will not know.

    As to the photo evidence, why not invite a few impartial observers to look at the evidence and report on what they have seen? I do not think printing photos will make a lot of difference. I mean we still have people saying the moon landing was faked.

  • Comment number 34.

    Jay_Dubs is quite right about that last paragraph. Mardell should be a bit ashamed of himself.

  • Comment number 35.

    To keep things in perspective, we are talking about the killing of a man who is responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people. He was known to carry arms constantly, it wasn’t a situation that allowed taking time deciding he if was armed at that instant. He spent months planning the attack on the Twin Towers, the special forces had seconds to decide, give them a medal

  • Comment number 36.

    All we want is the truth. Did Bin Laden really die at the hands of US Navy Seals? The decision to bury his body at sea now looks ill-advisedly hurried and is giving rise to doubts. Despite the complete lack of absence of authoritative reports at the time, how can we be sure he didn't really die of kidney failure in 2001? In short, we need solid proof of Bin Laden's identity and death - whenever it happened.
    The United States is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't. Governments can't win, there'll always be critics coming out of every corner. To all those who would criticise America's stance on on justice and retribution, go and live in China or Libya, as I have done, and go and post your views on forums such as this and see what reaction you get. What do you mean, forums such as this don't exist in China and Libya?

  • Comment number 37.

    #19

    athena07;

    "Those countries certainly have never shown an aversion to so-called "frontier justice" if they have always practiced the same types of covert activities the US does. "

    Exactly. The British are not averse to using the SAS/SBS to kill terrorists, armed or otherwise. The SAS killing IRA members in Gibraltar springs to mind, as well as in Tyrone , and on numerous other occasions. They have been killing and/or capturing selected targets in Iraq and Afghanistan for years, specifically being sent with the Americans to assassinate or capture named Al Qaeda or Taliban leadership. The UK is at the forefront of frontier justice when it comes to terrorism. I've no idea what Mardell is on about.

    One things for sure, if the SAS had caught up with bin Laden in Tora Bora, they wouldnt have offered him a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich.

  • Comment number 38.

    "In fact, according to Carney this unarmed woman tried to attack the heavily armed Navy Seal. In another circumstance that might even be described as brave."

    I would think that an unarmed person attacking a heavily armed person is brave (or alternatively foolhardy) whatever the circumstances. Bravery does not depend upon one being on "our" side.

  • Comment number 39.

    It is strange that the people who question the governments motives to go back and forth with their stories do not understand the irony. They accuse the government of being so smart to have carried out this mission in a foreign country near its military base with the army at arms length and hence putting their own lives in danger. The other version being the government is stupid enough to try to mislead "these smart individuals" and offer a version of the whole incident such that it raises more questions? It cannot be both. If the government is smart then they would not have offered any correction of the account in the first place.Why bother to correct. If it is stupid then this whole question does not arise. The SEALs had 40 minutes to carry on with their mission and mind you they had to switch to plan B for that. Anything can happen. We can sit here luxuriously in our room and try to analyze the whole situation as long as we want. The dynamics are quite different i say. So lets praise the guys for the hard work and be happy that the head of the snake has been cut off.

  • Comment number 40.

    Mardell picked an incredibly poor example for complaining about America's view of justice. When Obama said that "justice was served" how can anyone argue with that as a statement of fact? This article reveals very little about America's views or system of justice, which provides more due process protection for a criminal than any other country. Sadly, this article is more revealing about Mardell's attitude toward the U.S. How unfortunate he seized upon this heroic event for that purpose.

  • Comment number 41.

    Just some more examples pointing out the oddity of Mardell's assessment of American "frontier justice" offending the sensibilities of those dainty Europeans

    http://www.newsweek.com/2009/04/14/how-to-deal.html
    Or how the French use "frontier justice" to deal with pirates nowadays.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7852138.stm
    Or howthe British SAS implemented a "shoot to kill" policy in Northern Ireland that lasted into the 1990's.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11860928
    We can add Israel (probably) to this mix in their willingness to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists.

