Bin Laden was a soldier, and deserved no unusual protection

May 24, 2011

This is in regard to H.L. Goldstein's assertion, in a letter to the editor published on May 18 in the Towson Times ("America should not feel morally righteous in bin Laden's death"), that the killing of Osama Bin Laden was murder.

Mr. Goldstein is simply wrong.

Murder is an unlawful malicious killing. Bin Laden was the leader of enemy forces waging war on the United States.

He was quite clear about that, even if some Americans are reluctant to view the conflict in those terms.

Under the law of war, it is legal, and therefore not murder, to target foreign commanders.

We have employed this practice in the past. During World War II, Allied forces specifically targeted and killed Japanese Admiral Yamamoto. Surely, every American general in the field is fair game for attack.

That bin Laden was too cowardly to put on a uniform does not entitle him to greater protections.

As for morality, our leaders' primary moral obligation is to protect this country and its citizens from foreign attack. By killing bin Laden, who was still actively plotting to kill Americans, our leaders fulfilled that duty.

It was a moral act. A targeted assassination of Hitler would have been a moral act.

Killing bin Laden while taking care to not kill his family — consideration he certainly never showed his victims — was a moral act.

Zeb Snyder


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