The more I hear about the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the more I feel like I'm listening to a press conference by the local chief on the shooting of a suspect in the dark streets of Miami at night.
But its not as succinct.
First I heard, "this was a kill mission, there was no intention of capturing him alive."
Then I heard he had a weapon.
Then I heard he didn't have a weapon.
Then I heard there were "threatening moves." Hint: we and the case law call them "furtive movements." Use "furtive." It has more meaning to someone in a robe.
Then I heard he looked like he was going for a weapon.
Then I heard he "resisted."
Then I thought - maybe we should stop explaining this, maybe we should stop trying to justify why we blew his head off. We're not doing a very good job.
My recommendation is that any government or terrorist organization or fringe group that wants to know why we killed Bin Laden, should be told to Google "world trade center airplanes September 11," and click the link to "video." Find the long video that shows people jumping out of the twin towers.
Yes, I am an anti death penalty criminal defense lawyer who believes in due process. Yes, making an exception here may make me a hypocrite.
But I've been called worse.
Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court, and the author of The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Post to Twitter
5 hours ago