I am sorry to bring this point up once again, but I feel that someone should. The other night I watched a documentary about the killing of Osama bin Laden. In the course of it, a government official stated what I had suspected to be the case: The raid was never intended to take bin Laden alive; it was intended to kill him. If this is so, it means two things. First, the Administration lied in the aftermath of the raid when it insisted that the idea was to capture or kill bin Laden. I recall clearly Administration spokesmen stating that an effort was made to capture bin Laden, and when he and his thugs resisted, he was killed in the gun battle. (Whatever the intent of the raid, no such battle took place, as the Administration now admits.) Second, if it is true, it may mean that President Obama and his national security team are guilty of violating U.S. law.
President Ford's executive order #11905, reiterated by President Reagan's order #12333 made it the law of the land that "No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination." Ford's order, reinforced by President Carter, was in response to revelations about what President Lyndon Johnson referred to as "a damn Murder, Inc." the CIA was running in the Caribbean.
This continuing program of political assassination began in North Africa during WWII (under the CIA's predecessor, the OSS) with the American-led assassination of the Vichy French collaborator Admiral Darlan, continued with the murders of Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Raphael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, perhaps the murder of Salvatore Allende of Chile, and at least fourteen attempts to kill Fidel Castro of Cuba. In the course of these programs, the CIA entered into contracts with the worst sort of scum in the world: international contract killers such as QJ/WIN and WI/Rogue (Jose Mankel and David Dato), and the American mafia. (All of this, in my view, led eventually and inevitably, to the murder of President Kennedy.)
It was in order to prevent such lethal political activities that Ford, Carter and Reagan banned any effort by any U.S. Government official to conspire to assassinate any foreign leader. Yet this is precisely what Obama's team did. Now I understand that President G.W. Bush issued an "intelligence finding" marking bin Laden for death, but it is unclear whether this had any legal validity, and whether it overrides the three previous executive orders.
So far as I know, no one in the mainstream media is examining this possibility, in part because no one regrets bin Laden's death, and because it was ordered by a liberal Democrat president. Nonetheless, it is not the nature of the victim that matters, in this or any other case: it is the integrity of the law; law established by three former presidents and, it seems to me, violated by the present one.