Shoot first then ask questions

shoot first then ask questions

Osama bin Laden was killed in May in a US military operation. As the dust in Pakistan settles, Ali Naseem Bajwa QC and Anna Morris consider the issues. Something to Live By? I think So, Many Dead rappers lived by this! UMMMMMMMM I shot him now i will ask questions instead of asking and then shooting??? Then, we heard about her suspicious role in the shooting death of her brother decades ago. Now, today, reports have surfaced regarding a mail.

Shoot first then ask questions - really. was

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

International Law


In international law, there are two main situations in which a use of force by one state in the territory of another sovereign state is lawful: firstly, following a UN Security Council Resolution and secondly, where the state acts in self-defence. We can swiftly dispense with the first of these since it has not been suggested that the US was acting under an express or implicit Security Council authorisation. Indeed, the Security Council has repeatedly emphasised the need for states to comply with international law and to ensure that terrorists are brought to justice.

Imminent threat of armed attack


Turning then to self-defence, Article 51 of the UN Charter preserves a state’s “inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.” Although the terms of Article 51 only permit force in the event of an actual armed attack, customary international law extends the right of self-defence to an imminent threat of armed attack. Therefore, international law principles governing what constitutes lawful self-defence are similar to those in domestic law - namely, is the use of force necessary and proportionate in order to repel an attack or imminent threat of attack?

John Bellinger, a former legal advisor to the US State Department, set out the US position that the action was lawful “both as a permissible use of force in the US armed conflict with al-Qaeda and as a legitimate action in self-defence, given that bin Laden was clearly planning additional attacks.” The US Attorney General, Eric Holder, confirmed and amplified that view by adding that the US saw bin Laden as an “enemy commander” and thus a “lawful military target.”
On the basis of alleged crimes, it is accepted that bin Laden posed a threat of armed attack to the US and that, notwithstanding the fragmented and highly disrupted organisation of al-Qaeda, the threat was imminent. 

However, arguments for a level of force necessary at a time of war and likening bin Laden to a ‘war target’ are in our view misplaced and unhelpful.
First, no matter how often we hear the expression ‘war on terror’, the US is not recognised by most of the international community as being legally at war with al-Qaeda (notwithstanding that on 18 September Congress issued a form of declaration of war through its enacted Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists).

Second, the battleground for a war must have its limits and it cannot (yet) be said to extend to the doorstep of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
Third, even in war, international humanitarian law governs a state’s conduct towards the individuals engaging directly or caught up incidentally in the armed conflict, for example, the humane treatment of prisoners of war.

Was lethal force necessary?


Against that background, we turn to the critical issue of whether the deployment of lethal force against bin Laden was necessary and/or proportionate. Here, one requires the precise operational orders and facts of its implementation, without which it is difficult to form a firm opinion as to the legality of the killing of bin Laden. One consideration is whether there ever was an intention to take bin Laden alive. Eric Holder has said that the Navy SEALs were on a “kill or capture mission” and that bin Laden’s surrender would have been accepted if offered. However, this claim is open to some doubt in light of the careful planning that must have gone into the burial of bin Laden’s body in the Arabian Sea, the US’s manifest political interest in killing bin Laden as opposed to capturing and trying him and the admission by a Navy SEAL and former CIA intelligence officer that the mission was never to take bin Laden back alive.

Another consideration is the nature and extent of US intelligence as to the threat posed by those within the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad. However, the fact that a ground operation was preferred to, for example, a drone attack, suggests that the risk to US life was not considered to be excessive.
The most critical consideration is what took place in the compound at the time of the raid. After some initially misleading reports, a number of facts are known.

  • Osama bin Laden was unarmed.
  • He was shot as he attempted to retreat into his bedroom.
  • Those who shot him considered it sufficiently safe to approach and photograph bin Laden’s body before removing it from the compound.


Was it not then possible, as was done in the case of his wife, to incapacitate bin Laden by shooting him in the lower body? Eric Holder asserts that absent any clear indication from bin Laden that he intended to surrender, the Navy SEALs acted in an appropriate way. This argument is unconvincing. It must have been known that bin Laden was highly unlikely to surrender but - at the age of 54, in poor health and plainly taken by surprise by the raid - he may nevertheless have presented an insufficiently grave threat to the Navy SEALs for it to have been necessary to kill him on the spot.

McCann v UK


The use of force against persons believed to be engaged in ongoing terrorist acts was examined by the European Court of Human Rights in McCann v UK () 21 EHRR The case concerned the fatal shooting of three suspected IRA operatives in Gibraltar by members of the SAS. The operatives were suspected of being involved in planning an imminent attack and they were shot dead when the SAS claimed to have seen them walk away from a “suspect vehicle” in which it was believed there was a car bomb and then were seen to make “aggressive” movements and actions interpreted as an attempt to reach for radio detonators thought to be secreted in their clothes.

