Killing bin Laden may have been unavoidable, but it was clearly the preferred option of the Obama Administration. A corpse doesn’t need to be held in Guantanimo or another Navy brig, and a corpse doesn’t demand a costly public trial. Given how candidate Obama painted himself into a corner on the issues of rendition, indefinite detention, and civilian trials, a live bin Laden would have been a political minefield for the president.
Still, there would have been enormous military advantages to designing the mission’s goal as “capture, not kill.” A waterboarded bin Laden could have revealed all of the organization’s secrets—and enabled U.S. forces to end al Qaeda’s existence.
But dead men tell no tales. And dead terrorists cannot provide war-winning or life-saving information. Another Obama blunder.
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