    The list of course goes on and on. So I guess I would like to know, Mr. Mardell, given recent activities in the Ivory Coast, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Norther Ireland, and elsewhere- why do American actions seem so strange to your sensibilities? Is it just that what the US, UK, Israel and France do around the globe particularly offends your sensibilities?

  • Comment number 42.

    This is typical of the overcritical editorialising so often seen of the BBC when it comes to reporting US actions.
    When one considers the alternative means of removing OBL from this existence, the casualties were light indeed.
    Would Mardell have been equally critical if the compound had been blown to pieces with missiles?
    I think not, yet the number of casualties would have been far greater & the certainty of OBL's demise far less.

  • Comment number 43.

    I am amazed that everyone assumes that "The West" are right and that Osama Bin Laden was wrong. If you look at the facts cold and clinically we have killed more innocent women and children in the Middle East in trying to push our life style and values onto people with different views than Al Queda have ever killed. Any murder is wrong and to all intents and purposes, this was murder in another sovreign state in the name of revenge.
    I fully understand that justice must be seen to be done but we need to look closely at our own actions and consider very closely if we have become the war criminals that we so rightly fought against in the 1940's.
    Its not a pretty thought but to blindly assume that anything the government does is okay is to allow ourselves to surrender morals for power and self justification. Remember Hitler was voted in by a majority. Will we be remembered kindly for allowing our governments to do this?

  • Comment number 44.

    Whenever something with big news happens in Washington we will have the
    white house and or media frenzy which always results in confusion or
    facts distorted. The old story of once you tell a lie it gets harder to tell
    the truth about something. Since a lie does not have consistency the story
    that follows will have differences in the facts and details every time the
    story is told. So now, our nobel peace winning president has managed to
    abruptly start blowing up Libya and invade Pakistan with the "no knock"
    approach to being the sheriff of the world. The collateral damages are of no
    real concern to Obama. His concern is getting a "popular" vote. Obama is a
    threat to our national security and that alone is grounds for him to be fired!

  • Comment number 45.

    MM: But the president's assistant national security advisor John Brennan had used the facts he was giving out to add a moral message - this was the sort of man Bin Laden was, cowering behind his wife, using her as a shield.






    And wasn't there a moral message in that Osama's wife, rather then being killed, was merely, intentionally shot in her leg?


    BTW. Which leg do you stand on now, Mark?

  • Comment number 46.

    regardless of which account of events is correct the bottom line is bin-laden is dead and that the whole world should embrace

  • Comment number 47.

    What Happened: After entering the room with Bin Laden, the Navy Seals let him speak with Obama. Obama offered him a truce and asked him to call off the terror war with the west and make peace. Bin Laden refused/resisted and so he ordered a soldier to shoot him in the head. Maybe the wife shot in the leg will be able to speak about how the events unfolded. What happened to her?

  • Comment number 48.

    This all makes an interesting prelude to the fate of Mohammar Ghadaffi.

    Some bloody footage of what is happening in Tripoli - needs only to declare him responsible for the mayhem there against his own people.

    All you who think bin Laden should have been preserved for trial - consider how much innocent Libyan blood is flowing right now, and how long it will continue to flow, as it flowed for months in Ivory Coast.

    Are they saying in Europe that the French and the UN stepped in too early? I believe that the world, or at least the responsible nations in it, are beginning to form, at last, the post-cold war, post-nationalist rulebook.

    Everyone, except a small number of American Neo-cons, is tired of the Americans carrying the ball, every play. We are tired of it, and you are tired of it.

    Everybody is tired of petty dictators who crush their own people and prevent them from getting, and contributing, their share of the pie. It's the economic unfairness across borders and within societies that is the real threat, and it threatens us all.

    We are learning how to deal with these rulers, getting lots of practice. Unilateralism doesn't work well, not for us, not for the French or British any more, not for the Chinese. Decisions, interventions, even aid are less risky and more palatable if they are shared. We are learning what will be the trigger points, the milestones that by agreement and understanding, signal an intolerable situation that deserves our attention, notice, and ultimately intervention.

    Regional leagues are key to this - I think, to legitimize decisions and identify and protect local interests - and to gauge and lead the response. And non-national movements like Al Qaida may be better dealt with by multi-national efforts.