In its judgment, the Court made it clear that the use of lethal force by agents of the state may be justified where there is an honest belief based on good reasons valid at the time that the use of force is required. The assessment of the risk that the target poses to law enforcement officers should focus on the “conditions that prevail at the moment of engagement.” However, the Court found that the planning and execution of the operation had put the soldiers in a situation where there was almost inevitably recourse to the use of lethal force as opposed to any attempt to apprehend the three suspects. That outcome was disproportionate and not absolutely necessary and thus there had been a violation of the Article 2 ECHR, the right to life.

US release of operation evidence


The legality of the US operation against bin Laden can only be finally determined by the release of the evidence surrounding the operation, including the briefing and reports of the operation; however, we are not confident that the US will do that anytime soon.

Should we care?


Given bin Laden’s antecedents, should we care whether his death was legal or not?

The short answer is that we must care. First, human rights are minimum standards applicable to all, extended even to the least deserving. Second, as was achieved in the case of the Nazi leadership (responsible for infinitely more death and destruction than bin Laden) in the Nuremburg trials and many others since, we have lost forever the opportunity to publicly try and punish bin Laden for his alleged crimes. President Obama claims that justice has been done but Professor Clive Walker, a terrorism law expert at Leeds University, says, “I don’t view this as ‘justice’ in a legal sense, however ‘deserved’ one might feel it was in a moral sense.” As Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, points out, “A lot of people are using justice as a euphemism for revenge.”

A dangerous precedent


Finally, the US action against bin Laden sets a highly dangerous precedent. It inevitably leads to innocent persons being killed, a tragic example in the UK being that of Jean Charles de Menezes. Moreover, it risks creating the appalling spectre of states feeling able to send their special operations forces into other states in order to assassinate persons on their most wanted list.

The US has some way to go in persuading the international legal community that killing bin Laden was a necessary and proportionate act of self-defence and not the extra-judicial execution of their most wanted man. The maxim is ‘hard cases make bad law’. Bin Laden’s is a hard case. It threatens to make bad international law.


Ali Naseem Bajwa QC & Anna Morris
Garden Court Chambers

Ali is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in criminal defence work. He has acted in a number of important homicide and terrorism cases, is an advanced advocacy trainer and Master of Students at Gray’s Inn


Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

Date: 30 June


International Law


In international law, there are two main situations in which a use of force by one state in the territory of another sovereign state is lawful: firstly, following a UN Security Council Resolution and secondly, where the state acts in self-defence. We can swiftly dispense with the first of these since it has not been suggested that the US was acting under an express or implicit Security Council authorisation. Indeed, the Security Council has repeatedly emphasised the need for states to comply with international law and to ensure that terrorists are brought to justice.

Imminent threat of armed attack


Turning then to self-defence, Article 51 of the UN Charter preserves a state’s “inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.” Although the terms of Article 51 only permit force in the event of an actual armed attack, customary international law extends the right of self-defence to an imminent threat of armed attack. Therefore, international law principles governing what constitutes lawful self-defence are similar to those in domestic law - namely, is the use of force necessary and proportionate in order to repel an attack or imminent threat of attack?

John Bellinger, a former legal advisor to the US State Department, set out the US position that the action was lawful “both as a permissible use of force in the US armed conflict with al-Qaeda and as a legitimate action in self-defence, given that bin Laden was clearly planning additional attacks.” The US Attorney General, Eric Holder, confirmed and amplified that view by adding that the US saw bin Laden as an “enemy commander” and thus a “lawful military target.”
On the basis of alleged crimes, it is accepted that bin Laden posed a threat of armed attack to the US and that, notwithstanding the fragmented and highly disrupted organisation of al-Qaeda, the threat was imminent. 

However, arguments for a level of force necessary at a time of war and likening bin Laden to a ‘war target’ are in our view misplaced and unhelpful.
First, no matter how often we hear the expression ‘war on terror’, the US is not recognised by most of the international community as being legally at war with al-Qaeda (notwithstanding that on 18 September Congress issued a form of declaration of war through its enacted Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists).

Second, the battleground for a war must have its limits and it cannot (yet) be said to extend to the doorstep of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
Third, even in war, international humanitarian law governs a state’s conduct towards the individuals engaging directly or caught up incidentally in the armed conflict, for example, the humane treatment of prisoners of war.

Was lethal force necessary?


Against that background, we turn to the critical issue of whether the deployment of lethal force against bin Laden was necessary and/or proportionate. Here, one requires the precise operational orders and facts of its implementation, without which it is difficult to form a firm opinion as to the legality of the killing of bin Laden. One consideration is whether there ever was an intention to take bin Laden alive. Eric Holder has said that the Navy SEALs were on a “kill or capture mission” and that bin Laden’s surrender would have been accepted if offered. However, this claim is open to some doubt in light of the careful planning that must have gone into the burial of bin Laden’s body in the Arabian Sea, the US’s manifest political interest in killing bin Laden as opposed to capturing and trying him and the admission by a Navy SEAL and former CIA intelligence officer that the mission was never to take bin Laden back alive.

