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Navy SEALs Assassinated Bin Laden – OpEd

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In the aftermath of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, amid the contradictory reports from the Obama administration about the event, I came to believe that the Isalmist was likely assassinated deliberately. The stories about resistance put up by Bin Laden made little sense since they were immediately withdrawn and replaced by an equally implausible scenario.

The new book, No Easy Day, by a member of the SEAL team which murdered Bin Laden confirms my conviction.  According to the NY Times:

According to the account in the book…Bin Laden was shot in the head when he peered out of his bedroom door into a top-floor hallway of his compound as the SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell toward him.

The author, whom military officials have identified as Matt Bissonnette, 36, said he was directly behind the “point man,” or lead commando, as the SEALs followed Bin Laden into the room, where they found him on the floor at the foot of his bed with “blood and brains spilled out of the side of his skull,” and two women wailing over his body, which was “still twitching and convulsing.”

The author said he and another member then trained their weapons on Bin Laden’s chest and fired several rounds, until he was motionless.

This account doesn’t clarify whether the SEALs were under orders to execute him, but it sure seems that way.  The “kill shots” too are a “nice” touch since they would obviate any need to evacuate a fatally wounded man from the compound.  Claims like these seem patently false:

Military officials have said that the SEALs made split-second decisions, fearing that Bin Laden, though unarmed, could have exploded a suicide vest or other booby trap.

If they feared a booby trap, why did they follow him into the room and execute him?  Couldn’t the entrance to the room have been booby-trapped?

The Obama administration’s response to all this lauded the SEALs for their “unparalleled courage.”  How much courage does it take to fire a bullet into the brain of an unarmed man and then finish him off with a “kill shot?”

There’s a reason why the government is pissed at this book.  It doesn’t want to spoil the rosy atmospherics around the Bin Laden killing especially as Obama goes into the home stretch of a presidential campaign.  He’d rather maintain the fiction that we went in to get Bin Laden, but not necessarily kill him outright.

At the time of Bin Laden’s execution, many of us were more naive than we are now.  Now we know that Obama has eagerly embraced targeted killings by drone and other means.  Now we know he is a devout believer in such assassinations.  Now we know that he doesn’t believe in international law or basic decency.  He believes in the power of the gun.  The man so many placed so much faith and hope in–now little more than warmed-over Dick Cheney.

This article appeared at Tikun Olam

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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