Saturday, May 28, 2011


   CrossExamiNation by Guy Mingo
            As the nation calms down after days of reveling over the alleged killing of Osama Bin Laden,  others can now be heard. These include credible observers who insist that international law is applicable in this case and Bin Laden should have been captured and tried in a court of law.
              Constitutional law attorney and author, Glenn Greenwald provides a comprehensive overview of the relevant issues in his May 13 post. He cites an interview on CBC radio's 'The Current' on May 12, during which 92 year-old Benjamin Ferencz told interviewer Anna Maria Tremonti, that society would have been better served if Bin Laden ended up before an international tribunal. Ferencz served as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, during which Nazi officers were put on trial for crimes against humanity during World War II.
                 The veracity of Ferencz's comments and his emphasis on the rule of international law makes his opinion on the matter vital to the discussion.  Notably, he does steer clear of the one primary reason anyone deserves the benefit of a day in court-- to establish their guilt, or innocence. And he seems to accept the official version of how Bin Laden was captured, despite many contradictions and alterations by Obama spokespersons.
                How could the Obama administration dismiss the potential for valuable intelligence to be mined in the event of Bin Laden's capture? Why dispose of his body in the sea under the guise of observing Islamic law?
                 As a side note, President Barack Obama's ratcheting up of the public, bully-style rhetoric is also disturbing. To say that anyone who seeks to examine the rule of law in this case, "needs to have his head examined", underscores the U.S. position that it will decide when, or if, international courts of law are necessary.
              The United States continues its policy of assassinating political figures overseas, when all else fails, as part of the "regime change" component of its foreign policy. The killing of Osama Bin Laden doesn't fall neatly into this category. Revealingly, there exists an executive order explicitly prohibiting such acts. But we shouldn't let political figures tell us when the rule of law applies and when it doesn't. It always should. 
              The track above incorporates clips from the CBC interview with Benjamin Merencz.