    It will be very hard, but if the cockpit of Europe can make a union work, the time may have come at last.

    KScurmudgeon
    seeing it happening, but who really doesn't know what he is talking about

  • Comment number 49.

    There are some rather interesting as well as incoherent and contradictory set of reactions here. Forgetting some of the more ill-informed comments ("his head was still attached to his body and he wasn't just dumped in the desert like his unarmed victims were" I know of no evidence Bin Laden was involved in execution videos of the type eluded to here, "There were no rules broken in his death" aside from that of the breach of Pakistan's sovereignty, " he was the modern day equivalent of Hitler and we all know where that went", um...no we don't, presumably he killed himself however the official line is that if he hadn't he would have been brought before Nuremburg rather than executed), the point of this article, I believe and others have noted, is the question of justice and what that precisly means and how far and to whom that concept extends.

    It has been often repeated that 'justice has been served' but the question remains what type of justice? It certainly isn't the so-called 'western' justice that is so well paraded before the world as an example of the moral superiority of western liberal democracies. Rather it was an execution of an unarmed man 'suspected' (yes 'suspected') of the 9/11 bombings among other murders. That is frontier justice. No-one, I think, would want to suggest Britian (or any other government) is innocent of this type of justice but what is interesting is the explicit rejection of these values that are apparently the vanguard of western political philosophy. I would venture that this, as many other examples do too, reiterates the fact that western values are far from universal.

    If on the other the commentator who suggests that, because Bin Laden had declared war on the U.S., he was legitimate target who relinquished his rights to a fair trial (though the Geneva convention may say something about the shooting of an unarmed soldier) then in the same breathe he should also agree that Bin laden is not a murderer, rather, being engaged in war with the U.S. he was killing what he believed to be legitimate targets. And before someone brings up the topic of unarmed civilians not being legitimate targets please remember the past 100 years of western dominance in the Middle East.

    Furthermore please do not take this as a defence of the actions of Osama Bin Laden for it is no more that as it is a defense of the actions of the US and it's allies.

  • Comment number 50.

    I think they were ashamed to say they shot an 'unarmed man' hence the first version of events that he was armed. Two wrongs don't make a right but only in exceptional circumstances. If he was caught, it would be deja vu all over again i.e. Saddam Hussien. Where to house him once convicted? If he got the death penalty won't Britain and the EU object to this? If he was alive those French tourists kidnapped by AQ offshoots in the Malian desert will demand he is released and then once that does not happen (did we expect that to happen?) they will be killed anyway

    I have seen gruesome images before and i don't think i want to see video or pictures of part of his head missing. No wonder Hilary Clinton clutched her face whne she watched the live assasination.

    I am glad he is dead but we must remain vigilant and respect the rights of the muslim world

  • Comment number 51.

    So what if the US did change their account?

    I bet half the posters here (incl: Mr Mardell) would change their accounts if they were facing trial for killing a mother and child while texting and driving.

    Has anyone ever heard the "mush" (radio chatter to the uninitiated) emitted from a radio during a "firefight" (intense close quarter battle to the uninitiated) where everything is in almost total darkness and terrorists and whatever civilians happen to be around are all dressed the same?

    Only after this "mush" is deciphered and the shouts of everyone (including the enemy), remember we're talking of a close quarter battle, are separated can the real facts be extracted.
    It's easy for the armchair generals and experts to criticise while thinking "Thank god I don't have to do a job like that" under the same breath.

  • Comment number 52.

    Although I condemn Mardell's last paragraph, you should be aware that the UK media have been 99% supportive of the mission, and the Commons debate yesterday was 100% supportive. Sure ,there is mild annoyance that the Americans have changed their story on some aspects of what happened, but that shouldnt detract from the overwhelming support. As for what mainland Europe thinks? Who cares. They dont pay the piper, so they dont get to call the tune.

  • Comment number 53.

    Barack Obama was formerly a lawyer, dealing with civil rights cases. He voiced his opposition to torture. There were hopes of a new, ethical approach to foreign policy from the White House, yet he has authorised the continuing use of pilotless drones to kill terrorist suspects and the killing of bin Laden is part of the same pattern. Yes, Britain adopted the same approach when it caused the deaths of the IRA terrorists in Gibralter ("Death On The Rock") and was duly castigated by the European Court of Human Rights. Surely we are entitled to question whether we, the people, would prefer an arrest and a trial in situations of this kind? Do we want the government always to take that decision out of our hands?

    I share the rejoicing at bin Laden's death, but I would have been more pleased if he had faced a trial in New York, and if he had been made to reveal more information about his terror network and the identity of his aides and accomplices. Maybe then it would be possible to free the remaining innocent people in Guantanamo Bay. And I think the British government prefers to display loyalty to the White House rather than to question (in public at any rate) whether the death of bin Laden was avoidable.

  • Comment number 54.

    In case you didn't know OBL was CIA (axe/ask GWB) and would have snitched like a bitch.

  • Comment number 55.

    I find it curious that N.Korea and China have basic human rights issues which
    in theory would be cause for an attitude adjustment if Obama followed the
    playbook and standards of his book "president for dummies". I guess if you
    attack and destroy on a selective basis, you don't really have a true honest
    policy of freeing the oppressed people of the world. So much for ideals!

  • Comment number 56.

    The last point, Frontier Justice, is precisely why I'm embarassed for my country and part of why I may never live there again. The people who are supposed to be leading the United States and defending its values clearly have little personal belief in an open, rigorous judicial process or are too cowardly to defend it against a mob mentality. Americans, both leaders and the rank and file, have learned to shrug at extrajudicial killings, illegal detentions, torture and closed-door trials. In this respect, Bin Laden and al Qaeda have scored a victory.

  • Comment number 57.

    Am I the only one who sees this as the most recent example of our "ally" Pakistan's double-dealing? Pakistan's ISI, of course, knew where Bin Laden was but heaven forbid that they might be held responsible for his capture or death. Then their failing state would be on the receiving end of the full wrath of Al Queda for being treacherous and helping the west. So, pass on a few bits of information to the CIA, let we dumb Americans take him out, celebrate in the streets and reap the revenge. To top it off, the Pakistani ISI apologizes for their lack of vigilance. Clever. It is so obvious. How can we be so naive?
    When the truth comes out, we will be seen to have "Bin" had. (Excuse the pun)

  • Comment number 58.

    I think we are going backwards here.

    The mass murderers of WW2 were tried and hanged or imprisoned, European ethnic cleansers have been tried and imprisoned, Pol-Pot's remaining confederates (to some extent) have been rounded up and tried. IRA killers are serving life sentences.

    What is wrong with the rule of law?

    Why are we (the west) supporting ex-judicial killings? Why are our politicians en-masse supporting cowboy justice? Moronic notions of good vs evil that belong in a hollywood movie watched by frat-boys?

    The west has taken the terrorist bait and has, as a result, lost its moral authority abandoning it's own defining institutions.

  • Comment number 59.

    8. At 08:00am 4th maj 2011, LesE wrote:
    Isn't this simply what America does - try to justify its actions by blaming the other side?




    Correct: when it joined WWII it blamed Nazis and Imperial Japan for it. :-)

  • Comment number 60.

    At least they are brave enough to admit the worse versions
    Of course, there are consequences, including:
    - More fuel for conspiracy theories
    - Less / more credibility (depends whether one likes the good interpretations or the bad, and probably more appealing, ones)
    =====
    - I hope that I wouldn't hear "A good Muslim is a dead Muslim" or "A good Arab is a dead Arab" in the near future
    - I think if President Obama considered holding a conference or a meeting with 'some' representatives of the Muslim world very soon, it could help prevent a lot of misunderstanding, and possible complications – at least for the purpose of building a common ground to move on with the least possible damage and to reshape relationships with the Muslim world towards a, hopefully, more peaceful world
    (Especially since opinions are divided regarding OBL and because of the "shoot to kill" kind of justice theory, so it's better to work on this now instead of crying over spilt milk later.
    – that's in case there isn't a divide & conquer plan in mind)
    =====
    As for conspiracy theories and all the reasons to discredit every single word mentioned about the whole thing, good luck getting the evidence.
    (It would be nice if they could fill some gaps in the story although I'm sure there are probably good reasons and explanations behind them)

  • Comment number 61.