Another consideration is the nature and extent of US intelligence as to the threat posed by those within the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad. However, the fact that a ground operation was preferred to, for example, a drone attack, suggests that the risk to US life was not considered to be excessive.
The most critical consideration is what took place in the compound at the time of the raid. After some initially misleading reports, a number of facts are known.

  • Osama bin Laden was unarmed.
  • He was shot as he attempted to retreat into his bedroom.
  • Those who shot him considered it sufficiently safe to approach and photograph bin Laden’s body before removing it from the compound.


Was it not then possible, as was done in the case of his wife, to incapacitate bin Laden by shooting him in the lower body? Eric Holder asserts that absent any clear indication from bin Laden that he intended to surrender, the Navy SEALs acted in an appropriate way. This argument is unconvincing. It must have been known that bin Laden was highly unlikely to surrender but - at the age of 54, in poor health and plainly taken by surprise by the raid - he may nevertheless have presented an insufficiently grave threat to the Navy SEALs for it to have been necessary to kill him on the spot.

McCann v UK


The use of force against persons believed to be engaged in ongoing terrorist acts was examined by the European Court of Human Rights in McCann v UK () 21 EHRR The case concerned the fatal shooting of three suspected IRA operatives in Gibraltar by members of the SAS. The operatives were suspected of being involved in planning an imminent attack and they were shot dead when the SAS claimed to have seen them walk away from a “suspect vehicle” in which it was believed there was a car bomb and then were seen to make “aggressive” movements and actions interpreted as an attempt to reach for radio detonators thought to be secreted in their clothes.

In its judgment, the Court made it clear that the use of lethal force by agents of the state may be justified where there is an honest belief based on good reasons valid at the time that the use of force is required. The assessment of the risk that the target poses to law enforcement officers should focus on the “conditions that prevail at the moment of engagement.” However, the Court found that the planning and execution of the operation had put the soldiers in a situation where there was almost inevitably recourse to the use of lethal force as opposed to any attempt to apprehend the three suspects. That outcome was disproportionate and not absolutely necessary and thus there had been a violation of the Article 2 ECHR, the right to life.

US release of operation evidence


The legality of the US operation against bin Laden can only be finally determined by the release of the evidence surrounding the operation, including the briefing and reports of the operation; however, we are not confident that the US will do that anytime soon.

Should we care?


Given bin Laden’s antecedents, should we care whether his death was legal or not?

The short answer is that we must care. First, human rights are minimum standards applicable to all, extended even to the least deserving. Second, as was achieved in the case of the Nazi leadership (responsible for infinitely more death and destruction than bin Laden) in the Nuremburg trials and many others since, we have lost forever the opportunity to publicly try and punish bin Laden for his alleged crimes. President Obama claims that justice has been done but Professor Clive Walker, a terrorism law expert at Leeds University, says, “I don’t view this as ‘justice’ in a legal sense, however ‘deserved’ one might feel it was in a moral sense.” As Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, points out, “A lot of people are using justice as a euphemism for revenge.”

A dangerous precedent


Finally, the US action against bin Laden sets a highly dangerous precedent. It inevitably leads to innocent persons being killed, a tragic example in the UK being that of Jean Charles de Menezes. Moreover, it risks creating the appalling spectre of states feeling able to send their special operations forces into other states in order to assassinate persons on their most wanted list.

The US has some way to go in persuading the international legal community that killing bin Laden was a necessary and proportionate act of self-defence and not the extra-judicial execution of their most wanted man. The maxim is ‘hard cases make bad law’. Bin Laden’s is a hard case. It threatens to make bad international law.


Ali Naseem Bajwa QC & Anna Morris
Garden Court Chambers

Osama bin Laden was killed in May in a US military operation.  As the dust in Pakistan settles, Ali Naseem Bajwa QC and  Anna Morris consider the issues raised

President Obama’s announcement on 2 May that al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, had been killed in a US military operation in Pakistan was a dramatic and significant moment. The news was widely welcomed; however, once some of the facts of the operation became public, voices of disquiet began to emerge about the state killing of an unarmed person in another sovereign state and the fact that he would now never stand trial for his alleged crimes. Here we will examine those concerns and analyse some of the main issues that are engaged by the killing of bin Laden.



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Источник: [casinoextra.fr]

shoot first, ask questions later

shoot first, ask questions later

1. To kill someone that one perceives as a threat or that one feels justified in killing before ensuring that one is absolutely correct. The word "and" is often used instead of a comma. The country's new leader vowed to crack down on anyone associated with dealing drugs, claiming that he was authorizing the police force to shoot first, ask questions casinoextra.fr sheriff had a policy of shooting first and asking questions later, so while the crime rate was fairly low in his town, so was the death rate.

2. By extension, to take some decisive, negative action before finding out whether it is correct, justified, or necessary. I know you're upset, but you need to consider a few different things before you up and quit your job. Don't just shoot first and ask questions casinoextra.fr it comes to claims of theft by a member of my staff, my policy has always been shoot first, ask questions later.

See also: ask, later, question, shoot

Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Shoot first, ask questions later.

