July 11th, 2008
04:05 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: Death penalty for bin Laden

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/11/art.fareed.cnn.jpg caption="CNN's Fareed Zakaria interviewed Obama Friday."](CNN) - Barack Obama again said Friday he favors the death penalty for Osama bin Laden should the 9/11 mastermind be captured.

In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said bin Laden's actions have justified capital punishment.

"If he was captured alive, then we would make a decision to bring the full weight of not only U.S. justice, but world justice down on him," Obama said during the interview, the entirety of which is set to air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Watch: Part of Fareed Zakaria's exclusive interview with Barack Obama

"I am not a cheerleader for the death penalty - I think it has to be reserved for only the most heinous crimes," Obama also said. "But I certainly think plotting and engineering the death of 3,000 Americans justifies such an approach."

In the wide-ranging interview, the Illinois senator also criticized Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for failing to bring order to his country.

"I think the Karzai government has not gotten out of the bunker, and helped to organize Afghanistan - the government, the judiciary, police forces - in ways that would give people confidence," he said. "So there are a lot of problems there. But a big chunk of the issue is that we allowed the Taliban and al Qaeda to regenerate itself when we had them on the ropes. That was a big mistake, and it's one I'm going to correct when I'm president."

UPDATE: Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant has sharply criticized Obama over his Karzai comments.

“Barack Obama had no interest in Afghanistan until he started running for president. Obama has never visited Afghanistan to meet our allies on the ground, yet he is audacious enough to assert that President Karzai has ‘not gotten out of the bunker,'" he said in a statement. "Obama’s words are naively out-of-touch with reality and offensive to America’s allies. Considering Obama’s negligent leadership of the Senate subcommittee charged with overseeing the NATO mission in Afghanistan, Obama has no credibility discussing Afghanistan."

Catch the full interview with Obama Sunday on Fareed Zakaria GPS, 1 p.m. ET

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Anna

    Actually the terror extremists live for martyrdom.
    Remember the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui?
    Life in prison wasnt what he expected...he will have a long day to think about it.

    No Martyrdom for Terrorists!

    July 11, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. MBFLA

    I don't know, I kind of buy into the belief that everyone gets a fair trial before we determine they are guilty. This is still America, is it not?

    July 11, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. Tom from Texas

    I like Obama's idea but his death penalty will not be an instant type. Put him in jail and amputate one aorm the first month. After it heals, yo go for one leg. After the leg heals, you inject him with some virus that will cause his skin to start getting rotten while he is still alive. Then cut off his remaining arm. Then intoduce worms that will such his blod from his rotten skin as he cannot remove them (no arms). When it is getting too bad, feed him some worm eggs that will grow inside him and start eating him from inside. Then pluck one of eyes out and stop feeding him so that he decays from both inside and outside.
    If anone can suggest something worse, I will vote for it.

    July 11, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. Joyce Becker

    I agree with Obama, he should have been captured and put to death a long time ago, can't Bush do anything right, he is not in Iraq and never was. Go Obama Go!!!!

    July 11, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. S. Denice

    My God. These die-hard Hillary supporters are becoming psychotic!No matter what ticker Obama's name come up in, some Hillary fanatic wil find a way to pounce on him in support of her. This really is a sad, sad time in American politics. Never in my life have I seen such a contentious election.

    Initially, I was in agreement that Hillary Clinton should be Obama's running mate. You Hillary fanatics have caused me to change my mind in support of that. You can write her name in all you want but her day is over. The Clinton dynasty is done. This ridiculous Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton pattern of the presidency is broken. Thank God Almight for that...

    July 11, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    No, sorry, GOP.
    YOU have no credibility when discussing Afghanistan. Our troops would have been there for the last 7 years, you know, looking for the guy, but....

    July 11, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. ben

    To sharpton,rev. wright, and Jessie Jackson. Will you three
    headline grabbing idiots please shut the Hell up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    In case you three morons are unaware of it, the war of the races has almost come to an end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why are you still trying to inflame it again? The only reason I can think of is you would rather see your face on TV and let the public hear your unwanted remarks, than see a black man elected president. Believe me if you don't shut up and dissapear, you may just once again start a war of the races and my candidate Obama will lose! YES I AM WHITE

    July 11, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. David Newport, OR

    Bin Laden needs dialysis 2x a week. Now where could one of these machines be? In a cave running off a generator? Or maybe in a large Pakistani city? If there is really a desire to find someone, they can be found.

    July 11, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. JeffRob

    Nope, sorry, GOP.
    YOU have no credibility when it comes to discussing Afghanistan. Our troops would have been there for the last seven years, looking for bin Laden, but, well, you know....

    July 11, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. Donna in ID

    There are claims that we can get a pic from a satellite in outer space and be able to read a license plate. Then there has been seismographic done from outer space so they know oil and underground blow outs are. So if we can do all that why haven't they be able find him and his hideouts? I don't think they have wanted to. Gives an excuse to keep wars going and keep playing the "Fear Card" and keep Americans in line to go along with our tyrant leaders.

    July 11, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Patricia

    What qualifications does Alex Conant have to make judgment on this subject?

    I feel bad that H. Clinton has a debt -in regard to some comments on this web site – but it was her decision to use the money she did not have. Is that responsible spending? Isn't that what has so many American's in debt?

    I understand Elisabeth Kubler Ross's stages of grieving that many of the Clinton fans are working through, and each one grieves in their own time frame. But let each one grieve on their own. Share your grief with your friends, not the whole world.

    July 11, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. Jim

    Until we as a society finally realize that anyone, and I mean anyone that can't conform to the laws of the land should be exterminated, the bad guys will continue to roam the earth. No whining, no sitting on death row for years, nothing more than a fair trial and ZAP. Way too many law bidding citizens running around who are either victims of rogue individuals or shoving to many tax dollars down the penal system.

    July 11, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    He is shameless. His determination to win at any cost is becoming ridiculous.

    July 11, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
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