    "the declarations by J.Carney must now raise the question, was Bin Laden really executed and buried at sea or is he actually stashed away in one of the C.I.A.s covert torture camps being milked for every last bit of information on his terrorist organisation? to be executed and disposed of later on? No questions asked as he is "officially" dead already. Please do no get the idea that I am complaining about this possibility but it would be nice to be told the truth occasionally." - PeterMacZero

    You're being inconsistent. You say you're "not complaining" about the possibility you raise, then you complain about it. If bin Laden was indeed taken alive, his captors would certainly have had strong motives to pretend he was dead (apart from anything else, if he was known to be captive, the taking of hostages to demand his release would be very likely). But then they could hardly send a message to Mr. PeterMacZero telling him the truth, could they?

  • Comment number 62.

    The changing of the details after the initial release displays scrupulous honesty, or at least the desire to be seen as scrupulously honest. In a government, this could be a liability, but in the case of the U.S. it's only likely to affect their image overseas. Right now in America, there's millions of people justifiably elated that a mass murderer has been taken off the board.
    Sure, it'd have been *nice* if the SEALs took Bin Laden alive, trussed him up, then stood him in the dock and made him answer for his crimes - but to what end? Actually giving him the death sentence might take years, during which time every interview, every statement he gave would be calculated to puff up his own importance and urge others to greater acts of violence, all at the cost of taxpayers who have suffered enough at his hands. Instead he got what most of the civilised world believed he deserved - death at the hands of those he called enemies and an unmarked grave in the ocean. No fuss, no huge loss of life, no final grandstand.
    It's better this way.

  • Comment number 63.

    America can tell the world whatever the **** it likes and most americans wont even ask for evidence or information...the story is all they need to stay happy, despite the fact that that story appeared during the time of an administration whos since lost all public support.
    So u have a make believe ending to a make believe story! and u can guarantee the Gov wont supply any facts or proof, other than what theyre own mediatiation, which ISNT fact or proof.
    Seriously people... "buried at sea?" "staying just down the road from a military academy"
    This is the man whos existence for the last ten years has been only archive footage and media spin (CBS, CNN)...
    YES U GOT HIM! u shot an unarmed imaginary man in the middle of no where without telling local authorities or recording the events in any way... or even keeping his body to quell conspiracy theories...

    AMERICA - 1
    SANITY - 0

  • Comment number 64.

    If Osama Bin Laden had been captured the Seals would have had to read him his rights and that would have taken them time. If they had not read his rights that would have been sufficient reason for the courts to throw out his case. It is better this way. Look how India is unable to execute Kasab due to the legal red tape.

  • Comment number 65.

    Mark,

    Your reports and observations are usually concise and accurate. On this occassion, however, I actively disagree with you - and would like to congratulate the US for having the balls to go in to the terrorist haven that is Pakistan - and hunt barbaric murderers.

    Moderation is a necessary part of our society. Understanding why people do things is important. Yet taking this to an "extreme" (strange words, I know) and combining it with political correctness is exactly why the UK has become a hot bed of terrorist activity. We are too tolerant of intolerance. We accept too readily that lunatics want to destroy everything we have, but wouldn't it be good to invite them in for a cup of tea and listen to their preachers of hate?

    You're wrong, Mark. For once the US is right ... and I don't say that very often.

    Regards

  • Comment number 66.

    athena07, (#19. At 08:33am 4th May 2011)

    ”... why is that the French do the same things in the Ivory Coast (using French helicopters to try and kill Laurent Gbagbo under the guise of the UN protecting civilians) or the British do the same things in Libya (sending secret SAS commando missions into the country without any UN mandate)? ...”
    Because they are not American. Their double standard makes it OK.

  • Comment number 67.

    The last point, Frontier Justice, is precisely why I'm embarassed for my country and part of why I may never live there again. The people who are supposed to be leading the United States and defending its values clearly have little personal belief in an open, rigorous judicial process or are too cowardly to defend it against a mob mentality. Americans, both leaders and the rank and file, have learned to shrug at extrajudicial killings, illegal detentions, torture and closed-door trials. In this respect, Bin Laden and al Qaeda have scored a victory.