Prov. Assume that everyone you encounter is hostile to you.; Take action, even though you do not know enough to be sure if it is the right action. If the foreman saw that one of the workers was working slowly, he didn't stop to find out if the worker was sick or unhappy; he just fired him. He believed in shooting first and asking questions later.

See also: ask, later, question, shoot

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

See also:
Источник: [casinoextra.fr]

Out of the corner of your eye, you catch a glimpse of the bottom-of-the-TV-crawl with breaking news of a mass shooting on a college campus. Quick–what's your first thought? Lonely male student frustrated by perceived social slights? Perhaps a revenge killing based on unrequited romantic interest?

Neither of these knee-jerk reactions to the recent campus shooting in Alabama were accurate, of course. No, the perpetrator in this instance was neither male nor a student. She was a female faculty member, about whom each day seems to bring another surprise revelation. First, we learned that she was reportedly upset over not having received tenure. Then, we heard about her suspicious role in the shooting death of her brother decades ago. Now, today, reports have surfaced regarding a mail bombing incident involving her former research supervisor–an unsolved crime for which authorities were, at least temporarily, interested in her as a suspect.

There are plenty of psychological issues to be raised in the wake of this tragedy. On the one hand, some will be tempted to indict the intense environment that the academic tenure-track can be (just search for news on this story via Google and see how many times the phrase "academic pressure-cooker" comes up). On the other hand, many people (particularly those of us who are academics) too easily lose sight of the fact that even having an opportunity for a tenured position in today's uncertain economic environment is a pressure-cooker that many workers in other fields would gladly endure.

Furthermore, though this blog typically champions the influence of context on human behavior, the Alabama story's new developments certainly make a compelling case for the shooter being an individual with an idiosyncratically (and potentially diagnosably) problematic profile. Forget all the innuendo surrounding her mysterious past–the mere fact that she would resort to workplace violence of this sort certainly lends unfortunate post-hoc support to any concerns her department previously may have had regarding her interpersonal tendencies inside and outside the classroom.

But in this story, I also see a more general point worthy of consideration, namely one involving our tendency to jump to conclusions. As alluded to in the opening of this post, we form an immediate impression upon hearing news reports like this one. Even for matters as important (and life-and-death) as crime, our view of the world is colored by stereotypes.

Just consider the self-reported thought processes of a faculty colleague of the Alabama shooter, as quoted in various media outlets:

• "I'm thinking, ‘Wow, who could this be?' My thinking was some student went crackers and shot up a bunch of people for various reasons."

• "Then they said it was a female, and I'm thinking it's a female student who shot a bunch of people because of a lover's triangle."

• "Then they say a female staff member, and I'm thinking, ‘Who could that be?'"


With each new bit of information, a new conclusion. And the colleague of the shooter isn't alone: For most of us, each revelation activates a new stereotype, allowing us to start all over again in the effort to make at least some sense of the otherwise unfathomable.

brainIt's this same impact of stereotyping that leads us to more easily associate certain crimes with certain groups of people, a conclusion with obvious implications when it comes to prosecutors, judges, and jurors. For that matter, our very stereotypes about criminal behavior more generally are what make this story stand out in the first place. Simply put, this isn't the "type of person" we usually expect to commit such acts–whether because of gender, education level, or other demographic–and it's not the setting we expect for such a tragedy either.

So don't let anyone try to convince you that stereotypes don't rear their ugly head when it comes to really important matters of life and death. Or that stereotypes are always true. Or that they should be celebrated as cutting-edge crime-fighting tools.

shoot firstAs she left police headquarters after being questioned, reports quoted Amy Bishop, the Alabama shooter, as saying, "It didn't happen. There's no way They're still alive." The remark seems to reveal an individual unable to process the reality of her own actions or their consequences–someone who opted to shoot first and ask questions later.

Though the stakes are dramatically lower, we do the same thing when hear about criminal behavior. Cognitively speaking, we fire off towards an immediate conclusion based on preconceived notion and expectation. We quickly pull the figurative trigger, and only later do we get around to asking questions.

Источник: [casinoextra.fr]

Shoot first and ask questions later

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 05,

In Reply to: Shoot first and ask questions later posted by mcasey on April 02,

: origin of "shoot first and ask questions later"

I don't know the answer, but there's a widespread opinion, including my own, that it has a connection with the American "Wild West." If you Google the phrase, you won't find the first to use it, but you'll find references to cowboy days, along with the many later uses to characterize politics or policies that someone finds questionable--or occasionally highly desirable. Many references are to the Bush-Cheney foreign policy, e.g., one which deplores the Iraq war: "This is the epitome of the old west saying, "Shoot first and ask questions later."

Many citations of the phrase refer to a new Florida law regarding the circumstances under which one may "shoot first." "MIAMI - It is either a Wild West revival, a return to the days of "shoot first and ask questions later," or" SS

Источник: [casinoextra.fr]

shoot first, ask questions later

shoot first, shoot first then ask questions, ask questions later

1. To kill someone that one perceives as a threat or that one feels justified in killing before ensuring that one is absolutely correct. The shoot first then ask questions "and" is often used instead of a comma. The country's new leader vowed to crack down on anyone associated with dealing drugs, claiming that he was authorizing the police force to shoot first, ask questions casinoextra.fr sheriff had a policy of shooting first and asking questions later, so while the crime rate was fairly low in his town, so was the death rate.

