May 11, 2011

BRITAIN’S ANDREW ROBERTS on the sneers, jeers, and contempt in his country at the United States for taking down OBL: I am frequently asked these days by academics and policy professionals on why I keep harping on the need for the Obama administration to forthrightly defend the legal-policy legitimacy of its OBL killing.  They tell me I’m getting all worked up over something that is merely surface froth among chattering class types, around for one news cycle and gone.  I think they’re wrong; it matters because legitimacy matters, and legitimacy is partly a matter of being willing to set the public baseline for debate, rather than letting others set it for you.  I know this because I’ve run NGO campaigns before; others, like former State Department Legal Adviser John Bellinger, know this because they’ve been on the receiving end.  Secretary Clinton, call your lawyer.

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