Vern ponders the question, “Does one deserve to die even if he was the most evil man on Earth?”

On Sunday local time, news began to streak in that the world’s most wanted man – Osama bin Laden is dead.  The reports were sketchy. Practically no details were given save that the leader of Al-Qaeda was killed by US commandos in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

I was a bit shaken by that news but unlike the Americans I was not rejoicing. And unlike the supporters of Jihad, I wasn’t engulfed with grief either.

I had only one thought on my mind – was the killing justified?

The reports were sketchy so I decided not to form an opinion until I’ve been further informed as to what really transpired that fateful day.

Today, the White House press secretary released an official narrative of what actually happened in that operation.

Here’s an excerpt of the narrative.

* US military personnel flew in on two helicopters, one of which suffered mechanical problems and was later destroyed. The team methodically cleared the compound, moving from room to room in an operation lasting nearly 40 minutes. They were engaged in a firefight throughout the operation. Bin Laden was killed when he “resisted”.

* In the room with bin Laden, a woman – bin Laden’s wife – rushed a US commando and was shot in the leg but not killed. Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was unarmed.

* His body was washed, wrapped in a white sheet and placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. The bag was then placed on a flat board that was tipped up, and bin Laden’s body was eased into the sea.

This is where things begin to fall apart.

I do empathize with the Americans and the pain they have suffered since 9/11. There is no denying that 9/11 was perhaps the blackest day in history of the American people (civil and world wars aside) and that Osama is a twisted, degenerate maniac for engineering such an attack.

But was the killing really justified?

I find the following 2 statements contradictory.

They were engaged in a firefight throughout the operation. Bin Laden was killed when he “resisted”.

Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was unarmed.

What are the rules of engagement in an operation such as this? Does one kill an unarmed man even if that man was responsible for the slaying of thousands of your kin?

Is this morally correct?

If my brother was murdered, do I have the right to avenge his death by killing him in return?

What gives the Americans the right to kill at will?

He was unarmed. It would have been easy to capture him alive and put him to stand for his crimes.

He was resistant to arrest?

How could he when he was unarmed? He was going to fight Carbines with magic and sorcery?

Isn’t it a right of every individual to be given a fair and transparent trial, no matter how heinous the crime?

Why does the United States get to play police, judge and executioner – all at the beck and call of one man in the White House?

I would have preferred if he was captured alive and put to trial in The Hague. Even senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea – responsible for the genocide of almost 2.5 million people were given the right to a trial.

This whole operation just reeks of conspiracy.

Why is there a need to dispose the body so quickly and in such secrecy? Why are there fake photos of a deceased Osama circulated online? How can a helicopter suddenly suffer mechanical failure in the middle of such an important mission?

The most important question of all is why isn’t Osama captured and put to stand for his crimes?

Is this a classic case of American arrogance?

We see it in their film industry. In Armageddon for example, only an American digger could save the world from total elimination.

We see it in their foreign policy. The Vietnam War was prolonged and casualties amounted to an estimated 3 million due to American interference.

We see it in their exclusiveness. They’ve got their own football rules and the winner of the Super Bowl is deemed as world champions even if it’s only played by Americans. Instead of immigrants, anyone not born in the United States is called ‘alien’.

Or is there an even bigger conspiracy? One questions the convenience of the timing. Barack Obama is seeking re-election at a time where his ratings are at its lowest. What else could give an instant boost of ratings but the disposal of America’s public enemy number 1?

I am disappointed by America’s play.

It would have been a far greater victory to let the whole world watch as Osama takes the stand. It would have been so much more painful for Osama and his followers to watch their leader be tried as a normal human being and not like the divine being they make him to be.

More importantly, capturing Osama and giving him a fair trial would have been the right thing to do – the human thing to do. It would have sent a message to the world that America is not only the most powerful nation in the world, but also the most compassionate.

Giving him instant death only serves to achieve two things – escalating Osama’s status to martyrdom.

And sealing the fate that the US of A is as usual, the unwelcomed big brother as prophesized by George Orwell in his book 1984.

Excerpts taken from

Contrary to contents of this article, Vern is an American fan-boy. He spells color without the U and calls hired cars – cabs. He credits his dashing good looks to an over exposure to McDonalds and considers Lost to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

53 replies on “Is Osama bin Laden’s Death Justified?”