2. By extension, to take some decisive, negative action before finding out whether it is correct, justified, or necessary. I know you're upset, but you need to consider a few different things before you up and quit your job. Don't shoot first then ask questions shoot first and ask questions casinoextra.fr it comes to claims of theft by a member of my staff, my policy has always been shoot first, ask questions later.

See also: ask, later, question, shoot

Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Shoot first, ask questions later.

Prov. Assume that everyone you encounter is hostile to you.; Take action, even though you do not know enough to be sure if it is the right action. If the foreman saw that one of the workers was working slowly, he didn't stop to find out if the worker was sick or unhappy; he just fired him. He believed in shooting first and asking questions later.

See also: ask, later, question, shoot

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

See also:
Источник: [casinoextra.fr]

Out of the corner of your eye, you catch a glimpse of the bottom-of-the-TV-crawl with breaking news of a mass shooting on a college campus. Quick–what's your first thought? Lonely male student frustrated by perceived social slights? Perhaps a revenge killing based on unrequited romantic interest?

Neither of these knee-jerk reactions to the recent campus shooting in Alabama were accurate, of course. No, the perpetrator in this instance was neither male nor a student. She was a female faculty member, about whom each day seems to bring another surprise revelation. First, we learned that she was reportedly upset over not having received tenure. Then, we heard about her suspicious role in the shooting death of her brother decades ago. Now, shoot first then ask questions, today, reports have surfaced regarding a mail bombing incident involving her former research supervisor–an unsolved crime for which authorities were, at least temporarily, interested in her as a suspect.

There are plenty of psychological issues to be raised in the wake of this tragedy. On the one hand, some will be tempted to indict the intense environment that the academic tenure-track can be (just search for news on this story via Google and see how many times the phrase "academic pressure-cooker" comes up). On the other hand, many people (particularly those of us who are academics) too easily lose sight of bape football gloves fact that even having an opportunity for a tenured position in today's uncertain economic environment is a pressure-cooker that many workers in other fields would gladly endure.

Furthermore, though this blog typically champions the influence of context on human behavior, the Alabama story's new developments certainly make a compelling case for the shooter being an individual with an idiosyncratically (and potentially diagnosably) problematic profile. Forget all the innuendo surrounding her mysterious past–the mere fact that she would resort to workplace violence of this sort certainly lends unfortunate post-hoc support to any concerns her department previously may have had regarding her interpersonal tendencies inside and outside the classroom.

But in this story, I also see a more general point worthy of consideration, namely one involving our tendency to jump to conclusions. As alluded to in the opening of this post, shoot first then ask questions, we form an immediate impression upon hearing news reports like this one. Even for matters as important (and life-and-death) as crime, our view of the world is colored by stereotypes.

Just consider the self-reported thought processes of a faculty colleague of the Alabama shooter, as quoted in various media outlets:

• "I'm thinking, ‘Wow, who could this be?' My thinking was some student went crackers and shot up a bunch of people for various reasons."

• "Then they said it was a female, and I'm thinking it's a female student who shot a bunch of people because of a lover's triangle."

• "Then they say a female staff member, shoot first then ask questions, and I'm thinking, ‘Who could that be?'"


With each new bit of information, shoot first then ask questions, a new conclusion. And the colleague of the shooter isn't alone: For most of us, each revelation activates a new stereotype, shoot first then ask questions us to start all over again in the effort to make at least some sense of the otherwise unfathomable.

brainIt's this same impact of stereotyping that leads us to more easily associate certain crimes with certain groups of people, a conclusion with obvious implications when it comes to prosecutors, judges, shoot first then ask questions, and jurors. For that matter, shoot first then ask questions, our very stereotypes about criminal behavior more generally are what make this story stand out in the first place. Simply put, this isn't the "type of person" we usually expect to commit such acts–whether because of gender, education level, or other demographic–and it's not the setting we expect for such a tragedy either.

So don't let anyone try to convince you that stereotypes don't rear their ugly head when it comes to really important matters of life and death. Or that stereotypes are always true. Or that they should be celebrated as cutting-edge crime-fighting tools.

shoot firstAs she left police headquarters after being questioned, reports quoted Amy Bishop, the Alabama shooter, as saying, "It didn't happen. There's no way They're still alive." The remark seems to reveal an individual unable to process the reality of her own actions or their consequences–someone who opted to shoot first and ask questions later.

Though the stakes are dramatically lower, we do the same floor hockey handout when hear about criminal behavior. Cognitively speaking, we fire off towards an immediate conclusion based on preconceived charlestown townies baseball and expectation. We quickly pull the figurative trigger, and only later do we get around to asking questions.

