Now that the fog of war is clearing in Pakistan, we’ve learned that what we were originally told—that Osama bin Laden was armed and hid behind his wife—isn’t correct.  It appears a Navy SEAL shot bin Laden in the head when he was unarmed.  Predictably, people are now questioning whether shooting bin Laden was justified, or even legal.

After 9/11, Congress passed the Authorization to Use Military Force.  It gave the president the power to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against nations, organizations or individuals who played a role in 9/11.  The act passed by Congress was drafted with bin Laden in mind:

“That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”


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