  1. Is it illegal? Yes. Is it morally wrong? Yes. But it is what it is. Make what you will of it.

    Dear John Ling,

    I'm glad that in spite of all your name calling, you do actually agree with me.

    Unfortunately i cannot agree with you that Malaysians are fond of Liga Perdana. Everyone would rather watch the EPL.

    When you're dead, you're dead. You won't get a trial in 30 or even 50 years. Using your argument, you don't think that the Khmere Rouge deserves a trial.

    Why not you write an article about it and i'll leave a comment of disagreement with you eh?

    Now that is a heady suggestion.

  2. In the meantime, there is some irony in the lines of the simple poem British Major James Abbott wrote about Abbotabad in 1853, when he left it to return to England:


    I remember the day when I first came here?

    And smelt the sweet Abbottabad air

    The trees and ground covered with snow

    ?Gave us indeed a brilliant show

    To me the place seemed like a dream?

    And far ran a lonesome stream

    The wind hissed as if welcoming us?

    The pine swayed creating a lot of fuss

    And the tiny cuckoo sang it away?

    A song very melodious and gay

    I adored the place from the first sight

    ?And was happy that my coming here was right

    And eight good years here passed very soon

    ?And we leave you perhaps on a sunny noon

    Oh Abbottabad we are leaving you now?

    To your natural beauty do I bow

    Perhaps your winds sound will never reach my ear?

    My gift for you is a few sad tears

    I bid you farewell with a heavy heart

    ?Never from my mind will your memories thwart

  3. election boost aside, it's worrying that America simply ignored Pakistan's sovereignity to simply do a major operation without Pakistan's knowledge…

    and yes, he shouldn't be shot at the head when he was said to be unarmed..i believe he should be taken to court for a proper trial even if death were to become the verdict at the end of it…

    as for the celebration, it's distasteful…most families to 9/11 victims observe the day quietly holding vigil at ground zero or at their homes…those celebrating with dancing and chugging alcohol are students from the university nearby and they're simply doing it to show-off the superiority of the US which I believe is an insult to the memory of the victims…

    Obama should be ashamed to simply declare that 'Justice has been served' because in his attempt to thwart the terrorist, his own operation appeared somewhat similar to that of the terrorist's…

    it's resemblance of Orwell's Animal Farm where in the end the pigs and the human look similar it's difficult to tell who's who…

  4. I could be wrong, but I heard the Region 3 commander whose camp was a phone call away from Lahat Datu, had "his ass handed to him" by Mahathir, who went "ape sh*t" …

  5. Thanks Eric. When I was a kid, I remember hearing the bravery of some policemen during the attack.

    Yes, I saw Cikgulee's blog but contrary to what he said, our government denied that our forces had intruded into the Phili territory.

  6. 22 years ago, some pirates attacked the town of Lahad datu in Sabah robbing the people and killing or wouding 23 residents

    The article above mentioned that the Malaysian Police and Navy later killed the pirates.

    However, there were rumours that the Malaysians found out from which island the pirates came from and attacked the island, killing everyone on the island-men women and children……(the island belonged to the Philippines)

    ….since then, there were no more pirate attacks ……… ( later the Abu Sayaf group appeared but that is another story)

    It seems sometimes you need to fight terror with terror….but donno if the SAF would obey such orders…..? some people here already say they would not obey any illegal orders. But what about a situation like this? … …..kill the families of the terrorist to show other potential terrorist that we mean business……

    Looks like the Malaysian policy worked….

  7. Also available on microfilm:

    Sabah govt relief for pirate-attack victims [Articles]

    Page 11, NST, BERNAMA

    Sabah govt relief for pirate-attack victims KOTA KINABALU, Thurs. —.The Sabah state government has allocated MH5.000 for the victims in Monday's pirate attack in Lahad Datu, which left 10 dead and 11 injured. Two welfare officers from here left for Lahad Datu yesterday to organise financial aid for the victims… (277 words)

    Note: This article may only be viewed from the multimedia stations at NLB Libraries.

  8. Monday, April 05, 2004

    The Pirate Story

    Sept 24, 1985 — 11 people were killed and several injured when 15 armed pirates landed on Lahad Datu town and fired randomly at the public before robbing a bank of RM190,000. The attack was over in about 30 minutes.

