So, to say what the Attorney General should have said: It isI'm surprised the administration isn't defending itself more vigorously here.
* okay to enter a country that is “unable or unwilling,”
* okay to use lethal force,
* okay to attack without warning,
* okay to attack an unarmed, unthreatening, but still lawful target,
* okay to attack without inviting surrender,
* okay to press the attack with lethal force and without pause, the exception being if the target were to succeed in completing the act of surrender — which, in this case, is likely to be never, because there will not be enough time, and
* okay not to give the target time to make an attempt at surrender, even if inclined or even attempting, by pausing or slowing the attack.
Meanwhile, has the administration regained its composure? No — and it won’t manage to do so until someone with Harold Koh’s stature starts speaking out, and pointing out that the legal standards are precisely what he laid out in his speech a year ago, and none of it represents anything other than long-held US legal positions.
Posted by Steve S at 4:24 AM
Kenneth Anderson's dig at "the advocacy communities, the UN human rights machinery, the NGOs, activist-academics, Euro-intellectuals to seek to seize the legal-political narrative" notwithstanding, this is a great look at the Obama team's response to the killing of Osama bin Laden: