Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

KILLING QADDAFI

There’s an obvious difference between SEAL Team 6 putting a bullet in Osama Bin Laden’s head and Libyan rebels summarily executing Muammar Qaddafi after capturing him. Ample legal precedent supports killing illegal enemy combatants in time of war. There is no legal precedent, internationally or otherwise, for the summary execution of a captured Qaddafi, nor is it consistent with the “American values” we’ve heard so much about with regard to the George W. Bush administrations conduct of the war on terror. (More)

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14 Responses

  1. And just why is it that you say “Certainly, the President deserves credit for his authorization of U.S. action in Libya”? There was no reason to start the action there in the first place, he had no authorization to do so in ANY way shape or form, no consensus at all. He should be impeached for it.

  2. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    Ed, I have read your blogs on occasion, not only out of curiosity, but to get another viewpoint, and certainly, I’ve gained some knowledge, and some insights from many of them. This one … not so much.

    Posted by Bob

  3. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    I say who cares, the guy was a terrorist responsible for American deaths, we didn’t kill him, his own people did, thats their right. 9-9-9 plan, check it out, its way more important!

    Posted by Todd

  4. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Heritage Foundation

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    If a Republican president were involved in something like this, the left would be screaming, “Nazi,” “Impeach him,” etc., etc., etc. This is an excellent example of leftist hypocrisy.

    Posted by Ronald

  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: US Army

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    Ed, I like much of what you wrote in this article, but must disagree with what I believe to be the most significant point. Whether or not one agrees with President Obama and the constitutionality of going to war in Libya, killing Qaddafi may not have been the best outcome for us or the region. We simply do not know who will assume power now that Qaddafi is gone, and those who assume power are just as likely to be much worse. This is one of the more important reasons, intelligenct leaders of the past did not sanction the assassination of foreign leaders. One thing we do know is that of all sources, Libya sent the largest number of foreign fighters into Iraq to fight U.S. and coalition forces during that war, which again begs the question, who will assume power now that Qaddafi and his family and loyalists are gone. With Qaddafi, we at least had a known entity. Now we do not even have that.

    Posted by Michael

  6. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Heritage Foundation

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    Clinton’s remarks were unseemly. That said, “American values” should include someone killing Qaddafi, and if an American soldier would have killed him in such a fashion, he should be treated as a hero, not a villain. Qaddafi was already ‘tried’ in various courts, and his role as a mass murderer was not in any reasonable doubt. Thus, having been ‘effectively tried’, and with my being in support of capital punishment, I could care less who Qaddafi’s executioners were and/or the way in which he died.

    I understand the ‘values’ counterargument, and the corresponding slippery-slope argument (i.e., if say it’s ok to kill someone like Qaddafi, where do we draw the line?), but this case is exceptional (like Bin Laden). And the American soldier who found Saddam should have just shot him, too.

    Posted by Sierra

  7. Bob Hoelle says:

    Ed,

    I have been concerned about the rebel takeover in Libya from the beginning. An untrained force of rebels can and might be a danger to the Innocent citizens and victims of Libya. There is also a great deal of concern about the disarming of these folks, and the formation of an organized form of government. I don’t think any normal citizen of a free society would argue that Qaddafi needed to go. Killing him as he tried to flee justice with an airstike is one thing, but the next step of an on the spot execution is another. There is no doubt that he would have faced death with a trial and justice would have been served, and rightfully so. He was technically a wounded pow when he was pulled from hiding. One of the first things taught to incoming troops in basic training in a free society is the proper handling of captured enemy troops. It is hard to use restraint sometimes, but that is what separates man from animal. I have been involved in the handling of enemy pows several decades ago, and as tempting as it was to “waste” them, its not the mark of a professional soldier to do it. Our company commander once told us if we killed an enemy in a firefight, depending on the circumstances, we could possibly receive a decoration. He also said we don’t murder, and if we did, we would be prosecuted under the Uniform Code Of Military Justice.

    I am certainly not a liberal by any means and I too have to wonder what kind of flack President Bush would have received if he was in charge during the past year, especially if his Secretary Of State was joking and laughing about how the execution of Qaddafi went down. It seems that professionalism and due process can be ignored by liberals. Bush received all kinds of criticism for chaining dangerous terrorists to the bulkhead of transport planes on their way to Guantanamo.

    It will be wonderful if these rebels will except guidance from civilized nations and work hard to form a democratic form of government, but that is yet to be seen. We can only hope we will be getting a new allied nation.