    Police and military personnel pursued the pirates and smashed the group which was hiding on an island near international waters.

    During the robbery of a bank in Lahad Datu, Sabah, I was teaching in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Abdullah, Semporna, Sabah. Semporna is about 200KM away from Lahad Datu.

    The robbery was carried out by a group of pirates in commando uniform at around 1.00 pm. The Marine Police in Lahad Datu has requested for help from Semporna. On receiving the request the Marine Police jumped into their speed boats and rushed to Lahad Datu. Their action has created fear among the local folks especially those at the market which was just beside the marine base.

    The locals were really scared of pirates as they have gone through numerous unpleasant encounters with them. So they too ran for their lives leaving behind all their fish and vegetabels. The stores were emptied in just a matter of minutes. The whole town was quite and deserted.

    Meanwhile parents started to flood the school where I was teaching. Buses were waiting outside the school. They rushed in to look for their children. The school was in chaos. There was no way to control the situation. In less than an hour the school too became empty.

    Only a few teachers were left behind including myself. We have never seen such things before. I was just posted there in January after graduated from teachers training college.

    A few days later, we learned from the news that the pirates were killed in a neighbouring country.

  9. Melinda: I'm reminded of September 11th 2001. I was in college in Malaysia back then, and many of classmates actually hooted and cheered when news broke of the attacks on New York and Washington.

    10 years ago, it's indeed telling that these same people are now whining and making excuses for Bin Laden.

    In my opinion, America gave Bin Laden about as much chance as his suicide attackers gave to those victims who were vaporized and crushed in the attacks: exactly zero.

  10. Since when do we need to justify the death of a terrorist? Since when does any country need to justify it getting rid of a mass murderer? Did you try justifying the death of the innocent during 9/11? Let it rest. He is dead and God bless the Navy Seals who did the deed. God bless Obama for having the guts to give the go-ahead. Stop making a hero of a scumbag. OBL got better than he deserved. At least he got a burial. Don't we have more fundamental things to talk about? Give it a rest, please.

  11. Eric,

    where can I get the article on the Lahad Datu pirate attack? I've heard of it when I was a little boy but recently when I tried to search news about it. Came up with nothing. Glad you brought that up.

  12. Malaysia has quietly shown Singapore over how weak her security is. She has slapped the Singapore armed forces in ways that caused it to come unstuck. The most dramatic was when its commandos invaded its high security air missiles base in Bukit Batok overlooking the Straits of Johore and pasted Malaysian stamps on the missiles and replaced the Singapore flag on the commanding officer’s table with the Malaysian flag. Several Singapore officers resigned or were reassigned or demoted. The major who carried it out, who is known by his nickame, Sam, is still around and in the business.

  13. Such amateur pundits seem unaware of how US politics works: for one thing, the election is 20 months away.

    Obviously, if President Obama were making this up, Bin Laden would simply produce another video two days later.

    You, sir, are a strategic thinker. Thank you. I was beginning to despair at the quality of some of the comments here. =)

  14. Hmm…I wonder why George Bush Jr. wasn’t put on trial? WMD in Iraq? War in Iraq? How many lives lost afterwards?

    For the same reason that Barisan National wasn't put on trial for the events of May 13th 1969 — because violence sanctioned by 'democracy' is always difficult to prosecute. How can you single out and prosecute one person when everyone who voted is complicit?

    Osama is USA’s product.

    Incorrect. Osama was a product of Soviet aggression into Afghanistan and the Muslim fundamentalist response to that invasion. Contrary to popular belief, Osama and other foreign fighters never received funds nor backing from the United States. Aid was channeled exclusively to the local Afghan mujahideen, who may or may not have shared that aid with the Arabs.

    Nonetheless, Osama and his kin were and always had been free agents. The only thing true about your statement (and I say this very loosely) is that American and Muslim interests were once aligned: both wanted to see the Soviets ejected out of Central Asia.

  15. Non-Americans often point to the conspiracy theory that Osama has been dead for years and Obama only now cites his death in order to garner popularity ahead of the next presidential election! Such amateur pundits seem unaware of how US politics works: for one thing, the election is 20 months away. It is to be held in November, 2012, an eternity in US politics. Polls and opinions are fickle and tend to change abruptly; thus there would be no point in making up stories for political gain 20 months before the election.

