Sep 19, 2021
7 mins read
When President Barrack Hussein Obama authorized Operation Geronimo to apprehend or assassinate Osama bin Laden, some sections of society criticized the operation, arguing that it was illegal (Arielli, 2018). Still, I can't entirely agree with that opinion Obama was acting in the country's best interest and its people. The president had the fundamental right to self-defense for the country. Operation Geronimo's success was influenced by advanced and thorough intelligence operations conducted by the CIA and its partners. With that, the search and execution of the hazardous groups were decided by the consent of many factors that proved essential in the political risks. Osama Bin Laden was an intentionally renowned terrorist, and as such, he had avoided all endeavors put in place to apprehend him.
Moreover, another important matter is that the American constitution outlaws any form of execution of defenseless citizens. However, President Obama had the formal authority to authorize the operation and carry out the plan (Arielli, 2018). This operation made different people question the power of President Obama to order the search and killing of Osama bin Laden. Today, some governments believe that the execution of Osama Bin Laden was legal. Contrary, some legal experts argue that the killing of Osama was a controversial act. I am convinced that the action was not unlawful because it was a decision to safeguard national self-defense since Osama was a renowned leader of a terrorist organization and was responsible for the September 11 attack. Following the 9/11 attack, the terrorist had organized many plots to attack the United States of America. Therefore, the decision by the president to raid Osama's home was an acceptable plan of Barrack Obama's command (Bose, 2020). Also, following the 9/11 attack, Congress authorized the Commander in Chief to use force against those responsible for the American attacks. Thus, President Obama was allowed by the law to order the National Command Authority to use force when pursuing terrorist groups, including those governed by Osama Bin Laden. The president acquired international authorizations to engage Al Qaeda from NATO and the UN. The approval relied on the global principle of the country's constitutional right for self-defense, as stipulated in Article 51 of the UN Charter (Fisher & Becker, 2019). The operation was meant to apprehend or kill Osama bin Laden who was among the most wanted terrorists in the world. Operation Geronimo was conducted by Navy SEALS, which President Barrack Obama had authorized. The execution of Osama bin Laden by the Navy SEALS led to many questions about its legality.
Operation Geronimo has been debated to be a law enforcement endeavor that should be scrutinized under the law concerning human rights. International law forbids enforcement of law in other nation's territories without its express authorization. The execution of Osama Bin Laden can be assessed under regulations in the law of armed combat, which empowers enemy combatants and commanders to be executed on sight unless they voluntarily surrender or are physically incapacitated. In situations where the execution is likely to happen away from the scene of war or where the enemy is not defying actively, then it can be justified under warfare principles that Operation Geronimo was legally permissible. Some of the principles considered include necessity which allows the killing to be done but not for revenge (Yayla, 2017). The use of force allowed the United States government to bring the terrorist to a successful end, in accordance with other legislation of armed combat. The principle of distinction also allowed the United States government under President Barrack Obama to use force to achieve a military objective while protecting civilians and their properties. Proportionality is another principle that allowed the Navy SEALS to conduct a justifiable military target that may endanger a civilian as long the danger corresponds to the anticipated military advantage.
Following the 9/11 attack on the United States of America, Osama became an urgent target due to his involvement in the attack. The United Nations Charter Chapter VII allows a country to defend itself from actions that can compromise its peace and security (Soherwordi & Khattak, 2020). This article allowed President Barrack Hussein Obama to defend his country against any further attacks by groups responsible for the terrorist attacks on United States. Osama Bin Laden was in charge of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group’s activities. Thus, the United States needed to safeguard its citizens and allies from his terrorist activities. The president formed a task force to decide whether operation Geronimo would be conducted within military laws and deliver positive results. The task force had assured the president that the process would comply with applicable laws of armed conflict since the Navy SEALS could target Osama Bin Laden alone. Thus, President Barrack Obama's authority to execute its planning was lawful. Even though some individuals criticize the raid conducted by the US Navy SEALS arguing that the US violated Pakistan's sovereignty, these accusations are not accurate as stipulated by the U.N charter (Ritchie, 2021). President Obama had to authorize cross-border operations, as allowed by international laws, for a country to pursue individuals who are a threat to peace and security. In the event, the Pakistan government had the legal responsibility of apprehending Osama Bin Laden and punishing him for his crime (Fisher & Becker, 2019). Instead, the Pakistan authorities provided the fugitive with a plan to live in the country and hide. Moreover, substantial evidence was provided to the government authorizing Bin Laden's arrest, but the Pakistan government failed to comply (Madeira, 2017). The decision to invade and arrest the terrorist was approved by the United Nations Security Council when it recognized that terrorism activities should not be linked with nationality.
Pakistan government's refusal to observe Bin Laden's extradition gave the US the legal ground to authorize Bin Laden's execution. Also, the raid conducted by the Navy Seals during the attack did not disregard any laws of war as well as United States' domestic laws. Some individuals have also questioned Bin Laden's execution because he was armed during the invasion. This situation allowed the US Navy SEALS to attack the fugitive since he was a hostile target. Bin Laden was in his home, and being a renowned terrorist, he might have armed to defend himself and resist arrest (Mielczarek, 2020). This is because Bin Laden was not a violation of the ban against invading those hors de combat, as was the case with. Thus, the US Navy SEALS personnel assigned in the operation must have expected that Bin Laden would have easy access to dangerous weapons or even having a suicide vest, which is typical among his terrorist group members.
Arielli, N. (2018). From Byron to Bin Laden. Harvard University Press.
Bose, P. (2020). 4. The Retributive-Justice Narrative Osama bin Laden as Simulacra. In Intervention Narratives (pp. 125-158). Rutgers University Press.
Fisher, D., & Becker, M. H. (2019). The heterogeneous repercussions of killing Osama bin Laden on global terrorism patterns. European Journal of Criminology, 1477370819850103.
Madeira, J. L. (2017). 5. Laying bin Laden to Rest: A Case Study of Terrorism and the Politics of Visibility. In In/visible War (pp. 125-140). Rutgers University Press.
Mielczarek, N. (2020). The Situation Room icon and its Internet memes: Subversion of the Osama bin Laden raid and fragmentation of iconicity in remix culture. First Monday.
Ritchie, M. (2021). Gasping for war drama: the “about to die moment” of the Osama bin Laden assassination. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 1-15.
Soherwordi, S. H. S., & Khattak, S. A. (2020). Operation Geronimo: Assassination of Osama Bin Ladin and its implications on the US-Pakistan relations, War on Terror, Pakistan and Al-Qaeda. South Asian Studies, 26(2).
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