Bin Laden Just a 'Suspect,' Deserved Trial

Noam Chomsky describes his reaction to Osama bin Laden raid
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2011 3:58 PM CDT
US academic and polemicist Noam Chomsky, who is a fierce critic of Israel, speaks to the media at a friend's house in Amman, Jordan, Monday, May, 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/Nader Daoud)

(Newser) – Noam Chomsky calls the killing of Osama bin Laden “a planned assassination” that violated international law, and he wonders how the US would react if “Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.” Why use Bush for the analogy? Because “uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a ‘suspect’ but uncontroversially the ‘decider,’” Chomsky writes in Guernica.

Yes, he said “suspect”: Chomsky argues that the FBI had no hard evidence proving bin Laden was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks even after “the most intensive investigation in history.” Yes, bin Laden confessed, “but that is rather like my confession that I won the Boston Marathon. He boasted of what he regarded as a great achievement.” Ultimately, it seems the Navy SEALs did not even attempt to apprehend bin Laden: And “in societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial.”

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