Justice Stevens says bin Laden killing legally justified
May 13th, 2011
03:56 PM ET
3 years ago

Justice Stevens says bin Laden killing legally justified

Washington (CNN) - Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has voiced support for the killing of al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces, saying it was legally justified.

In remarks Thursday evening at his alma mater, Northwestern University, the 91-year-old former justice said the order by President Barack Obama for the covert mission by U.S. Navy SEALs was "to remove an enemy who had been trying every day to attack the United States," according to two people who attended a symposium and dinner that was closed to the media.


Filed under: John Paul Stevens • Osama bin Laden
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. ConservaFASCISTS

    DUH!!! I don't care if the killing was unjustified. The man had blood on his hands and he got what was coming to him. Booyah!

    May 13, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Since when has it been illegal to kill and enemy commander of an "army" that has openly declared war against you.

    May 13, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. gt

    i wonder if bush was president if he would of said that..

    May 13, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Of course it was legal. Anybody suggesting otherwise is insane. HE declared war of US! I guess UBL thought we were there to handcuff him and read him his rights! OOPS, YOUR BAD!! If you wanted to live, you could have surrendered yourself at any time over the last 10 years. Oh well... enjoy your nice long deep swim and give my regards to the fish.

    May 13, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. Nah

    One of the most liberal Supreme Court Justices ever says the death penalty is Constitutional and that killing an enemy of the state was justified.

    Hilarious. Liberals going to cry now?

    May 13, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Nah

    One of the most liberal Supreme Court Justices ever says the d eath penalty is Constitutional and that k illing an enemy of the state was justified.

    Hilarious. Liberals going to cry now?

    May 13, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I think that it can be justified because he was a fugative from the US courts. He was also a non-state military commander that refused to fight honorably.

    May 13, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    "i wonder if bush was president if he would of said that.."
    ----------------
    I wonder if GWB were president would we even be discussing it.

    May 13, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Skipper

    I'm all for having gotten Bin Laden. I am disturbed however that, over the last several years, Supreme Court Justices (of all political ideologies) have become so outspoken outside of the courtroom with their opinions. The Supreme Court has lost its "quiet dignity".

    May 13, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Tyler

    The comments are notable because John Paul Stevens, during WWII, was part of the elite team of codebreakers who found the intelligence allowing the US to track and shoot down Admiral Yamomoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and really the only other notable example of the US killing such a notorious enemy of the United States.

    May 13, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. sjdsh

    More bs we all know shooting an unarmed man in the head is illegal but so what? We felt like it and no one could stop us.
    That's who we are now as Americans.

    May 13, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Reynald

    Legal was never the concern. "My party didn't successfully kill Bin Laden, so I'll do anything to make it look bad" is what this is all about.

    May 13, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |