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"bring the responsible to justice"

Probably the most difficult parts of this will be to define who is responsible and what exactly constitutes as justice.

Tried in a federal court with the full rights and protections defined by the US constitution etc etc.

Killing them like osama, blasting them with a drone or detaining them in gitmo means the terrorist have won, because they have dragged the system down to their own level.

Also it still may be not an act of terror. Just some wackos that decide it is fun to blow stuff up. They don't have a need for a political agenda or ideology to do stuff like that.

If he's not caught on US soil and is not a citizen, like Osama, then he has no protections under the constitution and its duck hunting season. The Constitution does not create any protections for international fugitives engaged in acts of war. Terrorists are the modern day Barbary Pirates. Nobody in the founding generation suggested they should get full Constitutional protections and a trial.

Sorry but there was no act of war because Osama never represented political entity that could declare war on the US. And there are good reasons why the Israelis went to such pains to bring Adolf Eichmann to trial instead of just shooting him in Argentina.

Also murder is crime in Pakistan ... so if there was Pakistani rule of law the navy seals are murderers.

I don't think there's a way to make the logic you're employing work. Wars are routinely fought between entities that do not recognize the sovereignty of their adversaries; see, for instance, every civil war ever. We fought one of those too.

On the nuts and bolts, the distinction you're trying to draw is also moot; Congress explicitly authorized:

     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
If you'd like to look this up in the Geneva Conventions, you'll find GCIV isn't particularly helpful to your argument; it refers to "persons taking active part in hostilities" or "combatants", not nation-state actors, and explicitly acknowledges conflicts that occur where one side or the other doesn't acknowledge a state of "war". And "the presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations".

About the best I think you can say is that striking Bin Laden could have been an act of war against Pakistan. Somehow, I don't think they're going to follow up on that.

That's why I used the Barbary Pirate situation. The Barbary privateers were loosely affiliated with and supported by the government in Tripoli (which is the legal entity against which we declared war), but were not really an organized army acting on behalf of the state as we think of such things today.

In any case, what Osama did would clearly be an act of war if he had been a general acting on the orders of a government. So what makes it not an act of war just because he's acting on behalf of an entity that isn't a sovereign state? Surely, it is most logical to measure the justifiable response to an action in terms of the nature of the action itself, not the political affiliation of the actor.

Finally, as you note, it's hard to say that there is any rule of law in Pakistan. Laws only have meaning to the extent courts have jurisdiction to enforce them. "Murder" isn't a universal constant--it's a law defined in the context of some sovereign entity's legislative jurisdiction. Killing a terrorist on the battlefield is not murder if there is no court that has jurisdiction over the actor that would call it murder. Indeed, it seems utterly non-sensical to me to argue that someone like Osama, that has rejected the criminal jurisdiction of any state, can turn around and claim the protection of the laws of that state.

No, its not duck hunting. There are international courts - which the US doesn't support.

The U.S. rightfully doesn't support international courts. It's nonsensical to have international tribunals that render judgments on people outside the legislative jurisdiction of the sovereign body of which the court is a part.

People in Europe are learning right now how not awesome it is to get yourself into binding international frameworks with people who are connected by incomplete legislative and executive jurisdiction, and whom often have dramatically different national priorities and values.

In any case, it's arguably unconstitutional for the U.S. to support international courts. If Congress signed up for a treaty binding us to the decisions of say the IJC or ICC, would those decisions be reviewable by the Supreme Court? If so, then accepting jurisdiction would be redundant, since the Supreme Court is perfectly competent to adjudicate disputes under "international law." If not, that would arguably be a separation of powers violation: Congress signing us up to accept the superior jurisdiction of a foreign court whose judgments couldn't be reviewed by what is supposed to be the court of last resort: the Supreme Court.

Things change. The US constitution can (theoretically) too. It's worse to have a nation with no authority at all killing via drone. The alternative technique, kidnap, torture and detain doesn't work either as the US doesn't seem able to find a way to try these people. An overreaching body that can do something is needed, as the US way doesn't work. I'd sooner have an imperfectly drawn up consensus than a misguided Lone Ranger. And more importantly, who polices the police - the US has plenty of individuals who should be answerable for their crimes - which will never happen in the US. I'd suggest that a fear of being answerable is perhaps a greater motivation than any other where the US blocking of the ICC is concerned.

Killing them like osama, blasting them with a drone or detaining them in gitmo means the terrorist have won, because they have dragged the system down to their own level.

Those were acts of war, and prosecuted under those rules (international law, Geneva Convention, etc), rather than domestic criminal law.

"Killing them like osama[...] means the terrorist have won,"

I don't understand the trouble you have with the Osama situation. The US attempted to apprehend Osama so they could bring him to justice but he resisted and was shot to death. How would you have handled that situation?

I would have tortured him then executed him by slow pig blood transfusion. But I am not a good man. I like revenge.

And yet I think that the most powerful and expensive military in the world should have found a way to properly extract him. I am not convinced that the way it was handled brought the needed closure to the 9/11 events. It just proved that US was better at targeted killing than Al Caida or whatever that ragtag bunch was called.

Bullshit, have you read the first hand accounts? They weren't there to apprehend anyone. And of course you "resist" if a bunch of people with guns storm into your home.

It's not the resisting justice when people with guns storm in. It's the trying to escape justice for decades before that. It's really hard to claim you weren't given "due process" when you made every effort to avoid that process.

So after some years of trying to avoid being arrested the cops no longer need to worry about due process or law or anything, they can just murder me? Would you care to put an exact date on when the police get to switch from "must follow the laws" to "can kill on sight with no regard for laws"?

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