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It's a Question of Pakistani Sovereignty

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Let's be clear; it is a good thing that Osama bin Laden is no longer on the scene.

There is no question the man was a menace, was responsible for killing thousands of innocent people and he and the al Qaeda terrorists he led are dangerous.

That he was killed by American Special Forces and his remains buried at sea raises no questions from here.

What is questionable is not that the operation to get bin Laden was done clandestinely but that it was conducted without the prior knowledge, agreement and authorization of Pakistan.

Pakistan is after all a sovereign country.

According to international law it is illegal for armed forces personnel to conduct military operations in another country it is not at war (at least not without the prior legal authorization by that country). We are not war with Pakistan. Without Pakistan's prior agreement the operation to get bin Laden was illegal.

It is obvious the Obama administration did not trust the Pakistani government, its army or the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) to know anything about the operation BEFORE it was carried out.

But that requirement (or what the law demands is the requirement) should have been seen by the Obama administration as MANDATORY respecting the sovereignty of Pakistan.

Considering the complete clandestine nature of the operation, the Pakistani Air Force would have had every right, and been completely justified, to shoot down the helicopters used by the U.S. Special Forces. We were ILLEGALLY in Pakistani air space without prior authority.

Now it is widely known that the U.S. has initiated many drone attacks and missile strikes at suspected terrorists within Pakistan and that U.S. Special Forces and private contractors (sponsored by the Pentagon) have conducted military operations within the country. It is presumed that these operations DO have prior authorization of the Pakistani government or at least its army and the ISI (even if the authorization is kept secret and withheld from the Pakistani people who are known to reject ALL incursions by any foreign forces on its soil).

We are supposed to be a country of laws with respect for the rule of law.

Yet we operate as if the oceans are American private lakes.

We pre-emptively invade and occupy sovereign countries with hardly a fig leaf of concern.

And we conduct clandestine military operations in sovereign countries openly with or without their prior knowledge or consent.

Yes, many Americans celebrated the killing of Osama bin Laden, believing his demise was justified regardless of how it was done and whether or not we got prior authorization. The end justified the means and as for questioning the legal process" what's that?

But consider this. What if another country conducted a clandestine military operation within the U.S.? How would we feel about that?

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