    Even funnier are those who believe Osama hasn't even been killed. Do they really think Obama is that stupid? Obviously, if President Obama were making this up, Bin Laden would simply produce another video two days later. How would Obama look then? Come on, even Col Ghaddafi isn't that stupid.

  16. Vern’s “evidence” of American arrogance is, except for the folly of Vietnam, mostly lame.

    It's one thing to be an armchair critic. It's another thing to actually experience and understand a military op. Understand the adrenalin, sweat, fear and pure, unadulterated violence of it.

    Yes, violence.

    If one has never seen extreme violence up close, never participated in it, never fallen victim to it, one can never know what it feels like.

    Vern, throughout your entire article, it's telling that you never stop to ask the obvious: why did the United States have to make an covert and illegal incursion from across the border? Why didn't they just inform Pakistan and get them to detain Osama?

    Ah, those are heady questions, aren't they?

  17. This is a picture of where Osama was killed. Does not look like there was much sand there.

    The Americans flew directly over from the Afghanistan border and hugged the terrain low to avoid radar detection. They picked up a lot of debris in their engine intakes along the way.

    That one picture highlights the SEAL team's final destination; not the journey they took to get there.

  18. Concept of strategic depth operates in grey area and entails 'Executive Action' more times then not.

    Case in point:

    1) Mid 80's Mahathir ordering Malaysian Shipyard and Engineering via Mindef to acelerate the building of a modified oil platform with a helipad and living quarters. This was later towed to the Spratly's and rammed into Terumbu Layang Layang concrete secured the platform and now Malaysia has a permanent naval presence in the Spratlys resupplied from Labuan. Why? Primarily because of the firefight between the Chinese navy and Vietnamese navy and the sinking of a naval vessel belonging to the Philipines.

    2) Mid 80's during Marcos era, pirates from the Southern Philippines raided Lahat Datu and robbed a bank. Newspaper article mentioned an Indian cop without a shirt running after the pirates towards the beach firing at the pirates with his Sterling, nicknamed 'Rambo'. Weeks later Admiral of Philippens Southern Command quoted in local papers, expressing anger and threatening to invade Sabah. Followed by Wisma Putra issuing denials about Malaysian Navy infringing Philippines territory.

    What actually happened: Following pirate raid, Mahathir order IGP and Region 3 Commander to find out who perpetrated the raid.

    Special Branch cops disguised as fisherman eventually got intel on the origins of the raiding party and location.

    Retribution for the Pirate Raid: 2 ships and 2 helicopters were used markings were blacked out. Malaysian Special Forces (Gerak Khas) under the cover of darkness raided the southern islands in Philipines territory and destroyed the village where the pirates lived. Executed the captured men, women & children in the high seas. Not sure if the loot was recovered.

    Quotes from the Philippines:

    …The weakest link in Operation Merdeka appeared to be the Jabidah commando unit. Its military handlers erred in thinking the Muslim commandos were already fiercely loyal to the Philippine government (despite the low pay, etc.).

    Were these commandos supposed to conduct only sabotage operations in Sabah? What about political subversion (i.e. identify, organize and arm disgruntled Sabah citizens)?

    …anybody here know the real story behind that raid? if my memory serves me right, it was reported for a day, then after that news blackout na, the entire population reportedly vanished, helo's and at least 2 gunboats were used by our Malay BROTHERS

    …"On Sept 26, 1985, 4 foreign gunboats and 3 helicopters attacked the Maldanas islet in Sibutu islands. Initially, Malaysia was blamed it being suggested the attack was in retaliation for a Moro pirate raid on Lahad Datu in Sabah. The Malaysians protested their innocence and subsequently it was felt that the raid came from Vietnam or China in an attempt to spoil relations between the 2 countries." ( source : Air Wars and Aircraft, 1990)

    … it was the biggest military parade under martial law with F-8 crusaders, choppers and other PAF planes screaming overhead. it took several hours for the parade to finish involving 5,000 to 10,000 marching soldiers yata yun . this parade happened after malaysia raided one of the southern islands and Marcos gave a stern warning to enemies of the republic in a speech during the parade

    … Yeah Malaysia committed that 1985 raid. I remember when my Dad was assigned at F3 (Operations) of Naval Defense Forces (now Philippine Fleet). You can see a lot of vessels assigned to this location. The flagship for this mission was BRP Diego Silang (PF14) sister ship of PF7.

