Jesuit magazine: Bin Laden a menace to mankind and had to be stopped

“Bin Laden was dangerous, and he had to be stopped. Presuming his innocence was legally legitimate but unreasonable.”  The chorus of criticism addressed to the White House from various sectors of the international community for the suppression of the head of Al Qaeda finds no echo in the Vatican. “The ocean would dilute the memory of Bin Laden, the impregnable myth was shattered”, says “Catholic Civilization.” The biweekly publication of the Society of Jesus whose drafts are cleared by the Secretary of State, takes a position on the death of the leader of Al Qaeda and surprisingly is not overly shocked at the violent end of the world’s number one wanted person, the symbol of terror, the man who embodied Evil and who attacked the heart of America on September 11th of ten years ago, killed on May 2nd during a mission of U.S. Special Forces near Islamabad.

No sentence for Obama, therefore, for the operation planned and carried out by stars and stripes commandos with the goal of “finishing off” the leader of Al Qaeda. Indeed, says “Catholic Civilization”, the risks of a trial were many and with strong geopolitical implications. The Jesuit magazine evaluates very carefully and with realpolitik the death of Bin Laden and does not condemn the choice made by the Obama administration. The burial of Bin Laden at sea, is remembered, “it is not appropriate for a Muslim”, however, he emphasizes, “it is easy to imagine that no country would accept the remains. Thus, the possibility of creating a place of pilgrimage was avoided”.

The way in which the head of al Qaeda was killed gave rise to a debate “on the legitimacy and legality of the operation ‘kill or capture’.”  Not releasing photos and video, however, “seemed to serve for not providing extremists useful means for their propaganda”. After noting that, according to the White House, the operation was motivated by a direct order of the President towards an enemy “of humanity”, it is observed: “Anyway, Bin Laden was dangerous. He had to be stopped. To presume his innocence was legally legitimate, but unreasonable”. The “Catholic Civilization” then states that the “procedural truth” about the terrorist actions of Bin Laden “may be ascertained by other means”, in particular, by prosecuting the Guantanamo detainees.

Yet the key questions, according to the influential Jesuit journal, are others: “Who in fact could reasonably believe that bin Laden was innocent? And that the result of a regular trial would not have been the maximum penalty? In addition, a long trial could have given the defendant an opportunity for propaganda and making revelations that are unpleasant even for the U.S. allies. Of course, that’s the way the reasoning goes, if Bin Laden had been given a regular trial and without torture, would we not have assisted to yet another ‘ode to death’, no matter how lawful and legitimate? Yet, at the same time, a prisoner like bin Laden would have motivated his followers to capture hostages to secure the release of their hero”.

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