The media keeps repeating that the SEALs had an option for “detaining” the hostage takers, but I have absolutely no problem with the SEALs killing the hostage takers in the process of rescuing their captives. In fact I’m inclined to think that killing them should be the default. Sort of let them know that, “If you really want to surrender, we’ll let you, but you better make that desire very clear and do it very fast.”
What I have a problem with is the President of The United States standing at a podium afterward and smugly talking about how we have “brought them to justice.” That is not how our constitution defines “justice.” In this country, justice is not delivered through the muzzle of a gun.
That mission was not about delivering justice. That mission was about rescuing people who were being held hostage, and if killing was needed to accomplish that, then so be it. If that meant that the bad guys did not get justice, then that’s life. Sometimes bad guys don’t get justice, sometimes they just get killed in the process of committing a bad act.
So it’s fine for Obama to be pleased with the rescue, and even with how it was done, but a constitutional scholar should know better than to refer to extrajudicial execution as “justice.”