    ..Asiaweek June 21, 1985

    Green and gleaming, they rumbled through Manila's thoroughfares on a busy monday afternoon. For Manilans, was an awesome spectacle. Some 40 tanks and armored personnel carriers accompanied by thousands of troops marching in full battle dress paraded unannounced through the abruptly closed-off streets and park on June 10, two days before Philippine independence day……"This is a show of force. This has never happened before" declared opposition politician Homobono Adaza.

    When the actual indepence day came this year ,however, even the rehearsal paled. More than 50 tanks rolled through the streets in a two and a half hour spectacular. Thirty six helicopters and 24 Jet Fighters whistled overhead. At least 5,000 troops including 2 batallions of elite combat rangers marched before the grandstand. In all, it was the biggest show of military might since World War 2 in the Philippines and in terms of hardware a good deal more powerful. Explaining the unprecedented display, President Marcos told the nation in a hoarse but forceful voice "There seems to be a tendency today to under-rate the capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines…Now perhaps it is time that we all became aware of the real resources for the protection and defense of the republic. It is time we conveyed the message to those who do not understand what they are up against"

  19. Hmmm….what a bummer after the euphoria and feel good feeling emanated by the Royal Wedding… the Americans to spoil the party….gorry pictures of killing and all….no honeymoon feeling here…

    Osama..millionaire in his own right, could have settled blissfully anywhere…BUT…frustrated by the sell out of his own Saudi government chose from Day 1 – Death.

    He gave up his worldly pleasures, got fed-up with the Palestinian killings, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, and his own government selling out to the Americans for Iraq's and Kuwait's oil…operating out of Saudi , home of Medina and Mecca….

    From his perspective …he had already chosen to die….for he knew or realised or deduced through his own thoughts that talking withe the Americans / Israelis will bear little fruit based at least on his experience during his lifetime…..and that the best way to fix the Americans who were helping the Israelis butcher Palestinians and steal even more land is to wreak havoc and violence in the US itself…

    He did exactly that…He proved he could do it….and he made them pay them pay in his own way….and he paid the price by getting killed…perhaps in a bit later rather then earlier.. Period.

    In fact almost all if not all the pilots who brought down the twin towers crashing were Saudis – America's stauch Middle East allies….really?????..And these Saudi suicide bombers payed the price by dying…in direct contrast to the Navy Seals who went about bragging no one lost their lives….heck ..they even had air support with jets/drones while trying to wipe a family of 13 including women and children……

    Commandos against a family household…?????

    I guess the North Koreans, Chinese, Russians and maybe even the Pakistanis will have now no qualms shooting jetliners if they get iffy if someone has breached their air space….

    Its Hollywood…as always….

  20. In the Malaysian Army

    *Iban soldiers who are predominantly Christian are forbidden to have prayer gatherings in Army Camps for themselves and their families (as churches are too far from Army Camps and transportation is a challenge)

    *Ibans are discouraged from joining the armed forces and obstacles are placed (tattoos are part of Iban culture, not allowed in the army)

    This is policy on the recommendations of KAGAT

    Religious Corp of the Malaysian Armed Forces

  21. And this is Eric Mudasi’s letter to Malaysiakini on 22 October 2002 called “No smoke without fire in terror links”:

    In response to “Al-Qaeda has finances in Malaysia: UN report”, here are events that may help explain how Malaysia, fairly or unfairly, has been implicated in the war against terror campaign.

    When Malaysia was formed on Sept 16, 1963, two countries — Indonesia and the Philippines — were very unhappy. Indonesia then under president Sukarno launched the Ganyang Malaysia campaign.

    Indonesian forces which intruded into Malaysian territory were soundly dealt with by Malaysian and Commonwealth forces. An allegedly CIA-sponsored coup conducted by Suharto, which eventually brought down Sukarno, also played a pivotal role in ending the hostilities.

