Calling raid an 'execution' insults SEALs

May 09, 2011|By Dan Rodricks | Baltimore Sun reporter

Dan Rodricks' column ("Bin Laden death: Call it execution, not 'justice,' May 5) was irresponsible journalism. The analogy to Baltimore police and the war on drugs was inapt. I suggest that Mr. Rodricks embed himself with the SEALs someday, fly in a helicopter at night deep into enemy territory, land in an enemy compound, engage in a firefight, and then conduct a room-to-room search for a terrorist.

For every country except ours, the rules of engagement would be shoot everyone who was there. Instead, the SEALs, at great danger to themselves, secured and protected a number of the inhabitants. There is no evidence at all that Osama bin Laden attempted to surrender, and, under the circumstances, the rules of engagement should be to shoot to kill if they are not surrendering.

It is war, and in firefights, those who shoot first, aim best and get off the most rounds, win. Calling it a cold-blooded assassination is a gross insult to some very brave and disciplined men, and Mr. Rodricks should apologize for it.

Ward Coe, Baltimore

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