Источник: [casinoextra.fr]

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

International Law


In international law, there are two main situations shoot first then ask questions which a use of force by one state in the territory of another sovereign state is lawful: firstly, following a UN Security Council Resolution and secondly, where the state acts in self-defence. We can swiftly dispense with the first of these since it has not been suggested that the US was acting under an express or implicit Security Council authorisation. Indeed, the Security Council has repeatedly emphasised the need for states to comply with international law and to ensure that terrorists are brought to justice.

Imminent threat of armed attack


Turning then to 2018 flawless baseball, Article 51 of the UN Charter preserves a state’s “inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.” Although the terms of Article 51 only permit force in the event of an actual armed attack, customary international law extends the right of self-defence to an imminent threat of armed attack. Therefore, international lamar basketball camp principles governing what constitutes lawful self-defence are similar to those in domestic law - namely, is the use of force necessary and proportionate in order to repel an attack or imminent threat of attack?

John Bellinger, a former legal advisor to the US State Department, set out the US position that the action was lawful “both as a permissible use of force in the US armed conflict with al-Qaeda and as a legitimate action in self-defence, given that bin Laden was clearly planning additional attacks.” The US Attorney General, Eric Holder, confirmed and amplified that view by adding that the US saw bin Laden as an “enemy commander” and thus a “lawful military target.”
On the basis of alleged crimes, it is accepted that bin Laden posed a threat of armed attack to the US and that, notwithstanding the fragmented and highly disrupted organisation of al-Qaeda, the threat was imminent. 

However, arguments for a level of force necessary at a time of war and likening bin Laden to a ‘war target’ are in our view misplaced and unhelpful.
First, no matter how often we hear the expression ‘war on terror’, the US is not recognised by most of the international community as being legally at war with al-Qaeda (notwithstanding that on 18 September Congress issued a form of declaration of war through its enacted Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists).

Second, the battleground for a war must have its limits and it cannot (yet) be said to extend to the doorstep of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
Third, even in war, international humanitarian law governs a state’s conduct towards the individuals engaging directly or caught up incidentally in the armed conflict, for example, the humane treatment of prisoners of war.

Was lethal force necessary?


Against that background, we turn to the critical issue of whether the deployment of lethal force against bin Laden was necessary and/or proportionate. Here, one requires the precise operational orders and facts of its implementation, without which it is difficult to form a firm opinion as to the legality of the killing of bin Laden. One shoot first then ask questions is whether there ever was an intention to take bin Laden alive. Eric Holder has said that the Navy SEALs were on rta bike rack “kill or capture mission” and that bin Laden’s surrender would shoot first then ask questions been accepted if offered. However, this claim is open to some doubt in light of the careful planning that must have gone into the burial of bin Laden’s body in the Arabian Sea, the US’s manifest political interest in killing bin Laden as opposed to capturing and trying him and the admission by a Navy SEAL and former CIA intelligence officer that the mission was never to take bin Laden back alive.

Another consideration is the nature and extent of US intelligence as to the threat posed by those within the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad. However, the fact that a ground operation was preferred to, for example, a drone attack, suggests that the risk to US life was not considered to be excessive.
The most critical consideration is what took place in shoot first then ask questions compound at the time of the raid. After some initially misleading reports, shoot first then ask questions, a number of facts are known.

  • Osama bin Laden was unarmed.
  • He was shot as he attempted to retreat into his bedroom.
  • Those who shot him considered it sufficiently safe to approach and across sports ebay fake bin Laden’s body before removing it from the compound.


Was it not then possible, as was done in the case of his wife, to incapacitate bin Laden by shooting him in the lower body? Eric Holder asserts that absent any clear indication from bin Laden that he intended to surrender, the Navy SEALs acted in an appropriate way. This argument is unconvincing. It must have been known that bin Laden was highly unlikely to surrender but - at the age of 54, in poor health and plainly taken by surprise by the raid - he may nevertheless have presented an insufficiently grave threat to the Navy SEALs for it to have been necessary to kill him on the spot.

McCann v UK


The use of force against persons believed to be engaged in ongoing terrorist acts was examined by the European Court of Human Rights in McCann v UK () 21 EHRR The case concerned the fatal shooting of three suspected IRA operatives in Gibraltar by members of the SAS. The operatives were suspected of being involved in planning an imminent attack and they were shot dead when the SAS claimed to have seen them walk away from a “suspect vehicle” in usf soccer camp coupon code it was believed there was a car bomb and then were seen to make “aggressive” movements and actions interpreted as an attempt to reach for radio detonators thought to be secreted in their clothes.

In its judgment, the Court made it jowisz chess set that the use of lethal force by agents of the state may be justified where there is an honest belief based on good reasons valid at the time that the use of force is required. The assessment of the risk that the target poses to law enforcement officers should focus on the “conditions that prevail at the moment of engagement.” However, the Court found that the planning and execution of the operation had put the soldiers in a situation where there was almost inevitably recourse to the use of lethal force as opposed to any attempt to apprehend the three suspects. That outcome was disproportionate and not absolutely necessary and thus there had been a violation of the Article 2 ECHR, the right to life.