    Then when the British Far East Land Forces withdrew, the Filipino regime at that time was quite vocal in its demand for the state of Sabah. Malaysia was then facing a communist insurgency led by the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM).

    For self-preservation and in order to protect a very fragile economy, the Malaysian government was believed to have encouraged the Moro separatists in the southern Philippines, so as to distract attention from claims over Sabah and to get the Philippines Armed Forces bogged down in its back yard.

    The alleged front man for this exercise was none other then the ‘infamous’ Tun Datu Mustapha, then Sabah’s Chief Minister, who was a Muslim and had extended family in the southern Philippines.

    Similar incidents have occurred the world over. More recently, the Pakistani regime’s support for the Taliban through supply of arms and training neutralised a very hostile and porous border in the North-West Frontier Province with Afghanistan.

    Malaysia likewise employed the concept of strategic depth.

    The Malaysian Armed Forces did not want to or have to engage an enemy on two fronts, the military wing of the CPM and the Philippines Armed Forces.

    At that time huge resource were being expended on military hardware and personnel by components of the Malaysian Armed Forces. For instance, the Rajang Area Security Command (Rascom) in Sarawak, Gua Musang in Kelantan and Bentong in Pahang were a hotbed of communist activity. The Royal Malaysian Navy had to deal with the spillover from the Vietnam war, refugees, pirates, etc.

    Hence with financing by Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya, the campaign in the southern Philippines was stepped up in the spirit of Muslim brotherhood.

    Covert operations were conducted and gun running was rife. Malaysian special forces were alleged to have clandestinely conducted training for the Moro separatists in established camps in Sabah.

    In southern Thailand, another group of Muslim brothers were facing an onslaught from the Royal Thai Armed Forces. This group called itself the Patani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo). Malaysia’s political elite lent moral support to the group which was allowed to have offices in the northern states of Malaysia.

    As a direct result, Thailand’s southern military command vehemently opposed any and all forms of co-operation with the Malaysian military which requested assistance against the CPM, which had bases in southern Thailand. The Thai military command totally ignored the activities of the CPM within its borders.

    It was in fact much later that the Malaysian authorities realised that to help Pulo would be detrimental to the fight against communists. So, they ceased helping Pulo. Malaysian troops in the frontline areas were instructed not to engage the Pulo fighters, instead they were to direct them back into Thai territory.

    Those who say there were no bombings in Malaysia have a short memory. Sabah, in 1986, faced a spate of bombings, an intimidation tactic used to sow terror on the electorate. This was caused by the loss of the Usno and Berjaya parties (component parties of Barisan Nasional) to Joseph Pairin Kitingan’s, predominantly Kadazan-based and Christian party, Parti Bersatu Sabah. There was a pathetic “coup” attempt conducted by Datu Mustapha and Harris Salleh, which failed miserably, as it was ruled unconstitutional.

    State-wide elections were called for the second time, and it was during this period that a lot of bombs were set off, especially in Kota Kinabalu. The hand of the Moro separatists was seen in this as there were thousands of displaced Muslims from the southern Philippines islands in refugees camps in Sabah. And a lot of them were reported to have Malaysian blue identity cards.

    This was reported by independent election observers who were monitoring the elections at the time. Disaster was averted by excellent crisis management by then deputy prime minister, Musa Hitam who ordered the deployment of a massive number of troops from the peninsular, in full battle order in a deliberate show of force, to deter those intent on intimidating the local electorate.

    That the Malaysian government had ties with these extremist organisations is well known. It helped nurture these organisations which, unfortunately, have now become a liability.

    Only when your ‘rocks’ are held over a fire, do you deny negating history. Unfortunately for our political masters, the world knows. This is one taint that will not come off hence Malaysia is implicated.

    Reference sites: to_raise_them_up_par.php l-Use-Only-FOR-OFFICIAL-USE-ONLY-UNTIL

    feed:// s/default?orderby=updated 3/asia-pacific-terrorism-the-bali-experience.aspx

  22. FAC News – Friday, October 25, 2002 8:29 AM

    More on Malaysia’s links with international terrorists

    On 23 October 2002, FAC News wrote “Malaysia had a long history of supporting terrorist groups”.

