bin Laden and the demise of justice?

US propaganda leaflet used in Afghanistan.
US Propaganda (via Wikipedia)

Extrajudicial punishment or Extrajudicial killing. Every heard those terms? Do they scare the poop out of you?

This is the category under which the US military unit has killed Osama bin Laden. Over the past days since his death (May 2, 2011), American media has obsessed over the terrorist’s death, overwhelming any meaningful challenge to the execution-style assault, or debate whether this actually brings any satisfactory conclusions for the surviving family and friends of 9/11’s and other victims of terrorism’s atrocities.

I fear that perhaps this is opening a Pandora’s box much wider than it has been in the past. Nothing covert about the operation. Nothing sovereign about the decision to send an offensive team of highly skilled killers into another country to execute a citizen of a third country. Here is how Wikipedia defines extrajudicial killing:

An extrajudicial killing is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process. Extrajudicial punishments are by their nature unlawful, since they bypass the due process of the legal jurisdiction in which they occur. Extrajudicial killings often target leading political, trade union, dissident, religious, and social figures and may be carried out by the state government or other state authorities like the armed forces and police.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02:  A passer by looks at...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Perhaps I have missed something in the last 10 years, but I don’t remember bin Laden’s trial, legal defence or conviction in due court of law, whether in person or in absentia. All that we, the rest of the world have to go on, is bin Laden’s own video bravado and other communiqués, which seem as much a de-construction of democracy and western beliefs and practices, as they are claims of credit for himself or the terrorist people he claims/ed to lead, al-Qaida.

Is this the very public demise of sovereignty, of due justice, of democracy in the west? Have we become just like them?

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One thought on “bin Laden and the demise of justice?

  1. Let’s take a closer look at the term extrajudicial killing by comparing it to the top 20 economic world countries more simply called the G-20. Of these nations, there are two that have been identified with using this type of action. Russia is allegedly, and I stress the word ‘allegedly’ to have used extrajudicial killings. The other is the United States of America which we all know was definitely taken against bin Laden. As you stated in your blog ‘Maybe I have missed something in the last 10 years’ but I beg to differ. With the suppression of the media by governments and big corporations, this type of news is not reported. Instead, it’s individuals such as yourself that can read in between the lines or around that blind corner and recognize the truth even when it’s hidden from view.

    The United States has been indirectly involved in such operations before bi Laden’s assasination. For example during the 1950s, a regime was put in power through the efforts of the CIA, in which Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi used ‘SAVAK’ (National Intelligence and Security Organization or Secret Police) death squads to kill thousands. After the revolution, these death squads were used by the new regime. I hope more read your blog.

    Warren

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