  • Comment number 68.

    Is there anyone left on this planet who believes what our lying politicians tell us.

    Clinton was a proven liar
    Bush was a proven liar
    Blair was a proven liar

    I wouldnt be surprised if they tell us in a few days that they didnt actually kill Bin laden at all and he in fact shot himself in the head.
    How can you say he was armed one second and then realise that he wasnt armed at all? Maybe he was holding a banana which they mistook for a AK47.
    How can you say he was using a human shield when it appears that it was a complete fabrication.

    Mr theory: they wanted to convince the world that Bin Laden was a complete coward and died in complete shame and embarassment by using his wife as a human shield. However, after all the calls for proof and the huge amount of scepticism across the world, they have probably been forced to release some images and footage of the raid which would portray a completely different picture. Hence, they have changed their story. Its all a big game.

  • Comment number 69.

    I still have doubts on this story ..... why was there no trial like Saddam Hussein had - why was he not executed publicly like Hussein? Do not forget that Hussein was also found underground. Too many gaps to convince me.

  • Comment number 70.

    #56 Eeyore,

    Then I hope you also don't live in the UK, France, Canada, Australia, Israel, or New Zealand. Because all of these countries have either explicitly engaged in activities you probably associate with Mardell's "frontier justice" or have been highly complicit in allowing its allies to engage in these activities at least in the last ten years or so.

    You'd also have to probably add South Africa, Russia, every other NATO ally, China, India, Sri Lanka- actually, you'd probably be best off moving to the moon just to be safe.

  • Comment number 71.

    Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John, (#54. At 09:58am 4th May 2011)

    "In case you didn't know OBL was CIA (axe/ask GWB) and would have snitched like a bitch."
    Is this just another empty claim, or will you provide evidence THIS thime?

  • Comment number 72.

    To start with,Osama Bin Laden was certainly not one of Allah's good kids - but to tell one story first about his killing and then have to retract the original version because of several holes in it does nothing for the credibility of Mr.Obama and those around him - so let the world have the real cold facts !!

    Interesting also to note that the notorious trouble maker by the name of Sarah Palin gives credit to George W.Bush jnr.for what happened in Abbottabad and not to the present incumbent in the White House.

    Gormsen

  • Comment number 73.

    Eeyore, (#56. At 10:01am 4th May 2011)

    ”... I'm embarassed for my country and part of why I may never live there again ...”
    Given your POV, that seems like an appropriate resolution.

  • Comment number 74.

    57. At 10:09am 4th May 2011, Kevin1Casey wrote:
    Am I the only one who sees this as the most recent example of our "ally" Pakistan's double-dealing? Pakistan's ISI, of course, knew where Bin Laden was but heaven forbid that they might be held responsible for his capture or death. Then their failing state would be on the receiving end of the full wrath of Al Queda for being treacherous and helping the west. So, pass on a few bits of information to the CIA, let we dumb Americans take him out, celebrate in the streets and reap the revenge. To top it off, the Pakistani ISI apologizes for their lack of vigilance. Clever. It is so obvious. How can we be so naive?
    When the truth comes out, we will be seen to have "Bin" had. (Excuse the pun)


    ---------------------

    Absolutely 100% right. I was saying this exact thing to people yesterday. The Pakistanis did not want to be associated with the killing of Bin Laden because of the potential backlash. They are in a terrible predicament and the last thing they wanted was to incite further fury of Al-Qaeda and its supporters against them and the Pakistani people. Hence, they devised this clever ploy of claiming complete ignorance and the Americans taking full credit for everything..

    As I said in a previous post, its all one big game.

    Now I hope 'justice' is delivered to the other mass murderers of the last decade.. the former leaders of US and UK!!!!

  • Comment number 75.

    Details do matter. The house of Bin Laden was being watched for over a long time, all the goings in and comings out would be known. I dont believe the Seals would go in with the idea of meeting high resistance, esp the building being so close to the Pakistan Military academy. If and when your idea is to just kill the man, do it and bring the body, just dont fart around and dont just justify. Say so and be over with. This was justice done by the prosecutor, Judge and the executioner.

