Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Is assassination ever an ethical act?

From Nick Turse, Tomgram, Uncovering the Military's Secret Military:
". . . .But there are now about 20,000 full-time special operations types [like those who assassinated Osama bin Laden], at least 13,000 of them deployed somewhere abroad at this moment. In other words, we simply don’t know the half of it. We probably don’t know the tenth of it -- neither the breadth or number of their missions, nor the range of their targets. According to Schmidle again, on the day of the bin Laden raid, special operations forces in nearby Afghanistan conducted 12 other “night raids.” Almost 2,000 of them have been carried out in the last couple of years. . . ."
These are staggering figures. And since we didn’t know that U.S. special operations forces were secretly conducting Pakistan missions in such numbers, it might be worth asking what else we don’t know. . .

From AlJazeera
"An Iranian nuclear scientist has been shot dead in the country's capital Tehran, according to reports in Iranian media.

"Dariush Rezai-Nejad was killed in front of his house in the east of the city when two gunmen on motorcycles opened fire.
"It is not the first time that one of the country's scientists got killed or gone missing. . ."
Further reading:

Nicholas Schmidle, The New Yorker, Getting Bin Laden

The Economist, The ethics and realpolitik of assassination

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