    • EWRoss says:

      Bob, I’m working on next weeks column. Access and Influence, something the Obama administration knows little or nothing about. We became the superpower we became without conquering, occupying, and governing our enemies, because we knew how to build relationships with the democratic governments we left behind. We don’t build those kinds of relationships by leaving no troops in Iraq and by leading from behind in Libya.

      Thanks much for your thoughtful comments as usual,

  8. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    Dear Ed, i can only partially agree. In the following text : “Had a U.S. soldier had put a bullet in Saddam’s head after pulling him alive from his spider hole, that soldier would have been tried for murder.” He could only be tried if they had made it back. A targeted killing, including the execution after capturing, but before reaching allied safety could be seen as a valid targeted killing under wartime conditions. His trial (the soldiers) only has merit if it can be proven that Sadam could be safely extrated and that there is reasonable grounds of success.

    We have every reason to believe that Khadaffi died executed possibly by emotional troops, whom after 40 years of tiranny decided to get even. Like in other battle scenario’s, Khadaffi’s death settled the end of a war (this does not OK the act, but makes it partially understandable). Let’s not forget the rage that happened after 5 years of WW2. The Libyans have been living with fearful situations for 4 decades. It involves many issues that we not only not grasp, but also are unlikely to comprehend.

    Posted by Lawrence

  9. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Strategic Plans and Policy Experts

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    Dear Ed,

    I completely agree with you. No matter what Qaddafi did he should have been put on trial and the opportunity should have been given to him to defend himself. Why do we have law? Why do we have courts? Killing Qaddafi is neither a proper conduct ( and victory) nor does it set a good example for the rest of the world. It is obviously a war crime, it is a breech of LOAC. Moreover, it won’t accelerate the democratization process in Libya. It will cause more hostilities and hate among his supporters and opponents.His supporters will seek for revenge in the long run. I agree that Qaddafi did many bad things but the world should have seen this man standing in front of the court. Maybe a message was delivered to the rest of the Arab leaders saying ” if you don’t do what we want you will have the same faith”. What do you think???
    Best regards

    Posted by Hilmi

  10. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Strategic Plans and Policy Experts

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    There’s only one law that applies, irrespective of the situation – mob rule.

    One mob, the USofA has a huge army, a vast power and is treated with having “Legal Authority” to do whatever it decides, and few will raise against them.

    The other mob, a handful of angry men desperate to guarantee their survival against a despot who destroyed hope, led in the murder of thousands and suffocated liberty acted with the full legal authority of their power – a gun.

    Law and legality is always, finally and absolutely backed by a sword, a gun, a bomb, a missile, a plane, an aircraft carrier, a nuclear arsenal, a Treasury, and the complacency of others unwilling to take action.

    And if you don’t like it then buy a gun and start your own mob, then become a gang, a resistance organisation, a revolution, a government, and a global treaty organisation to impose your values on everyone else, with your gun.

    You sit here complaining, so where were you when the decisions and the actions needed to be taken, in your comfy armchair?

    And are you going to reach out to the people of North Africa, all of them, to help them through this painful process? I am, with efforts, however futile form my distant position, to mobilise support for a range of economic and security programmes.

    Posted by Michael

  11. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Defense Industries

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    Good article — I agree with your view on this, but think in the end, there was probably little anyone could do to prevent what happened. The NTC is as far from monolithic as you can get. There is no chain of command, no accepted core policies, and wide disagreement regarding post-conflict scenarios. Qaddafi was doomed under this set of circumstances. Given this basic fact, the US administration should have assumed and anticipated this outcome and should have been ready with a more coherent response and commentary for the eventuality (understanding that it likely could not be prevented).

    Posted by John

  12. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: ICAF Alumni Network

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    There’s no difference between SEAL Team 6 putting a bullet in Osama Bin Laden’s head and Libyan rebels summarily executing Muammar Qaddafi after capturing him.
    Because, they need to end thier history.

    Posted by Faisal

  13. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: KILLING QADDAFI

    We have as much interrest or purpose in a Libyan “RECALL VOTE” as Libya had in our failed attempt to impeach a leader that thoroughly embarrissed the United States before the world by his inability to keep his zipper up and the lengths he went to in denying his guilt through lies and and inept posturing over the technically of a definition of a word that vdefined the purpose oof the impeachment hearings he was engaged in. They have and had absolutely no business in our method and means of dealing with leadership problems and we have none in their political actions.

    Muammar Qaddafi learned the the saying “what goes around comes around” in fact is a very real concept that he should have heeded decades ago.

    Posted by Jon

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