  • Comment number 76.

    The US Seals did just fine. After all they were facing an advocate in the lethalness of portable bomb vests. Gun or no gun, shooting Osama down is a safer course of action than approaching him to do the arrest. There was probably no time even to order Osama to strip down. Especially in the very intense and heated firefight at Abbottabad.

  • Comment number 77.

    I just find it a little compeling that the people who watched the action unfold from a live feed could get things so wrong in a press conference with the footage they all watched, it would be easy to tell if he was armed or unarmed , using a human shield or not?

  • Comment number 78.

    In the course of a firefight with a known dangerous enemy everything is considered a target, unless as you stated they assume a submissive stance. Tactically you want confusion to throw your enemy off balance. It is possible that some of that very confusion lead to the shooting. The tactics employed are much the same as your own SAS would employee given the situation.
    I might also point out that in your own history British forces have been in equally dangerous situations and had similar results. Therefore your use of the Dirty Harry idea is not something totally American. At least this is one terrorist that won't get to fly off to Libya to a hero's welcome.

  • Comment number 79.

    --- Lies, lies, lies --and more lies !

    --- the same as Iraq.

    -- Can any American now NOT understand why we are not trusted over the World ?

    ---This is only lying for lyings sake and is sick !

  • Comment number 80.

    Bottom line folks - a great evil has been wiped from this earth. This evil was behind the deaths of thousands of innocent people from all races & religions. For me personnelly, he could of been hiding behind a basket of puppies when shot & I still wouldn't be any less glad that my children no longer have to grow up with this horrible & hate filled entity in their lives. Good riddance.

  • Comment number 81.

    --- I bet now that Osama was in a wheelchair and blind --when he was shot !

    --another screw up as after 9/11 --to loose us respect with our allies and supporters !

  • Comment number 82.

    'Trial'? Why does anybody believe Bin Laden deserved a trial? The US is at war. A war declared on the US by Bin Laden. A war in which Bin Laden's group has illegally targeted civilians to induce terror. A war in which Bin Laden's followers illegally put civilians at risk by not wearing uniforms. Bin Laden was a war criminal who became a causality of war. There is nothing more to it. None of the 9/11 victims was offered a trial...

  • Comment number 83.

    I can understand why the mission was carried out in the way it was, but, it seems to me, in all of the coverage of the events surrounding the killing of OBL hardly anyone has questioned: why American violated the borders of a sovereign nation; where in international law does it state that you can carry out an extra-judicial execution? Of course, many will dismiss these questions on the basis that OBL killed thousands but I'm not aware of any case where the law can be violated depending on the extent of an individual's crimes. After all, as a few commentators have pointed out - even the Nazis got a trial and they killed millions.

  • Comment number 84.

    We do not want to see a Photo of a dead Osama--

    --- BUT THE LIVE VIDEO !

  • Comment number 85.

    Who cares if he was armed or not or how he resisted. He was a fugitive and a criminal of mass murder and the US Seal did the right thing to kill him. I also am very glad that they disposed his body in the sea. No remains of this Evil man! Bravo Obama and Bravo US Seals.

  • Comment number 86.

    @ #82 Anonymous Please
    I wholeheartedly agree. When it comes to terrorists who attack the innocent I would ask this. Did their victims receive any mercy? NO, then show them no quarter and hoist the black flag!!

  • Comment number 87.

    I can only conclude from every article regarding this incident on the BBC that your journalists or their bosses have some unexplainable fear of hinting at any reasonable suspicion that Bin Laden was there at all. US and world economy bubbles about to burst. US election looming. Perfect timing. Any wonder we do not trust mainstream journalists?

  • Comment number 88.

    'Trial'? Why does anybody believe Bin Laden deserved a trial? The US is at war. A war declared on the US by Bin Laden. A war in which Bin Laden's group has illegally targeted civilians to induce terror. A war in which Bin Laden's followers illegally put civilians at risk by not wearing uniforms. Bin Laden was a war criminal who became a causality of war. There is nothing more to it. None of the 9/11 victims was offered a trial...