    Yesterday, Ali, a police officer, wrote a letter to Malaysiakini called “We were in Moroland” reinforcing the allegation. In his letter, Ali said:

    I read Eric Mudasi’s letter “No smoke without fire in terror links” (below) with some pungency. I am not sure what he actually knows, strangely it was somewhat close to reality.

    I need to be careful about what I say as I am still a serving officer with the Royal Malaysian Police. In the 1970s, I was part of a 15-man specially selected unit attached loosely with the police force then but reporting to Mindef directly.

    The unit members were mostly Muslims but a few were non-Muslims who were recruited because of their expertise. They came from the army, navy, police field force and a few from elsewhere.

    Our primary role was to assist Moro separatists by providing them training especially on how to use guns, make home-made bombs, set up ambush, fighting tactics and to organise and operate as a cohesive unit.

    We did supply weapons, money and shelter for the fighters when things got too hot ‘there’. We used to go across in the night in six-man teams by boats for a two-month ‘tour’. My unit was headed by a senior civil servant whose name I am not at liberty to disclose save to say that he is now a comfortable Umno politician.

    I understood the operation to help these friends there have been ongoing since the 1970s. However, we were faced with several problems. Our friends, whose names I cannot disclose, were unprincipled and undisciplined, took advice when it suited them, and were certainly very happy to take money from us. There was genuine fear among us that this lot would be a liability to Malaysia.

    The whole operation was toned down when Hussein Onn became prime minister in 1976 but was later stepped up again only to be shut down completely in 1985. I am not aware of any further operations since then.

    I am not sure if the assistance was given, as Eric Mudasi said, to distract attention from claims over Sabah and bog down the Philippines Armed Forces or to help our minority Muslim friends in an alien and catholic state or whatever. The rationale behind the operation was a moot point for us in the unit.

  23. Jon Stewart, speaking of the distance—a half mile—from the Abbottabad compound to the Pakistani military academy:

    Let’s put that in New York City terms: bin Laden was on 21st and Seventh Avenue; they were on 21st and Ninth Avenue. If the Pakistani military academy were Domino’s, they would deliver to bin Laden—on foot.

    See More

  24. well we are all entitled to our opinions The us did what they thought was right and who are we to question we have enough shit to worry about, surely terrorists have no rights

  25. Hmm…I wonder why George Bush Jr. wasn't put on trial? WMD in Iraq? War in Iraq? How many lives lost afterwards?

    Osama is USA's product. Believe what u want…but this whole thing reeks of conspiracy.

  26. Problem was that osama all along since 9/11 was still at a state of war with the USA, and while hiding, he was at the same time issuing threats against the USA continuously.

  27. Osama may have looked unarmed, but he could have been wearing a suicide vest. So, let's not get fixated on the so-called fact that he was unarmed. Also, Osama himself claimed responsibility for the Sept 11 attacks and a number of other attacks. So, giving hm a fair trial is quite pointless.

    I agree that all of us have the right to fair trial, but these rights have to be considered in the larger picture. As mentioned, Osama has never claimed to be innocent.

  28. If you think he's a martyr then you're a moron,

    and nobody gives a flying F what morons think.

    Retaliations against terrorism require justification?

    That's something new.

    Gee, i just found the guy that has eluded the US military for a damn decade, should i shoot or risk him slipping away?

    All this garbage about rights, dint the 3k Americans have rights?

    He took the right to life from all of them and you wanna give him the right to a fair trial.

    You sir, are a rebel without a cause.

  29. Vern's "evidence" of American arrogance is, except for the folly of Vietnam, mostly lame. What gives the US the right to be judge, jury and executioner of Osama Bin Laden? I would say that, since the US is the country his organization attacked, murdering about 3,000 people, who else should be judge and jury–Malaysia? The UN? This is a US matter. As for movies, Vern doesn't seem to have seen enough American movies to be in a position to judge their "arrogance." In any case, movies are big business and the movie industry gives the public–in this case, the world's largest market in terms of ticket revenue–what it wants. That's why Indian movies offer mostly just singing and dancing; nobody else wants to watch more than one of those. And American football as sports analogy? American football is a unique game that is essentially played only in–hello! America. Of course the Superbowl is played there. Again, where do you expect the championship to take place–Malaysia? The United Nations? Frankly, Vern's arguments seem the product of an a college freshman at best.