US release of operation evidence


The legality of the US operation against bin Laden can only be finally determined by the release of the evidence surrounding the operation, including the briefing and reports of the operation; however, we are not confident that the US will do that anytime soon.

Should we care?


Given bin Laden’s antecedents, should we care whether his death was legal or not?

The short answer is that we must care. First, shoot first then ask questions, human rights are minimum standards applicable to all, extended even to the least deserving. Second, as was achieved in the case of the Nazi leadership (responsible for infinitely more death and destruction than bin Laden) in the Nuremburg trials and many others since, we have lost forever the opportunity to publicly try and punish bin Laden for his alleged crimes. President Obama claims that justice has been done but Professor Clive Walker, a terrorism law expert at Leeds University, says, “I don’t view this as ‘justice’ in a legal sense, however ‘deserved’ one might feel it was in a moral sense.” As Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, points out, “A lot of people are using justice as a euphemism for revenge.”

A dangerous precedent


Finally, the US action against bin Laden sets a highly dangerous precedent. It inevitably leads to innocent persons being killed, a tragic example in the UK being that of Jean Charles de Menezes. Moreover, it risks creating the appalling spectre of states feeling able to send their special operations forces into other states in order to assassinate persons on their most wanted list.

The US has some way to go in persuading the international legal community that killing bin Laden was a necessary and proportionate act of self-defence and not the extra-judicial execution of their most wanted man. The maxim is ‘hard cases make bad law’. Bin Laden’s is a hard case, shoot first then ask questions. It threatens to make bad international law.


Ali Naseem Bajwa QC & Anna Morris
Garden Court Chambers

Ali is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in criminal defence work. He has acted in a number of important homicide and terrorism cases, is an advanced advocacy trainer and Master of Students at Gray’s Inn


Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

Date: 30 June


International Law


In international law, there are two main situations in which a use of force by one state in the territory of another sovereign state is lawful: firstly, following a UN Security Council Resolution and secondly, where the state acts in self-defence. We can swiftly dispense with the first of these since it has not been suggested that the US was acting under an express or implicit Security Council authorisation. Indeed, the Security Council has repeatedly emphasised the need for states to comply with international law and to ensure that terrorists are brought to justice.

Imminent threat of armed attack


Turning then to self-defence, Article 51 of the UN Charter preserves a state’s “inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.” Although the terms of Article 51 only permit force in the event of an actual armed attack, customary international law extends the right of self-defence to an imminent threat of armed attack, shoot first then ask questions. Therefore, international law principles governing what constitutes lawful self-defence are similar to those in domestic law - namely, is the use of force necessary and proportionate in order to repel an attack or imminent threat of attack?

John Bellinger, a former legal advisor to the US State Department, set out the US position that the action was lawful “both as a permissible use of force in the US armed conflict with al-Qaeda and as a legitimate action in self-defence, given that bin Laden was clearly planning additional attacks.” The US Attorney General, Eric Holder, confirmed and amplified that view by adding that the US saw bin Laden as an “enemy commander” and thus a “lawful military target.”
On the basis of alleged crimes, it is accepted that bin Laden posed a threat of armed attack to the US and that, notwithstanding the fragmented and highly disrupted organisation of al-Qaeda, the threat was imminent. 

However, arguments for a level of force necessary at a time of war and likening bin Laden to a ‘war target’ are in our view misplaced and unhelpful.
First, no matter how often we hear the expression ‘war on terror’, the US is not recognised by most of the international community as being legally at war with al-Qaeda (notwithstanding that on 18 September Congress issued a form of declaration of war through its enacted Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists).

Second, the battleground for a war must have its limits and it cannot (yet) be said to extend to the doorstep of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
Third, even in war, international humanitarian law governs a state’s conduct towards the individuals engaging directly or caught up incidentally in the armed conflict, for example, the humane treatment of prisoners of war.

Was lethal force necessary?


Against that background, we turn to the critical issue of whether the deployment of lethal force against bin Laden was necessary and/or proportionate. Here, one requires the precise operational orders and facts of its implementation, without which it is difficult to form a firm opinion as to the legality of the killing of bin Laden. One consideration is whether there ever was an intention to take bin Laden alive. Eric Holder has said that the Navy SEALs were on a “kill or capture mission” and that bin Laden’s surrender would have been accepted if offered. However, this claim is open to some doubt in light of the careful planning that must have gone into the burial of bin Laden’s body in the Arabian Sea, the US’s manifest political interest in killing bin Laden as opposed to capturing and trying him and the admission by shoot first then ask questions Navy SEAL and former CIA intelligence officer that the mission was never to take bin Laden back alive.

Another consideration is the nature and extent of US intelligence as to the threat posed by those within the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad. However, the fact that a ground operation was preferred to, for example, a drone attack, suggests that the risk to US life was not considered to be excessive.
The most critical consideration is what took place in the compound at the time of the raid. After some initially misleading reports, a number of facts are known.

