Bin Laden was a legitimate military target

May 06, 2011

Dan Rodricks is correct in maintaining that Osama bin Laden did not receive justice through the legal system ("Bin Laden death: Call it execution, not justice," May 4).

Bin Laden did, however, get justice in the sense that he got what was coming to him. No rational person can deny that bin Laden was a high-ranking enemy combatant who could be killed (not "executed") during the course of a military operation.

The SEALs were not there to arrest bin Laden; at best they were there to capture him in the unlikely event such action were deemed appropriate or advisable.

Through bin Laden and others, al-Qaida declared war on us. This is not a war between sovereign nations, but it is a war nonetheless.

During World War II, Marine fighter planes shot down an unarmed Japanese military aircraft carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who two years earlier had commanded the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

I do not mean to equate bin Laden with Admiral Yamamoto, who served his country with honor. However, they were both legitimate military targets.

Paul Lang, Timonium

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