Was Bin Laden’s Assassination Illegal?

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NewsOne’s Bakari Kitwana interviews Vijay Prashad about the implications of the recent killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Ladan. Kitwana and Prashad discuss the American public’s euphoria surrounding this news and what this death means for the war in Afghanistan, and the future of America’s enemies—from Al Qaeda to the Taliban.

They also talk about the meaning of Bin Laden’s demise to the 2012 presidential race. Says Prashad, “Forget Obama. Forget 2012. What are the long-term implications for American power and authority in a world where others are trying to build up international law as a counter to cowboy-ism?”

Prashad also shares insight on the way he sees the death of Bin Laden already playing out in civil rights and human rights circles: “In 1981 Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12333, which disallows the US from pursuing targeted assassinations. Likewise, international law forbids this type of action. I’m very disturbed that there is no qualified discussion about the legality of this type of action. People on the liberal to progressive side seem to have lost their bearings and are no longer able to be serious when it comes to the question of utilizing armed force overseas.”

Vijay Prashad is professor and director of International Studies at Trinity College. He is the author eleven books, including his most recent The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World.

Bakari Kitwana is CEO of Rap Sessions, Editor at Large of Newsone.com and author of the forthcoming Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era. (Third World Press, 2011)

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