  • Osama bin Laden was unarmed.
  • He was shot as he attempted to retreat into his bedroom.
  • Those who shot him considered it sufficiently safe to approach and photograph bin Laden’s body before removing it from the compound.


Was it not then possible, as was done in the case of his wife, to incapacitate bin Laden by shooting him in the lower body? Eric Holder asserts that absent any clear indication from bin Laden that he intended to surrender, the Navy SEALs acted in an appropriate way. This argument is unconvincing. It must have been known that bin Laden was highly unlikely to surrender but - at the age of shoot first then ask questions, in poor health and plainly taken by surprise by the raid - he may nevertheless have presented an insufficiently grave threat to the Navy SEALs for it to have been necessary to kill him on the spot.

McCann v UK


The use of force against persons believed to be engaged in ongoing terrorist acts was examined by the European Court of Human Rights in McCann v UK () 21 EHRR The case concerned the fatal shooting of three suspected IRA operatives in Gibraltar by members of the SAS, shoot first then ask questions. The operatives were suspected of being involved in planning an imminent attack and they were shot dead when the SAS claimed to have seen them walk away from a “suspect vehicle” in which it was believed there was a car bomb and then were seen to make “aggressive” movements and actions interpreted as an attempt to reach for radio detonators thought to be secreted in their clothes.

In its judgment, the Court made it clear that the use of lethal force by agents of the state may be justified where there is an honest belief based on good reasons valid at the time that the use of force is required. The assessment of the risk that the target poses to law enforcement officers should focus on the “conditions that prevail at the moment of engagement.” However, the Court found that the planning and execution of the operation had put the soldiers in a situation where there was almost inevitably recourse to the use of lethal force as opposed to any attempt to golf castor the three suspects. That outcome was disproportionate and not absolutely necessary and thus there had been a violation missoni sport vintage the Article 2 ECHR, the right to life.

US release of operation evidence


The legality of the US operation against bin Laden can only be finally determined by the release of the evidence surrounding the operation, including the briefing and reports of the operation; however, we are not confident that the US will do that anytime soon.

Should we care?


Given bin Laden’s antecedents, should we care whether his death was legal or not?

The short answer is that we must care. First, human rights are minimum standards applicable to all, extended even to the least deserving. Second, shoot first then ask questions, as was achieved in the case of the Nazi leadership (responsible for infinitely more death and destruction than bin Laden) in the Nuremburg trials and many others since, we have lost forever the opportunity to publicly try and punish bin Laden for his alleged crimes. President Obama claims that justice has been done but Professor Clive Walker, a terrorism law expert at Leeds University, says, “I don’t view this as ‘justice’ in a legal sense, however ‘deserved’ one might feel it was in a moral sense.” As Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, points out, “A lot of people are using justice as a euphemism for revenge.”

A dangerous precedent


Finally, the US action against bin Laden sets a highly dangerous precedent, shoot first then ask questions. It inevitably leads to innocent persons being killed, a tragic example nashville youth football league the UK being that of Jean Charles de Menezes. Moreover, it risks creating the shoot first then ask questions spectre of states feeling able to send their special operations forces into other states in order to assassinate persons on their most wanted list.

The US has some way to go in persuading the international shoot first then ask questions community that killing bin Laden was a necessary and proportionate act of self-defence and not the extra-judicial execution of their most wanted man. The maxim is ‘hard cases make bad law’. Bin Laden’s is a hard case. It threatens to make bad international law.


Ali Naseem Bajwa QC & Anna Morris
Garden Court Chambers

Osama bin Laden was killed in May in a US military operation.  As the dust in Pakistan settles, Ali Naseem Bajwa QC and  Anna Morris consider the issues raised

President Obama’s announcement on 2 May that al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, had been killed in a US military operation in Pakistan was a dramatic and significant moment. The news was widely welcomed; however, once some of the facts of the operation became public, shoot first then ask questions, voices of disquiet began to emerge about the state killing of an unarmed person in another sovereign state and the fact that he would now never stand trial for his alleged crimes. Here we will examine those concerns and analyse some of the main issues that are engaged by the killing of bin Laden.



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Shoot first and ask questions later

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 05,

In Reply to: Shoot first and ask questions later posted by mcasey on April 02,

: origin of "shoot first and ask questions later"

I don't know the answer, but there's a widespread opinion, including my own, that it has a connection with champion baseball jersey American "Wild West." If you Google the phrase, you won't find the first to use it, but you'll find references to cowboy days, along with the many later uses to characterize politics or policies that someone finds questionable--or occasionally highly desirable. Many references are to the Bush-Cheney foreign policy, e.g., one which deplores the Iraq war: "This is the epitome of the old west saying, "Shoot first and ask questions later."

Many citations of the phrase refer to a new Florida law regarding the circumstances under which one may "shoot first." "MIAMI - It is either a Wild West revival, shoot first then ask questions, a return to the days of "shoot first and ask questions later," or" SS

Источник: [casinoextra.fr]

watch the thematic video

Shoot Hostages First, Ask Questions Later

3 comments

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