Dellinger and Gergen on CNN about Legal Basis for Bin Laden Killing (and Drones)

by Chris Borgen

The video is here. No big surprises. Dellinger’s argument is based on the post-9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force and that under international law “you can kill enemy combatants.” 

Dellinger explains that drones attacks on other al Qaeda members are legal too. However, regarding drone attacks, I wish he hadn’t said that that there was “a policy judgment” to be made about “how careful you ought to be” about protecting the lives of civilians and non-combatants and contrasting that “policy judgment” with “decisions having to do with the lawfulness of the use of military choice.”  Putting it that way seemingly makes proportionality merely a policy consideration as opposed to an obligation.

For his part, Gergen focused on the moral issues of targeted killing.

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