    --------------------

    War was also declared on Iraq by Bush and Blair and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were killed, a huge number by the coalition forces. Maybe you would support the same sort 'justice' for Bush and Blair who would most certainly be declared as 'war criminals' if they happened to be from non-friendly country!! The families in Iraq were given no choice either but maybe their blood is not worth the same....

  • Comment number 89.

    41. At 09:35am 4th May 2011, athena07 wrote:
    Just some more examples pointing out the oddity of Mardell's assessment of American "frontier justice" offending the sensibilities of those dainty Europeans
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Just another example of completely irrelevant points to attemp to defend against the observed red neck frontier justice system of gung-ho Americans.

    1. who brought the French into this?
    2. The british 'alledged shoot to kill ' policy. It was not an official policy,and only implimented in severe life threatening circumstances, ie normally being shot at or other attack situation.
    3. Why is Isreal relevant to this post?

    Very odd argument indeed.


  • Comment number 90.

    I suppose my comment is : why is American life more important than anyone elses? How many people have died in afganistan since the plane crashes .. in Iraq ... please tell me the difference between killing and murder. If a president sanctions it is it okay ?

  • Comment number 91.

    The US is at war but there is a law of war. If a combatant is unarmed and and is not a threat then he should be taken into custody . I believe in justice, truth and proof. Now the truth is being retold, why would you change the story? It makes it seem that Obama wanted the win and spin but through enquiries of the people they may have to release the footage to prove it was him , also making it hard to spin it the why the government ants it

  • Comment number 92.

    Of course we all know that governments and politicians never lie........

  • Comment number 93.

    #82 Anon. Please

    "None of the 9/11 victims was offered a trial"

    ... nor our resulting Iraqi, Afghani and Pakistani innocent victims !

    --- they do not count as equals ?

  • Comment number 94.

    I think the large majority of people in the Western world will not care. Justice was served. This was an evil, evil man and if the US shot-to-kill, then they had every right to do so.

    If the same thing had happened with Hitler all those years ago after the war, do you really think we'd be talking about whether his body was disposed of respectfully or whether he was armed or unarmed. Hardly.

    Get real, who cares - job done.

  • Comment number 95.

    who cares whether he was armed who cares who died with him he didn,t care about the thousands of people who died because of him or the people left behind this was the right thing to do he deserved to die and his supporters deserve what they get as well who cares how he died as long as he,s dead god bless america for avenging 9/11

  • Comment number 96.

    Mark Mardell why don't you go an live in Iraqi, Pakistan or Afghanistan......wonder how long you would last !!!!!
    quietoaktree, StupotAUS, Chryses, mysterie - oh how I LMOA, you are fools. Same comments as above to you all. You should thank the guys that took the pice of dirt out and fed him to the sharks. Hope the sharks had a lovely meal.


    Gibberwocky and the rest of the like minded people, bang on.
    Good result America, nice one's SEALS

  • Comment number 97.

    83. At 11:18am 4th May 2011, atomicfatso wrote:
    - even the Nazis got a trial and they killed millions.

    _____________________________________________________

    An important point or 2 to ponder:
    1. The Nazis that were tried immediately after the war had surrendered to the victorious allies and many did not expect there to be a trial.
    2. Those that hadn’t surrendered did run to far-off places and were hunted down by various Jewish organizations. Remember Eichman? There was some territorial violation there, wasn’t there?
    3. Once again, I will mention that war is not law enforcement, even if the Obama WH has blurred the distinction.

  • Comment number 98.

    @ Andy #90
    If terrorist took control of the school your children attend and started killing children. Would you suggest to law enforcement take them into custody, but whatever you do don't hurt them. I doubt you would, yet for some reason you believe they deserve trials and media coverage. There is a reason it is called the WAR on terror.

  • Comment number 99.

    quietoaktree, (#79. At 11:12am 4th May 2011)

    "--- Lies, lies, lies --and more lies ! ..."
    Soooo, OBL is NOT dead?
    LOL!
    More foolish nonsense!

  • Comment number 100.

    #95 i c byng

    ---- "god bless america for avenging 9/11"

    --- now you want Gods blessing ?????

    ---how sick can we get ?

 

Page 1 of 7

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.