Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Ladin: Was 'Justice done' ?

The world now knows the good news, Osama bin Laden is dead. I too slept better tonight having heard. To recap: U.S. special forces raided a compound 35 miles north of Islamabad, Pakistan, were they engaged the al Quida leader in a fire-fight that cost the terrorist-in-chief his life.

However, a report this morning that the raid was a “kill operation” -- from the very beginning -- is troublesome. In all likelihood, a bullet to the head was the only outcome bin Laden would accept: a martyr for his cause. Yet, to think that we had no intention of capturing him and bringing him back to the U.S. to face charges for his crimes seems more like a stain on the gown of Lady Liberty than “justice,” as President Barack Obama later told the nation.

Revenge feels nice... I know. I feel it too. Since U.S. officials first pointed to bin Ladin as one of the masterminds of 9/11, I wanted him captured or killed as much as the next guy. As time went on, my fervor for his hide turned more toward dead vs. alive -- like a gas gauge moves from full to empty with each passing mile.

With the hope of Democracy spreading across the middle east and north Africa, why would we not want to show the world a better approach? If we could capture bin Ladin, assuming we could have, why not try? Why not put him on trial and make him answer for his crimes before the eyes of the world? Let’s be honest, he would have gotten the “chair” eventually anyway.

We are a nation that purports to have a fair and just system of laws that is better than any other system in the world. It's too bad our military and civilian officials behind the raid didn’t even want to give it a shot -- figuratively speaking.