  30. But then everything the US is doing is for naught. It's reeks of hypocrisy and the world (or at least, me) is not going to look at them in a good light considering they have destroyed two countries, turned one into a police state, jailed (and tortured) countless people just so that they can get back at this Osama.

    Not to mention that this Osama is a monster of their own creation!

    Well, I find that the recent turn of events disturbing. I hope I am wrong.

  31. Cleaner to just kill him. If you capture him, some people like Vern or some crooked lawyer will find some technicality to get him free. Then how to face the thousands who have lost their beloved ones to this man's poisonous form of Islam?

  32. Why are so many of you advocating for this butcher to be captured alive ?

    Just think of the troubles the killed monster would have brought, not to mention the amount of funds and time used to bring him to court. There is no better way to deal with a monster like Osama !

  33. I would have preferred if he was captured alive and put to trial in The Hague. Even senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea – responsible for the genocide of almost 2.5 million people were given the right to a trial.

    You forget that the Khmer Rouge leaders were only given trial long after the Indochina wars were over and done with. That's a gap of 30 years. A generation and a half.

    Right now, America is still at war, and in war, public circus trials are a luxury. Even *if* they had captured Osama alive, the more common practice would be to hold a closed-door court-martial, followed by a summary execution.

    Keep in mind: it's barely ten years after 9/11. Memories are raw and emotions are frayed. After two protracted and inconclusive engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, America badly needs a slam-dunk. Osama, unfortunately, is it.

    Is it illegal? Yes. Is it morally wrong? Yes. But it is what it is. Make what you will of it.

  34. Vern, the only thing sketchy here is your knowledge of geopolitics and military operations.

    But I'll address your points.

    In recent years, two other mass murderers were indeed captured and put on trial. Unfortunately, doing so only strengthened fanatical support for them instead of weakening it. I am referring, of course, to Charles Taylor and Slobodan Milosevic, evil butchers in their own right. The US had already taken note and decided against providing Osama with a similar circus.

    Secondly, having the body of a war criminal buried at sea isn't uncommon. Israel did the same after it executed Adolf Eichmann, who was the man primarily responsible for the Holocaust death camps. And, yes, the reasons are exactly the same: to deny a fiend a land-based shrine where followers could congregate.

    Thirdly, mechanical problems are common in a desert climate. A combination of heat and powdery dust. During Operation Eagle Claw, the failed attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran, two choppers and one plane crashed. Before the mission had even gotten underway.

    Finally, is it really necessary to buttress your points by critiquing American sports and American immigration policies? Last I checked, Malaysia is an unusually self-absorbed country as well. It is overly fond of its Liga Perdana (despite never having qualified for the FIFA World Cup) and enjoys labeling people like me 'pendatang'.

  35. He is prepared to die for sickness, God justified it.

    US want more wars of anti terrorism to justify booms in arms economies!

  36. "Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done"

    This quote by an English judge whose name I couldn't remember comes to mind when I read the article.

    I am one of those people who were discomfited when I heard about the instant, spur of the moment killing of Osama. Some people rejoice when they hear that Osama is dead, but what I am seeing is a lost chance for justice and understanding. I would rather have him alive and sit for trial than die in ambiguity such as what I am seeing now. Why not have him sit in court and face the evidence of the terror and killings he has wrought on to this world?

    LIke Vern said, without trial, Osama is a martyr.

  37. Osama had no qualms to plot and kill over three thousand innocent lives either when he attacked the world trade twin tower. The Palestinians were jumping and screening with joy on T.V. when it was aired on T.V..

    And what you and the daughter of shenanigan Mahathir condemned the killing got to say about these ?

    No doubt, in due time, with the killing of this terrorist the whole world will be a better place to live in and most of all a better world for all the people to travel in without fear of his desire that everyone must become muslim in order to live in peace.

  38. Bringing him back to stand trial will be such a sham and hypocritical in my book. He already been tried and convicted (rightly or wrongly) in the court of public opinion. Just look at the trial of Saddam Hussein, he never had a chance. Therefore why waste time and effort (and money)? He's better off dead for most people.

  39. the reason he was buried at sea was cos if an autopsy was done, they'll have discovered he died 4 years ago :)

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