BURNET, Texas (May 3) – It will not be a popular thing to say, but the truth is the truth. I am deeply saddened by the death of Osama bin Laden. His demise is not cause for rejoicing, in my opinion. That is why I am perhaps even more troubled by the spectacle of Americans celebrating and dancing in the street to the chant of “U.S.A, U.S.A,” whipped up into a patriotic frenzy and oblivious to the reality that this was an illegal and immoral act which offends the very values which makes us who we are.
I must admit, this is one of the most troubling things I have experienced in my lifetime. The patriot in me wants to breathe a sigh of relief that the war is over and we can go back to life before Bin Laden. But reality ruins the moment as I realize what has happened, and know life will never be the same again. This military action ordered by the President of the United States not only violated every fundamental belief our nation’s founders cherished, it may have destroyed any hope that we will ever learn the truth about 9/11.
What happened to the foundation of jurisprudence in America — innocent until proven guilty? Where is the requirement to produce evidence in order to convict? What about the right to face your accusers and answer charges brought against you? What has happened to the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution? When was the power to convict and execute individuals transferred solely to the Executive branch?
Rather than using a trial to prove to the world that Bin Laden was guilty of the acts the United States accused him of, and that the U.S. was justified in the actions taken in retaliation, the president took upon himself the authority of judge, jury and executioner. He ordered U.S. military forces to kill Bin Laden — and then dump his body into the sea. No evidence was presented. No arguments were heard for and against. No jury deliberated. No judge ruled. The accused was not allowed to defend himself in any court. I can’t help but think that this is the way you act when you have no evidence to convict.
The president even had the audacity to claim that “Justice has been done.” There was no justice done, Mr. President. Justice was not only cheated by this act. Justice was not just denied. Justice was raped by this act.
Osama bin Laden may have been the most evil person who ever walked the face of the earth. He may have been guilty of the most horrendous acts of inhumanity every perpetrated by anyone in history. But we will never know. President Obama has made sure of that. His action was not just a rejection of everything this nation stands for; in the name of justice, he has committed a greater injustice.
Bin Laden is dead, but with him may also have died the last hope that the United States can reclaim the moral high ground in international affairs. It’s no coincidence that this killing occurred just days after three innocent grandchildren of another person (Gadhafi) who the United States has declared to be “evil” were killed in a military operation aided by the United States.
The death of Osama bin Laden unfortunately will change very little about the war on terrorism. Rather than putting an end to this sordid chapter of American history, this immoral and illegal execution will inevitably result in even greater hatred, and an even greater threat to America and the world. The world is not a safer place because Bin Laden is dead, Mr. President. You have made it a more dangerous place, especially for those who dare to speak truth to power.
R. Lee Wrights, 52, a libertarian writer and political activist, is seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end he has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states. Wrights is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and co-founder and editor of of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., he now lives and works in Texas.